Who do you think YOU are? (And where do you come from?)

January 3, 2011

Categories: David North McColl, Genealogy, Marco Polo, Scotland

Unless you are an Indigenous Australian, all Australians come from somewhere else. I was always at my dad to map out the family tree for us, but he never got around to it and I have found myself taking on the task instead.

I’ve been watching the ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ show with interest and finally hopped online to ancestry.com just to check my own relatives out. I am the keeper of the photos in my family, which meant that I could rifle through the three boxes of photos, checking out any info written on the back of each photo for a clue or reminder about who belonged to whom, confirming what I found online.

I managed to waste a whole day following the little leaf links to relatives I have never met and most I have never heard of. It has already given me a lot of food for thought and raised questions that I have no answers for — yet. Family folklore being what it is, I assumed that I came from mostly Irish stock, but so far my Scottish heritage outweighs the Irish connection. (This is just on my father’s side. My grandmother never talked about her life in the olden days, even when I asked her point blank. It saddened me to find out yesterday that she — and her 12 siblings — were orphaned when she was 9. It did make sense, however, of the fierce regard she had for holding close to her sons and their families.

One of my favourite findings so far is a painting of the ship (Marco Polo) on which my great-grandfather was born — David North McColl 1852 — en route to Australia from Scotland.

Think I am going to have to restrict my access to this site if I am to get any writing done this year…

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