After having a lazy morning on social media and the internet, I came across a site where the topic of royalty and ancestors popped up. The question arose, ‘Who is related to royalty?’
It was like flooded gates had opened. Quite a few people came forward from those who have already done the research. The question I have; is having royal ancestors a right royal or a pain in the butt?
I was quite surprised by the response to find that with one simple question, of those who replied approximately 20 people said they had royals as ancestors and a few with multiple ancestors, but I guess that would make sense as they are related to each other. 😊
Within one week, I’ve heard 2 stories about WW2 ancestors who through receiving a kind action had their lives profoundly changed even though no-one really knew if there would be any consequences. To put it simply. They went ahead with fingers crossed and holding their breaths.
As an Australian with Polish ancestors, I was extremely touched by these stories.
Recently on SBS there’s been a program that’s specifically focused on the stories of WW1 and WW2 ancestors. It has similar structure to the program ‘Who Do You Think You Are’.
The general consensus is, interested celebrities are having their family’s ancestors’ stories researched and recorded for a television program.
One story that was told, was about a British actress’s (apologies for not remembering her name) Grandfather who worked in the Spanish Embassy based in France during WW2.
His story was about how he unknowingly, saved hundreds of Polish Jews’ lives as they were fleeing Europe via Spain to board a ship in Portugal which was bound for the USA.
When searching ancestors in foreign countries the challenge of deciphering the names can take on a crazy journey. It could be the names of people or/and the names of towns.
For example, borders are moved and therefore the town is then listed under another country and so it’s in the language of the country it now belongs to.
This is particularly prevalent in Eastern European countries such as Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Balkans and some of the Baltic countries.
For example, an ancestor may have been born in a town that was East Prussia or Germany but in the 1870’s when Prussia was dissolved, the border was changed so that town could be now in Poland or even Lithuania.
Based on this, the searching can be a bit of a nightmare even with the technology and the internet.
After enjoying an informative program on TV where, the topic on this night was a discussion about the Pros and Cons of having your DNA done because for some people, dark family secrets are revealed. I then had to ask myself; Do I really have a half-sister?
It seems that not everyone has had a pleasant experience with finding out the results of their own DNA. And if given the opportunity again, knowing what they now know, would they get it done again?
For some people who received information that was previously unknown to them, I’d completely understand if they said no. Not only is that particular person affected by the results, but at least 2 other people will have lasting affects as well.
This is usually the mother and father with possibly an unknown man. Plus, this list can sometimes extend further depending on the individual’s circumstances. So where do I fit in?
I always knew it would be an uphill battle finding out and answering my internal question As The Story Hunter asking where do I belong gives me reason to work on it.
I learnt that having an eleven-letter surname that originated from Prussia/Poland/Germany was going to stop me initially. This was because of the ‘Iron Curtain’.
Anyone who wanted to do historical searches in this part of Europe was going to come to a dead end. So because of this, I’m sure others would feel the same as me as I always wanted to know, where do I belong.
Think back to a movie, a TV show, or a story about a discovery of hidden treasure. It was never found easily and if it was, how boring would that be? A pirate searching for treasure or us researching our family tree have similar features. The Story Hunter has the same journey as it will always take you through twists and turns and into dead ends before you get to the secret spot.
Then, when a specific location or clue has been discovered, the treasure hunter is then kept extremely busy deciphering the false leads from vital bits of information.
BTW: Have you noticed that the pirates in the movies always seem to look alike? They always seem to have similar features.
Life from Australia to WW1 in France. Frederick Fiddes.
Within a short period of time I’ve noticed that my mother’s side of the family tree and history was the opposite to what I expected such as enlisting for WW1 at 44 years of age. He’s gone from life in Australia to WW1 in France.
There are some interesting characters which probably fit the Australian description of Larrikan and I can see that some character traits have to be genetic.
Based on this, I was looking forward to researching them with a light-hearted approach as in his case there were 2 main stories. It was like Frederick Fiddes was living 2 different lives.