Ancestry

Last month both Jan and I were invited to my cousin’s and his wife’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. It wasn’t until near the date of the celebration we learned that four of our children(?), their partners and grandchildren were also invited. I thought, this should be great because we haven’t kept in close touch over the years. I had been the best man at their wedding those fifty years ago. I vaguely remembered the wedding, but of course none of the my children did.

Arriving at the venue, in Cheshunt, the meet and greet or more accurately regreets were quickly over. I had been aware that my cousin and one of his sons had been working on our family tree history, and was surprised to learn that they had traced our ancestry way back to the fifteen hundreds. The conversation was fascinating, not because we had crooks or some fantastic horror in the family, in fact all our forebears were somewhat disappointingly ordinary. In fact the only ones that stood out was a James Davis, in fifteen eighty, who was the parish administrator for the poor and destitute. Apparently he was responsible for allocating support funds to the needy. This information was gleaned from the parish records. Another was a military man, posted to India, and returned in eighteen hundred and something. He was employed by the East India Trading Company. Anyway to cut a long story short, we agreed that I would get the tree records the following week and I looked forward to reading the details.

Back at the celebrations, my eldest daughter found my cousin’s old wedding photograph album. Before long, as the pages of each photo were turned, there were hoots of laughter. All my children were astounded to see that photo’s of me were like pictures of my middle son’s boy. We could have almost been twins. I’ve said since that young Tom was very much like me, even in his mannerisms and facial expressions. He’s fifteen now and I was twenty-five when those photos were taken, so he still has some growing to do. It will be interesting to see what work he eventually takes up. He’s as bright as a button, and I’ve no doubt, whatever he sets his mind to he will succeed.

We, my cousin and his wife have agreed to meet up shortly and go for a meal in the local Harvester. I’ve no doubt we’ll speak of old family members no longer on this earth, as well as more joyful times when we were growing up. We did indeed have some very memorable family holidays both in Cornwall, Wales and Scotland, where Uncles, Aunts and friends joined us.

Happy days

Mike

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