“Hello, are you my cousin?”

In 1855, one of my great-great-great-grandfathers, one of my great-great-great-grandmothers and one of my great-great-grandfathers arrived in Sydney from England. They and several other children (born in England and Australia) eventually settled in a small town on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. Later, various members of the family moved to various other places, but the extended family is clustered around two rivers in mid-northern NSW. Various family members have researched the family history. I have some information from my grandmother and two distant relatives. but haven’t got seriously involved.

Today after church, the drinks were being served by a woman whose name tag showed that surname (which is not the same as mine, because I’m not a direct male descendant). I said “Are you related to the [name] family of [town] and [town]?” She said “No. There’s only me and my husband. You’re the second person to ask me today. The man over there asked me.” I’d seen the man with the same surname on his tag, and vaguely assumed that they were related. I asked him the same thing, and he said that he’d come from England as a boy with his father. I assume that he asked the woman “Are you related to [some given name] [that surname]”, not about the two towns I did.

I know I’ve got hundreds of  relatives on that side of the family, but with each generation fewer of them have that surname. I know some of the associated surnames (the married names of the daughters and some of the grand-daughters), but I’ll spot that surname first. There are several major businesses by that name, which we are not related to.

For a long time, I thought that those were my first ancestors to arrive in Australia, but last year I was looking at some information about the other side of my family, and found that one couple came in 1847. Apart from the fact that they had a daughter who became one of my great-great-grandmothers, we know nothing more about them.

Whatever else they might have done, none of my ancestors were convicts.

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2 thoughts on ““Hello, are you my cousin?”

  1. I haven’t gotten into researching my family tree on my mum’s side, the Aussie side, but my dad’s family has been in the U.S. since before it was the U.S. Mum always said her family was sent to Australia from Ireland but without any further info I don’t know what to think. One of these days I may get into one of the ancestry services and really find out what the truth is.

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