• Karen

The Journey Begins

My name is Karen and I live in the French Alps with my family.  We’ve always been a family that likes travelling, with work and for pleasure.  We have lived in all sorts of places including South East Asia, Europe and Nepal.

I want to share our latest family adventure with you.  This is a journey across time as well as across the globe.

Do you ever get asked the question – where do you come from?  My daughters have been asked this so many times in their lives but always struggle to answer it and one day they heard someone use the term ‘I am a Global Nomad’ and that’s what they have stuck with ever since.  It fits them both perfectly.

For me the answer to that question was always fairly easy.  I grew up in Hertfordshire and except for my first 2 years living in Singapore, that’s where I stayed until I got married.  Don’t get me wrong I traveled a lot, all over Europe and visiting USA and Canada but my first big adventure as an adult was a round the world trip after University.  My first stop was Hong Kong and I absolutely loved it, that’s where I met my husband and ended up staying and not finishing the rest of my trip.

So back to the question where do I come from, well my answer was always Hertfordshire, England.  My Dads family were from Birmingham and my Mums family were from N. Ireland and Manchester.  Then Brexit happened.

My mum aged 81, who also lives with me in France, decided that the easiest way for her to stay in Europe was to get her Irish Passport so two years ago she started the application.  None of us were quite ready for what happened next.

She needed a copy of her birth certificate which she applied for, this took longer than she expected so she rang the office in Belfast to be told that actually she was adopted and she was born in Caversham, England not Belfast as she had always thought.

So this journey has been about finding out who we really are and working out who my mothers parents were.  I have become an expert in researching family history, searching through old shipping logs, census records and birth, marriage and death certificates.  I have started to understand how DNA works (who’d have thought it after I failed my Biology O’level) and am actually enjoying learning about things in history related to our family, old and new.

On a good day my new uncles – yes we found some siblings that mum never knew about – more about them later, like to call me the family sleuth and on a bad day they just call me a stalker!

So my blog is going to be about how we uncovered the truth and how we found some interesting ancestors.  I look forward to sharing it all with you.

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
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