“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” – Rudyard Kipling
My childhood friends and I were taught very little Australian history in school, despite living in one of the country’s earliest sites of European settlemens. As for New Zealand history, we were totally ignorant! Many Australians would be surprised that there was provision made in our constitution for New Zealand to be included. The Kiwis politely declined!
It’s only comparatively recently that I’ve become interested in colonial Australia. That was a by-product of genealogical research.
When you begin researching your family, you are drawn into a world of wonderful stories. Dozens of tales from other countries. My grandmother tearing across the Argentinian pampas (sidesaddle!) on her horse. A dramatic eighteenth century divorce in London. Work on the excavation of the Panama Canal. Investigating these stories, more and more interesting details come to light. First, it’s family stories and documents. Then, for background, it’s on to other sources.
I rely heavily on the Australian National Library’s Trove facilities, particularly the huge collection of on-line newspapers. Recently a friend put me on to Papers Past, the New Zealand equivalent. It was there I discovered a member of a long-lost branch of the family. Why she and her fiancé travelled over the ditch to marry, early this century, I’ve yet to discover.
Trove has helped fill in lots of background. Government employment, bankruptcy, trouble with the police; it’s there in abundance. One of my relatives had a father-in-law who sailed the South Pacific in the middle of last century. He reported back news of massacres, and other adventures. Another father-in-law had a senior position in Queensland and wound up in financial bother, rorting the system. There’s nothing new, it seems!
So much more. A grandfather’s aunt living out in the boondocks got herself into all sorts of bother, along with a minister of religion.
Quick, time to open a fresh computer page. There’s a new story buzzing in my brain!
The Heart Has Its Reasons is available for ORDER by clicking this link https://www.bronwynhouldsworth.com/books