Tuesday, January 22

A family Tree

Recently well known Australian actor and celebrity Jack Thompson, who was adopted as a child by the Thompson family appeared on national TV talking about his recently discovered biological family.

A friend emailed me to ask about my own family tree because of the name and history similarities; soon it was discovered I was a distant cousin.
In looking back on my family tree it reminds me of the many interesting aspects of my parent’s ancestors, as what was mentioned by Jack Thompson.

On my fathers side my great, great Grandfather arrived from Ireland where he had been convicted of armed robbery, and ,once he gained his ticket, (a free pardon) married and settled in the seaside town of Ballina in NSW. Henceforth those 3 generations were all involved in the cedar getting industry. My great grandfather fathered 15 children and both managed to live on to a respectable age. Not only were the descendants all involved in the Cedar industry but their children married into families who in turn were heavily involved and all stayed within the one district. On my Grandmothers side co incidentally they were also all Cedar Getters. Some rose to prominence and their history is recorded in local historical texts. One was known as the Cedar King who purchased the biggest cedars tree ever felled, one that yielded 38,000 feet of timber. What a sacrilege, to cut down such a majestic forestry giants!! Nevertheless he went on to become mayor and prominent citizen whose poetry, epitaphs and stories of the Richmond appeared in many publications. Within that family tree is also recorded a marriage to a scar faced convict whilst another’s mother was descended from royalty, but disinherited as she married a master mariner, considered to be well below her rank in life.
On my Mothers side both grandparents were first generation English migrants who also settled In Ballina.

8 comments:

Rachael Byrnes said...

That makes Jack Thompson my 3rd cousin once removed i think? It's great to know more about the family tree. Thanks for looking into it!

susan said...

Amazing to learn about the interconnections we all have with a little background study, eh? It's also good to remember to listen to our older relations and friends while we have the opportunity. My Dad used to tell long and highly detailed stories about his childhood, coal mining in the 20's in England, the strikes, his second WW experiences in the navy, being a London bus driver (imagine learning to drive on a double-decker). I loved his stories and still wish I'd recorded his discourses but it would be poignant to hear his voice again.

arulba said...

Wow! I bet there are some great stories on your side of the family!!! It's such a small world, really.

Gary said...

Very interesting Lindsay! And when you say 'family tree', you really mean it. Cedar Getters is an interesting phrase.

Best to you and yours.

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Rachael, Susan, Arulba & Gary, thank you for your comments.
Susan~ Good advice, I would also love to heard more about my parents recollections. It would indeed be interesting to hear about your father growing up in the 20's in England, the strikes, and especially his second WW experiences in the navy etc ! How about a post from what you remember from his stories to you ?
I remember going to school on a Double Decker bus and being petrified it would overturn!!

Arulba - Like Susan I wish I had some of those stories on paper.

Gary ~Cedar Getters is a term that belongs to that era, I don’t think anyone would use it to day!
Best wishes

grannyfiddler said...

There are a lot of places in Canada named after the explorer, David Thompson.... any relative?

susan said...

Hello again Lindsay - Now that I have the photo scanner I've been planning on some historical posts now and then. Nice of you to mention you'd enjoy it as it gives me a bit more confidence in the idea.

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Granny F & Susan
Granny F. Thanks for your interest but Thompson was his adopted patents name, his biological parents name like mine was Byrnes.
Susan- look forward to your historical posting!