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.