Sunday, 29 April 2012

Q is for Questions

Genealogy to me feels like a never-ending attempt to answer the question Where did I come from? or perhaps the more existential Who am I? I attempted to answer the first question in this blog's infancy with the creatively titled Where do I come from? Obviously a very literal answer! The second question is a little harder and may take a lifetime.

Q therefore is for Questions. As in an ever-growing and seldom-ending list of questions that begin:

Who is?
What was?
Where is?
Why did?
How much?

The questions that are in the forefront of my mind whenever I time travel through documents, websites, articles and photos, (and the ones that can't really be answered with facts and dates, or names or numbers) tend to begin WHY?

Why did Robert come to Australia? Why did he marry Betsy? Why did three of his four daughters not marry? Why did Elspeth come to Australia? Why did their brother Alexander stay behind?

The talk I attended at the beautifully housed Society of Australian Genealogists on Kent Street last Saturday threw up a handful of reasons to help answer why Robert and Elspeth may have come to Australia like: greater opportunities for their kids, better pay and economic conditions, encouragement from family or to join family, financial incentives like their way being paid, and perhaps landownership that would otherwise escape them. All very reasonable answers... But short of finding a diary, or letters, (or creating a real time machine to ask them myself) the answers I formulate are purely speculative.

And so the journey continues...

*the cool image above was created thanks to Wordle which I heard about on Genies Down Under!

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