Saturday, 24 September 2011

Carnival Of Genealogy 110 - What Tree Are You?.....

'What tree best represents your family's history? Is your family most like a towering redwood, weeping willow, or a stately oak?  Maybe you think of your family more like a brightly lit Christmas tree or a tropical palm'

What a fascinating pondering, this months Carnival of Genealogy is. 

My ancestry is diverse, spanning across continents, from my marriage in Kenya in 1994 to my several times Great Uncle, John Hunt Butcher's migration to Tasmania Australia in the early 1800s. To a cousin, Louisa Butcher migrating to Canada In 1903. To my Ellis ancestors migrating to Geelong Victoria Australia on board the James Baines in 1854. To my Elstone ancestors who established their papermaking business in Ontario, having migrated from Hampshire & Sussex borders in 1854.

To my King ancestors making the journey  to India in search of future husbands in the Honourable East India Company during  the 18th Century.

Three of the King sisters 
To the Bellasis & Bowring families, who both spent time in  India; and John Bowring who spent time in Hong Kong. To my Cousin who embarked upon a new life in Australia in 1946 and never made the journey home to see his parents.

William James West 1898 - 1918
To my relatives who served in various areas of the military. William West who served during the Zulu Wars and whom lost his first wife in Africa in 1896. To William James West who died in the battlefields of France during the Great War, and my several times Great Grandfather, George Ellis who served for 20 years in the Army & who following receiving wounds was discharged and survived until he was in his 80s.

To my Grandfather who was stationed in Sierra Leone  during the Second World War. 
George Butcher during World War II

There are many other ancestors & relatives whose time, both in & outside of the UK is still being researched. The adventures, some of which were quite a surprise when they were discovered, and those that are still to be discovered & researched. Some were simply visits & adventures, such as Alfred Elstone to New York in the early 1920s, to my own year long adventures to Australia in the early 1990s. It is those visits, I am sure, that made those who travelled the people they & I became.

Furthermore, my Sicilian ancestry is a huge unknown chapter, which needs & deserves much more research and understanding.

So which tree reflects my ancestry? I don't think a sole tree can reflect it. My ancestry, which I am immensely proud of is reflected in a fictional plantation of trees.

The Butcher family who were wealthy can be described as a solid oak tree whose roots were firmly established in Surrey initially for 300 years. My links to Africa, through my beloved grandfather & our wedding is reflected in the Baobab tree. My Australian lines, are reflected by the Eucalyptus tree, situated in a bed of wattle. My Sicilian heritage reflected in a gathering of olive trees.

The reality is, that these trees, because of the variations in climate would never grow side by side. Yet, I find that this is further reflective of the different lines of my ancestry, across the Centuries & Continents, as these ancestors would never have physically met & walked side by side.

Many of the surnames in my ancestry appear more than once, many lines intermarry & intermingle and this can be perfectly reflected by a weeping willow.

A Christmas tree with sparkling twinkle lights reflects each one of my ancestors, their lives reflected in a beautiful iridescent light, twinkling reminding me of the contribution they each made to my ancestry.

I thank every one  of them.

Carnival of Genealogy is hosted at Creativegene


  1. I like the way you compared your family to the tree plantation that never was. I have yet to come up with a tree analogy for my family.

  2. If there was an award for having ancestors in the most diverse locations, I'd nominate you for that Julie. And I'll bet you'd win! Wow! What a family history!

    I'm not new to your blog, of course, but somehow I never put together just how diverse your background is. Amazing.

    I like the trees you mention and I can see how it would be difficult to choose just one tree to represent your family. I think perhaps the Christmas tree is the best choice of all.

    Thanks for sharing in the Carnival of Genealogy. Great article!

  3. Enjoyed your post Julie. As a fan of Christmas, I do like your reference to the Christmas tree.

  4. What a varied lot of ancestors you have -- yes, indeed, go for the plantation. I would love to hear the tree for each line-- t'would be fascinating.

  5. Just reading about the exotic (to me) places your family is from and what they did is as exciting as a novel. I agree with the others your analogies are great.

  6. Loved your post. Keep up your research.


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