Even though I have been an Australian for almost thirty years now, with many travels elsewhere during that time, there is still an England in my heart. It is the England of my ancestors, and of myself.
I have always mostly spoken the English language though spelling is not one of my strong points, and nor is proof-reading. I also have trouble typing accurately and remembering numbers.
The areas of England most associated with my mother's family are east Shropshire and mid Staffordshire.
The areas of England most associated with my father's family are southern Huntingdonshire, north and south London, Thameside Surrey, rural Devon and mid Staffordshire.
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, my Shropshire ancestors left their nearby agricultural villages, mainly to work in the East Shropshire coalfield. In the 1890s, a few travelled onwards to the South Staffordshire coalfield.
In the early 1800s, my Surrey ancestors moved to central London from Richmond and East Molesey.
In the late 1840s, the internal migration journey of my Huntingdonshire ancestors took them from the village of Eynesbury, near St Neots, to Southwark in London.
In the early 1870s, my very young London great-great-grandmother was sent to an orphanage near Bristol.
In the mid 1920s, my Belfast-born grandfather, who had moved to Devon in England as a small orphan boy, began his long career with the Royal Air Force. His work took him to Wiltshire and to Wales and then to Aden in the Middle East and on to London and Staffordshire
From the early 1960s onwards, my extended family had annual camping holidays near the coast of north-west Wales. Even so, central Staffordshire, far from the sea, remained our home.
In the late 1970s, my parents, siblings and I moved from central England to the Scottish highlands.
In the early 1980s, I moved on my own from Scotland, back to central England and then to London and Australia.
Many of my personal reflections on identity, via existence, are shaped by my predominantly English upbringing.
I have been finding the ancestors within me via research and via history.
You are most welcome to help improve this blog, and my knowledge of my ancestry via assistance. I hope my writings are of some assistance to you, too.
What does England mean to you?