Magical, mystery tour

I’ve always been the kind of girl who’s always needed to know the answers to the most impossible questions.
As a young child, teenager and into adulthood I would sit for hours by the old pier on Brighton beach staring out to sea, wondering who I was, where I’ve come from and every impossible question that I alone will never solve the mystery’s.
Years and years of not knowing my roots, my dna, but more importantly who my father was.
You see my mum fall head over heels in love with a traveller, who fall just as hard and just as deep.
A forbidden love, a love scorned upon by my grandfather.
They dreamt of running away together, they dreamt of a life filled with the unconditional love, the butterflies in their tummy’s, they dreamt of growing old, travel and the sunsets they would see, they dreamt of the beautiful life they had ahead of them.
They made love under the stars, and they held each other so tightly their soul become one and no one could come between them.
A love unbreakable.
Life had a different path laid out ahead of them as they were cruelly torn apart.
Breaking both their hearts, their dreams and their spirits.
Unknown to my father, they had made a tiny symbol of their love, a baby girl was growing.
Nine months later I was born and from as young as I can remember I needed to know who my father was.
A man I dreamt about, a man my mother could see in me, a man she loved through loving their creation made of the truest, deepest love.

As I day dreamed of my father, the hero I had wondered about all my life.
A man I knew I was part of, as he was part of me. A man who know nothing of my birth, my up bringing, my name, nor my longing.

We were lucky, we found each other, we adore each other and he really is the hero I had dreamt of. He is my father, my shoulder, my strength.

Over the last year or so, questions have been running rings around my thoughts, unknowns have been pulling me to find answers to his history, where he cane from, who his family were, where his roots came from?
The passion for knowledge and understanding pulled harder at my heart-strings and I started on a journey to discover his ancestry.

Little did I know that some questions, can never be answered!
You see I discovered that his grandfather was also born of love untold, love forbidden.
His grandfather was born at the workhouse, to a mother forbidden to love a man who gave her the gift of life.
Leaving behind unanswerable question of who he was, not only that but who we are.
Now I find myself looking to the star lit sky and wondering the most impossible questions.
Will I ever uncover who my roots belong to? Who gave my great-grandmother the gift of birth, the gift of love?

We may better understand who we are.

“If we know where we came from,
we may better know where to go.
If we know who we came from,
we may better understand
who we are.”

It’s a journey that I’ve been making for many a year now.
My family’s history fascinates me.
Who where the people who gave us life?
Who where the couples whose love grow the seed of the future generations?
What are their stories?
What were their struggles and their joys?
Do I hold any similarities?
Do I have the same passion, the same will, the same beliefs?
Do I carry their strength, their determination, their spirit?
Who are they?

This is a journey, a quest even, that I have traveled since I was a wee 18 young girl, who needed answers to the most impossible questions.

It’s a journey, I’ve cherished, I’ve pulled deep into my heart.
An unthinking bond with spirits of our past.
I unconditionally love these people who gave me a change to live, who fought wars, battles, the slums, the blitz, the potato famine, the workhouse, the hardships, to give us the future, to give us life.
Those people are my heroes.

I’ve shared many a journey with my ancestors, I’ve discovered family shames, secrets, heartbreak and joys.
I’ve traveled their timelines, feeling every emotion with them.

There are a few family’s that pull on my heartstrings more than others, a connection so strong I’m baffled by its pull. The need to unearth every possible part of their history.
Some have been harder than others, some proving impossible to uncover but they have this hold over me, they have me hooked, line and sinker, I need to find out every tiny little detail about them.
What they looked like, what their personalities were, where they lived, how they died and where they were laid to rest.

One family whom has this hold, are my great, great grandparents on my mum’s, mum line.
They lived a life on the stage, singing, dancing and doing comedy. Yes I have a good few comedians in my family. How awesome is that. I now know who I got my dry, crude sense of humour from.

My great, great-grandmother had three children, two boys and a girl.
Two were born in a workhouse, the other was born actually in wedlock.


I can only imagine the shame that would have been brought down on her, I’ve lived that with you great, great Granny.
Why hadn’t she married the man who she loved?
Was it really a case that her father wouldn’t let her marry her sweetheart?
I sincerely believe that to be the case.
She married a few days after her father had past away.
She finally was able to love and cherish the man she loved. She got her happy ever after.
They had hard battles along the way, true heartbreak.
Her little girl died at the age of three.

This heartbreaking, devastation wasn’t known to the family until I pulled up the 1911 census.
The 1911 census is very different to the others, it’s the first to be completed by their own hand, it has much more information listed and there in black in white was her story of heartbreak, a heartbreak only those who have felt it, will truly understand. 😭


I could not leave it there, I needed to know her name and what had happened to this poor little tot.
And that’s where her journey entwined with mine.
I spent hours searching records, putting the pieces together and I found a birth that could possibly be hers, also a death that if I was right, would uncover her tragic story. A story that pulls so deeply at my heartstrings.
I ordered these two certificates not really knowing if I had discovered the right documents, it was a long shot, one worth taking. Thankfully I did and I now know her name, her birth date, her residences and the reason why she was cruelly taken from this world, leaving a hole in her parents hearts only fit for loving her.
I couldn’t leave it there, I needed to know where she was at peace.

That began a new journey in trying to find her resting place and you know what, I found it, I found this sleeping beauty’s place of rest.
She is buried at Islington cemetery, in a grave with 14 other people. How very sad that is.


Now at least, I can lay flowers on her grave, and she will know that she isn’t forgotten, she’s remembered and loved.

My dear aunty Eleanor, you will live on in my heart and you will always be remembered.
Sleep peacefully aunty El.
In our hearts you will remain, until the day we all meet again.

Beautiful Rush

There is something so special about who you are and who you come from.

Every moment in history has brought you to where you are now and what you are and have become.
Every soul that traveled this world before you had a part to play in your making and how your spirit came to be.

No matter if you worship your family or want nothing to do with them, they are part of you, your DNA.
To me that is absolutely fascinating.
Knowing very little about my roots, I’m on a mission to discover, how I got to be the person I am now.
Every document discovered, every name unveiled, every location travelled, every love story, every passing all give me an over whelming sense of being.
These names, are not just ink on a census or certificate, they are part of me, they are my blood, my history.
How I love history.
The thrill of discovery, the facts, the stories, the confirmation, all give me a sense of belonging.
Belonging hasn’t played a part of my life until a few years ago, now I have this beautiful rush of dna running through my veins. These names scribbled on forms, are just not names, they are so much more than that. They are family, they are the people who let my life become possible. They are the reason for my being and that is pretty damn incredible.
They send questions that keep me from sleep, they intoxicate my thoughts and make me need to know more.
From graves I’ve hunted, to war records, ship logs, workhouses, house fires, drownings, the trenches in the battle of the Somme, births and deaths at sea and mystery of the Irish 🍀 that I still have to uncover. Every day is an adventure and in turn I’m making history for my daughters future daughters and sons and for their future generations.