Saturday, August 1, 2009

Final family

After fiddling around in genealogy for over a quarter of a century, and getting held up joyously for many years by maternal rural bush-ranger ingredients from Ireland, I've finally got around to starting to set down in words the essential paternal stuff.

The truth of the matter (which isn't necessarily "true" in any sense whatsoever) is that I've always felt that my dominant genes were essentially English. They're labeled Skyvington and Pickering: the surnames of my paternal grandparents. I would be incapable of proving (if this idea had any sense whatsoever) that my Skyvington and Pickering genes overpowered, as it were, the recessive X-rated Walker and Kennedy stuff in my DNA (not to mention the wild Hickey contribution). I'm convinced that this is what happened... but I'm ready to be contradicted.

The modest family-history typescript upon which I'm embarking will concern two marvelous individuals whom I've always referred to as Pop and Ma: Ernest William Skyvington [1891-1985] and his wife Kathleen Pickering [1889-1964].

For a long time, I had imagined that Pop came from a celebrated family whose origins coincide with the arrival of William the Conqueror in England. I still believe, more than ever, that this was the case.

But I'm amazed and delighted to discover that Ma, too, through her Pickering antecedents, was hugely ancient English... and that her ancestors included an aunt of Jane Grey.

So, I intend to write their Anglo/Australian story.

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