Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Some Australians have royal ancestors...

I've never quite understood the desire of some people to prejudge their ancestry by wishing to discover a link to royalty or the nobility, such as those who appeared in the Sky TV series "So You You Think You're Royal". Don't get me wrong, at the risk of being hanged, drawn and quartered as a traitor to the realm, the current royals are a harmless if somewhat quirky bunch who do a lot of good for the country, and as Billy Connolly says, if anybody should save the Queen, God's the very chap!!! But skip back a few centuries to the Stuarts, with their 'divine right of kings' and their ruthless desire to stamp out religious dissidents, or to the Conqueror, who basically brought an invading army over to conquer the English and levelled the country in the process (look for the many instances of the word 'vasta' in the Domesday Book, it signals the places he laid to waste), and I personally struggle to see an admirable trait. I suspect the 'little people', such as my own ancestors, were the last things they were concerned with...

However, a survey by Ancestry's Australian branch has now revealed that 11 per cent of Australians are descended from British nobility. Maybe it's a fascinating fact, but if so, it's one which sits in second place to the even more fascinating conclusion that a whopping 89% aren't. 23% are also descended from convicts (77% aren't), and 13% from a historical famous figure (87% aren't). Quite why the survey should seek to measure this is beyond me. Is it to encourage people to go looking for such connections? If so, is that what family history is about?

I believe that not only is family history essentially a personal affair, but we are the sum of all of our ancestral parts, and so such surveys are basically irrelevant. Mrs Miggins from the local pie shop may not have a royal or a convict in her tree - but is her family history any less interesting for it?! And she probably has a better recipe book...!

Anyway, enough from me, the story is in the Herald Sun as
Australians discover royalty, not just convict past...!

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton

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