Family history

For several years now I’ve been working on a family tree at My Heritage. Recently I discovered another Elizabeth Martin on Ben’s side of the family. Our Elizabeth’s great-great-great-grandmother was also Elizabeth Martin (nee Frisken). She was born in Scotland and moved to New Zealand while our Elizabeth was born in New Zealand and moved to Scotland. There’s something nicely symmetrical about that. Here she is:


10 thoughts on “Family history”

    1. I don’t know how old she is but she somehow does look good for her age. I’m not sure how it’s even possible to say that when you don’t know how old someone is but it seems right in this case.

      1. I’m 62 so I know something about aging, and women aging well (or not). My paternal grandmother had a very hard life, so by the time she was 40, she looked very old, even though she’s holding her infant son (my father) in the pictures I have. Her physical health was very good however, so she lived to be 97. I suspect she would have lived to 100 had her oldest child not died and she decided at that point to give it all up. My maternal grandmother in contrast was very youthful looking throughout her life, but dementia and heart disease took her at 87. With modern medicine and technological advances, I suppose a lot of us could live to be 100, but I don’t want to. This is not a culture that values the old.

      2. What’s the secret to ageing well, do you think? Is it genes, diet, environment or maybe all of the above?

        Our society doesn’t care as well for the elderly as Asian cultures do. It would be unthinkable in those cultures to put elderly parents into a care home but that’s what we do.

      3. The order of my comments might get messed up here, as the template doesn’t allow me to reply to your last reply.

        I think it’s a combination of genes and luck. You may have a great set of genes that could give you a relatively healthy, pain-free life, but if you had abusive or ignorant parents who refused to have you vaccinated and fed you junk for most of your childhood, your health in adulthood might be always compromised. Depression, loneliness, and working under hazardous or toxic conditions can shorten one’s life as well. It’s probably a complicated equation of all of the above: my own mother, for instance, had very healthy heart and lungs, but dementia caused her to neglect her health, and then she caught an antibiotic-resistant infection in the hospital. I was a little surprised when she declined so quickly; I used to joke to my own children that she would probably outlive me.

        It’s unfortunate, but even in Japan and other East Asian countries, seniors are being placed in care facilities because they have no family to look after them or their adult children don’t have the resources or time. (The average modern Japanese home is very small; there’s barely enough room for multiple children, let alone an elderly grandparent.) Some government agencies argue that they receive better care in a nursing home than with their families, but I imagine that, in reality, it’s very lonely and sterile.

    1. I agree. I’m fascinated by family history. I just wish I could find out more information about people other than facts like date of birth and death, number of children etc. I’d like to know more about people – their personalities, their hobbies.

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