Who would be king?

The Monarch's Song from the terrific children's BBC production, Horrible Histories, helps young people learn the names of all the monarchs in British history. However it has always bothered me that it starts with William the Conqueror because he was not the first King of England. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC6okzIKQvg The very first King of England was Æthelstan,… Continue reading Who would be king?

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… Continue reading Family history

Almost a quarter Scandinavian

I took a DNA test to discover my genetic origins and apparently I'm 24% Scandinavian. This is a surprise given I don't have any Scandinavian ancestry. I'm almost 50% English however and probably everyone with English ancestry also has some Scandinavian thanks to the marauding vikings. At least now I know why I like winter… Continue reading Almost a quarter Scandinavian

How to pick a lock

One of my talents, it seems, is picking locks. I must have inherited this from my convict great, great, great, great grandfather, Michael Burns, who was sent to Australia on the 14th April 1827 on the Marquis of Hastings. He was convicted of stealing jewellery and tried and sentenced in Manchester in 1826 at the… Continue reading How to pick a lock

An Australian family history

Inspired by AndThen's recent post about his family history, I thought I'd write a bit about my own. My family history is quite colourful. My great-great-great-great-grandfather was some kind of representative for Germany in a trade dispute in Cape Town, South Africa. His name was Maximilian Thalwitzer and he was born in Germany but later emigrated to Cape Town. The… Continue reading An Australian family history