Where did I come from?

This morning as I have been reading blog posts (I’m two days behind sorry), I’ve read two posts from fellow bloggers remembering their ancestors and the stories that formed part of their heritage. It sparked my interest and I thought it would make a great topic for a blog post of my own.
I am the record keeper and historian in my family and most of the old photos have found their way to me. Of course there are many that are still with other family members, but of some of them, I have borrowed and scanned so that I can have copies of my own.
I have been researching my family history and having the photos to go with that history is wonderful.
I’ve also taken on the task of researching the family history of the Garden Gnome although that is made easier by the fact that his family settled some of the surrounding area, so finding locations and graves is much easier. His family are so happy with what I have found out so far. Whilst we were away last week, we visited a cemetery in a small country town prominent in the history of his mother and photographed headstones that may help in further research.
But this post is not about his family – it is about mine.

When my grandmother was in her 50’s she was told by her mother that she was adopted. This came as quite a shock to her. Around the same time her birth family had also been doing family history researchΒ  and discovered they had another sister (there was already 8 of them) and made steps to contact my grandmother. Happily my grandmother was able to meet many of her siblings before she passed on. Sadly, it was too late to meet her mother although she was able to recollect times in her past when a woman would often visit the cafe that she worked in and showed interest in her life. It turned out that her mother had been discreetly watching her. My grandmother also recollects a time when she was young and a Greek man came to the door to speak with her parents. He was sent away but she always remembered him. Her mother told her in her later years that this man was her father.
My grandfather’s side of the family is more straight forward. πŸ™‚
However, on my father’s side of my family the search is extremely difficult as my father defected from Hungary after the Russians crushed the revolution there in 1956. He tells the story of watching some friends executed and then making plans to flee the country. He first went to England before emigrating to Australia in the early 1960’s.
I have some records of his and some photos however the records are in Hungarian and although he is able to translate for me, he won’t be here forever to help me to work it all out.

Maria& sister
My paternal grandmother on the right
Lorinc Balansz
My paternal Great Grandfather

As I was looking for photos for this post, I have realised that I am missing a photo from the very few photos that I have of my father’s side of the family so I must set about finding that.

The stories are rich from my mother’s side of the family. My mother spent the formative years of her life living with her parents in my great-grandparent’s home.
Indooroopilly - House_1The grounds of the house housed the local tennis courts and tea shed and the local tennis club met there regularly. When I was young, I used to play out in the tea shed pretending to make cups of tea with the large tea pots.
Indooroopilly Tennis Club

Nada - Tennis
My grandmother is the lady in floral dress and hat

My grandmother was under the age of 21 when she met my grandfather and fell in love and they required the permission of her parents to marry (which they gave). Their first date was a double date at the beach. My grandparents are the couple on the right.
Nada - First Date Nada - Double DateOver the years, they had two children and then my grandfather went to war. My mother was a war baby (even soldiers get leave). I have had the best time researching my grandfather’s military history and discovered he was in trouble with the MPs on a couple of occasions. My grandfather died when I was quite young so I don’t have many memories of him at all. Although my grandmother remarried for a short time (he also passed on), she always said that my grandfather was the greatest love of her life.

When I was a child I would listen to the stories my grandmother told me. As I lived with her for a part of my life, there were plenty of opportunities. Now that my Tween is getting older, she spends time sitting and listening to the stories of my mother. I need to begin recording and transcribing these stories because they were of a time gone by. A time that no longer exists. A time that made me the person that I am today.


46 thoughts on “Where did I come from?

      1. No, the young lass wearing white, the photo is labelled “Granny as a young girl.”

        Also, the photo of the five “Ide” women … we had neighbours in Adelaide, South Australia with that surname.


    1. Thank you Sharon. I need to really start pulling out all my family history stuff and getting into it again. I did pull out all my photos yesterday and sort them out in order to scan and update my electronic files though. Still searching for the missing photos from my father’s side.


  1. I remember well when the Russians crushed the Hungarian revolution in 1956. We trembled with fear in Yugoslavia. However, Tito’s country was protected by Western interests, which was lucky for us and the refugees from Hungary who poured into Yugoslavia. Your father migrated to Australia about the same time as I did with my husband and young son. That revolution was on our minds when we decided to leave Europe; we thought the Soviets might overrun it. I urge you to find time to work with your father on the translation of his stories.

    I enjoyed your post very much. Love those old photos and remember the times when I used to wear gloves and a hat.


    1. Thank you Irina. My father was in his late teens when he defected leaving his whole family behind. He has been back many times to visit family however now he is older and his current wife (also Hungarian) is not a well woman, it doesn’t look as if he will get back. I would love to go to Budapest and take my father with me so I can meet family and see my roots.


  2. I love doing family history, although I have been a little slack lately. You have some great photos there. My cousins in England have plenty of photos but none come my way at all. 😦


  3. This is amazing that you have all these pictures! What a great post. Before I read it I was thinking….where DO you come from anyway???? *with a funny laugh inserted* but all in good humor πŸ˜‰


        1. I must have inherited that gene. Seriously. Between my European heritage and my Greek heritage, I’m stuffed. I talk a lot and I use my hands as well. πŸ™‚


  4. My mom just wrote a notebook full of her memories. I haven’t read much of it yet, but I know much about her life. It’s my dad’s that was partial mystery. I enjoyed your family history and photos.


    1. Thanks April. I’m thinking that I am going to start recording family members telling their stories and then type them out. I think it would make a great book to pass around the family.


  5. This is wonderful! Thanks. (I think you know I am working on “My Father’s House,” the fictionalized biography of my father. Lovely feeling living in the past with him — almost like channeling.) I don’t think I’ll have as much wonderful pictorial material as you have, but every lit bit helps to light up the past — our past.


  6. What a great thing you are doing for your family. The story of your grandmother’s mother coming to the cafΓ© to connect in her own way, is quite special.
    The photo collection is great!


    1. We are going out to see the inlaws today and I am going to take my recorder. I think it’s important to record my FIL although he probably won’t like it very much.


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