About this blog

As a young girl probably about 12 years of age, I remember visiting my paternal great grandmother in her country house, (which was an underground house, still with kerosene lamps, and her only speaking German). One visit I wandered to an old run down wooden barn with it’s tin shed. In the barn was a wonderland. An old double 4 poster bed with a handmade quilt on it, boxes of what I remember as being old newspapers and letters? written in German. I can’t remember what other wonder’s existed as my great grandmother’s daughter came in and yelled at me saying “get out!!! mind your own business, a child has no excuse being in her, you nosy girl”. I was always a little scared of this aunty. She had a limp (I believe from polio) but as a young girl anyone a little different could be scary I guess. To this day I am so sad about this, and not long after my grandmother was moved to a warmer drier house in the town. And I was told by my father that the barn had been burnt down with everything inside of it. I was told by my mother that an old carved cupboard, coated in layers of paint, which I had been about to throw out, had belonged to my great grandmother, and that she remembered her father walking from the ship they arrived on in 1855, over the mudflats at Port Adelaide, holding it above his head so it would not get damaged in the salt water. My then husband had it restored to it’s original beauty, buying old brass handles to put on the drawers. The memory of that old barn is I am sure, one of the stand out moments that began my fascination with history and especially my family history. How sad that the documents in that barn were destroyed and no one every talked about the history behind them. So I write this blog in honour and awe of my amazing Heneker family, their pioneering spirit, their hard work, their trials. I began researching my family history 30 years ago when I was quite young. Before the days of internet, and when I physically needed to go and find the information I was searching for. Working at the State Library of SA helped, and starting my career there in the State Archives was a bonus. The archives have now of course moved to larger premises, and I often think I did not take as much advantage of my situation as I could have, but then again, I was working at the time!!

Since the inception of the internet and our amazing digital age, I have learnt so much more. I have still needed to pay for research in the U.K. I have been lucky enough to make contact with some lovely people who have done research for me for no fee in the U.K. I travelled there in 2008, and even though I went to Westwell, Kent where the Heneker clan emigrated from, I did not plan it very well, so did not come away with anything other than photographs, and the thrill of having stood in the town and wondered if my ancestors had stood in these same places. Or were they too busy making a living, toiling on the land?

I have made contact with some wonderful family connections, whom I otherwise would not have known about, other than perhaps names on a family tree. This has been mostly via online genealogy sites, or word of mouth.

My reason for this blog has come about after many years of wanting to write about the family, and also to create a web page. As these can be expensive, and I have read some fantastic blogs created by others who write about their family history and genealogy I have decided to give this a go. I want to record my research, my finds, my information, and hopefully also hear back from other family members. I need to thank the lovely people who have been willing to share their information with me. I too believe we are not the owners of this information. Having said that, it can be frustrating to find that some people are taking information and placing it on their family tree with little regard or research as to whether it is the correct family. Also, as an ex library person, I strongly believe in having “sourced” information. What is the point of adding someone who you think “might” be a family member, just to add another person to that tree.

This will be a work in progress.

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