From Paupers to iPads
A journey through seven generations, tracing a family's changing fortunes from the woollen mills of Yorkshire and the shipyards of Wales, through two world wars and into the hi-tech world of the 21st century More
From Paupers To iPads is a migrant’s account of his family history and the journey he took back to the early 1800s. The story links his ancestors to the events and living conditions of their times and unearths some surprising discoveries along the way.
Using a blend of fact and fiction, the author takes a genealogical safari through England, Wales and Scotland (with side trips to New Zealand, Norway, the United States and South Africa) as he follows in the footsteps of his ancestors. The journey delves into the lives of tidewaiters, shipwrights, millworkers, seamstresses, serving maids and trawlermen and brings a personal perspective to the living and working conditions of each generation.
There are deaths in the mines and mills of Yorkshire and on the battlefields of France and in the mountains of Kenya, resolute mothers battling to keep their family out of the workhouse, misdemeanours at sea, intrepid voyages in overcrowded ships and even a farm labourer who became a preacher.
Each chapter focuses on a family or an era, weaving the author’s fictional view of events into information garnered from family records, historical documents and recorded memories of the past.
The book has its genesis in an email the author, then living in Australia, received from England from a hitherto unheard-of cousin researching her family history on the Ancestry website. She thought there might be a link between her own family and that of the author. They exchanged more emails and information and confirmed they both came from the same family in Wales.
This set the author off on an unexpected and previously unplanned journey from his home in Australia to the valleys of Wales, the mill towns of Yorkshire and the Sussex coast. Along the way - and hand in hand with his cousin now his partner - he discovered unknown relatives in New Zealand, Norway and the USA.
Stories were uncovered of abject poverty, sudden workplace deaths, hardship and perseverance. Instead of the hoped-for landed gentry and honoured dignitaries they found a family tree of labourers, tidewaiters, shipwrights, preachers, weavers, cotton pickers, maids, servants and paupers.
They learned of uncles and cousins killed in two world wars and proudly managed to get the name of one uncle included on his home town war memorial after he had been overlooked by other researchers.
This is their story ... written from the author’s new home on the other side of the world.