07 September 2006

Who do you think you are?

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his. - Oscar Wilde
You've got to love Oscar Wilde and his truisms... I was thinking this last night. Will I turn into my mother? In someways I hope not, as I want to be my own person, and have never wanted people to say "oh, you're just like your mum". In other ways, it's nice to know where you've come from and see which genes are which. For example (I've been thinking about this a lot recently, can you tell?), both my dad and I are crazy amateur dramatisists, but my mum and brother are both really musical (Patrick has just finished his degree in Contemporary Music Performance, mum is an Associate of the Royal College of Music). I'm quite musical, but dad can't sing a note (sorry Dad), so I obviously got some of that, but not all of it. Daniel, my half brother, is massively sporty, which must come from his mum's side mainly, and a little from my grandpa, who was a really keen walker (those sporty genes did NOT get passed on to me and Patrick, sadly). Similarly, I am very like my great Aunt (dad's aunt), who was really involved in the Girls Brigade (I'm a Guider, and heavily involved in Girlguiding UK), and is generally a really busy person.
And that's just the personality side of things... I think I look like my mum, including our rather spooky different coloured eyes (nb: my Grandma (dad's mum) had David Bowie eyes (one blue, one brown), which is maybe why mine are more distinct than mum's?), but she says I look like dad (without the facial hair). Photos of Patrick when he's little, and photos of mum when the same age are spooky, they look really similar. However, I can't see mum in my lanky long haired brother now... (I will try to remember to post some photos of me, dad, mum and Patrick so you can see for yourselves!)
On a similar vein I was watching the BBC programme "Who Do You Think You Are?" last night. Barbara Windsor (her of Carry On/Eastenders fame), was tracing her family tree. It turned out that the "East End" part of her goes right back, but she's also a little bit Irish, and (weirdly enough) a distant cousin to John Constable. How weird is that?
Dad has been tracing the Groome family tree recently, after I bought him the BBC book that accompanies the series. He's found information on number of generations back, and has discovered some interesting things. About 4 lines back from now (maybe 5), is a man who was quite high up in local society. Interestingly, his mother (according to the census) was illiterate, as she has a cross by her name, and the note "this is the mark of ...Groome". A large amount of education obviously went on in the life of her son, as he has ended up well educated and important. (Sorry this is all quite vague!). On my grandma's side we've drawn a blank pretty much, as she was adopted...A mystery waiting to be solved!
On my mother's side, my grandpa (Poppy) has been doing some research. Again, it's really interesting. With a last name like McNamara (and names in the family such as Kathleen (mum), Clare (me) and Patrick (Poppy and my brother), it's really no shock to discover a strong Irish line going back at least 300 years. In actual fact, my grandpas forefathers were sheep stealers (ahem!) and sent to Australia as convicts! Hence, for the last couple of centuries, the MacNamaras (well, some of them) have been living in Australia. There is also talk of a Spanish line (possibly pirates, though this may be Poppy making it more exciting...) which explains my dark skin, and why people often think I'm Spanish! The Stewart line, my mum's mum (who I never knew), is Scottish, so on that side, I'm Irish, Scottish, Australian and Spanish... Mongrel!!
Anyway, this probably isn't all that interesting to you lot, but I find it fascinating to know where I've come from... Does any one else have convicts (or pirates...) in their blood?

1 comment:

Amy said...

I wish I was a pirate, but sadly no.

However, following my Bowie theme at the moment I do want to get an eyepatch. I also want to die Lewis' hair ginger and dress him up!