Random encounters (52 weeks)
I'm not conscious of when I started to "do" the family history, but I was aware that I had some interesting rellies, and a cousin on my Paternal side had done the Paternal/Maternal side, and in book form at that, very impressive. When my Mum and then my Dad died in 1987/1988 respectively, I became the recipient of family papers, photos, diaries etc and I suppose that was what probably got me started in a serious way. However, I've had a couple of "eureka" moments and one in particular was probably one of my finest hours. My husband and I used to do "courier" work, in fact we delivered AVON, by the ton (people buy a lot of AVON even in OZ). We had been on holidays and when we started delivering again one of regular clients was pleased to see us back. We were on friendly terms with most of our clients, so Joy asked us where we had been and the reply was Adelaide, the South East(South Australia), Naracoorte SA etc. to which she replied that her Grandfather was buried at Naracoorte, I then jokingly asked if his name was Andrew MARSHALL and her answser was "yes", that was also the name of my Grandfather. Imagine standing there staring at each other over a carton of AVON. So what we discovered was that Joy's Grandfather Andrew was my Grandfather Andrew's nephew, and it was my Grandfather who was buried at Naracoorte SA, but I knew that. Joy had been looking for her Grandfather Andrew for about 25 years and we did eventually track down him down. Now Naracoorte SA is about a 1,100 miles South West from where we were having the conversation and we also lived within less than a mile of each other. Gobsmacked to use a word. Actually what we did discover in 2010 about Joy's Grandfather Andrew was that he had enlisted in the Australian Army in South Australia in 1914 and developed Influenza and died prior to embarkation for WW1, he was the first Soldier in uniform to die, and that's another story. Joy's mother would never tell her what had happened to her father, Andrew MARSHALL, she was 96 years old in 2005 when she died, but on reflection we believe that she in fact didn't know what happened to him, she was too young in 1914 and he wasn't with the family. Joy and I are great mates, we are in regular contact, it's all good. Cheers, Sue Simmonds.