#52ancestors : The Old Country

The Old Country : the country that a person or a person’s family originally came from. (Cambridge Dictionary)

My family history divides neatly into two. My father’s family couldn’t be more English. I’ve traced two lines back to 17th century Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Like a lot of agricultural labourers, they gradually moved to the city. So, the old country for my father’s family was South East England.

My mother’s family is much more ‘exotic’. Her family was originally from Funchal in Madeira, I’ve traced back as far as my 5 x great grandfather, Manoel Rodrigues Florenca, who married Antonia Marques on 20 August 1750 in Santo Antonio, Funchal.

In 1875, my 2 x great grandfather emigrated to what was then British Guiana in South America. My mum was born there. She left in 1958 to marry my dad. I’ve written a little about my family’s journey to South America here.

Kissing Bridge, Botanical Gardens, late 1940s.
Left to right Joan (cousin), Gerry (uncle), Yvonne (cousin) and Rita (my mum)

Pre-pandemic, I was planning to visit Guyana, but like a lot of other people, I’ll have to put it on hold. Visiting Georgetown & standing on the Kissing Bridge is high up on my bucket list!

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