Welcome to a new year of the A to Z Challenge – last year I did it on Shards of Ice as I was releasing that book. This year, I chose to do it on myself – it gives you a better understanding of who I am – yeah, information overload!
A is for Ancestry – I have a good mix of blood! My ancestors include Vikings, Celts and good old fashioned French, as well as a smattering of English.
On my fathers side, his paternal great grandfather sailed out from Sweden and jumped ship in New Zealand. Why, we don’t know why he did it, but we do know that anytime a Swedish ship arrived in port, he was the first one to greet them at the whard. He married the (reportedly) first white born child in Motueka. They went on to have 14 children, 11 of whom survived the age of 21.
Dad’s great grandfather on his mothers side came out from England – and had the surname Gray. You would think that would be easy enough to research – but no. Gray, and especially George Gray is an extremely common name…
On my mothers side, my Great Grandfather moved out here from Scotland about 1910 – he came to New Zealand with the recipe for the mirror for Smith and Smith Glass. He sent a postcard back to his wife and 4 kids “Mary, you’d love it here.” She packed up her bags, kids and they sailed from Glasgow to Dunedin where they settled and had two more children, my Nanna and great Uncle.
On my mothers paternal side, is Guyton – which is a french name. We don’t know much about the Guytons – her father died when she was 16.
I am very proud of my heritage – especially since I happen to be a blond throwback (Viking) when the rest of my family have dark hair. Also, the Scots, French and Viking all detestbthe English in me, so it can make for some entertaining moment. Plus when I want something, I go for it, then guard it with my life! Oh, and I like Whisky… will write for whisky… anybody?
I consider myself a New Zealander, not a European. I was born here, not in Europe. My parents were born here, my son is born here. When will I be legally considered a New Zealander… but that is another post for another time.