The White Cottage

One of the key reasons that influenced my decision to move to Manchester was that this is where my great-grandfather (my dad’s dad’s dad) was born and raised. In 1910, William left England and sailed to Australia where he fell in love with a lady, had plenty of babies and started the Australian Davies clan. It wasn’t until 2006 that my Australian family became aware of our English side and over the past few years we have been getting to know one another and researching our very extensive family history. William was one of nine children so it is a particularly large family tree.

Last year when my parents were in Europe, there was a large family gathering at one of my ‘cousin”s house (by ‘cousin’ I mean my great grandfather’s sister’s granddaughter.) With over 40 people it was overwhelming to meet all of these people who are genetically related to me. In some it was easy to see genetic similarities while others were less obvious. One of  the ‘cousins’ in my Dad’s generation is a clone of my grandfather. In some of the other cousins I could see my rounded facial features and red cheeks.

At this family reunion, one of the cousins brought along a painting of a white cottage that was apparently the house where my great grandfather was born and spent his early childhood. This cousin believed she knew the whereabouts of the actual cottage and so last week, a group of us went in search of the potential home of our ancestors.

The cottage, now named Rose Cottage, is in an area that we know our family was living in. The shape of the building is very similar to that in the painting and the country side surrounding it is certainly the same except with a few extra developments. We are hoping to contact building authorities and look at ownership records to see if they are listed as living in there. The cottage is a listed building so there should be some sort of information on its history somewhere.

The potential family home

The potential family home

The mystery of trying to discover where our family lived is fascinating and addictive – I would love to research more into our family history and see how they lived. I love the fact that I have returned to my great grandfather’s place of birth and am now living in the city that he left in order to establish a new life in Australia.

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