Sunday afternoon Genealogy Fun

Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun – Share your childhood memories

Each week on Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings blog he has a post for Saturday night Genealogy fun.  Because of the time difference, I have called my series Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun.  This week, the mission was:

1)  Judy Russell asked six questions in her Keynote address at RootsTech 2014 to determine if audience members knew certain family stories about their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.  She demonstrated very well that family stories are lost within three generations if they are not recorded and passed on to later generations.

2)  This week, I want you to answer Judy’s six questions, but about YOUR own life story, not your ancestors.  Here are the questions:
a)  What was your first illness as a child?
b)  What was the first funeral you attended?
c)  What was your favorite book as a child?
d)  What was your favorite class in elementary school?
e)  What was your favorite toy as a child?
f)  Did you learn how to swim, and where did you learn?

a) I can’t remember having an actual illness as a child. Growing up, I only remember occasionally getting the common cold.  I may have had an illness, such as measles or mumps, when I was little (before starting school).

UPDATE: My sister thinks I had all the illnesses as a child (measles, mumps, chicken pox), but she doesn’t remember exactly when I would have had them.

b) The first funeral I can remember attending was that of my great-aunt Dorothy who died in 1976. I was a teenager at the time.

c) I don’t think I had a favorite book as a child, but I did have a favorite author – Enid Blyton. I remember enjoying the Wishing Chair and Faraway Tree books, and then the Famous Five books.  Mum and dad had 4 of the Famous Five books when we were growing up, and I enjoyed the books so much that when I was older, I ended up buying the whole series.  The other series of books that I enjoyed reading so much, I ended up buying them for myself were Ruby Fergusons’ Jill’s Pony books, Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series, C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books.
My children's book collection

d) All the way through both Primary and High School my favorite subject was mathematics. My favorite year would probably have been 6th grade. My teacher that year was Paul Wheeler. That year stands out because we stayed for a while at my sister’s place in Shepparton, and I went to the school there for a short time. I remember getting sick with gastro, and ending up having the time off school for most of the time we were there.

e) At first I couldn’t think of what my favorite toy as a child might have been, and then I read Randy’s answer to this question, and I remembered being given a train set myself one year, and I did enjoy playing with it, but I’m not sure it was actually my favorite toy. I don’t think I had a favorite toy. I used whatever we had on hand to play games, a lot of them based on the Wishing Chair and Faraway books.   I remember that we used to draw imaginary lands on the road with chalk.  We also had an old stove in the back yard that we used to pretend to cook on.  I always loved playing on the swings, and we had our own swing in the back yard.  After we got too big, dad took off the swing part, and my sister used to practice gymnastics on the top bar.  After that broke, dad used the frame in the vegetable garden.
Old swing 1977

f) I don’t remember exactly where and when I learnt to swim. We used to go on holidays to Kilcunda every Christmas, so it may have been when we were on holidays, but we also had a pool at our Primary school, so I may have learnt in the school pool.  I do still have the certificate when I passed the test for swimming 25 yards.*UPDATE Because I couldn’t remember when and where I learnt to swim, I decided to ask my sisters.  One of my sisters said she remembered me learning to float when I was about 3 at the beach at Frankston.  We spent our holidays that year at my great aunt Annie Lade’s farm at Baxter.
Elementary Swimming Certificate

Growing up I was a very introverted child, spending most of my time on my own, reading books.  It would never have occurred to me to talk to my parents about their childhood, or any stories that had been passed down to them from their parents.  My parents weren’t the type to talk about their childhood either.  Even after I started researching my family history, dad wasn’t really able to tell me much about the family (my mum died in April 1990, and I started researching the family history after receiving information about my husband’s family in December 1990).   My grandparents all died before I was born.  About the only question I come close to being able to answer is for my dad, and that is “when and where did you learn to swim”.  The following is from a story dad wrote about his life (which he wrote for Probus, and not for the family history):

I was educated at the Heidelberg State School where we had a swimming Pool.  There were not many of those things around in those days. I prefered the Yarra River and spent a lot of time swimming in the river that meandered around Hills bend which consisted of a football oval and an orchard.  The orchard seemed to be public domain and certainly not out of bounds for us kids.  We learnt very quickly how to climb those fruit trees.