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18 May 2022

Social: Week 18 - 52 Ancestors

Peter, Linda and me in Weymouth 2014

 Until Covid 19 hit us worldwide in 2020, my husband and I were avid overseas travellers, despite the complexity of such travel, given that John has lived with quadriplegia since 1970 and was 78 when we last  travelled. After two trips around Australia in 1995 and 2003, we started exploring the Northern Hemisphere in 2008 after John retired.  We flew to London that year and after a few days in London, we travelled to Derby where we picked up one of only two wheelchair accessible motor homes.  We hired it for 11 weeks and toured England and Ireland.

I had retired from full time work in 2002 and by 2005 was well into exploring our family history.  My grandparents all hailed from the south of England - Hampshire and Kent whilst John’s grandparents were all born in Australia with ancestors - some of them convicts - arriving between 1832 and 1867.  However his heritage is 70% Irish with the rest hailing from Yorkshire and counties north of London.

Linda, me and Ange in Dover, 2016
By 2007, both of us had made connections with cousins we had never heard of, let alone met.  The Internet and family history and surname societies had opened a whole new world.  We wanted to meet some of these cousins.  John and I travelled to Britain and America together initially in 2008 but later by ship, plane, train and rental car in 2014, 2016 and 2018. I also travelled solo to England and the USA after receiving an offer too good to turn down in 2009.  I did a further solo trip in 2012.  Each of these trips was for 5 weeks - quite long enough for us to be apart.

The towns, cities and countryside we explored were amazing - so different from much of Australia.  

Elizabeth and her children in Orange County, Florida

However, meeting so many cousins, Moxon connections (not all related), Facebook friends and in my case an English friend I’d last shared a house with in 1972 in Sydney was even better. Some we met for a meal whilst others came to visit us at our campsite or hotel.  When travelling together, we could not stay with anyone because only one house was wheelchair accessible.  Why?  Because my newly discovered fourth cousin Ange had a husband who also had quadriplegia, injured in 1973, three years after John had done so.

So really, meeting these cousins and friends was always the highlight of our travel adventures.  Many we have seen time and time again. I wrote a blog post about this in 2012.  Check it out at  Travelling solo.  We are active members of The Moxon Society and English, American and Canadian members - mostly not related to John - have been extremely generous with their time, showing us around and often shouting our meals.

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