It can be said that the reasons we are here today are many and varied. In my case then fact I am here being able to put into print something about my family history falls into that category.
Between 1590 and 1610 ancestors of mine were involved in the suppression of the Irish rebels or uprising. One ancestor was later given land by the King for his efforts, and today a small village in Ireland bears the family name of BLAYNEY.
From Ireland the family made their way back to England, Scotland, Wales. In between times they were involved in the Battle of Waterloo under Nelson and one was a crewmember on the Endeavour when Captain James Cook discovered Australia.
After the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 my third great grandfather (John TREEVE b/c 1785) made his way to the Channel Islands when he retired from the Royal Navy, there he married and over the ensuing years raised a family of ten (10) known children.
John died in 1855 and by then the lure of better times beckoned the family to Australia. My second great grandmother (Ellen Laura Elizabeth TREEVE), accompanied by her mother and two brothers, finally arrived in Australia in September of 1859.
Tragedy, and one of the times I often wonder why I am here, befell the family. On an outing on January 26 1860 with four other family members Ellen Laura was involved in the upturning of the small boat they were in during a sail on Sydney Harbour. Her mother was drowned, along with a brother and his wife of just three months. Ellen Laura was saved, along with another brother, by the mere fact that a nearby vessel saw the incident. Had Ellen Laura been in the water just a minute or two longer she would also have drowned. She was saved when her shoe caught in the dress of her mother and somehow brought her to the surface, and she was picked up by the passing craft.
Ellen Laura then later married (Lionel Pedly SYMONS) and over a period of ten years bore seven children; six were to die due to a scarlet fever outbreak and that left my great grandfather (John Richard Wild SYMONS) as the only survivor of the family.
John Richard Wild SYMONS married Agnes BURNET and between them they had thirteen children.
My Grandfather John Henry SYMONS married Eleanor Elizabeth JENKINS who in turn raised ten children, my mother Ellen Elizabeth SYMONS married Arthur PENDLEBURY in 1934. I was born on April 20 1939.
The PENDLEBURY name, which is the one I selected for my one-name study, has not, by comparison, come anywhere near or been involved in such dramatic events. In fact the family has been somewhat mundane and uninteresting in the past, although it has been traced back to mid 1700’s when the most famous members were brickmakers. In 1908 my Grandfather arrived in Australia from Manchester ; worked for a time with his uncle on the South Coast of New South Wales as a brick burner, before became a farmer. He died in 1942.
There is a small recreational park bearing the family name close to where the family had their brickworks. The company was taken over by a multi national organization in 1935 and finally absorbed into a large conglomerate.
My father was born in 1910 married in 1934 raised six children of whom I am the second eldest.
And so you can see that had my second great grandmother also drowned that day in 1860 my being able to write this story would never had happened, and so by the grace of God go I.
Oakville, NSW, Australia