Sunday, 28 October 2012

What will you do when you grow up?

Many trees show evidence of a link across generations in the activities they carried out. Aristocratic families passed rich lands to their descendents. Newly-emerged captains of industries and commerce bequeathed factories and emporia to the next generation. Artisans passed the skills of the family trade from parents to children.

In one branch of our family, the connection is not so obvious. Across four generations, our COLEY ancestors worked in different aspects of a single industry—transport— as new technologies transformed the ways in which people and goods were moved.

Philemon (our 3xgreat grandfather) was employed on the great canals that carried industrial goods throughout the midlands. Although Philemon's father is unknown, his step-father (Richard Holloway) is listed in the 1841 census as a "Boatman".

When Philemon and Sylvia brought the family to Australia, they probably believed that they had left that life behind them as they set themselves up in agriculture. Their son Philemon Lewis (our 2xgreat grandfather) followed his father on the land but when economic conditions changed, he sought employment with the railways.

Great grandfather Alexander Clarence took a job as a conductor with the Brisbane Tramways that lasted throughout his working life.

Our grandfather, Ronald Alexander, pursued a number of careers in a full life, but for a significant period worked as a booking clerk with Australian National Airways.

Very few of us fully understand the images and impressions that we absorb as children and the impact they may have on our later lives. The experiences of the COLEY family in transport suggests they can be stronger than we might think.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...