A few years ago I set about researching our family tree, I knew a fair bit about my mother’s side of the family but nothing but my fathers name and the fact that he was born in liverpool.
I first met him when I arrived back home early because of an argument with my girlfriend, he had come round to have a cuppa and a chat with mum and I guess they thought he would be gone before I got back. I pulled up outside home and saw his Land Rover Defender, I knew it was what he drove as I worked for the MoD at the time and was telling my mum how much I enjoyed driving land rovers, she told me it’s what my father drove.
It was an awkward moment as I walked into the lounge, suddenly I was face to face with my father. He stood up and looked very nervous, he shook my hand and we sat talking about his work, he owned a gun shop and despite the fact that I loved shooting, he didn’t offer to take me out shooting, but then why would the man who had never even sent me a birthday card make such an offer. We only met a handful of times after that and it was only because I went to his shop and it was always awkward, he died about 5 years after that.
Anyway, I started to gather information on the Greenberg side of the family, I had snippets of information and plenty of people I knew and worked with had told me stories about him, he was the local tough guy and had apparently proved it on many occasions, I also knew that he had a tough childhood as did his siblings. I started by applying for his death certificate and then his birth certificate, I used the Ancestry website and through that I made contact with someone else researching my father’s family. I won’t go into detail as this is also someone else’s story and they might not want it told, but the basic fact is that this person had been adopted andit turns out that she was my father’s sister.
I was happy finding out my grandparents names and I even got to see a photo of them, its a weird feeling not knowing who your family is and was and so this information was amazing. I also have three half sisters who I have never met, I saw them at his funeral but I stood in the corner at the back and when my father’s friend offered to introduce me to some people I thanked him but said no and I slipped away. Yes it would have been amazing to meet these people but his daughters had just lost their dad and I didn’t want to risk upsetting them anymore. I refused to phone the people that dealt with his will when I was asked for the same reason. This was their dad and he was only my father!
The reason I have blogged about this is because I am looking at the family tree again, my mum has paid the subscription to Ancestry for me and I am interested in where my family came from. I know they were Jewish and originally I heard they came from Romania but it might be that they were from Russia, so hopefully I will find this information.