Old folk at lunch

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The great tribe of Rays

I have no idea of the actual numbers but at a guess I must have about a thousand relatives in Queensland and more interstate. And that is just on my father's side! Much the same would be true on my mother's side.

The Ray family are so numerous because we go back to the convicts. The convict couple had a big family and their kids had big families and their kids ... Even in my own family I was one of four.

I am of course completely out of touch with most of my fellow descendants of the convict couple but every now and again someone in the family takes an interest in genealogy and a few contacts are established.

My third cousin Jan Bemrose is one of those. She is a very smart lady who has done an immense amount of work on the family genealogy and she eventually tracked me down as well. Most conveniently, she lives only about half an hour's drive from where I do so I arranged to meet her today over an afternoon tea at my place. I got my brother Chris along as well. It was a very lively afternon with lots of reminiscences, information and stories being exchanged -- and lots of laughs. We seemed to have quite a lot in common too.

And Anne made some excellent cucumber sandwiches to go with our tea. I also managed to get the local baker to make us some pumpkin scones, which are an old Queensland favourite. And to fill the top level of my three-tier cakestand I made something that could hardly be more Australian: A bully beef sandwich. I cut it into quarters and each person's quarter seemed to go down well. It was a rather mad thing to serve at an afternoon tea but I wanted some real Australiana to go with our discussions of the old timers in our past. And it seems that both Jan and I actually LIKE bully beef!

We have arranged to meet again.

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