A Family History

In June 2019, I ordered a DNA kit from Ancestry.com.au as a gift for my husband for our anniversary. He’d been talking about wanting to do a DNA test for a while as he was particularly interested in the ethnicity estimates that they offered. The kit arrived, he spat in the tube, and we posted it to a lab in Ireland.

While we waited for his results, we started to put together his family tree on the Ancestry website, using info compiled by his Uncle Hugh over the years. Somewhere along the way, I became addicted to family history researching. Eventually, I began my own tree, using info provided by my paternal Aunt Ronwyn & verbal discussions with my Mum and her sister Pam. This led to me taking a DNA test of my own.

There were no surprises in our DNA results, but there have been plenty in our trees! I wanted to share some of my own family history, so here is where I will share my ancestral lineage.

Paternal

My paternal grandfather was Ronald ALLEN, the younger son of William ALLEN and Jessie May SMART. He was born in 1930 in Wellington, NZ, eight years after his brother Jim. In 1953, he married my grandmother in Palmerston North, and they went on to have four children. Ron died of cancer in 2004, while living in Chinderah, NSW, Australia.

My paternal grandmother was Valerie Julia LIMA, one of four daughters born to Frederick James LIMA and Alice Mary WARD. She was born in 1933 in Palmerston North, NZ. Val eventually died of a glioma in 2016, while living in Auckland with her daughter & granddaughter.

Maternal

Photo of a young Keith and Bronwen Dunbar

My maternal grandfather was Keith Ferguson DUNBAR, one of seven children born to Robert Walter Marshall DUNBAR and Hilda May FERGUSON. He was born in 1926 in Rotorua, NZ, and in 1951 he married my grandmother in Whanganui. They had three children. Unfortunately Keith died early in 1977 in Murupara, NZ, from a heart attack.

My maternal grandmother was Bronwen Elizabeth MAY, born in 1929 in Millerton on NZ’s West Coast, to William James MAY and Doreen Alice BEVIN. She had two surviving younger brothers and one who died aged two in 1947. Bron died in 1989 in Rotorua from complications arising from an ulcerated bowel.