As a child, I asked my father - where did our family come from Dad? I knew we weren't indigenous and non-indigenous folk had only arrived in Australia about 200 years earlier.
Neither of my parents knew where their ancestors came from, nor when. All they could tell me was that our families were from the United Kingdom. One exception to the generally 'blank page' was my father's mother. Dad knew she was born in Dalton-in-Furness, Lancashire, England and had left England as a 3-year old when her parents migrated to Tasmania seeking work (more on the Hornby family's story a little later).
However, the general lack of family history knowledge astounded me. How could our family history have been forgotten over such a relatively short period? We had relatives in Australia - cousins, aunts and uncles; grandparents that passed away when I was still very young. It seemed no-one in my immediate family had asked the question about our origins. I was to learn, many years later, that I was not the only family member to embark upon a genealogical quest to re-discover the family history.