As with most things in my life, it came to be quite accidentally that I am the ‘family tree’ maker for both my own family as well as for my husbands lineage.

To date I am proud to say that we’ve verified my husbands ancestry back to 1650. My own to early 1800’s. There is a lot to reflect on in the accumulated piles of photographs, hand-drawn family trees and other memorabilia that now finds its way into my house.

The most complex family is my own… About 3 generations back the men in my family were still taking at least 3 wives. Coupled with the challenge of all documents being written in Chinese with no comparable English translations, it makes for a rather time-consuming exercise.

I’ve got it horribly wrong in the past too trying to patch together all the various pieces of information – then someone of the present walks in and points out the obvious error – or that the family member who you got the information from is actually delusional. So, you start again…

The most interesting part of course is getting family members to tell you their stories – they ALL add their own personality and nuances to the family history, and most with hidden agendas too. It’s a laugh a minute.

If you follow my blog and have ANY information on the MINNAAR or RADLOFF family lines, I would really appreciate it if you would post a comment with your news or information.


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