A Different Perspective

Our understanding of the Hedgerley Blinco family has (for me at least) brought to the fore, an appreciation of some important traits that are not only important but are just as relevant today as they ever have been. My own understanding of long-past ancestors is necessarily based on the archival record, since time has effectively separated us from the personalities of these important people. This separation might mean we miss some of the subtler things we take for granted such as: were they loud, or quiet, were they humorous, or devious, or even such mundane things such as what accent they had when they spoke.

While we may uncover “skeletons” in the closet – some of the notable things our ancestors may have done was in opposition to their parents, the church, or their family. Outside of the kerfuffle this may have caused at the time, these events provide us with a window into the choices they made, and with a little context, why they made them. Choices and achievements give us an insight into the inherited qualities that are hard-wired into each of us.

My first proposal is that recognising these traits is as important to us today as it was to our ancestors. They have the jump on us in that they used them first, but that doesn’t mean we are not just as capable – it’s just in the application that we may differ.

From my musings and reading many an old document, even reading between the lines to understand the context, I think our family has a heritage that demonstrates we are resourceful, creative (maybe a touch of artisan in some of us), sometimes ambitious, but most often we value our sense of family.

Achievements are something we like to talk about, especially when they come with popularity, but my second proposal is that we should celebrate some of the more mundane things as achievements that are also worth recounting. We touched on this in the book; Blinco from Hedgerley to Australia since there were many ladies who raised many cousins but were ingloriously given the title of "home duties", "wife", or in more recent years "housewife". I would like to see and hear more about how the seemingly silent partners contributed to our success. By this I mean the people, often the ladies, who have provided for their families in tangible, but seemingly invisible ways.

While I can’t personally appreciate the hard work involved in bringing up a large family, I can imagine that it would take most of those traits I mentioned earlier to provide an environment for so many years for the next generation.


Robert Wallis,
Western Australia

Editor’s note: It is coincidence that this and the previous article arrived within hours of one another and follow the same theme of our unsung women and the trait of hard work and perseverance that our families endured up to about the 1950s, especially those who were establishing themselves in a new land.