Nature, Nurture or something else…..

Last night my blogging buddy Pauleen from Family history across the seas reshared a post that she wrote back in 2012.  The post, which can be read HERE talks about how Pauleen feels of being an Australian.  I read the post as I did two years ago and noticed that I consistently left the same remark on the comment page.

I was born in England, my Mum is English with her roots spanning 300 years across the south east in the home counties of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, with one line that only arrived in Surrey from Warwickshire in the early 20th Century. My paternal line is Italian, well Sicilian to be quite precise. I have never lived in Italy and yet can feel very Italian when I am with a group of people who ask me about my Italian heritage, whilst feeling very Anglo when with a group of Italians.

A few years ago now, I was at a meeting describing a situation that happened in the workplace. A colleague asked me, if I had dealt with the situation with the English or Italian bit of my brain. Even now when I contemplate that question I have to pause and think. I have to think, because I simply do not know. I responded in quite a natural way for me,  but was that in an Italian manner?
Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of…
According to my reading journal I read a book called Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour back in 2005. From memory it was an interesting book and I may well read it again; and soon.

The question that I do ask and send out into the ether, is can we feel a genetic pull to a place or destination? I feel an real connection with Australia and did so before I lived there in the early 1990’s. Is that pull, simply a coincidence or does it reflect a family connection right back to my first family member lived there in the early 1800’s?

I am from a generation where it was common to take a gap year and travel. My close friend went to New Zealand and after returning she went onto University. I meanwhile qualified then went to Australia before returning, picking up my profession and building a career. I also acquired a husband too!

With so much of my family history being English, and England’s history of being exploratory and building an Empire is that just circumstantial or is it part of the English genetics rather than specific to my genetics?

Such an interesting question to ponder and I suspect that I may never know the answer, but what do you think?


About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
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4 Responses to Nature, Nurture or something else…..

  1. suth2 says:

    I will need to get a copy of Watching the English. It sounds as though it would be an interesting and amusing read.


  2. suth2 says:

    I feel the pull to my place of birth, Scotland. The interesting part is that the place I visit when I go back to Scotland is the birthplace of my father. I think it is perhaps because we used to spend our summer holidays there. Caithness is such a beautiful county.
    At the moment I am reading a book called Not the same Sky which is a novel about orphans from the Irish famine being sent to Australia. I am really enjoying the book.


  3. sorry, didn't say thank you for the nods to me blog. Thanks!!


  4. you've certainly posed a curler there Julie. I'm not sure…there are places I feel like I belong, especially Loch Fyne in Argyllshire even before I knew the full history of my family there, but perhaps that was my grandmother's grounding in all things Scottish. I've always felt that many Aussies are predisposed to travel, not just because they have to be, living so far away, but because our ancestors had to be willing to go much farther than the proverbial extra mile.

    Must say I'm bewildered by that Italian-English question. How would you split your kind like that but I guess the amalgam may give you a different way of seeing things.


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