Not just Who and When, but Where.


If you don’t like having your assumptions challenged, then don’t get into family history… or seriously study any history, full stop. I thought I had a reasonable idea about where my ancestors came from. 50% or more mainland Britain, 25% western Europe, 20% Scandinavian, and a bit left over for trace elements such as my one set of Irish GGG Grandparents. The Scandinavian bit would be a left over from the Vikings who ran north-east Scotland as an Earldom until the 12th Century. I liked that idea. Then I got a DNA test to round out the picture I though I already knew the dimensions of.

First of all, I am, for the purposes of this test, 100% European (no real surprise there…) but then things started to get interesting:

Ireland 39%
Great Britain 20%
Europe West 17%
Iberian Peninsula 12%
Europe East 6%
Scandinavia 4%
Finland/Northwest Russia 1%
Italy/Greece 1%

Any thing under 6% falls within the range of statistical error…  Bye bye Viking bastards! … 12% Iberian Peninsula? (That’s Spain and Portugal) There is something going on here I have yet to get my head around, and I can’t wait to discover what..

Articles about places.

  • “The Poste Restante”

    The fairly grand former General Post Office building on the corner of St Georges Terrace and Barrack street, the the exact site of which had once been the original soldier’s barracks for Perth, Western Australia.

  • A Tale of Three Cities

    Albany, Fremantle and Perth: The three oldest cities in Western Australia: At each other’s throats.

  • Aberdeen

    The granite city of Scotland.

  • Are you my Mummy?

    Every family should have a good ghost story, the Dysons are no exception… A second tale of taxidermy and ratbaggery, this time in the old country of Lancashire.

  • Bio: Henry Nickolls

    The Master of Corra Linn On, or just before 7 December 1837, Henry Nickolls, master of the Corra Linn estate on the Patterson Plains, was punched in the head by a newly-assigned employee and warned by him that “there was more where that came from”. Which is something of an inversion of the typical master / ...

  • Central Perth in cardboard

    A guide to the diorama of central Perth before 1880 on display in the Museum of Perth

  • Dyson’s Corner (the First)

    The corner of King and Murray Street in the city of Perth, Western Australia

  • Dyson’s Hotel

    The story of the corner of King and Murray Street in the city of Perth, Western Australia, continued.

  • In Old Hobart Town

    If you want to get an idea of what the Hobart Town of 1834, the year that the convict James Dyson arrived there – was like, you are better off  travelling roughly north about 25km from the modern city to the settlement of Richmond, once a convict depôt and staging post on the road to ...

  • Leetown to Auchterarder

    When certain members of the Dyson clan chose to deny their Lancashire heritage of robbery and mayhem, they liked to pretend their antecedents came from Scotland (As you do.) However, some of them truly did: These were the Brough family from Perthshire, Scotland.

  • Locating the United Service Tavern

    Wherein, I solve a mystery no-one had ever considered had been a mystery before and correct the historical record on a minor fact that — in the grand scheme of things — is completely irrelevant. The Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, 22 May 1841, Page 2 This is the earliest dated confirmation in the press ...

  • New Government House

    Snarky commentary to come later. Meanwhile, here are the pictures.

  • On Cemetery Hill

    A visit to the Old East Perth Cemetery, where generations of Colonial Western Australians have been laid to uneasy rest, including all too many Dysons.

  • Rank Hypocrisy

    The story of the original United Service Hotel & Tavern Perth Allotment L3 in the town of Perth, in the Colony of Western Australia, was originally gifted to colonial merchant and all-round important person George Leake, by virtue of him already having a lot of money. He swiftly on-sold it to a consortium consisting of a ...

  • Reconstructing old Perth out of cardboard (so it lasts, this time)

    Or, what you do when you are single, don’t smoke, don’t like alcohol very much, and are stuck in a remote location on your own after working hours in the pre-COVID19 era….

  • Rename Canning Bridge

    The unspeakable horror of Canning Bridge

  • Rottnest Island #1: It’s a start

    Rottnest Island, 2013 Digression time: This is an actual sandgroper. They are very rare, I doubt most “true blue” Westralians have actually seen one, much less know what they actually are… that’s another trope I detest: the name Westralia. It’s Western Australia, thank you! Fortunately this obnoxious moniker had mostly died out in the early 20th ...

  • Stones in Cumberland

    I visit Cardurnock, Harby Brow and Carlisle in Cumbria.

  • The Smoking Gun

    Today is a red-letter day. Today I found the smoking gun. I discovered the actual connection between the Dyson family and the construction of the Wesleyan Church in Perth Western Australia.

  • Thurso

    The northernmost town on the the British mainland.

  • Under the Establishment

    A visit to the tunnels under the old Convict Establishment in Fremantle, Western Australia