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Why did you or your family choose to live abroad?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


SpanishEyes Report 18 Aug 2011 20:57

Florence, thank you for joining us and I could picture your description so really looking forward to the next episode

Bridget in Spain


Berona Report 19 Aug 2011 02:20

Since you have changed the title of the thread, it has made me look at the situation from a different angle. I also feel that I can condense the remainder of their stories in answering ‘why’.

My OH was a young, single man at loose ends and wanted to get away for a while. As said before, he had no intention of remaining, but was free to return home at any time after two years, whenever it suited him. He had still not decided to return home after six years of working in a good job and making friends, when he met me and decided to stay permanently. One of his young sisters went home because her husband wanted to return. She had missed her Mum but had been here long enough to be able to cope with that. The younger sister was so in love and enjoying life, she would have gone to the moon, if her OH wanted it. How this affected her family back home never entered her young head.

Their married brother and sister both had families and had decided to emigrate because they felt they could better themselves here – and they had big brother to guide them. Both husbands were tradesmen and had no problem getting work. OH helped out using his house for their temporary accommodation until they settled – before he sold the house and went on living with his friends until we married. His brother had high hopes of life in a new country, but his wife was so homesick, she hated the place. They had a new baby and she wanted to be back with her family, so they returned before the two years were finished. (Years later, when they had six children, they wanted to emigrate again, but their children were against it, so it didn’t happen). The married sister and her husband settled very easily and reared their family of three boys. They had a few years in New Zealand and loved being there, but their sons preferred Australia, so they came back and ended their days here.

In summing up, I would say that “why” people decide to live in another country and how they settle has a lot to do with circumstances – both what they are at the time of making the move – and what happens soon after they settle. It also depends on who or what they are leaving behind and how that can be addressed.


SpanishEyes Report 19 Aug 2011 07:40

Berona, thanks for your latest entry which I enjoyed reading.
The change of name was not intended to make entries shorter or more succinct but rather to attract more people to join us.
I really learnt a lot from your previous descriptions, and whilst your last entry is excellent and very informative, the first entries were spellbinding, so please write in the style you prefer.
You set me off wondering if the next generation or even the generation after that ever thought of coming back to the UK?

I am going to do a little research about the places that my ancestors and some who are still living. I have one cousin who went with his wife as a missionary, so going to talk to him about that. Later today I shall start writing about why my father left Ireland.
I have members of my ford family, my blood line, who emigrated to Australia and I think America, so plenty to keep me occupied!!
Now going to have a cup of tea, instead of my usual coffee, and may be back later today.



wisechild Report 19 Aug 2011 15:46

Looks like summer has finally arrived here in Menorca.
Normally it would be really hot from mid June, but this year has only been around 24-27c.
For the last couple of days it´s been 34c+ & is forecast to stay like this until Monday.
No problem getting the washing dry then.


SpanishEyes Report 20 Aug 2011 20:51

Sorry folks, I just couldn't concentrate on writing today...I think itbess the heat .
However in my head I have the draft of what I am going to write. Not telling any more info until then.!!

So good night and I hope that we have more posts tomorrow.

Bridget, who is sweltering in Spain :-D


SpanishEyes Report 22 Aug 2011 11:32

I will be posting this after noon

Bridget in Spain


Lindsey* Report 22 Aug 2011 12:41

I'm really enjoying your thread ladies, more please :-D


wisechild Report 22 Aug 2011 13:01

Hi Lindsey.
Happy to oblige, but when are we supposed to do any family history research.
We need more contributors please.
Come on folks.

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 22 Aug 2011 15:45

Hello all,
I hadn't looked in on this thread for a few days so I noticed quite a lot of new posts have been added in that time. I've just brought myself up to date and read them, it is great to learn all about everyone and where they live.

Have to say this last 24 hrs I've been a bit of telly addict with all that's going on in Tripoli :-0 and am relieved that we don't live there!!
Things here in Cairo are a lot more calm these days, though we did have some (smaller scale) demonstrations over the weekend ref: the Egypt/Israel border incident last Thursday. I've heard nothing about that today though, since Libya seems to be hogging the limelight :-)

(from a hot and dusty 39C Cairo!!) :-(


Florence61 Report 23 Aug 2011 00:12

evening everyone, although it is rather late. had a few problems with this computer and also did my first full day in new school job. so dinner and dishes etc were a bit later than usual!

however i said i would carry on with some more stories of where i live and how i came to be here.
when my friends retired, they bought a cottage up here partly because it was so cheap compared to the south east of england.although 900 miles away was quite a bit drastic to move to. anyway i arrived one wet and windy march in 1991 and later that day i met what was going to be my future husband although i didnt know it at the time.

when we married in 1993 and i settled into my new life, something happened that was quite extraordinary. my friends due to family circumstances had to move back south and asked us to make an offer on their house. the same house that my oh and i met in 1991. we duly made that offer, they accepted and 18 years on we are still living in the house where we first met all them years ago.

my friends said that even if i had never come to visit them, they were going to leave me the house in their will as they had no family of their own. so even if this had happened i still would have been drawn to this island and no doubt one way or another would still have met and married my oh.
so i think it was fate that brought us together in a strange way.

this house had no central heating except for 3 storage heaters and an aga stove. i had to learn very quickly how to put the stove on and keep it going as when it went out,our hot water supply went with it!

you could burn anything really and it was good for putting paper rubbish and cartons etc rather than clogging up the bin. but the main source of fuel apart from coal was peat.

for those of you who dont know what this is i will explain. peat is cut every year and then stored as fuel during the winter months. every year in mar/apr 2 people go to your banks and as one cuts the peat, the other person would throw it out from the bank in rows of 4 deep, so it resembles something of a draughts board. the special cutting tool is called a peat iron and it is hard work and back breaking i can tell you. once cut it is left for several weeks of
good, dry weather. the peat is cut into foot squares and about 3 inches thick. when wet they are heavy to lift but once dried on one side, they can then be lifted to let the underside dry out. once completely dry, they are gathered into piles and transferred into a trailer and taken home by tractor.

to keep the peats dry, they are made into a special stack at the back or side of your house. the stack is made in such a way, that even when it rains, the peat apart from the top ones will remain dry.

many people here today are going back to cutting peat for the open fire or agas as the price of oil has gone up so much. in recent years this tradition had dwindled as it is hard work and time comsuming. but this year more and more are going back to cutting. we have now finished with the peats and have put some into bags to store in the shed. its still warm enough not to put the open fire on yet, but when we do it is lovely and cosy and strangley i miss it in the summer, but not lifting the ashes every morning.

well have to get some sleep, up at 6.30am now everyday and not so much free time as i had before.

will look in again in a day or 2 with another story.
good nite everybody
in the hebrides


AnninGlos Report 23 Aug 2011 09:43

That was really interesting Florence thank you. What a lovely story too about how you met your husband and got your house. As you say it does sound as if it was meant to be.


SpanishEyes Report 23 Aug 2011 11:07

I have really enjoyed reading your thread in fact I read it twice. It all sounds so romantic. What work do you do and what is the number of people who live on the Island??

In a few moments I shall start the story of my father leaving Southern Ireland.

Bridget in Spain


SpanishEyes Report 23 Aug 2011 12:00

William Farady was my father who was much loved by me and my younger sister.

William left Finglas , just north of Dublin in late 1945, having had several unexpected events in his life. He was 35 when he arrived with several other "Mad Irish" as they were called, all persuaded by Wimpy the builders who paid very good money to these men to demolish the most dangerous buildings in the UK following WW2.

William was born on the 12th October 1912 at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin. He was registered on the same day with the names of both parents,
who then disappeared for ever. The same day he was christened in the Catholic Church and then his parents handed him to the Godmother who
took him home with her.
There after he was known as Thomas Keegan. So Thomas went to school at the Catholic Church School and I have a very precious photo of him and his
school friends.
Life continued and more adopted children arrived over tne years. Thomas
met a young lady and they became engaged. By then he was both a Market
Gardener and a gardener at the local Parks

He was saving for the wedding when he had an argument with one of his brothers. This lad was the only natural child of the people who had taken on many children were parents couldnot care for them.
In his frenzy the lad shouted out " you are not a Keegan your parents gave you away"!!! My heart aches for them both even now and I met this man and his wife several times.
Shocked to the core, he spoke go his "mother" and asked for the details of his real parentage. She would only say , " I promised never to tell and I never will." she even told him this when she was dying.

Part two soon as OH wants a coffee



AnninGlos Report 23 Aug 2011 12:30

Goodness Bridget, what a story. I am waiting impatiently for the next part.


SpanishEyes Report 23 Aug 2011 12:35

Part two.

On arrival to the UK all the Irish were met by their employer and taken to a police station to be registered as Aliens and they had to report regularly with the station and also if they moved. My father was sent to Norfolk and helped to dig up various runways which were no longer required, and went to most of the America Airfields as well. He sent most of his money back to his fiancee who told him she was saving all the money for their wedding.
He was transferred to various parts of southern England but his happiest times were when he helped to demolish some parts of Winston Churchills'
Hidden bunker, and many other such places. He was known as The Mad Irish Man " for he would sit on the huge concrete balls attached go swings in the air to demolish huge Walls.

He met my mum when he was in Hertfordshire and had just heard that his fiancee had married somewhen else and spent all dads' money. Mum was very recently separated from her husband so two sad people got together.

I was born in June 1946, and my mother was divorced in 1948, having lost the her daughter due to a mistake by the court. Two years after that they wrote a letter admitting what they had done and offered her their apologie!!

By now my father had started to look further afield for his parents and wrote to many newspapers in th UK, America, Ireland, Nd Canada, he never had one reply. So out there somewhere is a family to which I belong ..... But have never known.

My mum and dad brought my sister, born 4 years after me, to respect others, never to assume, hep others wherever you can and to be loyal and honest. We had a hard upbringing in the East end of London, mum was very well spoken, Dad had a broad Irish Accent and we children spoke what the local children called "posh".
We eventually made good friends,dad worked hard and was always involved in politics. We were even asked to go and live in South Africa and I was so excited. Dad was very enthusiastic but at the last moment Mum said No.
Looking back I think she was worried that she would never have the chance to re unite with her daughter, and it did happen.

Poor dad died still without finding his mum and dad. However when he was dying and my young sister was with him he suddenly opened his eyes and said as his last words "Oh Da, Oh Da" my sister cried.

We still look , post messages every where we can but WHO WHERE his parents and did they ever think about him, the did pay the foster parents until he was 25, not 21 which was the norm.

Tomorrow I will write a out my grandfather and one or two of his brothers,

If this hasn't bored you all!

Bridget in Spain


AnninGlos Report 23 Aug 2011 13:47

I think it was Bridget talking about ancestors who went to live abroad and wondering why. Maybe as in one of my relatives it was because of a family rift.

I don't know the details but my Grandfathers brother Whalter (correct spelling) Bate went to Canada in Sprink 1910, returned Autumn 1910 and then went back out to Montreal in spring 1911 with his wife and two children. Although I have a lot of family details from this family, nowhere does it mention what the rift was.

More later.


SpanishEyes Report 23 Aug 2011 14:15


Thank you for your comment.
How disappointing it is when you do not know why someone in the family , suddenly leaves where they have been living and no one has said why. I wonder if any of hs wifes' family have a clue. Did he do the same work when he emigrated? Was he out of work in England, and so on and so on.

My grandfathers brothers should be interesting, I hope.
According to family including my grandfather one of his brothers went to......because,,,,,,, Haaa
you have to wait until tomorrow or maybe tonight!!



AnninGlos Report 23 Aug 2011 15:28

The contact we had was from Whalter's son, also Whalter. He was unable to find out what the rift was either.

The Bate family seemed to stay in the Montreal area for one generation and, although I have had no contact, there were members of the family born in the 50s. Branches of the familt seem to be in Quebec, Ontario and Vancouver. I have their names on a family tree given to us by Whalter born 1905 (one of the two children born in UK before they left for Canada).

Whalter Bate senior was a bricklayer by trade (His father Isaac my Gt grandfather owned a brickyard)

The most interesting thing to me is an insert in isaac's will (I have a copy of it).

"Appended to my will is this declaration. That my son Whalter Bate now residing near Montreal Canada who went out there in the spring of 1910 and borrowed from his mother Matilda Bate and myself Isaac Bate the sum of £14.00. He came back at the fall of the same year viz.1910 but went back to near Montreal Canada in the Spring time of 1911 and for payment of his passage together with his wife and two children he borrowed a further sum of £23.00 making altogether £37.00. Sent us by money order August 1910 £2.00, balance £35.00. That now in the presence of two witnesses I signed my name that the balance is owing and that in the event of my decease what balance there may be then owing to me shall be deducted from his share in whatever may be left by me as may be set forth or realised according to my last will and testament attached hereto."

He obviously was not going to let him get away with what he owed so i wonder if the fact that he had not repaid the money was what caused the rift. I suppose £35 was a lot of money then.

(Whalter by the way was born 1883 one of the 9 children of my Great Grandparents Isaac and Matilda Bate.)


SpanishEyes Report 23 Aug 2011 23:00

I hope that you do not mind but I just had to see approximately how much £37.00 would be today. The nearest I found was for about 6 years ago when roughly speaking it would be £2020. No wonder the father made the comment, so would I.

Bridget in Spain

I should have added to my fathers' life story that after he died I had him cremated and drove around the UK for three weeks just talkingbto him on my way to various meetings. Then we drove to Ireland an wentbstraight to Dublin and Finglas. Finally he was interred at Glasneven Cemetry and I am due to visit next year

Bridget in Spain


Berona Report 24 Aug 2011 00:46

Bridget - I find your stories very interesting and look forward to the next episode!
Your mention of Winston Churchill's hidden bunker brought back a memory not given a thought since 1954, when I worked in London with a girl who could tell me that her father was a mechanic with the air force during WW2. For the entire duration that Churchill lived at No.10, there was an underground passage leading to where a plane was (underground). Her Dad's job throughout the war, was to be there with others (in shifts) with that motor tuned to perfection and tank full - ready for take-off, if things should 'go wrong'.