My name is David Holford. I am married to Maria and we have three children, all teenagers now. When I started this blog we lived in Sweden, in a town with the annoying name of Örebro, annoying because is it so hard for English speakers to pronounce. The first syllable is pronounced ur as in fur (or fir) and the last syllable is pronounced oo as in zoo. Urebroo. Why Sweden? Because Maria is Swedish and this land is an important part of who we are. My ancestors are not from Scandinavia, but our children’s ancestors are. Such is the fascination of family.
But for various reasons we moved “back” to Australia in 2016, after 10 years in our other “home.” Now we live in a place called Speers Point, in a “city” called Lake Macquarie. It is a strange “city” because the city centre is the largest coastal lake in Australia, and the suburbs lie all around it on its shores. At the northern end Lake Macquari’s suburbs merge into the city of Newcastle. At the southern end they merge into another city called “central Coast.” The eastern side of the lake is formed by a narrow strip of land separating it from the Pacific Ocean. The western side is the most “rural” consisting of scattered communities nestled between the lake and the mountains of the Great Dividing Range.
This blog will focus mainly on my ancestry, since I am the one writing it, but perhaps I will also find things to write about Maria’s family. When we lived in Sweden we had access not just to the records, but to the sights and sounds that Maria’s forbears experienced, sights and sounds that are somewhat foreign to many on “my side of the family” and which are for me fascinating. Now we are in Australia we have much closer links with family who have settled on this side of the globe.
How would I describe myself? I am a Christian, not just nominally, but actively, by which I mean that I go to church, read the Bible, and try to follow the teachings and example of Jesus. I am a husband and a father, a brother and a son, and a friend. Relationships are the essence of life, and so these relationships are at the core of who I am.
I am also a doctor, a GP, or general practitioner. General practice is one of the medical specialties which focusses its attentions on the person rather than the disease. Perhaps that is why I ended up a GP, because people have always been more fascinating to me than disease, as interesting as that is in itself. I love listening to people’s stories, not just their symptoms. But of course their experience of ill health profoundly affects their stories, and that is what I like to work with.
It is a little scary to be public on the internet. There is too much of this publicness nowadays. But it is hard to write a blog about family history and remain anonymous. These are real people I write about.
So that’s a little of who I am, but the focus of these pages is not so much me, but my ancestry, though I cannot help but see these people through the lens of my own life and experience. So there must be, I suppose, much of me in what I write.