My Family (Not the show.)

OK, I've decided to talk about my family. Not my immeadiate family, however, all my distand relatives, mostly because I'm bored.

Also, I want to talk about my grandfather and grandmother because something today made me thinl, I mean really think about them.

OK, first off, my dad is a geneologist, which I think is the word, and I think is the spelling, but my vocabulary and spelling sucks so I'll leave it to whatever key my fingers strike. Continuing, he and I both have spent many hours (him much more than me, he's the family geek) trying to find as many relatives as possible and tracking them down in order to compile his extensive family tree. Over the course of many a day sifting through stacks of newspaper articles and government files and looking through graveyards for faded names on gritty headstones, my dad's come quite far with his work, and it's amazing who you come to know as your relatives and finding out all sorts of niftying things and stories from your family, and this comes from the most ordinary...or least depending on which way you look, person in the world.

I'm going to start off first with my mother's side of the family first, because it was the easiest part. You see, Chinese families are big, but everyone keeps their name which will remain unchanges through the centuaries.

Wang. That's the name. That's my Chinese family name, making me a direct descendent from the Emperor Wang. He ruled from 9-23 C.E.

That's pretty much it. It's easy to track down Chinese names, but everything else is very difficult, like relatives and such because the Chinese have such huge families. All I know about are some second cousins, and that's pretty much it. That's my mother's father, my grandfather, who immigrated from China to Thailand before the revolution was to start, with his sons and runaway bride, a Thai-Chinese farmer girl who helped the family settle into a remote village in the Central of Thailand where they became chicken farmers and adopted Thai names. Soon after they arrived, my mother was born, the last of five siblings, all brothers.

I know, it's not all that action packed, but a descendent of an emperor is pretty cool. We know more about my father's side because of a more structured infostructure and censuses and such. But names change around a lot so it's difficult to keep track of who's who.

I know we've gotten our family back from seven generations. I also know that several generations back, a few family members travelled to Brazil as missionaries (who I ironically enough, dislike) and disappeared, never to be heard from again. I also know that six generations ago, a great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of mine had a brother who was the great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of...get this, Mick Jagger (we're sixth cousins or something). There many stories and tales of these people, but none are more intriguing or violent than my great-grandfather.

Tales of my great-grandfather...

Let's see, he married a Yorkshire girl, sometime in the 1900's and they lived in a small village, where relatively nothing happened, until that is, he became a criminal. Whilst having five children, he raped another woman who became pregnant, was an abusive alcoholic, commited embesslement and went to prison for it. An awful lot of horrible stuff yet he fasinates me.

My great uncles, and aunt; Jim, Peggy, Tom, and Bill (the last remaining of the siblings) and my grandfather, Len. They all hated their father very much. Not only did he beat them, but they were brought up as strict Methodists by their poor mother and they knew their father was a bad man. Unfortunately he seemed to be a very scary one as well and no one ever stood up to him.

Great-uncle Bill always enriches me with these stories of his youth, filled with loads of stories of young boys messing about, with the underlying dark side that he was later caught and beaten by his father. One of my favourite stories is about the time the family stayed on a farm and great-uncles Bill and Tom had to go and feed the chickens. Them being very young (only five apparently) they were a wee bit apprehensive and when they openned the chicken coup box, from a lid above, a rooster stuck his head out and cried, giving the boys such a fright, they dropped the lid of the coup on the chicken, decapitating it, and ran back screaming to the farm house! lmfao

The farm was not theirs but even if it was, I didn't think it would lesen the severity of their punishment.

Great-granddad was a civil servant, pretty much meaning, he got paid close to naught. So he started embezzling funds and I have reason to believe that this was due to some form of peer pressure. I also believe that after his jail time, he became an alcoholic and began commiting petty crime at first which then escalated.

Apparently, my great-grandfather liked to leave home for weeks on end. It appear another hobby of his was to rape women. So now I have a whole other family who are half-brothers to my great-aunt and uncles. I met them last summer and felt very guilty for some reason, maybe because I knew that they were all technically considered 'bastard children' because of my great-grandfather's crimes, but there's no bad blood between us and they're all a cheery, pleasent bunch.

I still strikes me as very odd that someone in my own family could do something so absolutely horrid. This is what fasinates me, that these people are in my family.

My dad was very shocked to learn that after great-granddad died, all my great-aunts and uncles has burned everything he so much as touched. But I would've done the same if someone in my family did all that. All we have left is one photo. a beautiful portrait of my great-grandfather and mother at their wedding, before he turned into a maniac. He looks just like my granddad and my father, it's so odd.

Anyway, he was buried in an unmarked grave in Scarbrough, nobody bothering to even pretend to remember him, except for my dad who placed some flowers in the general area of which he is buried. I think my father seems to have connected with him in a slightly different way that I do, where I feel guilt and remorse at having the same name and blood as him, my dad seems to be more philosophical about it because of the way granddad was brought up which shaped the way my dad was brought up. He appears to have a more...ambivelant stance where he's a little empathic, though I have no clue how.


Granddad, born in Bradford, ...I have to stop here. Tears welling up in my eyes. Lol.

Um, here's his obituary fromThe Times:
Leonard Boyle

LEONARD BOYLE was chairman of the Building Societies Association during the last half of the troubled Heath Government. Soaring inflation and house prices were followed by an inevitable crash, and the result was rollercoaster mortgage rates. As chief representative of the sole providers of home loans, Boyle lead the negotiations with the Government over rates and also assuaging public fears.
The Tories lost power in 1974, halfway through Boyle’s term. But the high pressure of his part-time job ” he was also a general manager of a building society ” continued under Labour with house prices dropping by 30 per cent in a year.

Leonard Butler Boyle was born in 1913 into a poor Bradford family which later moved to Leeds. He won a scholarship to Roundhay school but when he was 14 his father died, forcing him to find work as a clerk.

He joined the Leeds Permanent Building Society on £2 a week, so beginning a 45-year career. At 25 he had a reputation for swift and accurate work and became head of the investments department, with 40 staff handling 120,000 accounts.

During the war Boyle was called up to the fire brigade in Liverpool, his poor eyesight having disqualified him from military service. He later returned to Leeds Permanent and in 1949 moved to the Isle of Thanet Building Society in Kent.

In 1956 he moved to Cardiff as general manager of the Principality Building Society and took its assets from about £4 million to £100 million by the time he retired in 1978.

He was elected the Welsh societies’ representative on the Building Societies Association and became chairman in 1973, succeeding the Abbey National’s Sir Stanley Morton. The role required frequent and close co-operation with the Government. In 1974 he was the first Briton to be elected president of the Federation of European Building Societies and was appointed CBE in 1977.

He retired to the South Coast of Devon and enjoyed long walks. Boyle also gave a great deal of time to the Boys’ Brigade and was national treasurer in the early 1980s.

His wife, Alice, whom he married in 1938, predeceased him in 1989. He is survived by their two sons.

Leonard Boyle, CBE, chairman of the Building Societies Association, 1973-75, was born on January 13, 1913. He died on September 3, 2006, aged 93.

And, that's my Granddad. General manager of the Principality Building Society in Cardiff, where my dad was born. In the Liverpool Fire Brigade during World War II. Awarded a C.B.E. for his work in the Building Society in 1979. Resided in Seaton, Devon.

You know, if it weren't so sad, I'b be laughing at seeing him being mentioned in The Times.

As the strict Methodist he was, he walked to church almost everday. Quite a walk too, a good couple kilometres. My uncles dog, Angus (an adorable Scottish terrier) used to walk with Granddad.

My grandmother, Alica Yarbrough Boyle used to make the best Yorkshire puddings and Soldiers for breakfast.

The BBC once made a documentary on my granddad. my father and unlce were metioned too. Pretty cool, eh?

My granddad was always a very eccentric man. He was also quite sick for a little while before he died. About a year prior to his death, he was hospitalised. But in the middle of the night, he just left the bed and decided to go for a walk. He really did enjoy walking. A police officer found him wandering aroung in his hospital robes and asked him what he was doing in the middle of the night walking in them. He said he just wanted to stroll around. He always had a sense of humour, not matter what. He was also very stubborn no matter what. But, he was an amazing man, to have come from such a place, such a family, that life and to have rebuild his life and achieve so much. It's amazing how much he did with his life, considering what he came from, and I'd give the world to do just that and the make him happy and proud of me just like I am of him.


I have one remaining grand parent, my maternal grandmother. She's blind and getting on in age, our family estimates she's 86, she doesn't know when she was born but she thinks she is 90. Every time I go visit her, she always asks me the same things. Am I doing well in school? Am I studying hard? Am I trying my best? I've only ever known two of my grandparents and I've lost one. I only hope that at least with my grandmother, with Yai I can make her proud of me, because I don't know if granddad knew that, but I did try. I love my family so much, and I think they often don't realise that because I feel like I've let them down so much as well. I really do try.

Anyway, I've really sidetracked from my original post, but I've been thinking so much about it because my friend's grandmother is very ill now and she's 93 too. It just had to be said, and right now everybody here is on holiday so I have no one else to say this to, except for my computer people. I'm so lame, oh well.

This was one awfully long ramble...I don't know wheather I should select all and delete or press 'Submit'...

Whatever, enjoy...if that's possible.
Posted on July 30th, 2007 at 10:58pm


Post a comment

You have to log in before you post a comment.

Site info | Contact | F.A.Q. | Privacy Policy

2021 ©