I was born in 1847 in Larbert, Scotland, a little town halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. When I was 4, my dad was transported to Australia. My mum told me that we might never see him again. However, now I am 12 and we have arrived to live with dad, in a small place called Greenough, Western Australia – 245 miles north of Perth.
I don’t know if I’m going to like it here. Greenough is so hot – I have never felt such heat. I am told as it is April, it is Autumn and is cooler than it has been. It is upside down in Australia. Back home it is Spring, my favourite season as the snow melts, flowers bloom, saying Summer will soon be here. This means Christmas here is in summer – how crazy is that?
The landscape here is so barren, dusty, and flat as the eye can see. In Larbert the grass is so green but here there soil is a deep red and what little grass there is is brown. I am told the wet season is about to start and that it will again become green.
As Larbert is in the middle of Scotland there is no ocean nearby. I had never seen the ocean prior to coming on this trip. Now I live on the ocean! I am so excited to be able to play in the water and on the beach. I might head down there now to cool down in this heat.
George Brand was my third great-grandfather and was transported to Western Australia in 1852 for theft. I wrote this story from the perspective of his young son George Brand, my great great uncle, who would have marvelled at this new world they had arrived in.
Can you imagine what must have been going through his mind before he boarded that ship to Australia. You have to be pretty desperate or have lots of courage to roll the dice like that. I don’t know if I would’ve had the same courage George did. However, you never know what you would do until you’re faced with the same situation.
Young George really had no say in the matter as I believe the course of the family was destined when his father, George was transported to Australia for theft. You can read more about the elder George Brand here. Still it was a very brave thing for George’s wife and young children to eventually follow him to Australia as it was a long, hard trip that often saw people die. Thanks so much for taking the time to read about the Brand family.
Western Australia in the 1800’s had to be a harsh place to carve out a living and eventually raise a family. Would George have met and perhaps interacted with Aborigine People? Your ancestors in this story were strong because they survived this harsh land and here you are 4 generations later.
Highly probable that he encountered Aborigines, as mum when she lived in the region as a child recalls there being Aborigines. I should do some research into the indigenous people of the region to learn more! Thanks for the inspiration.
Wow! What a journey! I simply cannot imagine the thoughts going through his scary! What an adventure to be able to come back and narrate though! I am used to Christmas being wintery! I bet the warmer Christmas really threw things for a loop! Great article.
It would have been a vastly different experience! Our Christmas’s in Australia consist of the beach, air-conditioning, salads, prawns, and anything that could possibly cool you down. I can only imagine how hard it would be to come from the Scottish climate to our harsh one! Glad you enjoyed the story.