They were absentee landowners, colonial gentry, fraternising with their peers, making deals, raising capital and writing letters to public officials and newspapers. They paid an overseer to manage their holding.
I ask myself: why did my Aunt Meg, an openhearted, gregarious woman, who set me on the path of family history, and recorded so much of it, not tell me about my Aboriginal connections?
One of the things I love about old letters is the language that plants them in the past. Things like "the blinking b battery", "thingamajig", "going goodo", "oh gee", "a fair cow", "cheerio", "the old mob".
On 7th February 1962 Beatrice shared the front cover of the Australian Women's Weekly Teenagers' Weekly with two other sporting heroes from the bush, tennis player Margaret Court from Albury and squash player Heather Blundell from Queanbeyan.
It was a familiar scene: a rough dirt road, dry creek bed, scrubby bushland. I saw no evidence of cultivation or construction, just shadows, silence, rustlings. But overwhelmingly I felt a sense of connection. I belonged there. I had sprung from this spot.