I come from a family where we don’t talk a lot about the past. My mom came to Holland at the age of 12/13 years and can recall (very) little of her younger years and I wasn’t that curious.
Before my grandmother passed away in 2009 I tried to set up a conversation with her about her past. Trying to discover who she really was, for I didn’t really knew a lot about her. But unfortunately grandma didn’t want to talk about the past and took her memories, the good, the bad and the ugly ones with her.
A couple of years ago I (accidentally) started watching a program called “Who do you think you are“. Each week a celebrity goes on a journey to trace his or her family tree. It intrigued and inspired me to see how far I could trace my own family tree and discover exotic stories my family never heard of. As a descendant of an african slave, I know there will come a certain point where there is no name to be linked to anymore, simply because Her name was taken away from her and He was just considered as a number. But that didn’t stop me.
Inspired by WDYTYA and a rumor (can’t really remember who told me this) that one of my ancestors (the Agard family) is from the lovely island called Barbados…. Yes that could mean that I’m part Bajan, part island gyal and maybe related to Rihanna… lol I’m just joking. But who knows how far my search will take me? One thing I know for sure: If I find a connection between my family and Barbados, I don’t need to think twice about my 2015 holiday destination.
Usually I would go to my mom and ask her some details about her father’s mother, who was Agard, but I first looked up the website Pinas Roots. Part of my family tree had already been uploaded on the website a couple of years ago when they first started. So this was for me the most logical step to start with. Via Pinas roots I now know who my great-great-great-great-grandmother of my grandfather’s father side (Pinas) is but still not an inch closer to Barbados. For my family tree results click.
Via the national archive I found records in the 1921 census containing information of my great-grandfather Izaak Hendrik Pinas, his spouse Margretha (Maggy) Wilhelmina Agard and her daughter Olga Wilhelmina Agard. During the 1921 census my great-grandfather was 61 years old, not married, living together with aunt Maggy and her daughter (previous relationship) and worked as a field worker.
After talking to a couple of my aunts, i found out that they didn’t know where grandma Maggy came from. They didn’t know who her parents were and it seemed like it was only her and her daughter. My mother advised me to ask some of her older cousins (Olga’s children) because she thinks they might know who aunt Maggy’s parents are and maybe even more.
I’m so exited to discover more about my ancestors. I have a lot of questions and with the help of nowadays technology and the help of family members I hope to find out if Barbados is a fairy tale or not. In the coming weeks/months I’ll keep you updated about my progress and hopefully this time next year I’ll take you on a trip to Barbados. To be continued…