I was born in Durban in 1958, where my father was a dance teacher for Arthur Murray's. With the exception of my paternal grandfather, who was an English seaman who married a South African woman, my South African roots go deep, and some of my ancestors were amongst the earliest people from Europe to set foot here. I have Dutch, French, German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Indian, Indonesian and possibly Madagascan, as well as English and Irish, including Manx and Channel Island ancestors. I haven't been able to prove Scottish yet, but hey, Grant has to be Scottish at some point. Among my forebears are slaves and slave-owners, the owners of huge wine farms at the Cape, and dismally poor mineworkers and sailors in the slums of Liverpool, and agricultural laborers in Dorset. Quite a mix. I have Voortrekkers and prospectors, and two 1820 settler families.
We moved to Johannesburg when I was very young and I grew up in Hillbrow. When I was sixteen my mother remarried and we moved to Cape Town where I completed High School at Milnerton High School. I lived in Cape Town until 1984 when my then-finance convinced me to move to the Eastern Cape where we lived first in King William's Town and then in East London.
I have always had a fascination for history and family history. As a child I become interested in my family history as my Great-grandfather was George Walker who was one of the claimants to discovering the main reef of the Witwatersrand. I grew up with stories of early Johannesburg and how my great-grandmother was in a concentration camp while her husband and sons were transport riders for the British. Somehow their marriage survived and they went on to have a huge brood of children and grandchildren. My grandfather told me stories of the time when he was on the HMS Rodney and they were sent in search of the Bismarck, and that he was in charge of the big guns that fired the first salvo which eventually sank the German battleship.
I have a B.A. Honours, in History and in my final year wrote a [short research paper] that has gained some recognition. Because I found the first legislated urban segregation in South Africa it is fairly widely cited.
After a brief confusion of wanting to be a Chartered Accountant, and spending two miserable years pursuing a B.Com I ended up, more or less by accident, as a teacher. Not only did I enjoy that, it turned out I was reasonably good at it too. Then I had my two sons and got drawn into Montessori education which trapped me. I started a small school which ran for ten years, then got into supporting Montessori school leaders.
Now I am an almost retired Montessori consultant (I do run off to interesting places every now and so often) putting most of my energy into researching family history rather than trying to find the best ways to help children learn to read.
My little private project has become a passion after discovering WikiTree and meeting some rather amazing and kind people here. I now spend most days working on the various profiles I manage and dipping into some that aren't even in my own trees.
Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.
Sharon is 29 degrees from Johnny Bench, 25 degrees from Joe DiMaggio, 27 degrees from Alex Ferguson, 25 degrees from Mickey Mantle, 24 degrees from Donald Mattingly, 26 degrees from Jackie Gilbert, 29 degrees from Jackie Robinson, 25 degrees from Pete Rose, 25 degrees from Tom Seaver, 33 degrees from Daniel Staub, 37 degrees from Honus Wagner and 26 degrees from Christine Preston on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.