My Familiar Strange Day

Since beginning my PhD I seem to be viewing life through a different lens.  With my new awakening of curiosity, inquisitiveness and uncertainty (which I am told is normal!) Nothing is as it seems and the ‘familiar’ has become ‘strange.’

Today (Sunday) I woke up at 6am….and got up!! This is definitely not a familiar time for me and for those of you that know me well, I am not a morning person, so this was very strange.

I decided to book a holiday to Seville,

Reasons for holiday:

  • To provide myself with an incentive to work very hard over the next few weeks, to do lots of writing and then be rewarded with the holiday.
  • Seville I am told is an amazing place – lots of history and Tapas!
  • I want a holiday filled with discovery and to connect with part of my Spanish Ancestry because grandfather was part Spanish.

By 10 am the flights and hotel are all booked and I am feeling very excited and then curiosity seemed to take a hold of me.

My grandfather was called – Santiago Patricio Cubillo….I decided I would look up the family name Cubillo…I followed on with typing in my grandfather’s name into google search, to discover some familiar names staring at me on the screen.

Trinidad, Teresa, Maria and Ramona.  I recognised these as being the names my grandfather used to sing to me ….they were his sisters names!!

I always had a vision of his sisters living in Spain and I was not really sure when granddad moved to the UK, he had lived in Scotland before moving to Worsely near Manchester.  He would often talk about his sister’s.  I had never met them and as far as I was aware he had lost contact and just got on with his own life.

As I clicked on the names on the screen my world was opened, there it was staring me in the face – my family tree  – OMG! there are 1,186 people on the tree!

I clicked straight onto granddad – Santiago – to discover his parent’s names:

Gregorio Cubillo 1875 – 1938 born in Spain

Mary Walsh 1890 – 1973 born in Ayshire, Scotland.

They had 5 children

Maria De los Angeles Cubillo 1911-1984

Trinidad Jobita Cubillo 1914 – 1989

Teresa Ana Cubillo 1918 – 1991

Santiago Patricio Cubillo (my granddad) 1918 – 1996

Ramona Sepia Cubillo 1919 – 1937 (she had been a shop worker, she died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis age 18)

They were all born and brought up in Ayshire!  Trinidad moved to East Sussex.

I really did not know this!! All that time they were all in the UK and I never had the opportunity to meet them.

I searched further… I wanted to know more about the Spanish connection:

Gregorio’s father was called Santiago Cubillo born in Spain (?Seville) 1850 and his mother was Trinidad Contreras also born in 1850 in Spain, where they married in 1870, So my granddad was named after his grandfather.

Gregorio Cubillo moved to Scotland from Spain when he was 26 years old in 1901, he worked as an iron works labourer 1911, fireman at pit 1916 and a boiler fireman in 1919.  Gregorio and Mary Married in 1911 at St John’s church old Cumnock in Scotland.

I realised that my mum was named after Mary Walsh.

I then discovered that the 1911 census that took place in the year that Gregorio married Mary Walsh, was only released in 2011.  This additionally provided a snapshot of life in Scotland that was referred to as ‘an era of mass migration and urban overcrowding’.

I also found my grandmother’s family background on the tree of information. Wow, this was different from my normal have a cup of tea in bed, (brought by my lovely husband) and then get up!

The familiar was made strange today.   It made be think about many issues including communication and silence in families, the known and the unknown.

I now know I still do have the Spanish connection, a stronger Scottish connection than I realised and further connections in Cheshire!

Now I am left with many further wonderings and thirst for discovery surrounding the past, present and future.

…. The family research will go on…. Just like the curiosities surrounding family voice and siblings in my PhD study.

But there is one thing I know for sure..I will not be getting up at 6 am ever again, and I will definitely be going to Seville…. I need a holiday!!

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