Everything about who we are - nature and nurture - comes from our family.

Often in western society, we stray far from our families, sometimes for years.
For diverse reasons, we may feel that we have nothing in common with our families,
choosing to neglect our roots. However, our past holds the ultimate key to our future.
Knowing where we come from brings us to understand our present and future.

One of my regular sayings is "If you do not know where you come from
how can you know where you are going?" When I was a child the generational
family picture was omnipresent: strangely, the cast of characters in the photograph
remained obscure & unknown to me. Every time I would question this I was told
"I will tell you when you are older."

Years later, when I was in my 40's and my mother was in her 80's,
she gave me the photo together with two biscuit tins and my grandmother's family bible.
When I opened the bible death notices fell out and the tins contained hundreds
of photos of people I had never seen or known. My mother tried to explain and
to make sense of it all I started to document my family tree. I pieced things together.

Today, I finally understand many things about my family. PETE MOLLOY

family portrait circa 1916
the story