I decided to plug my last name into Google last night in an attempt to understand where my family came from…
It was thanks to that amazing search engine called Google that I discovered that the earliest records of the Ripper family (my Dad’s side) dates back to 16th Century in Cornwall, England, where they survived through farming and mining.
Due to a downturn in the Cornish economy, as for centuries Cornwall had depended on the export of tin and other ores, and with the discovery of new mineral deposits in Australia, that the first Rippers ventured to Australia (and surprisingly North America!).
The first Rippers arrived in South Australia on the ship “Lysander” in 1851. I cannot believe I have actually located the ships log, which includes the names of 4 of my family – http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/lysander1851.ht (oh Google – you truly amaze me!). In those days, the trip averaged 110 days (I obviously did not get the sea-faring genes, as I still have not managed to survive a boat trip to Rottnest, which is a little island not far from the coast of Western Australia). To put that into, perspective there were 3 births and 5 deaths on that journey.
Notably, immigration of the Ripper family followed the first fleets of convicts, trades people and early settlers to Australia, which means my family had been in Australia for more than 150 years (and that we did not appear to be convicts which actually surprised me!).
Which brings me to this century. My Dad grew up on a farm in Quairading – a country town a few hours out of Perth, with his parents and siblings, living off the land. And when he grew up, well he became a miner – in nickel and gold.
So it seems that for hundreds of years part of my family were farmers and miners.
Technology is amazing! I would never have know had it not been for the internet and my friend Google!