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  • neilduffin

Happy New Year

So ! Seasonal greetings and very best wishes for 2022, may it be healthy and prosperous, please. ( Fat chance of that ). I think that I am really going to have to do something about my hot-line to Santa, once again he did not hear my plea for a Mitochondrial DNA test !! Shucks, could be that I will have to go out and buy my own.


Ambitions for 2022, so far as my family history is concerned, has to be to somehow trace my Swiss ancestry. When Emilie Alice Collet made her epic journey from Switzerland to Scotland in 1915 she left her family behind. Whilst she was away from home working as a Ladies Maid at the time, it is reasonable to assume that she kept in touch with whatever family was left after the war. I know for a fact that she went back to visit at least once, I remember as a small boy being taken to London Airport, as it was then known, to see her off. She had been staying with us in London for a few days prior to going to Switzerland.


I am pretty sure that there were other visits. There are lots of photographs from 1948 showing Alice ( Nanny to me ) and Marguerite ( my Mum) on holiday in somewhere with very big impressive mountains that are definitely not the Cairngorms. I vaguely remember Mum telling of this wonderful holiday. The contrast to immediately post-war London was stunning. Mum could not believe that you could eat as much as you wanted with no rationing. The only place in Europe that I can think of with mountains, no rationing and practical to get to in 1948, would have been Switzerland. If they were on holiday in Switzerland, it must be most likely that they stayed with family. A picture from this visit forms the background to all of the "Cameron" pages on the main website. One of those in the picture was "Cousin Albert " he is the only name that I can remember.


So far I have found it impossible to trace any of this family. My search is not helped by the Swiss system of record keeping. This is done Canton by Canton, there being no centralised archive. Or at least not that I can find and get into. Is there anyone out there who could help me with this? It would seem that to make a search for Swiss records a fair amount of starting information is needed. It seems hard to do anything without knowing which town the person lived in. I know Alice lived and worked in Lucerne prior to 1915, but I have no idea where her family was from, which sort of stymies me. Also I do not speak German / Swiss which is a major problem.


I know that Alice's father was Albert Collet and her Mother was Margaret Muller, her mother may have been French. That is the sum total of my knowledge about the family.


I had hoped that a Mitochondrial DNA test may help. As M.DNA is passed mother to offspring unchanged, my M DNA should match that of Alice, any brothers and Sisters she may have had and her Mother. From my understanding of how such things work, this may help me, though only if one of that family has done a DNA test. I was not planning of digging up graveyards to look for historical DNA !


If either of the people who read this blog have any helpful suggestions, do please get in touch, any help at all would be gratefully received.


Until next time .........

NEIL

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