Our families of origin play a huge part in shaping our lives, particularly at the beginning when we first learn how to belong and later take that with us out into the world.


My lockdown project was to purchase an Ancestry account and do some family history research on my paternal side of the family. In the 1850s Great Great Grandfather Hoffmaster arrived on a ship, from Danzig, Prussia, (now Gdansk in Poland) and made Liverpool his home.


I marvel at this rather courageous choice to come and make a life in a strange country where English wasn’t his first language, and he knew no one. I would like to think that I too have inherited some of his courage and adventure. I find it interesting that they are two of my core values.


The Hoffmasters initially rented a house in Everton and then in 1906 his son, my Great Grandfather, rented a house in Aigburth. They paid a shilling a month extra for the comfort of an indoor toilet and bathroom. It was in this house my grandmother was brought up. She lived there all her life and my Dad was born and raised there too. The picture is Connie Hoffmaster (my grandmother) on her first day at school.

The Germanic name led to some hate crime when the First World War broke out. The family changed the family name to the more Anglicised name of Harrison. So many parallels with life today.


So, the house has been in the family since then. My grandma died some years ago and now it’s time for the house to be loved by another family and create new and lasting memories for them.


To get to a new beginning, whether that is a personal or professional capacity then there has to be an ending and a letting go. They can be painful or joyous and anywhere in between. We have no control over when we face big life changes, we just know there isn’t any getting around them. The only way is through.


To anyone facing an ending and a letting go… just remember the new beginning will bring with it lots of possibilities and the perspective of hope.

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