Humans of the Wheatbelt – Doris Martin

Humans of the Wheatbelt is an initiative run by the Wheatbelt Health Network.

Humans of the Wheatbelt is an initiative run by the Wheatbelt Health Network.

I was born in Northam and my parents lived on the Julimar Bindoon road - about three miles from the main Toodyay Bindi Bindi Road, we were close to the reserve. The Black Wattle Resort used to be part of my grandmother's farm. My grandparents lived on one side and the other was my parents' house.

The Bolgart boys seemed to like the Toodyay girls.

My father said not to marry a Catholic or a cousin. So one young fellow who proposed was told to be on his way and told to never come to the farm again.

Anyway it took 27 years of tracing family until I discovered I was married to a cousin - not a first cousin. But my dad could not have realised that Ray's great grandmother Rose Jane Cook Chitty and my grandfather was Thomas Lee were half-brother and sister. We still didn't have any kids with spare arms and legs so I guess we were lucky!

I have been interested in genealogy for the last 40 years. I started mapping family trees after getting married.

I started the hard way by questioning the Toodyay community - asking questions - take phone calls getting photos - tracing them back. Nowadays it is so much easier - I can download photos just like that to go with the family tree information. I do a lot of research through Facebook. I have done the Waters, Lees, Chittering, Martin and Syred so far.

I got interested at school when I worked out that I was related to most of the class. I was just interested to know how.

In school I used to say 'you're my cousin' to 50 per cent of the kids and one day a boy said 'you can't be related to everyone Doris Waters' and I said 'I nearly am'. After I married Ray I was probably related to the other 50 per cent.

Human - Doris Martin

Interviewer & Photographer - Sam Connor