Friday, 1 August 2014

Do you live far from where you were born?

An article in today's Times suggests that seven centuries ago the distance between one's birthplace and one's gravestone was
133 miles; now, seven centuries later the distance is 237 miles.   In other words they suggest that most people want to return to near to their native county to die.

Also, interestingly, he points out that in areas where there is little or no instance of immigration, and where folk therefore have less contact with foreigners, there is much more fear of immigration.  And yet, Dr Schich of the University of Texas at Dallas, points out - if we were to have our genomes sequenced we would find that most of us are very closely related to most other Europeans.

The farmer and I did a quick count of how many people in our little village have lived here all of their lives.  It was under twenty we thought (we might have got it a bit higher if we had thought about it a bit longer).   The rest of them had moved away - some not far (married someone further up the Dale) but many had moved to where there was work.   There is no longer work here on farms like there used to be and folk have to move where the work is.

As for me, I have moved around a bit.  Lincolnshire (three different places), Lichfield, Wolverhampton, and two different places in our little village.   But that is nothing compared with many of the folk I know.   But I do know that on the rare occasions that I return to my roots, I have no desire to return on a permanent basis.   It is lovely to meet the few friends I still have there, but I have moved on.  My belief is that you can't go back.

I think several things govern folk moving from here - work, marriage outside the area, house prices - all play their part.

Is there anyone amongst those reading this blog who still lives in the community where he/she was born?

31 comments:

mrsnesbitt said...

I was born about 8 miles from where we live now........but moved away to University them lived in Nottingham for 10 years - but always regarded North Yorkshire as home. Love it - the sea in particular.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I was born in Manchester and moved to Edinburgh to study (then moved to Cornwall then Malawi then back to Edinburgh). My partner though was born in Edinburgh

Joanne Noragon said...

I've remarked often on the residence of choice of my children. I lived an hour from my childhood home to be married and raise my children, over thirty years. But I moved halfway back to start a new business, again almost thirty years ago. And my children stayed where their lives kept them, near where they grew up.

tilly said...

When I married I moved 5 miles away from where I was brought up.......for the last 20 years I have lived 4 miles away and the furthest I have lived is 10 miles away. Pushing late 60's, I still see lots of people I grew up with, went to church with, lived in the village etc.
Tilly

jinxxxygirl said...

Oh my goodness no.... i have been transplanted again and again... As a child my parents moved alot...on a whim it seemed to me..also married and divorced each other at least 3 times. Let me just name the states i've lived in... New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas and now California...and i must not forget Germany where i lived in Kaiserslautern for 3 years while hubby was in the Army.

I was born in New Jersey ...would i return there? Probably not...too expensive for one thing.. Hubby will retire in a few years who knows where we will end up...Hugs! deb

Willow said...

I was actually born in this town I now live in .
We moved all around the United States throughout my life with my dads job , as well as living in parts of Europe ( including living three years in England ) .
A while back I returned to my home town and the farm I use to visit Summers and once again call the town I was born in ~ my home :)
I must admit I have a soft spot for the United Kingdom ~ if I had found the right mister there when I was younger I would have gladly stayed made it my home lol

Canadian Chickadee said...

Not me - I live about 1,300 miles from where I was born. There is no way I would ever go back - the winters there are too cold, the Canadian prairies swept by winds from the Arctic for weeks at a time.

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amy said...

Interesting post...well I was born in the city of Auckland, grew up in different suburbs before meeting my ex husband. After having her first child we wanted a better life for him and moved up north an hour & 30 mins away to a small seaside town where the kids and I have been here since. I would never go back to the city, too busy there. such a nice quiet lifestyle here.

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MorningAJ said...

I'm surprised that people moved 133 miles seven centuries ago. I'd have thought it would be more like three! Of course, I know people in Norfolk who still live in the street they were born in....

Heather said...

I live the other side of the country to where I was born and have lived in Sussex, Bucks, Berkshire, Cheshire, Devon and now Gloucestershire. I used to think it would be lovely to stay in the village in which one was born, but then I think of all the lovely friends I made in each new place.

GillyK said...

All though I was actually born in Ripon Maternity Home, I have always either lived in Leyburn or been based here. I did work in Leeds for 19 years but always came back here at every opportunity.

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Pat, am in agreement with you that going back is not an option -at least for me. I prefer going forward.
Was born in New Jersey. Currently live about 177 miles WSW in Maryland. About 3 hours away. We do return to visit, but it's no longer home.

angryparsnip said...

I have moved around quite a bit. But I would not go back to live were I was born.
Although I love Chicago the street I lived on when I was little went from a tree lined street with well cared for homes, to a burned out hovel of streets with bars on the windows and trash everywhere. It has only been 60 years since I left but it is horrible.
I moved back to Tucson were I grew up and went to school. The cost of living is so much better than when I live in California.

cheers, parsnip

Rachel said...

Yes, I live 7 miles from where I was born. Until last summer I lived 500 metres from where I was born. 2 of my brothers live less than 500 metres from the house we were born in and have never ever moved away and another lives 3 miles away and he has never moved away. My partner's family likewise. Yes this is rural Norfolk for you.

the veg artist said...

I live about 7 miles from where I was born. My father had been born in the same house. We moved, but into the local town, to the street where his father had been born, and his grandfather. (Not worked back any further yet!). My sister still lives in that street; I live on the other side of town. My brother lives about a mile from where I was born.

Em Parkinson said...

Until we moved to Devon I never moved more than ten miles from where I was born in London but now, of course, I am far from there.

John Gray said...

Almost pat
I was born and bred in Prestatyn until I was 19
Moved to chester for 3, York for three, Sheffield for 20
Trelawnyd for 8
Trelawnyd is a mike and half as the crow flits from prestatyn

John Gray said...

Mile not mike

Hildred said...

Not me,Pat. I am a thousand miles away, - it was love and the war that moved me and I have never regretted it. If I hadn't met my 'true' love I might even have ended up in Australia or even the UK - the war and the Commonwealth Airforce Training program opened the world to everyone of marriageable age.

Hildred said...

But I still have great affection for the prairies....

Mary said...

Born and raised in Devon, lived in two houses in Torquay. Moved to Washington D.C. at age 19. Met hubby there, married and lived first in New Hampshire, then Massachusetts. Have been here in North Carolina for 37 years.

So I'm about 3,500 miles from where I started.
Would I go back to stay? Probably not, too old and would be too far from my family here - but a trip home to Torquay is always welcome and I'm planning one for next Summer!
Mary

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I have lived within the same one mile radius my entire life! My family home, to an apartment when first married, to our current home. My husband was raised in the same neighborhood as I was. I imagine we will stay here. However, sometimes after watching the evening news, I find myself wondering if maybe we need to go to a completely different place. But where? Every place in the world seems to be going through something right now.

When I look back at my family and his, we have to go back to great-grandparents (mid to late 1800's) to find ancestors who came from a great distance. That would be Germany, Ireland, England(earlier than mid 1800's), Canada. His ancestors and mine came to this area, Midwest, USA and stayed. Makes me wonder if there is a genetic component with people who like to stay in one area and those that like to keep moving. I guess we had a lot of stay-ers in our background after the mid 1800's.

My husband's sister had the testing (done with saliva) to determine ancestry. It was interesting to see the results. The test went back as far as determining percentage of Neanderthal. I may like to do that some time, too, just out of curiosity. Though, it is a little expensive just to satisfy my curiosity.

Cro Magnon said...

I live about 900 kms away from where I was born (Surrey). My sister lives in NZ. Two of my children are in Oz, and one in London. Not a very close family, are we!

Bovey Belle said...

I was born in Southampton, and now live 140 miles West, near Carmarthen in Wales. In-between I spent a few years in Dorset before relocating here. I would love to return to Dorset but it's gotten expensive since we left, so we plan to head 100 miles East to Herefordshire for our final home.

Mac n' Janet said...

I'm living 2700 miles from where I was born and can see no way I'd ever move closer.

Gwil W said...

I live more than 1,000 miles from my birthplace. But that's quite near. For several years I lived more than 3,000 miles from where I was born.

Pondside said...

What a thought - I can't imagine living in the same place for all my life. I live more than 4000 miles from my birthplace, and this is my last stop.