He used the time to pursue an interest he had put on the back burner in the 1970’s, which was to complete his family tree. Having hit a roadblock when he first began his research, Freeman was determined to fill in the gaps. This time he succeeded, and in his process discovered an Aboriginal heritage he never knew he had.
Paul’s great great grandmother was the last remaining native Australian woman remaining in the Liverpool district in the 1880’s. His family are members of the Cabrogal Clan of the Dharug Nation and they lived along the Georges River.
Believing his ancestry dated back to Scotland and convict settlement in Australia prior to the discovery, Paul said, “It’s mind boggling to know that the history of my family in that region goes back some 30,000 years, not to 17th century England as I had always believed”. Looking back today over his grandmother’s photo albums, Mr Freeman said it now makes sense why some of his relatives had darker skin. He has since learned that the gaps in the family tree existed because people were hesitant to tell their story, a legacy of Australia’s stolen generation.
Over the years there have been many uncanny references to the Freeman family’s heritage, which until now were regarded by everyone, including Paul himself, as nothing more than a keen interest in Australian history and Aboriginal culture.