David Arthur Fraser was born in Australia and has lived there his entire life, almost 70 years. His mother was born in Western Australia, as was his older brother. But somehow his father was inexplicably born in Alvin, Texas, USA in 1922. David always wondered about that peculiar fact.
This family mystery was finally solved when David and his wife, Colleen, made the long pilgrimage to Texas earlier this month. They arrived in Alvin and called the Historical Museum about 20 minutes before closing time on a Saturday, asking about a tour around the downtown area. Volunteer Kathy Mattes took a map of the Museum’s Driving Tour to them at their hotel and made arrangements for them to meet local researchers early Monday morning.
Sunday they walked the Driving Tour for three hours. They had decided against driving in America “where people drive on the wrong side of the road.”
Monday morning, the Frasers enjoyed a grand tour of the Museum, followed by more research in the archives and a shopping spree in the Gift Shop. They were treated to lunch at Stanton’s, where they had their first Texas cheeseburgers along with fries and Blue Bell. They had their picture taken with Allen Stanton, who even found a package of kangaroo sausage to show them.
Finally, the time came for a trek out to the 60-acre tract of Texas dirt once owned by David’s father, Albert Alexander Fraser. Albert had come to farm the acreage at the request of his own father, Samuel, but quickly discovered it was “nothing but a bare mud hole, that none could ever work, not a house or a barn or tree.” His son David was born shortly after his arrival, and he quickly returned to Australia, where he and his family remained for the rest of their lives.
Questions remain. We might never learn exactly where Albert was born. At the Alvin Hotel? In a rent house in town? In a makeshift tent on the 60 acres? But one thing is for sure: David finally discovered his Texas heritage and got to kick up some Texas dirt to prove it.