SINGAPORE - Part-time English-language lecturer Christine Linda Moss grew up listening to her father talk about how her great-great-grandfather, Captain Mark Moss, was attacked by pirates sailing from England to Singapore in 1838.
He survived, married a local girl named Maria in Singapore and had a son with her, Isaac, who also became a sea captain.
"Just hearing the word captain motivated me to find out more about my ancestry," says Ms Moss, 60, who is Eurasian. "Also, I felt that Moss was a unique surname and wanted to find out about its origin."
She had the chance to do so in the 1980s. Married with two school-going children then, she was teaching English part-time at a language centre.
Editor Myrna Braga-Blake, who was then compiling a book called Singapore Eurasians: Memories And Hopes, asked if the Moss family could contribute a family tree.
"My father said I had the energy to do the family tree, so I should do it," says Ms Moss, who has three younger siblings - a sister and two brothers. Her father, Mr Mervyn Vyner Moss, a former immigration officer, is 85.
In the 1980s, she had opportunities to converse extensively with her grandmother Ruby Irene Moss nee Mowe, who had moved in with the family in the 1970s, before her death in 1988. Her grandmother would regale her with tales from the past.
"I would ask her about who was married to who, how many children they had, and listened to any lovely story she would tell me," recalls Ms Moss.