This article is based on many enjoyable conversations with David Morgan over the years, on the topic of our own lived experiences of ‘family’. In order to consider them more systematically, we each wrote an autobiographical account of our experiences up to the age of eighteen, and began to compare them sociologically. When David died in June 2020 the project was by no means finished but he had left a preliminary paper, largely in note form, which he had presented to the annual meeting of the BSA (British Sociological Association) Auto/Biography study group in 2018. I have taken those notes and developed them into this article. It is not intended to be a polished academic piece. It is an account of an unfinished project, in which I have tried to stay as close as possible to David’s notes whilst making it appropriate for a readership rather than an audience.