Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Carnival Of Genealogy 104: When is a car not a car!



The following post is not about a car, but it is a mode of transport and one that has a link to my husband's ancestry.

The photograph shows my late father in law, Derek Goucher 1926 - 2010, on his BSA motorcycle, when he was stationed at Blandford Camp in Dorset in June 1958. He bought the motorcycle for £250.00.

Derek Goucher June 1958
We know nothing about the motorcycle other than what has been mentioned here. Stuart wanted to try and either locate the bike or at least find out a bit about it and perhaps purchase a similiar model.

I posted the photograph to our site on Flickr and also to the BSA photo group and after a period of four years, someone posted that the model was a BSA C12G.

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge

Hosted by Tossing It Out this looks to be a great challenge.


Write a post on something every day in April except for Sundays and upload to your blog. By the end of April there will be 26 blog posts - one for each letter of the alphabet. Each day you will theme your post according to a letter of the alphabet.

"You will only be limited by your own imagination in this challenge. There is an unlimited universe of possibilities. You can post essays, short pieces of fiction, poetry, recipes, travel sketches, or anything else you would like to write about. You don't have to be a writer to do this. You can post photos, including samples of your own art or craftwork. Everyone who blogs can post from A to Z.

Interested? The head over to the sign up form located on the Tossing it out blog

Monday, 28 March 2011

Sunday Salon - Purchases & Reviews

The last week has been busy on the work front, and catching up with my Anaemia induced exhaustion. The Waterstones order from nearly 3 weeks ago arrived in parts, the first book on Saturday and the last two books today.
  • Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management (Abridged). Inspired by a Sunday Salon post from Bunny's Stuff
  • The Quilter's Knot by Arlene Sachitano
  • Quilt as Desired by Arlene Sachitano
I am so looking forward to reading those quilting books and I have added them to my list of reading for the Spring Reading Thing.

I have recently completed a review for Fading Scars by Paige Day and have two more reviews awaiting in the wings.
  • Kings of Colorado by David E Hilton
  • Eloquence of Desire by Amanda Williams following an email received from the author.
On the genealogy front I have almost completed the backlog of Fearless Female posts that I have been writing for Women's History Month and am contemplating a little project once all are completed.

Fearless Females - Day 28

March 28 — Do you remember your mother’s best friend? Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?

My Grandmother had a friend called Rene Pratt. She lived with her husband Ken and their son David in Aldershot Road Guildford. Ken's mother lived next door to them. I wondered how they knew my Grandmother and asked Mum. From what we can remember, the connection was that Mrs Pratt senior was friends with my Great Grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Elstone.

Another friend was Dick and Marge Singleton. They also lived in Guildford and from what we can establish my Grandfather and Dick Singleton were stationed together in the Army. We know from the Service Record of my Grandfather that during 1941 he was in Sierre Leone and we think that is where the photograph below was taken. My Grandfather, George Butcher is the man on the left.

Another relationship was the one between my Grandmother and one of evacuees. Joyce Moore was about 15 years old when she was sent to live in Guildford from London. This was the start of a relationship that was to last until my Grandmother passed away in 1995. During those times, there was the attendance at Joyce's wedding, and the births of her two children.

I recall visiting Joyce during the summer, I can only have been about 3 or so and being allowed to play in the sandpit and was jointed by a rather cute frog! I also recall meeting Joyce's father, who from a distant memory was a tall man with white reseeding hair and walked with a stick. Joyce was also Godmother to my Mum and my Mum has Joyce as a middle name. The relationship between Joyce and my Grandmother was a cross between sisters and a mother figure. It was a relationship that was formed out of necessity of war and literally lasted a lifetime.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Sorting Saturday - Twitter - March 2011

The favourites list at Twitter for March has got worse at 95 favourites. That said, March has been a busy month both on and off line and as such I have not spent much time reading those sites marked as favourites as I would have liked. Also I have been poorly, with exhaustion that I blamed on a dodgy Thyroid to find that it was not in fact the cause at all. I am now feeling better and about to plough the saved Tweets, don't you love that word!
  1. Stories of migration to Wagga Wagga NSW Australia - information from migrants and to submit details click here
  2. I stumbled across a post at the tail end of February. The story of a house which faces demolition in New England. A month later I revisited the blog to see if there was an update. There wasn't but I had a more in depth look at the blog - A New England House Historian - a really interesting site.
  3. To celebrate Women's History Month - Fearless Females - I am a little behind on some posts, but will complete the task. It has been very thought provoking and contains a useful set of blog prompts.
  4. Back in February Walking with Ancestors wrote of an interest in researching cousin marriages. I said that I had a few in my ancestry. Here is part one of the article
  5. Geneabloggers mentioned the site Zoom Village - needs further exploring.
  6. Maisie Dobbs by Jaqueline Winspear Readalong
  7. Old Time Quilts
  8. Interesting article - Has your blog met your expectations?
  9. Autoimmune Hypothyroidism - a new post at DearThyroid
  10. Launching the Open Genealogy Alliance - more reading required!
  11. Do you have a blogging Will? - An interesting post and much food for thought. What would happen to your blog and on line presence?
  12. In this post - To Research or not to Research gives rise to a question that many of us to answer. I know there have been moments of my research when I have thought should I?
  13. One Place Studies article on Copyright mentioned in February is HERE
  14. Thought provoking article - Being British - journal prompt
  15. I have been debating for several months whether or not to buy an iPad. Here is an interesting post and comparisons with other designs by alternative manufacturers.
  16. Online file storage - Uploadingit.Com
  17. File Profiling Tool available from The National Archives - further reading required!
  18. A moment of pure sillyness - a library theme book tiles
  19. History & Genealogy Handbook 2011 (Australia & New Zealand)
  20. Voices of the Past - Heritage Blogger
  21. Sites to explore - blogging tools - Zemanta
  22. Social Networking site for foodies! - Hot Potato
  23. Have you added your blog? - Family History Directory
  24. New Genealogical Search engine - Mocavo
  25. Is this mole likely to be cancerous? - day job - CPD opportunity!
  26. Another day job link - cardiovascular checker - more CPD!
  27. Read-a-thon - 9th April 2011
  28. Thoughts in Progress Blog - more reading
  29. Google search and web history - an interesting post by Geniaus
  30. Link between Gilberts Syndrome & Hypothyroidism & Hypothyroidism
  31. Norfolk Tours Blog
  32. Contribute your ancestral obituaries, or just ones from the newspaper!
  33. Top Prescriptions dispensed - Article from The Guardian 15th March 2011 - nothing like a dispensary I have worked it; far too tidy!
  34. National Day of Remembrance - 25th April for those of Australia & New Zealand who perished in the Great War. - Trans-Tasman ANZAC Day Blog Challenge
  35. Census 2011 website & How the Census has changed - Census 1951
  36. Great post about Evernote organise research & bookmarks
  37. Writing a book review
  38. Starting 28th March 2011 BBC1 9.15am - A Hundred Years of Us series of 5 programmes.
  39. Back in January I wrote a blog post for One Month before Heartbreak. My post is HERE. This was essentially a campaign to try and protect the benefits of those who genuinely need it in the midst of the coalition clamping down on benefit abuse. Somewhere during the last month or so I missed a note about the 75th Disability Blog Carnival and whilst I am not personally affected, I do think that it a campaign and carnival worth contributing to. After all, not all disabilities are viewable.
  40. Tea Appreciation Society - I have a couple of tea related books on my to be read mountain!

More on the Census

Well, it is the 27th March 2011 and that means it is Census Day. I have debated whether I should complete the form and then post, leaving its arrival at the Office of National Statistics to the ability of Royal Mail or should I complete the form and submit on line?

Mr Anglers Rest wasn't bothered. Actually he must have been living under a rock for the last 6 weeks as he didn't realise it was the year of the Census. Even as I sat reading the paperwork manually he didn't realise!

I reflected what had my ancestors hand writing looked like? I knew the writing of both my maternal Grandparents, and that of my Grandfather's mother, Annie Butcher nee Harris, but I didn't know what Annie's husband, Charles Butcher writing had been like. It would have been wonderful if I could have seen it. Therefore, I am hoping in a 100 years from now someone will marvel at the handwriting that it on my form.

I therefore have decided to complete the forms both manually and archive here and then complete and submit on line.

Some of the questions are interesting. Who owns my home? How many rooms, and how many bedrooms. Did I work last week and doing what and for whom. My place of birth is recorded as England but no reference has been submitted to say where in England. Have we lost sight of the real reasons for a Census? Are we no longer finding out about the populous but finding out other statistics and work pattens with a hint at health and caring for others?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Weekend Cooking - Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management

About a month ago I saw an interesting two part review of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management (Abridged version published by World Classics).

Here are the links to Review One and Review Two written by Bunny's Stuff.

I was interested in the review and as I had a voucher that I wanted to spend on books that would become part of my library collection I ordered it from Waterstones about two weeks ago.

The book arrived today and looks really interesting and is currently resting on my cookbook shelf on the hall bookcase.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Fearless Females - Day 24

March 24 — Do you share any physical resemblance or personality trait with one of your female ancestors? Who? What is it?

I think that our personalities are made up of bits of our parents and relatives and is influenced by the actions, we witness and hear as children.

I notice that I often stop talking in the middle of a sentence to think or change the subject completely then will restart the original conversation. It drives my husband mad, but I noticed recently that my Mum does the same thing and my Grandfather did too. I am also very focused. I can walk down the street and will be middle of the pavement and completely unaware of the surroundings, and people, another trait I have spotted in a family member.

I have a small red patch which appears on my right cheekbone when I am a little stressed or tired. My Great Aunt had the same, as did her sisters. The next time I look in the mirror and see my reflection looking back I shall wonder who else is looking back at me, for I am sure there is the characteristics of others there too.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Wk 12 - Movies

Week 12: Movies. Did (or do you still) see many movies? Describe your favorites. Where did you see these films? Is the theater still there, or is there something else in its place?

Challenge runs from Saturday 19th March to Friday 25th March 2011

I am a bit of a fidget when watching the television. A programme has to really hold my attention and if is does not I might just well go to bed with a book, or turn over the channel. I do though occasionally watch movies on the television, and even rarer go to the cinema.

One of the best films I saw was in 1987, A Room with a View based upon the book by E.M. Forester. I saw the film at the Odeon at Guildford which at that time was situated at the corner of Jenner Road and Epsom Road.

With a friend I went to the cinema in Leicester Square to see Memphis Bell. I remember we spilt popcorn as the first scene shows a plane exploding which made us jump. I was so glad the lights were out!

A recent film was part of the Narnia Chronicles. We saw this film in South West Scotland, in a small town called Annan. It has to be the smallest cinema I have ever seen. There was even an interval during the film to replenish popcorn and use the facilities!

Fearless Females - Day 13

March 13 — Moment of Strength: share a story where a female ancestor showed courage or strength in a difficult situation

When the Second World War broke out in September 1939, I am assuming that my Grandmother was engaged and preparing to marry my Grandfather. They married on 4th November 1939 at Guildford Registry Office. My Grandmother was 26 years old and my Grandfather aged 31 years.

I can't help but wonder if the war influenced when they got married. My Grandfather joined the Army as a Territorial in 1940 and I know Gran always felt that she wished he hadn't and instead gone to work with his brothers on the farm, which was a reserved occupation. The fact that he did not take the easy option is a true reflection of the principles that my Grandfather had.

My Grandmother, although had sister in laws nearby and her sister and as far as I know a good relationship with her mother in law, I wonder whether Gran was lonely. She must have been frightened and worried, not just about the bombs that might fall on Guildford, but also on where my Grandfather was.

By the time the war had ended they had been married 7 years and spent most of the time apart and I can not help but wonder what impact that had on their relationship. The sad thing is that there is no one left to ask.

Book Blogger Hop - Which book would you like to be in?

From the Crazy-For-Books web page "the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book blogger and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book blogger to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list below!!

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event! And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added!"

There are a few rules!
1. Enter your blog address at the linky list on the Crazy-For-Books website
2. Post about the hop on your blog & answer the question on the Crazy-For-Books website
3. Visit other blogs in the linky list

This weeks question is:

"If you could physically put yourself into a book or series…which one would it be and why?"

I think the answer to this week's question would be the Elm Creek Quilters series by Jennifer Chiaverini. I LOVE this series! This is a series that has grown and evolved. You don't have to start at the beginning of the series and read in order. The storyline is though continuous, although there are books that focus on past events. They come highly recommended!

They are not simply about quilting, they also reflect the lives of individuals and the characters become old friends as they develop and grow. They are essentially about a fictional group of women who meet and form a bond through their love and passion for quilting. The essence is something that is replicated by women (and men) the world over about a whole host of things.

The Aloha QuiltThe Lost QuilterThe Winding Ways QuiltThe Quilter’s KitchenA Quilter’s Holiday

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Fading Scars by Paige Day



This is the personal story of tragedy, strength, fear, courage and grief.

The concept of grief without a body and a funeral is difficult, but it happens. Not because an individual is lost to sea and/or unrecoverable, but because of an incident that changes the life of the injured and slowly-recovering forever. It is difficult to grieve for the person they were, and will never be again. This is that story, that very personal journey.


Mark and Paige became a couple, following divorces. They were given second chances at happiness and love. There would be hard work. Bringing together two families, for a second chance is never easy; family members, emotions, memories and alike that all need to be incorporated, included and tolerated is never easy despite how much you love the other person and the will to do so.


Together, they were now raising Paige's children with hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future. Wiped away, within, almost the blink of an eye. There is that moment of disbelief that what has happened has in fact happened. Being in that situation is dreadful, but to work within a profession where you see this happen to other people is worse. You know the drill, what will potentially happen, the next stage of the journey and the words of encouragement that will follow in order to give you hope. You stop being that professional and become the relative where you hope for a miracle that perhaps might not happen.

In this journey the injured survived, and the need for courage to continue as best as possible on the family path kicks in. The grief that the person, who once was has gone only to be replaced with a new version of a familiar person. Thinking of the domestic issues on a different level, the involvement and inclusion that are needed to ensure that the loved one still feels that they are part of the family process, without too much disruption. There is also the journey that the family left behind travel along. The stresses of almost thinking for both adults. It sounds easy, but is tough and needs courage, resilience and support.

The remembrance that the family includes children who need their Mum, need her reassurance and continued love. It becomes a balancing act, juggling all the different balls that occasionally do come crashing down then the guilt, and frustration that follows.

This is an incredibly powerful story that could happen to anyone of us. It is an emotional read and despite experiencing something very similar, but with a different outcome in my personal life I could identify some of the emotions experienced, the questions and guilt.

This is a journey that will travel with me for a while yet and two quotes that support the powerful reading are:

"That promise I made to my husband was going to be the hardest one I ever had to keep"

"Our family is my silver lining"

Small print - I reviewed this book having received an eBook from the publisher. I was not paid for my review and the review is my genuine opinion of the book.

Guest Post at GeniMates

Jill at GeniMates has invited me to be a guest on her blog today
You can read my Guest Post HERE

Monday, 21 March 2011

Census Count Down......

Last week the 2011 census paperwork plopped through my letterbox. I had a glance through it and pondered and considered the changes that the census has endured since it commenced in 1801. I also felt a glimpse of sadness, as an article on the BBC website last year suggested that the 2011 census may well be the last one. The official Census sites are HERE and HERE

Initially the census in 1801 was produced as a head count. How many females and males lived within the United Kingdom. Most of the early census' from 1801 - 1831 have not survived, but every now and again an early one is established as survived, which is a great historical fact, but it does not contain any personal data to the individuals it covered. There are also mini population studies that have survived.

The parish that I have studied extensively is that of Puttenham Surrey. In 1824 there was a document called the Preambulation of Puttenham in which those who walked the boundaries of the parish are listed. This was not compulsory, but it does name those who took part and as such is not conclusive in the evidence it leaves behind, it does occur during the time scale of the early census' when naming of individuals was not done and the early census have in part not survived.

There has been a census every ten years since 1801, with the exception of the 1941 Census which didn't occur because of the Second World War. The dates for the census from 1801, which is the earliest Census with any specific data relating to individuals, until 2011 are as follows:

10th March 1801
27th May 1811
28th May 1821
30th May 1831
6th June 1841
30th March 1851
7th April 1861
2nd April 1871
3rd April 1881
5th April 1891
31 March 1901
2nd April 1911
19th June 1921
26th April 1931 (England & Wales) and destroyed by enemy action in 1942
none in 1941
8th April 1951
23rd April 1961
25th April 1971
5th April 1981
21st April 1991
29th April 2001
27th March 2011

There are two additions, which can be of use to those researching. In 1939 The National Registration Act came into force as an emergency action due to the Second World War and in 1966 there was a trailling of alternative methods of data collecting.

The census date for 2011 is 27th March and I reflected on the census that I will appear on. There will be genealogical mysteries for future generations if anyone is looking for me on the census.
  • In 1971 I appear on the Guildford Surrey Census with my Mum, and her parents
  • In 1981 I appear on the Guildford Surrey Census with my Mum and her mother only
  • In 1991 I do not appear on the Census anywhere in the UK as I was overseas. I also do not appear on that Census either.
  • In 2001 I am in Devon with a different surname having married in another overseas Country and living with my husband. My Mum will appear also at my address.
  • In 2011 I am in Devon with the same surname as in the 2001 census with my husband and my Mum recorded as a visitor.
The questions of the 2011 Census are not I think particularly intrusive. There are some basic surprises. There is no reference to where I was born, only specifying England, Wales and so forth. There is more data and interest on how many rooms my home has and who owns it.

In 2001, I took a photocopy of the census form before I returned it. In the 2011 Census we can complete the forms online, which reflects the technological changes that our Society has undergone in the last ten years. We still haven't decided whether to complete online this year and I have just under a week before we have to make the decision.

How will you complete yours and will you archive a copy?

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Sunday Salon

The new day job suddenly cranked up a notch last week, which I was a little unprepared for, and consequently I was exhausted by the end of the week. I am sure my Thyroid is misbehaving again as I also felt a little out of sorts, which I really don't have time for.

Last week I received in the post a couple of books that I had ordered via eBay - three of the five books in the Australian series by Aaron Fletcher. Wallaby Track,Outback Legacy and Outback Station. I had also ordered Castaway by the same author and only when it arrived did I realise that it is not book 3 of the Australian series but a book in the set about New Zealand. Very frustrating! In the front it does mention that the author is an American from I think California. I don't have the book in front of me to check.

I have recently signed up for the Spring Reading Thing which started today. Click HERE for details of signing up for the event and to see what I am planning to read.

This week I have also completed a book review for the eBook Fading Scars by Paige Day. The review is to be added to my blog during the week. It was a tear jerker and incredibly moving.

Last week I ordered online three books from Waterstones. I had been given a voucher and wanted to select a few books that I would keep rather than paperbacks that I would read and potentially pass along in a year or two. One thing I noticed was that the price was not competitive when compared to Amazon and the free shipping a little on the slow side!

In My Mailbox - Week 6

The new day job suddenly cranked up a notch last week, which I was a little unprepared for, and consequently I was exhausted by the end of the week. I am sure my Thyroid is misbehaving again as I also felt a little out of sorts, which I really don't have time for.

As a result, I have got a bit behind on my blogging and I have various posts to edit and then post, and I also missed my regular "In the Mail Box" post for last Monday, so now we are a day early with the list of books acquired in the last two weeks.
  1. Wallaby Track by Aaron Fletcher
  2. Outback Legacy by Aaron Fletcher
  3. Outback Station by Aaron Fletcher
  4. Castaway by Aaron Fletcher
  5. The Book of Needlework by Mrs Isabella Beeton
  6. Mother's Gift by Debbie Macomber
Several weeks ago, I purchased via eBay the delightful scrapbook of an ancestor. I can't recall if I posted about this here or not, but look out for a post soon!

Weekend Cooking - Hot Potato!

To find out about the Weekend Cooking feature hosted by Beth Fish Reads click HERE

During last week I came across, via Twitter a great new site called Hot Potatoe, which describes itself as a first internet social networking site for food lovers. I managed to grab one of the free gold memberships on offer at the site, and at first glance it looks great and has potential to be a really useful site. At the moment the site is in the early stages.

Spring Reading Thing

The details of the Spring Reading Thing can be found in my earlier post HERE or on the hosts page at Callapiddar Day's.

I have way too many books, just ask my husband! and a rather full to be read (TBR) pile in my study. In addition to that I have a rather healthy pile of library books and a smaller pile of books on the bedside table.

Here is the list of planned reading for the period of this challenge - 20th March - 20th June.
  1. The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman (Library Book due 9th April)
  2. That Christmas Feeling - a collection of two stories by authors - Catherine Palmer & Gail Gaymer Martin (Library Book due 9th April)
  3. One Perfect Gift by Kathleen Morgan (Library Book due 9th April)
  4. The Matchmaker by Marita Conlon-McKenna (Library Book due 9th April)
  5. Brown Owl's Guide to life by Kate Harrison (Library Book due 9th April)
  6. Trace your Roots with DNA by Megan Smolenyak Smolyenak & Ann Turner (Library Book due 9th April)
  7. The Scarlet Kimono by Christina Courtenay
  8. A Thread so thin (Cobbled Court) by Marie Bostwick
  9. The Union Quilter (Elm Creek) by Jennifer Chiaverini
  10. The Girl on the Wall: One Lifes Rich Tapestry by Jean Baggott
  11. At Home A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson (Library Book due 11th April 2011)
  12. A Month in the Country by J.L.Carr (Library Book due 13th April 2011)
  13. Inspector Singh Investigates by Shamini Flint (Library Book due 13th April 2011)
  14. All Good Gifts by Kathleen Morgan (Library Book due 13th April 2011)
  15. Quilt as Desired by Arlene Sachitano
  16. Quilter's Knot by Arlene Sachitano

Additional Reading
  1. Read Root and Branch, Journal of the West Surrey Family History Society Journals - The four journals than make volume 37 and create the annual place name index for the Society - Planned to complete by 10th April.
  2. For the day job - Read and complete the CPD package "Supporting people in care homes"
Books for Review
  1. Kings of Colorado - due 10th April
  2. Fading Scars - due 20th March - DONE!
  3. The Eloquence of Desire by Amanda Williams - due 30th April

Friday, 18 March 2011

Book Blogger Hop - How Many Books?

From the Crazy-For-Books web page "the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book blogger and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book blogger to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list below!!

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event! And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added!"

There are a few rules!
1. Enter your blog address at the linky list on the Crazy-For-Books website
2. Post about the hop on your blog & answer the question on the Crazy-For-Books website
3. Visit other blogs in the linky list

This weeks question is:

"Do you read only one book at a time, or do you have several going at once?"

I prefer to have one book on the go, but am currently in the midst of a ebook for a book review, a paperback library book which needs to be returned by Monday and a great hardback book which is my bedtime reading as I don't want to damage the book by carrying to and from work. I really hate the fact that I am in the middle of so many books, and prefer at a time!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Wk 11 - Illness & Injury


Week 11: Illness and Injury. Describe your childhood illnesses or injuries. Who took care of you? Did you recuperate in your own bed, on the couch in front of the television, or somewhere else?

Challenge runs from Saturday 12 March, through to Friday 18 March 2011

The first childhood illness that I had was actually during my pharmacy training, when I caught chickenpox from a patient. Boy was I ill. I was off sick for three weeks and felt truly dreadful. When I am poorly I like to be in bed with a book and usually can gage how ill I am by how much I read!

On the whole, I was a fairly healthy child and looking back what feelings of un-wellness I did experience I can probably contribute to my Thyroid condition, which did not become apparent until I was in my early 20s. You can read about the condition and the effects it had and some general pondering HERE

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Fearless Females - Day 15

March 15 — Write a six-word memoir tribute to one of your female ancestors

My tribute today is for my Grandmother, whose tribute reads:

Resilient, fun, loving and always missed.
Lilian Edith Butcher nee Matthews 1912 - 1995.
Picture shown was taken for the occasion of her 21st Birthday.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Spring Reading Thing

The Spring Reading Thing is being hosted by Callapidder Days and will take place between 20th March and 20th June, typically Spring, although here in the UK the clocks don't change and Spring officially commence until 26th March.

"If you’d like to participate, here’s what you need to do:

  • Create a list of some books you’d like to read or finish this spring.
  • Feel free to set some additional reading goals (such as reading to your kids two hours per week, getting through your pile of magazines, etc.). This is completely optional.
  • Write a blog post including the list of books you want to read and any additional goals you’ve set, and get ready to post it on your blog on March 20th.
  • Visit Callapiller's blog on Sunday, March 20th to sign up, by completing the Mr. Linky so you can submit a link to your personal Spring Reading Thing post, and it will be added to the master list.
  • Read! Work on your goals throughout Spring 2011.
  • Report your results. Write another blog post in June to let everyone know how you did.
  • Have fun! Visit other participants to see what they’re reading. Write reviews if you’re so inclined. But most of all, enjoy your spring reading."

Sunday Salon - Books, Wild and Wonderful

This week we turned our thoughts to planning some time away during the summer. I was fairly keen to return to either the Scottish Islands or Hay on Wye, a book lovers paradise. I suspect that, if we opt for the Hay on Wye option, there will be a trade off with the other half for a day of fishing, which has to, in my opinion to be the most mind numbing and boring hobby going, in exchange for a day wandering around the 30 odd bookshop of Hay.

Whilst we were pondering, and we still haven't decided, I stumbled upon a Floating Bookshop and thought that this perhaps has some potential for a stop off en-route. The other thing I stumbled across this week, book related and I have no chance of getting him indoors to agree to this for the bathroom or shower room was some decorative bathroom tiles. When I showed the other half, there was no response other than the raise of an eyebrow! He did though sit with me on the sofa and periodically grunt as we explored the a great book themed blog. We then came across a reference to an article about a women who spends her time sniffing books, at which point the grunts formed into whole words, which I am sure sounded like, "I suppose I should be grateful you only buy books and not sniff them". I immediately pointed out that the smell of old books is unique and I find comforting. By that point we were back to more grunts and raised eye brows!

All these thoughts of smelling books reminded me of the most wonderful bookshop I have even known.

It was called Thorps and was situated at the top of Guildford High Street, just after Holy Trinity Church. There were books everywhere, on the stairs, on floor to ceiling shelving, in piles randomly plonked on the floor. It was certainly a Health and Safety nightmare, but, oh the smell and feeling of such a shop. It is quite simply a tragedy that the shop has gone. I am not sure if it was a casualty of the recession or quite simply quitting while it was ahead, as it failed to compete with Waterstones and Amazon. That said, Waterstones is not as good as it once was and is not as price competitive as Amazon. Thorps did not particularly specialise in new books, but with pre loved books and my study still has some fine examples courtesy of Thorps.

Fearless Females - Day 12

March 12 — Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.

The first job I can remember Mum having was a cleaning job, in the evenings at one of the building societies in Guildford. Mostly I was left at home, but occasionally I was allowed to go with her and help collect bits and pieces. I guess I was around 7 or 8 years old. Mum I think did this for a few years and then left to work at a factory that made clothes and she was in the packing department. The owner was a spineless, rude man and eventually his business closed, but this was after Mum left. Mum liked the work, it was with fabrics and she loves sewing and was able to purchase the offcuts of material for her patchwork. It was close to home and during the school holidays I was allowed, every now and again to go with her and gather the off cuts and do other quick, easy and safe jobs.

After there Mum worked in retail, which is where she started working when she initially left school. Here final job before she was made redundant and then took retirement was with Lonhro Textiles and Mum was a manager within one of the stores.

Fearless Females - Day 9

March 9 — Take a family document (baptismal certificate, passenger list, naturalization petition, etc.) and write a brief narrative using the information.

The document I have chosen has formed part of an earlier posting for my Ancestor of the Week theme.

I eventually found the marriage of Edith Matthews, my Grandmother's Aunt at Holy Trinity Guildford in 1902 where Edith married a Charles Jelley. I was delighted, what a fun surname! It was not going to be too difficult to research Edith’s new family….or was it?

Edith Matthews & Charles Jelley
Marriage Certificate for Edith Matthews to Charles Jelly 8th April 1902

From the day I obtained the marriage certificate I was able to trace further the family from the 1911 Census which showed the family living in Redhill Surrey, I also located the birth of two children, which I had already knew existed by the photographic evidence I had. When the First World War military records were made available via Ancestry I did a search, not really believing that I would find anything about Charles, but I did!. It showed that he had been called for service and as part of this service record was the birth certificate for a third child, again I have a photograph which revealed two older children and a baby, which had sadly died in 1916.

I may never know anymore about Edith, although there are lots more questions about their time in London, what happened to their children, How did Charles become a restaurant manager, just to name a few. I suspect that Edith was a VAD and helped to nurse Charles back to health. They lived next door to one another, a fact gleaned from their wedding certificate and were friendly faces to each other and I would like to think that potentially a romance blossomed as they married in April 1902 and Charles was discharged in June of the same year.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

NaBloPoMo - Day 11 - Death

We have I am sure all heard the saying "There are two certainties in life; death and taxes"

Such a sad single word, which has the ability to shatter ones life. In the past year in this household we have suffered two bereavements. One on my husband's side of the family and one on mine. Each one different, in as much as partially expected against totally unexpected, the emotional connection we each felt to the deceased. Yet the two separate events were catalysts for a chain of events that neither of us expected. Such is life and even though the initial catalyst was dreadful, they are the positives that have resulted from a sad situation.

Look beyond though, to the practicalities. The turmoil that death leaves behind. The family divides and arguments at a time when families should pull together. The questions that there are no answers too, the questions that potentially might arise in the future.
  • Is there a will? Where is it?
  • Who are those named in the will? names and addresses?
  • Is all the answers the executors will need in the will?
  • Does even our spouse know of our wishes?
There are so many questions. Would your family know the answers, or perhaps be shocked by the answers?

Certainly in my working life it is okay of course to be ahead of the game, being prepared for a meeting or alike,to know the outcome of your labours. This is different. Being ahead of the game in this situation is the final journey. There is no way of checking everything is in place, the last conversations for clarity. In a rather callous way the curtains are down and there is no encore.

Sobering isn't it?

NaBloPoMo - Day 10 - Photographs

The concept of photography is quite simply amazing. We can with the click of a button these days take a photograph and record and event in history. Is that what the developers originally thought of?

The most important camera most of us have is our eyes. Think how many snapshot images they capture over a lifetime, the data committed to memory, which in turn sparks a moment of clarity and recognition as our brain computes the data the eyes have seen previously. Fascinating!

The camera and the ability to record events is wonderful. We can record events, people and objects. Like many of us I have a collection of photographs in the study. They span back for years and each have an importance, otherwise they would not have been taken in the first place!
The snapshot of our holidays, young family members, pets to name a few, and are the historical facts of the future in much the same way of the older photos we probably all have inherited, were at one time.

The here and now will become the history of the future.

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