Saturday, 30 June 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Last week I was nominated for this award by Vikki who blogs at The View Outside.

Like Vikki, I am a little bit of an blog award rules breaker! So I am on this occasion not nominating this to other bloggers. This is for two reasons, firstly I received an award in early June which I have only just responded to and secondly, I plan to, as is my custom to make a further loan in support of the Genealogists for Families Team at Kiva.

I will though say this, I read many blogs, not in a particularly timely manner. Each one adds value to my reading and thoughts and I value the comments and friends that I have made via the blogging world.

Illuminating Blog Award

In early June I was awarded the Illuminating Blog Award by Peggy at Musings of a MadCityWriter. I am always amazed that there is an interest in the ramblings that I write and that people enjoy what they read and then bestow a virtual award.

Here are rules of acceptance:

  1. The nominee should visit the award site ( and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom. (This step is so important because it’s the only way that we can create a blogroll of award winners).
  2. The Nominee should thank the person that nominated them by posting & including a link to their blog.
  3. The Nominee should include a courtesy link back to the official award site ( in their blog post.
  4. Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.
  5. Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award. Many people indicate that they wish they could nominate more so please feel free to nominate all your favorites.
  6. Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site (
As is my custom, I shall nominate several writers whose blog I read, I shall share one thing about myself and make a loan via the Genealogists for Families Team.

The random fact about myself is that I rarely drink alcohol. The alcoholic drink I had was a glass of sparkling rose wine in Jersey in July 2011 for our Wedding Anniversary!

My nominations are

  1. The View Outside
  2. Genealogists for Families Project - the blog where it all started!
  3. Family History Across the Seas
  4. ANZ LitLovers LitBlog
  5. Beth Fish Reads

Beyond the Internet: Week 25 Gaol records

Continuing the weekly theme, inspired by Family History Across the Seas

Back in April I explored as part of the A-Z Challenge the life of convict Henry Goucher. You can read these posts HERE and HERE. I also explored a new piece of research which pertains to the convict Robert Turpin.

In both of these cases, the two convicts were tried at the Old Bailey in London and sentenced. In the case of Henry Goucher he was sentenced to death, but this was commuted to life and Robert Turpin was sentenced to life. Both were transported to Australia.

As part of the research I found that they had been held in hulk ships before being transferred to larger vessels in order to make the long passage to Australia. Once they arrived there is further documentation which shows where there were held and we can gain a rough idea of the work they did.

Henry Goucher was to eventually gain his freedom in Australia when he was in his late 50s. Robert Turpin is rather more complex - there are two Robert's in the same area, during the same time frame and I need to do some further digging to establish the fate of "my" Robert.

Not all prisoners were transported. Some served their sentence or perhaps sentences within English prisons. Records that have survived the test of time are usually at the National Archives or the County Records Offices. Records are closed for 100 years and should you research the destiny of a prisoner convicted since 1912 his (or hers) record will be closed which does rather limit the scope for research, but there may well be a reference in the newspapers of the time.

Family History Through The Alphabet Challenge: G is for.....

On the back of the A-Z April Challenge, the lovely folk at Gould Genealogy devised another challenge - Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge. Each week, we work through the letters of the alphabet sharing perhaps an elusive ancestor, a favourite or particular ancestor, or perhaps a heirloom.
is for Genealogy

Could this post really be about anything else? Genealogy and family history is much more than names and dates. It is the desire to bring out the basic data of the lives of our ancestors, but it is also an opportunity for us to explore the life and times that a specific individual lived in.

Whilst I have some real characters in my ancestors, those that have been well documented because they were from a well known family, there are plenty that were simply regular individuals. Those who worked 16 hour days 6 days a week for a meagre wage, they came home dirty and and washed in cold water, spent the dark winter evenings using candle light, assuming they could afford candles and spent considerable amounts of time worrying if their job, home and family were safe and protected. If they became ill then there was no welfare state to help them, indeed, the workhouse was a place to fear. They relied heavily on the goodwill of family, friends and neighbours. They often went to bed exhausted, frightened, worried and hungry.

Genealogy is an opportunity for us to explore our ancestors lives. Through the official records - birth, marriage and death. Explore perhaps employment notes - not the large corporate files we have today, but perhaps references in diaries of others such as "paid Ellis 4 shillings for clipping the hedge" 

Genealogy is not about the large jigsaw puzzle that we complete at the dining room table. It is about each of those little segments, which in turn exists to create that big puzzle. Sometimes, we have a gut feeling that something is right, yet it does not fit and we can ponder on how it does not fit and usually it is because there is an unknown factor that we have yet to unearth. It is the opportunity to chase that perhaps many of us find so fascinating.

Was the lives of our ancestors simple? In part yes. The requirements and expectations were different and lower. We have expectations and rights now, yet in past times, whilst our ancestors may have had expectations, hopes and dreams many of them had very few rights. They were a commodity and commodity's are often exploited. Once we uncover the facts of the lives of our ancestors we can build up a picture of what their lives was like and perhaps ponder on how their experiences have impacted upon us; their descendants.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Postcard Friendship Friday - Wanborough Church circa 1940

A special church, as my Grandfather and his siblings were Christened here during the 1900 - 1917 period.

Submitted as part of Postcard Friendship Friday hosted by The Best Hearts are Crunchy 

Monday, 18 June 2012

My Ancestor Settled in the British West Indies: With Bermuda, British Guiana and British Honduras by John Titford FSG

If you are researching your ancestors who travelled to the West Indies, then this book is an absolute must. 

The book has an explanation on the Countries contained within the book, which is very useful. As is the introduction which focus' on the how these Countries became to be part of the British Empire. 

The series of 22 chapters begins with the first two which focus on the broad genealogical sources relating to those who settled in The West Indies and those who settled or at least had involvement in the region as pirates and buccaneers.

We then move swiftly onto the remaining chapters. Each chapter features a specific Country - Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Guiana (Guyana), British Honduras (Belize), The British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nevis, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent, Tobago, Trinidad, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Each chapter is then presented in a clear and laid out manner featuring the location and history, economy and people. Also contained within each chapter is an indication to where any records are within the United Kingdom before continuing to identify the location of documents and records within the particular Country of interest, featuring Civil Registration, Census, Wills and Newspapers. The chapter then continues with a healthy mix of both primary and secondary source material. Further information is then presented in terms of reading with an informative book list and a listing of websites.

The book is illustrated in black and white throughout, with maps, photographs, postcards and stamps all given additional flavour to the Countries researched. 

My own very vague interest is in the Island of Jamaica. As part the research for my One Place Study I came across a reference to an individual from the parish. The reference was that Frances Leigh of Puttenham had died in Shrewsbury in 1774 the widow of Jasper Jones of Jamaica who had died previously in 1748. Having read that one sentence I immediately wanted to know more of Jasper's time in Jamaica. His time in Puttenham is fairly well documented. He was involved in a court case in 1744 and was present in England at the time, so I was able to narrow down my window of researching from 1744 - 1748.

By reading the chapter on Jamaica and then accessing one of the sites mentioned in the book ( I was able to determine that a probate record for Jasper Jones had survived for 1746-1747. The date is a year or so out, but I shall pursue this line of enquiry regardless.

The book is not attempting to research for you, but to provide you with the knowledge of the area and enable you to have a thought process to see if what you are seeking has survived the test of time and where it might be. It is like all genealogical guides, a stepping stone to your research and a jolly good one!

Disclaimer - I was provided with a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Family History Through The Alphabet Challenge: F is for.....

On the back of the A-Z April Challenge, the lovely folk at Gould Genealogy devised another challenge - Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge. Each week, we work through the letters of the alphabet sharing perhaps an elusive ancestor, a favourite or particular ancestor, or perhaps a heirloom.

Fis for Families

I am sure that you are familiar with the saying "You can choose your friends, but not your family".  

Just this week my husband was reflecting and remembering on things from his early childhood. After a few minutes he asked  me to "Google it and see what comes up". Well, what came up from the Google search was to be honest horrifying. I do not mean research that other's had done and shared via the internet. This was information from official sources and as we read and re-read we sat in horrified silence.

The information was read several times and later as we got into bed and I picked up a book hopeful of a few pages reading before the eyes began to close, my husband started to talk again about what we had read. I pointed out several things. Firstly, we are not responsible for the doings of our family members, whether they are alive or dead and like it or not, we can not turn the clock back. We simply have to find a way of dealing with the knowledge that we now have.

In the morning as we had a first drink of the day, my husband turned to me and commented that he was simply ashamed of the situation. I reiterated the comments I had made of the night before. Since then there has been no further mention, but I know, the way you do when you have lived with someone for 20 years that the wheels and thoughts are continuing. Just as my research into the information is.

Absolutely, we can not choose our family. We are part of an established group, which yields parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. Some of those people we share not just a blood bond with but also an emotional attachment to. Others are simply a blood connection whilst others we have no blood connection, but have an emotional connection with, perhaps in the case of honorary relations - Aunts, Uncles etc.

Quite recently I attended a family funeral. In the last 2 years we have had four bereavements, three on my side of the family and one on my husband's side. Of the three bereavements on my side, I was able to attend two of the funerals. Inhibited in attending the third by miles and many of them! The emotional attachment that I felt to those individuals was huge and each one in their own way leaves quite a gap. So I stood as we all paid our last respects at the most recent funeral. I was proud to do so.

The contribution that each of us makes to our own family establishment is unique. Feeling proud of our families is something that I hope we all feel in some way. I was very proud as I realised that the congregation at that recent funeral was more than 200 people, many were standing at the back, squeezing in where they could. Simply to pay their respects to another individual who had been a father, brother, grandfather, cousin, uncle, friend and colleague.

Sobering thoughts and comments for what I had planned to be a different piece of writing for this week's contribution.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Family History Through The Alphabet Challenge: E is for.....

On the back of the A-Z April Challenge, the lovely folk at Gould Genealogy devised another challenge - Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge. Each week, we work through the letters of the alphabet sharing perhaps an elusive ancestor, a favourite or particular ancestor, or perhaps a heirloom.

E is for Elstone

Elstone was the surname of my Maternal Grandmother. Mary Elizabeth Elstone was born in 1880 in Bramshot Hampshire, the daughter of James Elstone and Mary Denyer.

The Denyer's and Elstone's had from what I have researched so far have been in the Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire borders and were heavily involved in the paper making industry. No great surprise there as the Elstone's inherited Bramshot paper mill upon the marriage of John Elstone to Ann Pim in 1786.

Over the years, I have not researched more fully this line, and then quite by chance I was at the Exeter local studies library looking at a card index for something else when the cards flipped back to E. I don't quite know what made me look at the cards, but I came across the reference to the name of Elstone and a reference or two to the name of Pim, both connected with paper making in Devon.

Elstone, DevonWas there a connection? Was this a coincidence?  A few weeks later, driving along the A377 heading to North Devon we drove through a hamlet by the name of Elstone. I can honestly say the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Is there perhaps some connection that I had not been aware of?

Elstone is a hamlet, with very little there. It is rural with a river - probably the River Exe following close by.

So, another 10 years on and I still have not researched this more fully. Is this a red herring? or is there perhaps a little link between my Elstone and Pim, of paper making stock in Sussex and Hampshire and the Elstone and Pim families of Exeter?

Family History Through The Alphabet Challenge: D is for.....

On the back of the A-Z April Challenge, the lovely folk at Gould Genealogy devised another challenge - Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge. Each week, we work through the letters of the alphabet sharing perhaps an elusive ancestor, a favourite or particular ancestor, or perhaps a heirloom.

D is for Discovery

I have a search facility set up on a well known auction site for some specific family names. Every time something is listed with the particular name I receive and email and a link to the item.

A few months ago I received within a week two such emails. Two different items listed by two different sellers, relating to the same surname. I was delighted! I watched the items and placed at the appropriate time a maximum bid and then waited. The first item was an original document from 1844 and pertains to a lease. A mistake with written on the page, so on the reverse is an amendment.

At the end of the auction I won the item and then waited patiently for the item to arrive. When it did I was not disappointed. I wrote to the seller asking if they had any further information. I received a response that the item belonged to a friend, whose father used old documents, which he cut up and used them to decorate lampshades. I was so glad that for whatever reason he changed his hobby and this beauty of a document survived.

The second item related to a book, which is a first edition and as well as containing poetry by the John Bowring, the book also contains a small biography written by Lady Deborah Bowring, the second wife of the deceased.

Family History Through The Alphabet Challenge: C is for.....

On the back of the A-Z April Challenge, the lovely folk at Gould Genealogy devised another challenge - Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge. Each week, we work through the letters of the alphabet sharing perhaps an elusive ancestor, a favourite or particular ancestor, or perhaps a heirloom.

C is for Conversations

As I mentioned in my last post, I would regularly visit my elderly Aunts, usually fortnightly. I had grown up doing that and once I was into adulthood I carried on the tradition. A recent conversation with a Cousin of my generation revealed that he had never met two of our Great Aunts, because he had never visited them as a child and subsequently did not visit as an adult.

The conversations that I had with not just my Aunts but also their first cousins placed me at a genealogical advantage. Simply through letting them chat, aided by an occasional prompt or question from me they were more than happy to chat and fill me in on various information.

I showed them photographs that I had inherited and asked for clarity on who the photograph was of and often I was not just told the name, but a whole caption of history, perhaps about where they worked, lived, married  and so forth. Little snippets of information that when added together provided a much bigger picture.

On a particular day I mentioned to one Aunt that I was visiting her sister the following weekend and that I was meeting Aunt's first Cousin during the week. Aunt suddenly said that  she would come over and see me at her sister's the following Saturday. I wondered if I could perhaps get the Cousin to come along as well. A phone call later and all was agreed.

As I said, my Aunt was in a wheelchair and did receive lots of visitors, but her face was a real pleasure as it lit up at the sound of her younger sister's voice. Then she heard her cousin and was overwhelmed. I was as usual given the instruction for tea and cake duty. Upon entering the lounge the three of them were chatting and remembering and in hindsight I so wish I had recorded the three of them chatting.

Listening to them was amazing and I was slightly amused when the older of the sisters announced that they were completely wrong over something. My Aunt Doll, the youngest of the sisters was called Dolly by her older sister and the cousin Ivy then referred to the older sister as Rosey. The familiarity that they felt for each other was incredible and it was a treasure to witness it.

All three of them have passed away now, the most recent, my Aunt, who was the younger sister in 2009, but the legacy that they each left is something that I will treasure always.

Family History Through The Alphabet Challenge: B is for.....

On the back of the A-Z April Challenge, the lovely folk at Gould Genealogy devised another challenge - Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge. Each week, we work through the letters of the alphabet sharing perhaps an elusive ancestor, a favourite or particular ancestor, or perhaps a heirloom.

B is for Budd

As I trawled through the Parish Records seeking and building the family tree from my Great Grandmother and beyond I came across the connection to the surname of BUDD. I had quickly established that my Great Great Grandmother Caroline Ellis was the daughter of George Ellis and his wife Prudence Budd.

This was quite early on in my research, so around the late 1980s. I turned up to my Great Aunt's for our fortnightly catch up. My Great Aunt was by this time in a wheelchair, with very limited sight, but still had the memory of an elephant and a razor sharp mind. As was our custom I was directed to make the tea, using the best cups and saucers and cut some cake. As I type this I can hear her in my mind, telling me to hurry up and had I bought my notebook?

Tray filled and carried into her lounge, I would poor the tea and make sure Aunt to hold her plate of cake, usually a Maderia. I would say that I had my note book and off she would go. Her mind cast back to a generation or two prior and I would see that I was to her no longer in the room, she was back to a young girl again and as she remembered past times I would furiously write the details down.

I recall, sitting the tray down and instead of staying I had my notebook I said I had located the marriage of Caroline's parents. Before I had chance to say anything more, Aunt said, oh yes, Carrie's mother was Prudence Budd you know. My big hype of information had vanished in a flash!

Prudence Budd had been born in Puttenham in 1817 to Richard Budd and Sarah Kemp. Prudence married in 1834 in Puttenham to George Ellis. Together they raised 8 children before Prudence died in 1855, 45 years before my Aunt was born.

It is only with looking back now, as I realise that my Great Aunt herself died nearly 20 years ago that I find myself realising that Aunt knew of her Great Grandmother through a living memory presumably shared through Caroline. The Budd's were a well documented family. I can trace the family back to 1724 in the village of Puttenham before the trail turns cooler.

The Budd's were potentially from neighbouring village of Shackleford and I have managed to trace a Henry Budd referenced in the parish. I can not say with 100% certainty that Henry came from Shackleford, but can say with probability that he did. More research is needed.

In my mind I can be in my Aunt's lounge and asking her the question of do you know where the Budd's came from?,  and I think that I an possibly hear her faint response.....

Friday, 8 June 2012

Follow Friday - Blogs beyond Genealogy!

Following in the footsteps of my genealogy blogging pals, Jill at Geniaus and Pauline at Family History Beyond the Seas. I have pulled together a small selection of blogs that I follow without a genealogical slant. Here they are in alphabetical order.

Alfred Zappala - Alfred is an American with a huge heritage in Sicily. He has now completed a journey by returning to live in Sicily using the trunk used by his Grandfather 104 years ago. Alfred has a great blog and has written several books on his journey. You can read the review of one of them HERE

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog - Hosted by Lisa who lives in Melbourne. Lisa shares her love of Australian and New Zealand literature.

Confessions of a Plate Addict - French style decorating, thrifting and travelling

Dolce Bellezza - "A sweet serenity of books...."

English Historical Fiction Authors - The blog of a group of historical novelists who love all things English!

Gwulo: Old Hong Kong - The site if you are interested in Old Hong Kong!

Margaret Cooter - About handmade books and textile art

Oz Typewriters - The Australian Typewriter Museum. The world of typewriters from 1714 - 2014

Philofaxy - Following the love of Filofaxes!

Spitalfields Life - A fascinating site featuring life in the London area of Spitalfields.

The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader - hosted by Marg, from Melbourne an avid reader and much more!

The Chirurgeon's Apprentice - An interesting look at surgery before the world of anaesthetics.

The Quack Doctor - A fascinating account of early medicines

The View Outside - Hosted by Vikki from Kent - the story of her writing

The Vintage Recipe Blog - Recipes and Ads from times past

Two Nerdy History Girls - "Gossip about History, Writing and Shoes...."

Where Ever The Road Goes - Following the path of Ellie & Adrian as they travel where ever the road goes!

23 Things for Professional Development - Introduction to a range of tools for personal & professional development

1912 Titanic Sewing Project - An attempt to recreate clothes from the Era of the Titanic

...and the newest addition:

The Historical Novel Society (Sydney Chapter) - For readers, writers and bloggers of Australian literature

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Beyond the Internet Week 13: Lest we Forget: War Memorials

Continuing the weekly theme, inspired by Family History Across the Seas.

I always feel a sense of sadness when I come across a War Memorial. As I stand and reflect upon the names that appear on the Memorial, I have an acute sense of awareness that the names reflect not just a sacrifice made by the named individual, but beyond that there is a deep sense of loss to the families left behind. In some cases families suffered more than one loss. How do you recover from that?

Following the First World War there was an obvious increase in the amount of War Memorials. Each Memorial reflecting a generation lost.  The photograph below is from the Parish of Enstone in Oxfordshire.

As you can see there are two families that have multiple entries, these are the Hawtin & Sheffield families. 

I have a slight interest in the Sheffield family. My Great Grandmother's sister, Mabel Harris married into the Sheffield family. They resided in London in the docks areas as that is where they worked. They raised a family of three daughters and one son. One of the daughters married a cousin so she was a Sheffield all of her life, which was a long one. She, like many of the girls from this part of the family lived well into their 90s.

Beyond the Internet Week 12: Church Histories

Continuing the weekly theme, inspired by Family History Across the Seas.

Many parishes produce a small history of the Parish and the Church. Over the years I have collected a small group of these histories.

The histories give us a really good understanding in the history of the Parish and the importance that The Church and Religion played in the lives of our ancestors.

We are then cast back into a time when the bells rang out across the parish calling parishioners to Church where they could give thanks for the the lives they had. The significance of the bells is important, many people could not read, and even if they were able to afford a clock the chances are they could not tell the time. Even now, when I hear bells ringing out on a Sunday I have a lovely feeling!

The depth of the booklets and histories varies considerably. I have several where a brief history is given, acting as a leverage to a published book. Others give more depth to the history of the parish. Whatever the data they provide they are a welcomed addition to understanding the environment that our ancestors lived in. They often provide further stepping stones to other archives.

One thing that does seem consistent is that each book provides brief details of Memorials and Pews within the Church and it is that information that can provide further data. Memorials are often made to substantial members of the parish - wealthy landowners and alike. Very often those same families had their own pews in the Church. It is well worth checking the archives of the records office and to see if there are any papers that relate to the well known family.

My own ancestry is in the Guildford area of Surrey. There were well known family archives and it is worth checking these papers and diaries to see if there is any references made.

As I said, the parish was intricately interwoven with the Church. Establish the name of the Rector and Curate and other Parish Officials. Did any of them leave a collection of papers, or a diary?

In the Village of Puttenham Surrey, the Curate called Charles Kerry kept a series of manuscripts which have survived. They are currently in the Records Office in Derbyshire which is where Kerry was born, but there are copies available. I hold some of the data relating to Puttenham in my one place study.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Jubilee Fever!

It can not have escaped anyone's notice that the UK have had an extra long weekend in order for the public to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The second Monarch to achieve such an event. There have been street parties, Community spirit and a real sense of embracing the achievements of The Queen.

I know that there is a whole debate on the role of Monarchy - should we have them? why bother? etc etc. This post is not about that. This is about the achievements of a lady who is a Great Grandmother who still works, and does so very hard. I truly hope I am not working the hours she does when I am 86! I know that she has a team of people to assist her in her daily life and obligations, if I was in her shoes I would want people to help me. When I reflect on my day job, I realise I do have people to help me. The difference is whether I am good, great or bad it does not appear in the press or on every social media devise possible and beamed around the world in seconds!

I recently had a conversation with someone who complained about the cost of the Monarchy and about the contribution the Royal Family make. My response was look beyond the cost. Look at the wider picture and understand how we as a Nation came to be, the division between Monarchy and State. Look at the achievements created during the last 60 years. The Coronation was beamed to a few households who had a television. Now we can watch the television on a devise the size of book. Many households have more than one TV. In fact as I write this I am watching the re runs on Sky News of the Jubilee event that is took place on the Thames yesterday on my iPad.

The event itself was I think remarkable and inspired by a painting by the Venetian artist Canaletto.
Whether or not you are a fan of The Monarchy you can not fail to view the painting that acted as inspiration and realise that what was achieved yesterday was a very close second. 

You can read and see various photographs from the following newspapers:
The Telegraph
The Independent

Sky News

The Diamond Jubilee Official Website
Jubilee Time Capsule

What were you doing at the time of the 1977 Silver Jubilee or the 2002 Golden Jubilee?

Whatever your feelings on the subject, the Diamond Jubilee is a special event in British and Commonwealth History. And lets not forget we do love our pomp and ceremony!

Armchair BEA 2012 Post 1 – Introductions!

Today sees the start of Armchair BEA which is the armchair version of the Book Blogger Convention held each year in the US. I took part last year, although I failed the complete week because of being offline at a work conference, but hope to fair better this year. The plan for a kick off is an introduction, by way of answering a few questions, so here goes!

  • Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
I am Julie, I live in the South West of England. I have been blogging since 2002. I can't actually remember how I got into blogging, however, over the years the blog has developed as I have become more comfortable with my writing and sharing on line using this medium and by integrating with other bloggers.

  • What are you currently reading, or what is your favourite book you have read so far in 2012?
I have just finished reading A Knitter's Home Companion by Michelle Edwards which I reviewed. An earlier review and subsequent favourite was The Sonoma Rose, (part of the Elm Creek Series) by Jennifer Chiaverini.

  • Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
Whilst my blog tells readers quite a bit about myself, reading and my ancestry. It does not reveal that I am actually half Italian.

  • What is your favourite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?
I do take part in Meme's. I use them in a way as journal prompt and write about my ancestors or perhaps share photographs, stamps and postcards. I also share reading memories or book reviews. My favourite aspect is the followers and the comments they leave. Sharing of thoughts or perhaps I make a comment, and someone else thinks about the comment and then develops it further and the concept is used as a sounding board as a way of sharing information and building knowledge and friendships.

  • Which is your favourite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?
A recent favourite post, was that I shared a post that I wrote for the Jubilee Time Capsule. You can read that post here - Jubilee Time Capsule - Kiva Project - 28th September 2011

Sunday, 3 June 2012

A Knitter's Home Companion by Michelle Edwards

I was recently given the opportunity to review this book and am delighted that I did. I really enjoyed the book. The combination of recipes, pattens and chapters shared by the author, a collection of ramblings from past times, featuring old friends, new friend and contemplations.

Some reflective pieces, some amusing. I wonder whether Woody the Woodpecker liked and appreciated his knitted item?

What I think that I enjoyed the most was that I could identify with some of the passages written by the author. A special chair in which  to sit and enjoy life and from where knitting commences. Thoughts occur and conversations happen. Indeed, it felt as though I was sitting in the armchair next to Michelle while she knitted! As I read the various passages, my thoughts turned back to my childhood, when I sat with my Grandmother who tried very patiently to teach me to knit.

You can read the author's website HERE

I have been sent the following video by the Publisher and I received an e-book of this book in exchanged for an honest and open review.

My overall thoughts were this was a great book. I liked it so much that I have ordered a hardback copy that I can enjoy again and again!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Sepia Saturday 128

As we are having the Jubilee weekend here in the UK it seemed fitting to share this photo, which I may have shared before.

This a photograph of the Coronation Parade taken 2nd June 1953. The reverse of the photograph is written by late Great Aunt Dorothy May nee Butcher. The man holding the horse is her brother, my Great Uncle Dick, who was christened Percy in Wanborough in 1906. 

My Uncle moved to Horley with his wife Molly nee BEST, so it could have been taken in Horley, but a hunch tells me it is Manor Farm at Guildford.

Uncle looks a bit stern, so perhaps there was not too much singing!

Taking part in Sepia Saturday

Friday, 1 June 2012

Carnival Of Genealogy 118:Reading

As I sit and write this post I am in my study surrounded by books and genealogical papers. There are other things too of course, but books and genealogy are my main passions.

I can't remember my first book. I ponder that I might have had one of those cloth books that children get, but I can not be sure and when I asked my Mum if she could remember she didn't give me an answer, just that look, the one that says "don't be ridiculous!"

I have fond memories of sitting on my Grandmothers knee as she read my various Enid Blyton books again and again - Noddy books written before Political Correctness appeared. Books with Noddy, Big Ears and the Golly. I still have those Noddy books, with the 12p price ticket on and I can see them from where I am sitting, writing this. I remember those wonder Mr Twiddle books and Famous Five and lots of others by Enid Blyton and I was also a proud owner of a set of Rupert Bear books with their bright yellow covers.

I recall reading and sharing the various Mr Men books, when the series was just Mr Men, before the series expanded in view of equality and created Little Miss books! I had a small collection of Ladybird books and the small Observer series of books and I seem to recall that I had the book on stamp collecting.

I was not much of a comic fan, but as part of my pocket money treat from my Grandmother I was a reader of  several comics. Lamb Chop, Little Star and Twinkle. As I approached my teenage years I seem to think I read another, but can not recall its name. I do remember reading Smash Hits magazine when I was about 14. There was also Christmas Annuals produced to accompany the comics.

Into adulthood, and my reading is very varied, much like this blog. My personal book collection comprises of mainly historical texts - general history, or history relating to specific areas, times, people and includes historical fiction. I also have collated quite a few novels over the years and like to read sets in order.

The Alphabet Series written by Sue Grafton a favourite and in complete contrast novels by Jennifer Chiaverini featuring Elm Creek, a fictional quilting community.  I also have lots of genealogical books and various autobiographies. Upon the shelves there are books relating to the day job, pharmacy, education and management.

I love reading, and of course books in general. I love bookshops and can not walk past one. If I wander pass a charity shop or selection of stalls I always head to the book stalls and shelves. A few years ago we had a wonderful weekend break in the Welsh border town of Hay on Wye. Home to at least 30 bookshops. It was wonderful!  You can see a selection of photos HERE.

It was those early days of sitting with a book on my Grandmother's knee that created my real love of reading and books. My Mum is a reader too and even now we trade books and chats about our current reads. So as I sit in my study, surrounded by all the books, papers and what my beloved husband would call chaos I can, for lots of those books remember the where and when and how much!

We are in a digital age and as such even books are not exempt! - now the owner of a Kindle and iPad and various applications for reading books upon I can add to my book library in a virtual sense. That said, there are simply some books which have to be bought, held and enjoyed.

Over the last 4 or 5 years I have parted with some, either given them away to charity shops or sold via eBay and Amazon. The books I have now are like old friends and I am busy cataloguing them via LibraryThing.

Taking part in Carnival of Genealogy hosted by Jasia at CreativeGene

Postcard Friendship Friday - Coronation Souvenir 1953

Submitted as part of Postcard Friendship Friday hosted by The Best Hearts are Crunchy 


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