History shrouded in mystery!

#52 Ancestors: Week 20 – Cousin Bait Each time I peel back the layers of mystery surrounding the life of an ancestor, mine or others, I see a story emerging; a chance to bring that ancestor into the limelight for a moment in time. Treasures abound in the Aladdin’s cave that is family history – they beckon and call and demand my attention. A lost diary here; a forgotten memoir there; an old tattered photo; or uncovered documentary evidence of people, place and time. These are the story starters for me; the facts and the evidence from my ancestors’ lives. … Continue reading History shrouded in mystery!

Requiem for Harriet

#52 Ancestors ‘At the Cemetery’ Harriet buried 3 children and a husband. Now she is at rest. They employed Harriet as a machinist in the Allery Tailoring business during the 1890s. Work as a machinist did not pay well then. Many unmarried young women had a little choice of occupation in Edwardian times (domestic service, prostitution, shop work, the stage or dressmaking). Harriet continued to live at home bringing into the household her meagre income of a few shillings; making shirts at 7 pence a dozen. She worked from seven in the morning to eleven at night. My father, Walter, … Continue reading Requiem for Harriet

Cecil Allery: 1900-1985

Memories of Dad, Cecil Henry Allery 1900 in London, UK The turn of the century was an interesting time in the United Kingdom, when huge changes were taking place. The parish of Richmond in Surrey had a population of about 20,000 people, had excellent transport links to London (trains, trams and omnibuses) and was emerging as a sought after residential and commercial location. Residents were kept informed by no less than four local newspapers:- the Thames Valley Times was published each Wednesday and the Chiswick Times on Fridays. The Richmond & Twickenham Times and the Richmond Herald appeared on Saturdays. Richmond … Continue reading Cecil Allery: 1900-1985

Multiple Births: Edwardian style

Grandmother Mary Jane Robinson: her impact on me! Mary Jane was a woman of mystery to me. She had left this earth before I could know her – I don’t count the 9 short years I was on this earth at the same time. As a 4 year old I had no real sense of belonging and with a world shattered by war, there were huge upheavals in my family – we emigrated to Australia in 1949. By May 1954 she had died at Surrey, Northern – a fact revealed to us by mail in our new home in Victoria. … Continue reading Multiple Births: Edwardian style

Revisiting Ancestors : Jemima and the Will

Imagine her surprise when she listened to the reading of the will of her late father! As the eldest of the clan Rosina thought she would receive a substantial financial legacy, but she did not expect to be given the four properties at 46, 48, 50 and 52 Elton Road, Norbiton, Kingston-on-Thames. Tears of joy were her first response! She then looked into her step-mother’s shining eyes and sat up a little more formally in the leather chair in the study at 196 Commercial Road, Peckham. She was attending the formal ceremony of reading the will of her late father … Continue reading Revisiting Ancestors : Jemima and the Will