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

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

Great Grandmother Jemima: Freedom of the city

Great Grandmother Jemima became a second wife for my great grandfather Samuel John Allery in 1884. At the age of 32 she took on the task of parenting the 5 children from his previous marriage to Mary Ann Hall, and during her 30’s and 40’s gave birth to six boys of her own. Just two years between each of them, her band of young men were her greatest legacy. Her boys all lived to a great age, served their country in the first World War and built their own businesses and dynasties. This story is about two significant periods of … Continue reading Great Grandmother Jemima: Freedom of the city