5 December 2013

Well, who'd'a thunk it......?

Next week I'm going to Bedford to meet Cynthia who got in touch after discovering that we share a 3xgreat grandfather, Benjamin Langford who married Martha Hatch in 1806.  So I'm going a bit more research.....

And I've got as far as Charlotte Haylock, my 2nd cousin twice removed, who was born in Grimsby in 1867, and married Ernest Frederick Kempton in Leicester in 1894.  So far, so very ordinary.

Except for one thing: Ernest Frederick Kempton is distantly related to my oldest friend Sally.  About the same relationship as mine to Charlotte.

That makes us practically sisters........

More soon.

2 December 2013

I remember when......

Today I had lunch with my uncle and, as ever, the conversation ranged far and wide, including a catch-up on our last collaboration, his old school annual newsletter.  From there we moved on to a former colleague of his, and to the expansion of the Trumpington part of Cambridge.

The unc, being a few years older than me, recalled that, as boys, he and his brothers used to cycle to the "separate village of Trumpington" with their mother to visit relatives.  The family, by name of Gentle, consisted of two brothers and a sister who were all deaf and dumb.  He couldn't recall, though, whether they were "real" uncles & aunt or just "family-friend-uncles & aunt".....

Being a bit of a nerd I had my iPad with me;  it has the family tree stored thereupon (of course, I'm a genealogist!) and I was able to find a Mr Gentle in the index, married into the correct branch.  I impressed even myself!!

Once home, and after a cuppa, I got stuck into finding this family; success was not too difficult to achieve as the above-mentioned Mr Gentle (Arthur to his friends) and his wife Susan did indeed live in Trumpington, complete with two sons and a daughter.  The "youngsters" were all marked in the 1911 census as "deaf & dumb" and each was attending the "Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb Children of the Poor" in Margate in 1901.  Herbert, the eldest, trained as a tailor and Stanley, brother number two, as a cycle repair mechanic. 

Most pleasing to be able to back up the story with facts; the family is not related to me but there is a distant link between them and my grandmother.  Now to tell the unc!

More soon.

1 December 2013

Bad news travelled fast......

Forming an inadvertent link to Andrew Martin's excellent blog at http://historyrepeating.org.uk/, I too will be talking about a family of Harrisons.....  Andrew's are in Cambridgeshire and I suppose mine are too...now, although at the time, St Ives was part of Huntingdonshire.  

My attention was drawn, by my friend Sue Anderson, to an article in The Times on 5th July 1927, entitled "Three People shot at St Ives".  Now, I should make it clear that this particular family of Harrisons are not related to me but are the in-laws of my 2xgt aunt May Culpin; but, honestly now, would you not want to follow it up?

So a quick delve into the British Newspaper Archive (no hardship, I promise) and I was able to fill in some more details:  Frederick Harrison, age 46, shot his wife Florence and his elder son Geoffrey and then himself.  His younger son Robert was out on an errand and found the results of this tragedy when he returned.  The subsequent inquest brought forth the information that Frederick had contracted malaria during War service and was unable to return to civilian life for for a year after the war ...."and it preyed on his mind."  

What I found fascinating was the number of newspapers which reported this, and their diverse geographical spread - the Aberdeen Journal, the Nottingham Evening Post and the Exmouth & Plymouth Gazette, to name but a few.  I guess that this, being linked with the Great War, was what caught the editors' eyes.

I now need to complete the story by finding the local Hunts Post reports - a trip to the Cambridgeshire Collection awaits!

As do more pressing domestic tasks, so ....

More soon.