Joyce Mullins 1929 – 2015

The article below is the one read at the funeral service for my Mother Joyce Mullins (nee Crabb) who passed away 24th September 2015 and was buried in Sydling St Nicholas on the 8th October 2015

Tribute to Joyce Mullins

read by Mary Davys

Joyce would always greet people with a beaming smile and a twinkle in her blue eyes.  She loved company, and with that in mind, Alan and the girls would like to thank you all for coming to celebrate her life.  The many cards and wishes they have received have been a comfort and are a tribute to this well-loved woman.

We all know Joyce in different ways and have our own special memories.  Here are a few you may not know.

Joyce Crabb was born on 5th May 1929 in South View Farm house, next door to the Greyhound, here in Sydling.  She was the youngest daughter of James and Nellie Crabb and had one sibling, her sister Irene.

Her father James was a farmer and carrier, renting South View Farm from Winchester College and running the regular bus service from Sydling to Dorchester.

Joyce grew up in the village, attending the local school and she passed her eleven plus to attend the Girls Grammar school in Dorchester, known locally as the "Green School" after the uniform colour. This left her with a lifelong aversion to green clothes.  Getting to school each day involved cycling the three and a half miles from the village down to Grimstone to catch the Dorchester train, followed by a mile walk from Dorchester station.  Many adventures and misadventures occurred during this time.  On one occasion she and her best friend May Gifford, walked along the narrow ledge on the outside of the Grimstone viaduct, probably 30 feet above the road, just because they didn’t want to be out done by the local boys.

Joyce enjoyed school and worked hard, gaining the qualifications needed to go to Teacher training college. She headed off to Brighton with her trunk on the train from Dorchester.  Brighton was very different to Sydling, but she always loved the sea and the opportunity to spend time there was very special.  Joyce was always good fun and made many firm friends who kept in contact with her over the years.  Adventures continued, including being in London on VJ day, which was apparently a “Wild Night”.

Returning to Sydling, a qualified teacher, Joyce got a position in the village school, which she had attended not so many years before. 

While cycling back to Sydling one evening from Grimstone, it was suggested she hang onto the hand of a passenger on Jack Bungay’s motorcycle.  This resulted in lots of bruises and cuts and a finger which was permanently bent.  She went to school the next day wrapped up in a large number of bandages, much to the amusement of her pupils

Joyce’s father James died in 1951, but they kept the farm on, with Nellie, Rene and Joyce working it. Joyce would milk the cows in the morning, before heading off for a full days teaching.  Her salary helped to cover the rent on the farm.

In 1952, she started going out with a younger man, Alan, who lived up at Marrs Cross.  They first met when he knocked on the door job hunting a few years before.  For much of their courtship Alan was in the army, but they went to the “old time” dances and Young Farmers events whenever he was on leave.

Finally in 1955 with Alan out of the army, they married here in Sydling Church on the May 30th. Joyce carrying a bouquet containing roses and the Lily of the valley she adored.

The papers reports of the marriage included headlines, such as “School Teacher weds”, Boys club leader weds, WI Secretary weds.  Joyce always epitomised the saying “need something done, ask a busy person”. Poor Alan did not get many mentions in the papers, and even the wedding cars forgot to collect him, having both raced to pick up Joyce.

After a honeymoon in Torquay, Alan and Joyce started married life, living in some of the rooms in South View.  A couple of years later however Winchester college became keen to release the farm to new tenants, so the Mullins’s and Crabbs were grudgingly offered another house, a former pub.  “Hit or Miss”, so called as sometime the local Hunt stopped there and sometimes they didn’t, was in a state and lifting floorboards created wafts of stale beer to float up into the air.

When Nellie died in February of 1962 it was time to move on.  Towards the end of the year Joyce was offered a post in Ilminster, so the search was on to find a house they could afford which would suit Alan, Joyce and Rene and provide growing space for any new arrivals plus the dog, two cats and 70 chicken, some things don't change.  They finally settled on an Edwardian villa in need of significant work, which became Joyce and Alan’s home for fifty two years, Glenwood House.

In 1970 I joined the staff of Ilminster first school.  Joyce was deputy head there; she was a great support to me and to the other staff.  She was responsible for the reception class and they adored her. She was a brilliant teacher, although I only taught with Joyce for less than one year we always remained friends. That was Joyce, once you knew her you made a friend for life.

Sadly Joyce and Alan lost a baby boy in 1959 but Jane arrived in 1964 and Jeannette in 1970.  Joyce always made sure the girls had everything they needed, while ensuring they did not get everything they wanted.  So for example no Pony for Jane, but weekly riding lessons instead. 

Glenwood was always busy, there were few weekends which did not either have someone coming or the family would be out visiting.  People coming to Glenwood knew there would be plenty of food and a warm welcome to all, one young boy describing the food to his Grandmother said “Aunty Joyce’s table groaned.  The home-made scotch eggs were delicious and lime cream whip, Somerset apple cake and baked Alaska were specialities.

Then of course there were the parties.  Parties could be held for many reasons and one of the infamous ones was the garage warming party.  Much merriment was had and it was discovered it was very difficult to play Table Tennis with a stone.  Many guests leaving in the small hours, also discovered that partying on the edge of the Somerset levels means if the floods are up it can be difficult to get home.  

After many happy years teaching in Ilminster, Joyce was appointed head at Kingsbury Primary school.  She made many friends both on the Staff and among the parents.  Headship in those days was an almost full time teaching job, with only one afternoon a week for administration.  This was not enough and each evening Joyce would sit with one basket of Children’s work to mark and another of “paperwork” to process.  Despite that she always made time to read a story to Jane and Jeannette at bedtime, even once they were both quite capable of reading to themselves.

Summer holidays were full of activities, the girls going to Guide camp or the family heading off to Cornwall, North Wales or somewhere else. Joyce even came to Switzerland with the guides, and Jane remembers her trying to encourage very sleepy guides, who had been on the bus for 36 hours, to walk up the hill to the Chalet.

The years passed by and when Jane married Stephen in 1986, Joyce and Alan gained their first son-in-law.  Jane often laughs that they really adopted Stephen as a son.

Joyce retired in ‘91 just as Jeannette finished University.  Not one to sit around, she re-joined the WI, volunteered at the Playgroup and helped found the Parrett Talk.  This village magazine proved popular and she remained on the committee until very recently, chasing down sponsors and helping with proof reading.  She joined patchwork and crafting clubs, planning her new social life with the same precision she had used to plan lessons over the previous forty years, though she never did finish the macramé lampshade in the loft. One of Joyce's useful phrases was "Can you put that in the Loft?", normally uttered when visitors where expected. 

When Jeannette married Nick in 1999 they gained another much loved son-in-law.  In 2005, Joyce got her best present ever when Jeannette and Nick presented her with her twin grandsons, Harry and Jacob. Joyce would say “such good boys”, “such wonderful boys”.  She loved listening to them read and seeing what they achieved. 

Over the years her physical health declined with arthritis of the spine and other problems making it difficult for her to get around, but she battled on, determined never to miss out on anything interesting. “Do you want to go to… ?” Was almost always followed by “Yes please”.

Joyce enjoyed visiting new places. So in 2011, Jane, Stephen, Alan and Joyce, at the age of 82, all set off on a cruise to Ireland.  It turned out to be the first of many.  Stephen and Alan became masters at manoeuvring her wheelchair around ships … though her grandsons never passed up the chance to give Grandma a hair raising ride.

Joyce was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend.  She is missed.

Mum Order of Service.pdf

Family Historian – Software for the Geneologist

Picking a computer program to record your Family History is like buying a car, there are a myriad of choices and everyone you ask will have their own favourite,  mine is Family Historian.

Originally released in 2004, over the last fourteen years it has grown into a powerful, flexible system.  Key features include the ability to record full details of your research, including comprehensive source recording and unrivalled media handling.

It also has an active and extremely knowledgeable user group web site with a raft of helpful documents and a forum where you can ask questions about anything Family Historian related. 

Getting Started

For most people starting out with Family Historian,  you will either be importing from an existing program or web site,  or keying your information direct into Family Historian,  from miscellaneous paper sources.

Family Historian has direct imports from both Roots Magic and The Master Genealogist, along with a gedcom import which understands a variety of "dialects" used by programs like Family Tree Maker and many others.  

The user group has instructions for import from many different programs in their knowledge base. Which contain the "condensed" knowledge of group members who have converted to Family Historian.

Projects

To import you simply click on the New button on the Project Window (which opens when you start the program) and then select what you want to import.

If you are starting from scratch,  just select "Start a New Project" and on the next screen enter the Name of the Person who will be the start of your tree.  If you are importing from TMG,  select "Import from other Family Tree File" and then use the Browse button to find your TMG Proj file,  although FH will import from older versions of TMG, it works best when importing from V9.

Family Historian also provides a handy "Sample" project which you can easily use to experiment with the options.  It's also used extensively in the highly regarded optional guide "Getting the most from Family Historian 6" which is available from Amazon.

The Focus Window

Once you have a Project open you will arrive on the Focus window.   One of several windows which you can work with your information.   In the default configuration the Property Box,  which is used for all information entry,  is shown on the right. but you can "float" it and move it around or to another screen if you have the luxury of more than one screen on your computer.

The four tabs on the Focus window allow you to see different views of the currently selected person, so you can see them with their spouse and children or their parents and siblings.   As you can see there are little magnifying glasses next to each person to move the Focus to that person,   you can also click on any name to move the Property box to that person, with out moving the Focus window.

The Records List

The other window where you will probably spend time is the Records window,  this allows you to see and filter all the people,families,sources or media records.  For people you can enter just a surname or just a first name and it will show all the records which match.   The property box can then be used the edit the information or you can drill down using the + boxes next to the names.  This is also a good place to select two records to merge.  You can click on any column heading to sort by that column or hold down the ALT key and click  to sort in the reverse order, e.g Sort Z-A rather than A-Z.  The columns can easily be customised to add any data you need.

Hint:  When you install the program to go the Options button and tick the husbands surnames so you can easily search for Women using their married names.

The Property Box

The property box is where most information is entered and updated.  it has a main tab which gives you a quick overview of a person and their immediate family as well as tabs for media and facts.

  For entering any facts, the Fact tab is recommend as it shows all the fields available for entry making it easier to add information correctly.   Witnesses, notes and sources can also be entered and additional facts can be viewed in the "time line" from other members of the family.

The Media Window

One of the most powerful areas of Family Historian is it's Media window,  you can add any sort of media from images to sound or video files, and media can be added in a variety of locations including against Facts, Places, Sources or Source Citations.   You can also add a single image with multiple people in the image and easily highlight each face in the image and attach it to am individual.  In the image below all 5 people in the image have been identified.  You can also add notes to areas of the image,  for example to name a pet or put details against a vehicle and there is a handy multimedia report which can show all the details about the people in the image,  very handy to store with any original images you have,  and more useful than writing "Great Aunt Mabel's wedding" on the back.

 

Maps, Queries, Reports, Plugins etc

There is so much more to Family Historian that this article could go on forever,  in fact the "Getting the Most" book is 243 pages and even that does not cover every single thing you can do with Family Historian.

Luckily Calico Pie, who write Family Historian,  offer a free 30 day trial, and you don't even need to enter a credit card to get it.  Just download the program from http://www.family-historian.co.uk/downloads/free-30-day-trial and install it.   Don't worry if you have tried it before, just email the support desk and they will send you a trial extension. 

Handy Links & Resources

Family Historian Site www.family-historian.co.uk

The Family Historian User Group     www.fhug.org.uk/

Getting The Most From Family Historian (book) www.amazon.com/Getting-Most-Family-Historian-6/dp/0993542700

My First Job

10_Hotel_Icon_Room_Has_DishwasherOn Twitter this week I saw a suggestion by GeneBloggers “November 14: Do you remember your first job? Where was it and what type of work did you do?”

Well I suppose my first real job,  as opposed to picking up apples for the neighbours was working in the Cafe at the old Cricket St Thomas Wildlife Park.  I got the job thanks to my Aunt Rita, who already worked there as her husband was the dairyman on one of the estate farms.  Cricket was used in the filming of “To The Manor Born“,  but I was never there for filming as it was done during term time when the park was quieter.

It was not well paid, even by 1981 standards,  as I was 16 I only earnt 60p per hour and 65p per hour on Sundays.  My friend Julie who was much older at the grand age of 18 earned  90p per hour,  grossly unfair!  We did the same job that first year wheeling the big dishes trolley around the cafe collecting plates from the tables and wiping down the tables. Then returning to the back we washed all the collected items by hand and then dipped them in the steriliser, they were then meant to be left to air dry, but on busy days there was no space and not enough plates so they were dried with tea towels and put around the cycle again.

While we did this another “team” would collect the plates,  unfortunately the other team were often a pair of elderly ladies who were very slow and by the time we went out again, people would be pushing crocks to the side of the table while trying to sit down to eat their meals.

Our other jobs involved heading over the freezers, which were across the park in the animal kitchens to collect the boxes of frozen chips and fish pieces and put into the small freezers  in the cafe,  you could never be quite sure what you would find in the animal kitchens,  I can remember one evening heading over to find a dead wallaby and beef carcass being cut up to feed the big cats,  I doubt these days you would be allowed to store food for human consumption anywhere near the animal kitchens.

In many ways it was a useful job and it gave me my first income which I saved to buy my first Moped for £50 I got an ancient  Kreidler 50cc motorbike/moped, it had pedals as it was unrestricted (at that time 50cc bikes were either restricted or had to have pedals),  the pedals made riding it quite exciting as it also had it’s back brake and gear change controlled by your feet as in normal motorbikes,  but you had to remember to move the pedals to the right place to use them,  but it was mine and with a following wind would do between 60-70 miles per hour, where as restricted mopeds would only do 30.

Anyway back to the Cafe,  we had lots of time to chat and put the world to rights as we washed dishes,  Julie was just starting a degree in English and Theology so we discussed all sorts of topics, while singing along to tracks on an old 8 track player,  we did get to know Simon and Garfunkel rather well as by the end of the first summer it was the only tape still working.

I have Julie to thank for getting me started with Family History as she had inherited a one name study and pestered me to get started on recording my past,  34 years on I am still working away on it.

I worked at Cricket for the next three summers earning enough to buy a better motorbike which I rode the 20 mile round trip 6 or 7 days a week from my parents up to the Cafe.

These days Cricket has changed the animals are almost all gone and it’s a very posh hotel and owned by Warner’s,  Many of the people I worked with have passed away,  but I still keep in contact with Julie who is now a Nursing sister having re-trained once she completed her degree.

Thomas Purcell and the Sinking of the Llandovery Castle

Victory Bonds (Llandovery Castle)

This victory bond poster, published in English and French, depicts the sinking and uses it to reinforce support in Canada for the war effort and to promote the sale of victory bonds.

Thomas James Purcell, was born in Liverpool on the 7th May 1886, the Son of Rose Anne Purcell.  Rose Anne married William Mitchell three years later in 1889 and the 1891 census finds Thomas living with his Mother, William, step brother William James and step sister Elizabeth.  Two more step sisters would join the family Esther and Margaret.

By 1901, the 14 year old  Thomas was working as a Railway Carter, probably in Docks near the family home at 1 Mark Street, Everton.   Thomas seems to have a change of career, as when he marries Ada Anne Taubman in February 1911,  he is listed as a “Trimmer”,  a trimmer was one of the heavy and dirty jobs aboard a steam ship,  and involved managing the coal stores aboard ship to ensure the weight remained evenly distributed across the ship to prevent listing and to move coal down to the stokers to feed the boilers.

The 1911 Census finds Thomas among the large crew of the S.S Tunisian, a passenger liner sailing between Liverpool and Canada, in port in the Kirkdale area,  while Ada is living on her own at 6 Slade Street.  It’s not long though before Thomas and Anne have a daughter Rose Anne (June 1912), a son William James (December 1913) who sadly dies before his first birthday and Esther who was born on April fools day 1916.

Thomas is still working on the ships as a trimmer and June of 1918 finds him working on the HMHS Llandovery Castle.  The “Llandovery Castle” was built in 1914 as a passenger liner and sailed between England and East Africa,  but was requisitioned for service as a hospital ship for the Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1916.

Hospital Ships should have been protected from attack under international law and German standing orders,  but during the First World War many were torpedoed and some sunk by mines.  The Llandovery Castle had already had several lucky escapes, but when on June 27th 1918 she encountered SM U-86, her luck ran out.  Torpedoed and confirmed sinking the crew and medical personnel abandoned ship in to the life boats, but the captain of the U-86Helmut Brümmer-Patzig, sought to destroy the evidence of torpedoing the ship. When the crew took to the lifeboats, U-86, surfaced, ran down all the lifeboats and machine-gunned the survivors remaining in the water and on the lifeboats. Only 24 people in one remaining lifeboat survived to tell the tale.  The loses included 16 nursing sisters one of whom, Margaret Marjory (Pearl) Fraser from Nova Scotia was the daughter of Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Duncan Cameron Fraser), this meant there was a huge public outcry especially in Canada and the sinking was the subject of the Victory Bond poster seen here.

Tower Hill Memorial

1914-1918
To the glory of God and to the honour
of twelve thousand of the merchant navy and fishing fleets
who have no grave but the sea

Thomas was not lucky enough to be one of the 24 people rescued and is listed among the 234 people lost that day.  He is commemorated on the “Tower Hill Memorial” along with 35766 other merchant seamen killed in both wars who have no known grave. As such he is listed on the Commonwealth War Graves site.

After the war, in 1921, the captain of U-86,Lieutenant Helmut Patzig , and two of his lieutenants, Ludwig Dithmar and John Boldt, were arraigned for trial in Germany on war crimes. The case became famous as one of the “Leipzig trials“. Patzig left the country and avoided extradition; and though Dithmar and Boldt were convicted and sentenced to four years in prison, they both escaped. At the Court of Appeal, both lieutenants were acquitted on the grounds that the captain was solely responsible.

Mean while Ada is at home at 6 Slade Street off the Vauxhall Road,  with two small girls to support and no income.  So she has to start the long slow process of claiming compensation from the Government and the shipping company. . .  to be continued.

For more details of the Sinking of the Llandovery Castle please see Wikipedia

Word full Wednesday

Just a bit of fun, inspired by Jill Ball’s new Geneadictionary. Click on the Solution link at the bottom, if you get stuck. By the way you should be able to print the page if you want to complete the puzzle. If you try it, please leave me a comment to let me know how you got on.

G C R D N O I T A R G I M E S D Y N 
R T E S Y M N S N R C G I S K G H O 
A C S R D I U O A O C H E M O H I I 
N I E B T S T N I S I N U L G C S T 
D R A B N I D P E T E T A R O Z T A 
F T R E N M F C A V A E A U C S O C 
A S C O O E R I I T N T N P V H R I 
T I H T T U W T C E I T I Y U A Y D 
H D H A O F N Y G A Y E G C Y C M E 
E E T S P E R S I S T E N C E A C D 
R S S E V I H C R A I E Z C R J C O 
E B B N R E G I S T R A R R E O G P 
I I I F D N A B S U H E I K U H N P 
B U R I A L H R H R T A C N K T I A 
C L I B R A R Y H T G O T O F A L R 
C K L N I S U O C E R R H Y R E B I 
T O J M Y X W S S T Y I H X V D I S 
H I E D P Z Q W I F E S B Z U R S H 
ARCHIVES
BIRTH
BURIAL
CENSUS
CERTIFICATE
CHURCH
CITATION
COUNTRY
COUNTY
COUSIN
DEATH
 
DEDICATION
DISTRICT
EMIGRATION
GENEALOGY
GRANDFATHER
GRANDMOTHER
HISTORY
HUSBAND
INVENTIVENESS
LIBRARY
MARRIAGE
PARISH
PATIENCE
PERSISTENCE
RECORDS
REGISTRAR
RESEARCH
SIBLING
SOURCES
STATE
WIFE

Created with Discovery Wordsearch

Solution

National Family History Month 2014 Geneameme

nhfm-geneameme

Although not in Australia,  after my visit to Australia in February,  I now have a few Australian “mates” who are currently having “National Family History Month”,  a couple of them Jill and Pauline have posted Geneameme posts for the event and it seemed a shame not to join in so here are my responses to the challenge.

 

  1. What are you doing for NFHM?
    • Well I attended Jill Ball’s hangout event, revamped my Family History website and researched 3 of the people in my tree who died in WW1.
  2. What do you hope to learn in NFHM?
    • I am always learning something,  but I concentrating on getting better at researching WW1,  referencing as many online sources as I can.
  3. Do you research at a family or local history library?
    • Sometimes,  although it’s tricky as I still work full time,  so they tend to be shut when I am not working.
  4. Do you do all your research online?
  5. What’s your favourite place to store your family tree?
  6. If offline, which genealogy program do you use? (do tell us its strengths/weaknesses if you like)
    • Family Historian,  for me it’s real strengths are it’s flexibility and stability, and the fact it stores all it’s data direct in Gedcom format, so it’s easily portable and of course it has a great user group (fhug.org.uk) which I am proud to have set up over 10 years ago.
  7. How do you preserve your family stories for future generations?
    • With the re-launch of this site I hope to write up more of our family stories and bring some of the characters in my family tree to life
  8. Have you any special research projects on the go?
    • Only as mentioned above the research into WW1
  9. What is your favourite family history research activity?
    • Building narratives and fleshing out the facts from Census and other sources, to build pictures of our families.
  10. What is your favourite family history research place/library etc?
  11. What is your favourite website for genealogy research?
  12. Are you part of a Facebook genealogy group? If so which one?
    • No I don’t use Facebook,  I don’t like the Ts & Cs.
  13. Do you use webinars or podcasts for genealogy? Any tips?
  14. Do you use social media? eg Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn
    • I use Google+ and occasionally Twitter,  I do have a linked in profile,  but that is mainly for my day job.
  15. What genealogy topic/class have you learnt the most from this year at a webinar/conference/seminar?
    • That’s easy the Unlock The Past Cruise I went on in February,  great lectures and chatting to like minded people for over a week was wonderful.  
  16. Do you have a favourite research strategy to knock down your brick walls?
    • I hadn’t got a name for my strategy,  but Jill has named it “PIP” so that’s my favourite one, see below.
  17. Have you used DNA testing for your genealogy?
    • No
  18. Have you made cousin connections through your DNA tests?
    • No
  19. Do you have a wish list of topics for NFHM 2015?
    • No,  but I have booked another Unlock the Past Cruise,  so I shall be learning in July 2015.
  20. What do you most love about your family history research?
    • Learning, Exploring and the chance to remembe
GeneAus said on her post for National Family History Month 2014 Geneameme 
The PIP Process. Persistence, Inventiveness and Patience. Persistence – keep at it, try, try and try again. Inventiveness – harness your creative powers, think laterally to find your way around a problem. Patience – just like Snow White believed that “one day my prince will come” believe that some day you will find your answer, it make take two, ten or twenty years to find that magic sledgehammer. Hey – I just invented the PIP process – my bit of creativity for National Family History Month.

Dead Man’s Pennies

A Dead Man's Penny

Dead man’s pennies or more accurately memorial plaques were issued to the families of those killed in world war 1.

“I once had a sweetheart, but now I have none,
Since he went for a solider to carry a gun,
What can you buy with dead man’s pennies?”

Robb Johnson, from the Gentle Men Song Suite

 

While looking through the lists of events at our local theatre I saw an advert for a concert called “Gentle Men” which will be on in November, I was intrigued by the concept, as it was a song cycle of Robb Johnson’s Grandfathers’ experience of the Great War.

A bit of googling found a book and cd, plus a You Tube video, the book and CD arrived last week and I can highly recommend both. I can only echo the review from the Guardian newspaper:

‘with vocals by Johnson, Roy Bailey and Barb Jungr, and the often upbeat, jaunty melodies are inspired by music hall, hymns or marching songs, and set to variously bleak, angry and poignant lyrics. A folk classic.’

Robin Denselow The Guardian ****

It really needs to be listened to,  it’s message is clear,  and a songs like “Dead Man’s Penny” and “An empty chair” seems to echo the tragic loss of life.  If you have the chance to also get the book,  it’s well worth having as it extends the story from the songs and contains many photographs and additional information.  For more information check out the Gentle Men Site

 

 

Latin Roman Catholic Records

Name: Gulielmus Albertus Taubman Birth Date:16 Dec 1860 Baptism Date:	18 Sep 1875 Parish:	St Francis Xavier's (Francisci Xavarii), Lancashire, England Father's Name:	Edwardi Taubman Mother's name:	Annae Clegg

Name: Gulielmus Albertus Taubman
Birth Date: 16 Dec 1860
Baptism Date: 18 Sep 1875
Parish: St Francis Xavier’s (Francisci Xavarii), Lancashire, England
Father’s Name: Edwardi Taubman
Mother’s name: Annae Clegg

Stephen’s Great Grandfather is an elusive soul, so when I decided to check Ancestry for some records in the Liverpool Parish, I was not surprised to have no match for William Albert Taubman. However a search for simply Taubman returned 7 records.

JacobusTaubman 26 Jan 1855 11 Nov 1876 St Francis Xavier’s (Francisci Xavarii) EdvardiTaubman,
Catharina Clegg
Gulielmus AlbertusTaubman 16 Dec 1860 18 Sep 1875 St Francis Xavier’s (Francisci Xavarii) EdwardiTaubman,
Annae Clegg
JosephusTaubman 13 Sep 1868 18 Sep 1875 St Francis Xavier’s (Francisci Xavarii) EdwardiTaubman,
Annae Clegg
Joannes EdwardisTaubman 10 Sep 1877 16 Sep 1877 St Francis Xavier’s (Francisci Xavarii) Jacobus ThomasTaubman,
Maria Warnick
Maria HildaTaubman 24 Jul 1879 27 Jul 1879 St Francis Xavier’s (Francisci Xavarii) Jacobi Taubman,
Maria Wernock
Maria CatharinaTaubman 6 Mar 1881 13 Mar 1881 St Francis Xavier’s (Francisci Xavarii) Jacobi Taubman,
Mariae Warnick
JacobusTaubman 10 Mar 1900 30 Jun 1900 St Patrick Jacobi Taubman,
Annae Moore

There he is as “Gulielmus Albertus Taubman”  so a word to the wise,  some Roman Catholic priests latinised the Christian names,  and this particular one had really poor hand writing,  just take a look at the Maria Vernick spellings.

It’s also interesting to see the Latin note on the left, but I have not translated it yet.  William had already been baptised in an Anglican Church back in 1860, so it may be related to that, but it also has “Sub conditione”, which suggests the Priest knew this or just suspected it.

 

 

When Grandma worked in London

Mollie and Stella in London in the 1920's

Mollie with her friend Stella

My family rarely travelled in the past,  but I knew my Grandmother Mullins (Mary Margaret Bowditch, known as Mollie)  worked in London in the 1920’s having been trained by her Grandmother and then loaded on a train to head to London when she was 14.

I’d often wondered where she had worked and the other day, while looking through the Ancestry Catalogue I spotted the “London Electoral Role”,  and thought “Why not?”  and as luck would have it there was an entry for Mary Margaret Bowditch,  I was doubly lucky as she only made it as she only got the right to vote when the suffrage age for women was dropped in 1928, to match that of men at 21.
That not only gave me an address.  but also her employers, Robert Ernest and Edith Sarah Smith. In 1911 the Smiths had been living in 38 St Gabriels Rd, Blomesbury, Cricklewood, and Robert was shown as an Umbrella manufacturer, tracing him back he was the son of James Smith, an Umbrella and Walking Stick manufacturer originally born in  Bloomsbury, who in 1881 was living in a Farm house on Milkwood Farm, in Woodford Essex. Robert died in Golders Green on the 14 April 1930, in Hayes Crescent Nursing home, but his addresses were given as 31 The Ridgeway and 53 New Oxford Street, as of 2014 “James Smith & Sons” still operates from the same premises on New Oxford Street and it probably looks much as it did in 1929.  Robert left over fifteen thousand pounds in his will,  around one million pounds today.  My Father remembers Molly telling him that she worked as the housekeeper for the Family and she does appear to be the only servant resident in the house, but this of course may only be that any other live-in servants were under 21.
The 1931 Electoral role still shows Molly in Golders Green with Edith along with Kathleen Edith and Marjorie Evelyn Swinstead-Smith (most likely her daughters), but by 1932 a new housekeeper is living at 31 Ridgeway.
The Probate for Edith Sarah in 1951, sees her leaving £5227 18s 3d to Marjorie as the only named beneficiary.
James Smith and Sons Umbrellas

James Smith and Sons Umbrellas

31 Ridgeway,  Golders Green from Google Street View

31 Ridgeway, Golders Green from Google Street View

Sources:

  1. “London Electoral Register 1931 Hendon, 31 The Ridgeway”.
  2. “London Electoral Register 1929 Hendon, 31 The Ridgeway”.
  3. “RG14 Piece: 7002 Schedule Number: 168 Tregarthen, 38 St Gabriels Rd, Brondesbury, Cricklewood NW Robert Ernest  Smith”.
  4. “RG11; Piece: 1734; Folio: 53; Page: 2 Woodford, Essex Robert E Smith”.
  5. “Ancestry Tree davidthorp1952 Throp 2012”.
  6. “National Probate Calendar 1930 Robert Ernest Smith”.

I am a West Country Girl

Janes Ancestral Map

Events involving my ancestors over the last 300 years.

When I stand up to speak at conferences or on training days,  I often open with the fact that my Ancestors come from Dorset in the south west of England.  This is not entirely true,  some come from Wiltshire and some from Devon,  but the vast majority come from the south and west of Dorset,  mostly clustered around Bridport and Dorchester.

I always feel I belong to that area, despite having been born and brought up in Somerset when my parents moved up in 1961.  I suspect that because all of their friends remained in Dorset, so childhood weekends often involved returning to Sydling St Nicolas or other of the villages whose names occur regularly in my tree, I feel tied to the place.

I recently plotted all the events of my Ancestors lives (at least the ones I know about) and with the exception of the time my Mother spent at Teacher training college and my paternal grandfather spent in the Dorset regiment,  the dots on the map show all the events going back at least 7 generations on all lines.

So when they are “Who Do You Think You Are”,  I can answer,  “I am a West Country Girl”.