Sunday, 18 March 2012

Fearless Females 18: Miss Murch begs to announce...

I just loved this newspaper advert which I stumbled upon quite by accident while looking for something else!  If you are a fan of "Lark Rise to Candleford", and know who Miss Pearl and Miss Ruby are, then you will also enjoy this snippet about my Miss Emily.

From "The Western Times", published in Exeter, Devon - Saturday 12 April 1884:


This is mt great great great aunt Emily Murch, born 1837 in Ottery St Mary, Devon.  She is my current shining star as detailed in today's Fearless Females posting:

Once again, in honour of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of  The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

March 18 — Shining star: Did you have a female ancestor who had a special talent? Artist, singer, actress, athlete, seamstress, or other? Describe.





Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Fearless Females 14: Ancestor fined for assault

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of  The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

March 14 — Newsmakers? Did you have a female ancestor who made the news? Why? Was she famous or notorious? Did she appear in the social column?

Thomasine Dunstone AVERY (1814-1897) was my paternal great great great grandmother.  I enjoyed reading this excerpt from the Royal Cornwall Gazette of Friday 15th January 1858.  It detailed a case held at the Torpoint Petty Sessions on Tuesday, 12th January, before J.C. Roberts, W. H. Pole Carew, J.S.Tucker, Esqrs. and Rev S.W.Roberts, justices:-

Thomasine Avery, wife of George Avery, of Kingsand, a shipwright in H.M.Dockyard, was summoned by Elizabeth Trevethan, of the same place, singlewoman, for violently assaulting her, on the 29th December.

Complainant has had 3 bastard children, and having boasted that she had received 2 sovereigns of defendant's husband on the Saturday night previous, Mrs.Avery on meeting Trevethan, asked her for them, and on her denying that she had them, Mrs.Avery, to use defendant's words "turned her upside down" and took away her pocket, containing about 2s.8d, and also some letters. Mr. Beer appeared for Mrs.Avery.

The bench considered the assault to be proved brutal - but at the same time, taking into account the character of defendant, and extenuating circumstances, they only inflicted a fine of 1s. on the defendant with costs.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Fearless Females 12: Audrey Ball HAYWOOD outside the home

Once again, in honour of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of  The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

March 12 — Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.

Audrey Ball HAYWOOD (1932-1995), my mother, worked outside the home as a teacher's assistant in St John's Infant School, Glastonbury, Somerset.  She worked with the four-year-olds who were coming to school for the first time, and often had amusing stories to tell about what they said and did.

The most recent thing, which impressed me the most, was after she had died.  I was staying with my father in Glastonbury, to look after him and arrange the funeral.  I popped down to the local supermarket to buy basics like bread and milk, and the checkout girl commented on the passing of my mother (by then it had been in the local paper).  I'll never forget what she said:  

"She taught me to read."

I wonder how many other children around the area could say that - and I wonder how many women have that distinction?  My mother taught me to read as well, and in fact we still have a tape of me reading Peter Rabbit (very fast indeed, with prompts from my mother).  She it was who encouraged me to read anything and everything, which meant that I owned some 400 books by the time I was 14, and had read even more. She opened a whole new world to me, and I am forever grateful.

[This is a reposting of the narrative I wrote in Fearless Females Month 2011]

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Fearless Females 11: Amanda Died Young

Once again, in honour of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of  The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

March 11 — Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances? Describe and how did this affect the family?

Amanda Malvina Ley BUCKINGHAM (my great great grandmother) died on 21 April 1895 in Plymouth, Devon, aged only 43.  Her youngest child (Ernest Silas) was 9. The cause of death was given as morbus cordis and anasarca.  "Morbus cordis" means heart disease or heart failure, often used by doctors when they didn't know what the exact cause was.  "Anasarca", however, is more specific. Extreme generalized oedema often caused by renal failure and malnutrition sounds to me as though there was a story there.

Three years earlier, several of Amanda's children had been taken into care by Dr Barnado's, and in the years leading up to and following her death, the two youngest became "Home Children" and were sent to Canada.  I have investigated the family history packages which the Dr Barnado's charity offers, and although a simple search only costs GBP15, a more detailed package is much too expensive for my pocket!
  • Admission Package - £70
  • Full History Package - £85
  • Photograph Package - £20
My great grandmother, Annie Marian Buckingham EDGCOMBE, was 18 and in domestic service at this time, so she escaped being sent abroad - and, in fact, only two years later she got married, so maybe she was already courting.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Fearless Females 10: Minda EDGCOMBE's Religion

Once again, in honour of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of  The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

March 10 — What role did religion play in your family? How did your female ancestors practice their faith? If they did not, why didn’t they? Did you have any female ancestors who served their churches in some capacity?
 
Minda Mary Edgcombe BALL (yes, she whose corset hurt her so much in the photograph below!) seems to hint at nonconformism in some of the documents I have and information which I have received over the years.

On the 1901 census, where she was 6 years old in County Mayo, Ireland and living with her coastguard father, they are described as Wesleyans.  In the early 1920s when she married, it was in the Ebenezer Chapel, Kingsbridge, Devon, which I thought to be Wesleyan (Methodist).  Until I looked at her marriage certificate more closely, when I realised that she had been married "according to the rites of the Congregationalist Church".  I looked up the Ebenezer Chapel, but to my dismay found it listed twice: once as a Wesleyan Methodist chapel, and once as belonging to the Presbyterians/Independents/Congregationalists (according to the GenUKI site, which is very knowledgeable about everything.)

So now I am more confused than ever.  Can anyone enlighten me?


Friday, 9 March 2012

Fearless Females 9: Minda's Baptismal Certificate

Once again, in honour of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month

March 9 — Take a family document (baptismal certificate, passenger list, naturalization petition, etc.) and write a brief narrative using the information.

My maternal grandmother, Minda Mary Edgcombe BALL, was born 7 July 1894 in Ringmore, Devon, and christened on 11 November 1894 in South Milton (also Devon).  Below is her baptismal certificate:

Baptismal Certificate of Minda Mary EDGCOMBE: price one penny in 1915
She was born in 1894, she was baptised in 1894 - so why was the certificate issued in 1915?  Could this have been her 21st birthday present - the key to her own identity and a sign that she was now a 'real person'?  Certainly, there were no incidents - that I know of - like a marriage which would require it.  And this is one of those times when a genealogist groans "I wish I'd asked her when she was still alive!"

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Sunday's Obituary: Samuel MURCH

A small clipping from Exeter & Plymouth Gazette (Saturday January 20, 1849) in the Deaths column:

"Jan.16, at Ottery St. Mary, Mr. Samuel Murch, in the 71st year of his age.  He was employed 44 years in the Ottery Factory, - the last 26 years in the silk department of the present proprietor.  He was a trustworthy and faithful servant."


Samuel Murch was my great great great great grandfather (paternal).  I feel honoured to be the descendant of "a trustworthy and faithful servant."  He deserves all those "great"s.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Fearless Females 3: Rabage BEERE and Beaton DOWNE

Once again, in honour of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

March 3 - List the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

This is a truncated version of the blogging prompt.  It also asks if you share a first name with one of your ancestors - well, last year I wrote about my own name (Rosamund) and my aunt, Rosamund Gwendoline HAYWOOD, so I can't really do that again this year.  At that stage, the most unusual female first name I had come across in my family tree was that of Loveday Anna FRENCH - but I've done some research since then and found a new one.

Rabage BEERE was christened in Modbury, Devon on 2 January 1617.  Her parents were Emanuel BEERE and Ursula TWIGGES.  That's all I know about Rabage - in fact, I don't even know the meaning of her unusual first name and where it comes from.  Even Google hasn't helped (and I thought Google knew everything, including everything about me!).  Does anyone reading this have any idea?

And the female first name which made me groan the most was when I found a girl named Beaton.  Unusual, you might think, until you found her surname - DOWNE.  Who would call their new baby "Beaton Downe" (say it out loud and you will groan as well).  Mind you, Beaton was christened on 25 September 1592 in Winkleigh, Devon.  Maybe the phrase hadn't entered the English language back then.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Fearless Females 2: May and Ena Edgcombe

Once again, in honour of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

March 2 — Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?


Post one, get one free: this is a photo of May (Gertrude May) on the left - I think and Ena (Mary Georgina) EDGCOMBE who is on the right - I think; two of my greataunts.  This picture strikes me as special for two reasons: one is that Ena looks SO cheerful, and another is that she looks exactly like her older sister, Minda (my maternal grandmother).  The elder of the two, May, was born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and Ena was born in Devon, England, but they both travelled to Sydney, Australia on the SS Hobsons Bay on 3 August 1926, married there, and raised families there.

As to when the photo was taken, and where - this is one of those mystery photos we all have where they come from somebody else and now nobody knows what's going on...

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Family History Writing Challenge: The End

I learned over this past month how amazingly easy it is to let anything - and I mean ANYTHING - get in the way of writing your book.  Even 'good' things like genealogical research - and things which aren't so good, but are oh-SO-enjoyable, like watching TV, surfing the net, eating pancakes...and things which are essential, like breathing in and out.  Or should 'eating pancakes' come under the heading of 'essential'? LOL

I also learned the price of honesty when I went through the proper channels for getting permission to use a photo I found on the Internet.  Incidentally, although the copyright owners have my cheque (they confirmed it only when I asked), they still haven't cashed it, so I don't consider I have their permission.  Yet.

I would like to know more about publishing and self-publishing.  It may be a while before my book gets anywhere near good enough for publishing - let's say 'a long time before it gets finished enough for publishing' (sigh) - but I am very aware of the HUGE delight it can give you to find something written by an ancestor, and so I would like future genealogists to find my book and do the genealogy happy dance because of all the names and dates and places - and stories - which it contains.

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