So That's Where I Get It From

March 31, 2011

March 28 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 28   –   Do you remember your mother’s best friend? Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?

This is very easy to answer.  My dear Mum’s best friend is Marjorie (I won’t add her surname here to protect her privacy).  They have known each other since they were five years old and are now in their eighties.  To my brothers and I Marjorie is an auntie as she is part of the family, having been connected to it for so many years!  Mum and Marjorie met at school when Marjorie sat beside Mum and they have been great pals ever since.

As I have mentioned in other topics for this series, I really do not seem to know too much about my paternal grandmother.  Although I remember her vividly she died when I was about seven years old.  I don’t remember growing up hearing anything about her friends or much else.

My maternal grandmother’s best friend was Gladys.  Gladys is my Mum’s Godmother.   My Gran met Gladys when Gladys and her husband Bert were lodgers at my Grandparents home.  They had a lifelong friendship and sometimes went on holiday together.

March 26 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 26   –   What education did your mother receive? Your grandmothers? Great-grandmothers? Note any advanced degrees or special achievements.

I always remember my dear Mum being very proud that she won a Scholarship to attend a particular school when she was much younger.  The war came along and interfered with Mum’s education, especially as she was evacuated away from her home and family.  She won a Junior County Scholarship that allowed her entry into a very good school and her own mum found it hard to believe that her daughter did so well.

I have no idea about the education received by both my grandmothers or any of my great grandmothers.  I think this is something I need to look into, like school logs, as it might prove very interesting.

There is no family information passed down that has been specific about the education these female ancestors received and I have no knowledge of any degrees or special achievements attained by any of them.

March 25 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 25  –  Tell how a female ancestor interacted with her children. Was she loving or supportive? A disciplinarian? A bit of both?

I can’t answer this about my female ancestors further back from my grandparents.  I have not discovered anything in my research that would show whether any of my earlier female ancestors were disciplinarians, loving, or anything else.

My grandmothers always seemed loving to my brothers and I but we were their grandchildren and they could hand us back to our parents.  ;-)  My maternal grandmother always worried in particular about one of my Aunts, even when my Aunt reached the ripe old age of 70+ .  Gran was still worrying about if she would get lost while out at the shops!  This probably stemmed from the fact that my Aunt was deemed to be very fragile and delicate as a child, but Gran need not have worried, as my Aunt reached the milestone age of 100 years old last November!

My own dear Mum was always loving, fun, hardworking and both she and my dear Dad were strict with my brothers and I, but never so strict that we have resented it in any way.  Wherever we went as children people always commented on how well-behaved we were.  Although this is about our female ancestors and relatives, it was both Mum and Dad that taught us to respect, to care, to show courtesy, have good manners and so on.  We always had fun as a family and both Mum and Dad were always there when we needed them.

March 28, 2011

March 23 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 23   –   Create a timeline for a female ancestor using your favorite software program or an online timeline generator such as OurTimelines. Post an image of it or link.

This timeline is for my 8 x great grandmother Katharine Read (nee Lovjoy) who was born in Caversham, Oxfordshire in 1649 and died there in 1713.

This timeline is courtesy of Our TimeLines.

March 20, 2011

March 20 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 20   –   Is there a female ancestor who is your brick wall? Why? List possible sources for finding more information.

Ooooh yes, there certainly is!!  My paternal 7 x great grandmother Elizabeth Read (nee Cosens) is most certainly a very hard brick wall to knock down.  It took me just short of ten years to find out who the parents of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read were and so I was delighted when I found they were William Read (1679 -1752) and Elizabeth Cosens (c1679 – 1767).

I found they married at Bix, Oxfordshire, UK on 8th August 1703 and they had six children.  I found out more about William Read but as hard as I have looked I just can’t find out more about Elizabeth!  It’s a few years now since I found her and I reckon I’m on my way to a ten or more years search for her parents.

I have searched many parish registers for the surname Cosens and it’s variant spellings.  I have been looking for a baptism for an Elizabeth for example between 1660 to 1688 just in case she was nearer forty when she married or very young at about fifteen years.  I thought that was a fair coverage for a possible age she would marry.  I haven’t found any baptisms for an Elizabeth in that time scale that just might be her.

My next step has been searching Cozens (and its variant spellings) Wills in the hope that a father, grandfather or uncle or someone just might leave her something and mention she is married to William Read.  But so far, nothing that ties in with her at all.

I found the Will of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read’s sister Rachel.  She never married and lived at Tiddington, Oxfordshire.  In her Will she mentions that her cousin Anne Cozens is living with her!  Wonderful, a clue!!  When Anne Cozens died, she also left a Will with lots of names in it and some clues too.

From the clues I have worked out that Anne Cozens has a brother Moses and a brother John.  And therefore that their father is a brother to Elisabeth Cosens my 7 x great grandmother.  Neither of Anne’s brothers mention Anne in their Wills although they died before her.  Their father is also John Cozens but although he mentions his sons John and Moses, he does not mention Anne. 

I have tried to look for John Cozens senior’s baptism in the hope it will show his parents and hopefully I will then find the baptism of Elizabeth Cosens. 

As it stands now, I don’t think I am anywhere near breaking down that brick wall called Elizabeth Cosens!!!   :-(

March 19 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 19   –   Have you discovered a surprising fact about one of your female ancestors? What was it and how did you learn it? How did you feel when you found out?

I found a couple of surprising things concerning my paternal great grandmother Alice Maria Read (nee Greening) (1857 – after 1924).  Before she married my great grandfather Thomas William Read (1857  –  1891) she had a daughter Ellen by him but it was another four years before Alice and Thomas actually married each other in 1878 at Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, UK!

I know Thomas was the father as this is clearly written in the parish register.  His daughter Ellen went by the surname of Greening, even after my great grandparents married.

Alice’s husband Thomas died at a young age, only about 34 years old and so she was left with six children to look after.  It was a surprise to me when my Aunt Evelyn told me that her father (my grandfather) was put with his siblings into an orphanage in London somewhere!  It seems Alice could not cope on her own with the children so they were placed in the orphanage but she kept one of the children with her.  I have no idea which of her children  remained with her, but I do know from what my Aunt told me that my grandfather was one who was sent to the orphanage.

My great grandmother Alice eventually married another man – I found in the census that they were actually neighbours which is probably how they met.  He was also widowed and with his children.  I have no idea when or if my great grandmother had her children back with her when she remarried, but my grandfather had joined the Royal Navy by the time she remarried so he must have gone from the orphanage to enlisting.  As to the other children, as yet I don’t know what happened to them or if they ever went back to my great grandmother.

I remember my dear dad talking about his grandmother and he knew Alice so my grandfather must have kept in touch with her.

So that was certainly surprising to know and other than feeling surprised when I was told about Alice putting her children in an orphanage I did not really feel anything else about it.  My dear dad seemed to have good memories about Alice so it does not look like her own son had bad feelings about it as she was still part of the family when he had his own children.

March 18, 2011

March 17 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 17   –   Social Butterfly? What social organizations or groups did your mother or grandmother belong to? Sewing circle, church group, fraternal benefit society or lodge? Describe her role in the group.

I can’t really say too much about this topic as neither my mother or grandmothers appear to have been members of any social organisations as such!

My mother told me that her mother, Lucy Sinclair (nee Dartnell) used to go to events and social evenings at the British Legion in Balham, London but she wasn’t a member of the Legion.

I’ve been going through some of my female ancestors and the females in my partner Paul’s family but there doesn’t seem to be anyone that was involved with groups or social organisations.

I’m sure that some of my female ancestors would have been in church groups or even Women’s Institute groups but as yet I just haven’t found anything like that for any of my female ancestors.  Perhaps I need to start searching some different kinds of records to delve into this a bit further?

This theme is certainly making me aware that I need to look more into the lives of my female ancestors than I have been doing!

March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Holidays in Whitstable

This is a photo that I came across last week and just thought it would be good for Wordless Wednesday!  It is a bit faded but was taken circa 1960 and is of my maternal grandmother Lucy Sinclair (nee Dartnell), myself and my brother John at Whitstable, Kent where our grandmother always took us for a holiday. My brother Alan took the picture.

Original photograph in my Mother's private collection - copyright 2011

 

We always enjoyed our holidays in Whitstable and I have some very happy memories from those times.

Wednesday’s Child: Four Daughters Called Elisabeth Read

Filed under: DAILY BLOGGING THEMES, Wednesday's Child — Tags: , , , — rootsresearcher @ 11:00 pm

In my search for more of my Read ancestors, I note all those I come across, mainly in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and sometimes further afield.

On re-checking some of my notes today, I came across all the Reads that were baptised, married or buried in Chicheley, Buckinghamshire, UK.

At this stage I don’t know if these are actually my ancestors, but it is very likely they are.  I just thought this was rather sad.

We have John Read and his wife Anne.  They have five children.  Their daughter Elisabeth was baptised in 1582 and within her first year, sadly died.  There is a little gap and then they have another daughter, again calling her Elisabeth baptised in 1589.  She also did not make it to her first year of age!  John and Anne’s next child was another daughter, so they named her Elisabeth, just like the earlier two daughters.  This daughter was baptised in 1591.  Her mother was buried in 1591 and she herself was buried in 1591.  I think maybe John’s wife died as a result of giving birth to the last Elisabeth.

John must marry again as he has a son Thomas born in 1593. But he also has a wife, Cresset, buried in 1597.  Still, he must marry for a third time as he has another daughter, named Elisabeth baptised in 1599.  Sadly she is also buried in 1599.  He has one more child, a son called John born in 1600. 

 His last wife, Elisabeth manages to live another thirty years after the last child is born, and is herself buried in 1630.  Sadly John, the father, died in 1613 so his last child was only about 13 when he lost his father.

It just seems so sad to have had four daughters and lose them all within the first year of their lives, especially when they were all given the same name.  John and Anne quite obviously wanted to name their daughters after someone in particular. 

John and his first wife Anne also had another daughter before the first of the Elisabeths called Martha.  She is buried in 1578 but I have not found a baptism for her, so think maybe they were living elsewhere when she was born.

March 16 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 16   –   If you could have lunch with any female family member (living or dead) or any famous female who would it be and why? Where would you go? What would you eat?

As in my March 15th post, it requires quite a bit of mulling through my female ancestors to choose one to write about for each day.  There would actually be several that I would want to have lunch with and if this series had been about my male ancestors, it would have been very easy to answer because I would love to have lunch with my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read – I wouldn’t have to think twice about it – I have become very fond of him!!

But this series is about our female ancestors, so in the end I have decided to write about my 8 x great grandmother Katharine Read (nee Lovjoy) (1649 – 1713).  She is the grandmother of Cozens Read and as far as my Reads go, she is the earliest female.  (I have details of her Lovjoy/Lovejoy line going back even further but through her marriage to my 8 x great grandfather John Read, Katharine is in effect my earliest Read female.

She was about 20 years old when she married John Read in 1669 and they had eight children together.  Sadly she lost a son, Robart, when he was only 23 years old.  Her other children survived to go on to marry and some have children of their own.

So, I imagine that I will jump into my wonderful time-machine to be taken back to Katharine Read’s time, and will arrive at her house in Caversham, Oxfordshire.  We will have lunch there as I’m sure it would be nice and homely and a good place to sit and chat over lunch.  I imagine we would eat something that has come from Katharine’s kitchen, possibly one of the family’s favourite meals.

The reason why I would love to have lunch with Katharine Read, is so that we can chat about the family.  She could give me details about the parents of her husband John Read.  Who they were, where they lived, when John was born and so on.  What joy that would be for me.  Katharine could also chat about the gossip from that time in her town and how her days are usually spent.  Probably the best thing we could chat about would be why she felt it necessary to only leave some of her children one shilling in her Will, while all the others would receive Ten Pounds each from her.

The one shilling means that they aren’t quite cut out of the Will, but almost, especially as there is nothing to explain that they have already received the rest of the inheritance during her lifetime!  She more or less mentions in the Will that she has this written to save arguments later!!  I wonder what went on.  I wonder why some of her children were out of favour.  Over lunch, Katharine could enlighten me about all these things and more.

How many times have I wished for a time-machine!!

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