So That's Where I Get It From

March 31, 2011

March 27 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

Filed under: FEARLESS FEMALES, MARCH - WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH — Tags: , — rootsresearcher @ 10:31 pm

March 27   –   Do you know the immigration story of one or more female ancestors? Do you have any passenger lists, passports, or other documentation? Interesting family stories?

I can’t answer this in any way because none of my females ancestors were immigrants here or from immigrant families.  They were all born and bred in the UK, albeit different parts.  None of my partner Paul’s female ancestors were immigrants either so I have not done any research into passenger lists or other documentation for any of our female ancestors. 

I have a couple of stories about a few of my male ancestors that left the UK, but this series is about female ancestors only so I cannot write about them here.  Let’s hope at some stage we can do a series on our male ancestors for a month!!  I can write so much more about them in all the topics that have been used for this series.  ;-)

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 24 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

Once again I have gotten a little behind with this series.  I’m having a few problems with my internet connection.  It seems to be ok for a while then disappears altogether or it’s just so very slow – much slower than it used to be before we got broadband!!  I’m hoping it will hold out for a bit tonight so I can get the rest of this series done.  As it’s for March I shouldn’t be doing it in April!

March 24  –  Do you share any physical resemblance or personality trait with one of your female ancestors? Who? What is it?

Well my nose is that of my dear Dad’s and my ways are very like his were too but of course as this is about our female ancestors I can’t really discuss my likeness to my Dad!

My maternal grandmother Lucy Sinclair nee Dartnell (1883 – 1984) had a habit of rubbing her knee without really realising she was doing it.  My dear Mum also had the same habit which she obviously inherited from her mother and I too have this habit.  It is completely subconscious.  I do it without realising it and suddenly become aware that I am doing it.  So it has followed on from my dear Gran, to my dear Mum and to me.  Gran was a Dartnell and her mother was a Dickens. 

So who did Gran get this habit from?  I’ve yet to discover the answer to that.

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 22 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 22 – If a famous director wanted to make a movie about one of your female ancestors who would it be? What actress would you cast in the role and why?

To answer this topic I will say that if a film could be made about any of my female ancestors, then I would suggest my dear late Aunt Margaret (1916 – 1999) who I featured in the March 21 post of this series.

She was a career women and continued working until she was 80 years old.  Only a heart attack stopped her!!  She survived that but felt it was then time to retire.

All through my younger years I remember my Aunt was always travelling about in the world for her business but also for holidays where she would go mountain climbing, ski-ing, hiking and so on.  To me Aunt Margaret was a bit of an adventuress, so if a film was made about her, it would have to be action-packed!

Original photograph in my private collection - copyright 2011


The actress I would choose to play my Aunt Margaret would be Annette Crosbie.   She is more known these days as being the long-suffering wife of Victor Meldrew in One Foot In The Grave. 

The reason I would choose Annette is because whenever I have seen her over the years, she has always reminded me of my Aunt Margaret. 

Here is a pic of the actress Annette Crosbie taken from the internet from an article at:

Original photograph from website

I think this actress and my Aunt Margaret look very similar and so I think Annette would be perfectly cast.

March 21 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

I’ve not been able to add posts for this series (or for anything else) over the last few days as I have been having internet connection problems again!!  Hopefully things are improved now and so, fingers crossed, I can catch up with this series.

March 21 – Describe a tender moment one of your female ancestors shared with you or another family member.

I find it difficult to answer this because there have been many tender moments over the years between me and my family members, so it’s hard to know which “moment” to pick!

I was going through some old photos and came across the one I shall show here of my dear late Aunt Margaret Sinclair (1916 – 1999) with her younger sister Jean (my dear Mum).  I felt it shows a tender moment between two sisters.

Original photograph in my private collection - copyright 2011


I think this shows both tenderness and protection as my Aunt Margaret has a steadying hand around my Mum and it also shows a wonderful closeness between them.

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 18 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

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

As with the March 17 topic, this is another one that is difficult to answer regarding my female ancestors!

My maternal grandmother Lucy Sinclair (nee Dartnell) (1883 – 1984; yes 101 years old) used to be a Court Dressmaker (I have written about this in the Daily Blogging Theme, Mystery Monday) and used to make clothes for herself and her children and it would not surprise me if she made clothes for her friends as well.  She also knitted many items as well.

Her daughter, my (now 100 years old) Aunt Lucy has been an artist for most of her life.  She paints beautiful  landscapes, seascapes, still life, portraits, all sorts and in all sorts of different ways with charcoal, acrylic, pastels and so on and is still painting and exhibiting at this milestone age!!

Here is a photograph of my Aunt with one of her paintings, taken from a newspaper article about her in November 2010 for her 100th birthday.  The quality of the pic is not too good and as it is from a newspaper the print from the other side can be seen through it!!

Photograph from a newspaper item Nov 2010 - copyright 2011


We have a famous author ancestor but he is male!  So I cannot write about him here as this is about our female ancestors.

In my family history research I haven’t yet come across any females who are “Shining Stars” although I think in the 1700s and 1800s many of my female ancestors were probably very accomplished seamstresses.  If they were financially comfortable then they probably spent a lot of their days sewing embroidered tapestries but if they were poorer, then they probably made their own dresses or were lacemakers.

So, again, I’m sorry to say that I cannot write too much about my female ancestors as I have not come across anything they have done that I could include in this post.

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