So That's Where I Get It From

March 31, 2011

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 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.

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.

March 7, 2011

March 6 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 6 – Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor (wedding ring or other jewelry, china, clothing, etc.) If you don’t have any, then write about a specific object you remember from your mother or grandmother, or aunt (a scarf, a hat, cooking utensil, furniture, etc.)

I have not inherited anything directly from my female ancestors as such, but over time have been given something that was theirs.  A few years after my maternal grandmother Lucy Sinclair (nee Dartnell) died my aunts gave me two English bone china cups and saucers that were from her best china.  These are very pretty, decorated with pink roses and gold rimmed, but very delicate.  Because they were my grandmother’s I treasure them.

Quite a few years after my paternal grandmother Jane Read (nee Stapleton) died I was given an ornament of hers that always sat in her kitchen.  I remember always seeing it there whenever we visited my grandparents and after she died it still lived in the kitchen. 

When my grandfather John William Read died it passed to my Dad and then he gave it to me several more years later.  What is it you may be wondering?  It’s about four inches high and is a plastic (I think) Mickey Mouse! 

My grandparents never travelled away from their home in London so it must have been bought by them in London, probably even before I was born.  As it is Mickey Mouse I think perhaps they had seen something to do with Walt Disney.   When I received it, unfortunately part of Mickey’s face is missing, but there is no doubt it is him!  So, as this belonged to my grandmother, I treasure it.

February 7, 2011

Mystery Monday: My Gran Lucy Sinclair nee Dartnell and Miss Foote, Costumier

This is only a little mystery and not really vital to my research regarding my maternal grandmother Lucy Harriett Sinclair nee Dartnell  (1883 – 1984) but it is of interest to me and I would like to delve a little further!!

My gran used to be a Court dressmaker, this meant that she would make clothing for the ladies of the royal Court.  She started doing this in the reign of Queen Victoria and when Queen Victoria died in 1901 her son became King as Edward VII and he was married to Princess Alexander of Denmark. He died in 1910 and his son became King George V and he reigned from 1910 – 1936.

I don’t know for sure how long my grandmother was working as a Court dressmaker but she certainly would have been doing this towards the end of Queen Victoria’s reign, through King Edward VII’s reign and certainly into the beginning of King George V’s reign.

Lucy and Frederick Sinclair (my grandparents) with Miss Foote


Original photograph in my private collection - copyright 2011


As can be seen from the photo, Miss Foote had her business as a Costumier, etc at a building called Hatherley Villa.  I’m not too sure of the date of this photograph but my grandparents married in 1906 in London so I would say this is after that, maybe up to about 1910.

Miss Foote, my grandmother Lucy Sinclair nee Dartnell and an unknown gentleman!


Original photograph in my private collection - copyright 2011


I have tried to find Miss Foote in the Censuses but as I don’t know her full name, age or anything else about her other than her surname this has proved difficult.  I have tried to search for a building called Hatherley Villa in London but haven’t been able to find anything helpful.

My grandparents Lucy and Frederick Sinclair (he was born in 1878 and died in 1970) were both from Lambeth, London and married there also.  I thought perhaps this would be a good place to look for Miss Foote and her business but haven’t learned anything more.  I have not looked in Trade Directories yet.

So the little mystery is who is Miss Foote, where was her business and I wonder if I can find out more about her business as costumier to the royal Court.

February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Day Trip on the Thames


This photo shows my grandmother who is clutching a handbag, Lucy Harriett Sinclair (nee Dartnell) (1883 – 1984  yes she lived for 101 years) with Mrs. Warnes.  For my Gran, Mrs. Warnes was like a second mother to her after her mother died when Gran was 14.

Original photograph in my private collection - copyright 2011

I know this was a day trip sailing on the River Thames but no idea when it was.  I love the clothes and hats!!  😉

May 24, 2010

Madness Monday: What did I do with it???

Filed under: DAILY BLOGGING THEMES, Madness Monday — Tags: , , — rootsresearcher @ 10:35 pm

Well I can only say that the madness today must be my own!!  Why was I so mad (or silly really) to not put information that I patiently retrieved from a very elderly relative a few years ago straight into my genealogy programme?  Why was I so mad (or silly) to store these notes in such a safe place that I could not find them?

Turn the clock back just a few years and you will find me asking my elderly Aunt questions about our relatives that she only just remembered who lived at Eastleigh in Hampshire!  After a lot of patient indirect questioning so she didn’t feel bombarded with intrusive questions, I managed to pick up names, places and lovely descriptions like “oh yes, the big house on the corner”  and “they had a big parrot you know” and “it was lovely visiting old Uncle Tom, we sat round the table, all of us, singing Little Brown Jug” and all sorts of other little bits of snippets to add to the main details I had collected.  I went home and put this info in a safe place in readiness to add to my genealogy programme very soon.  A few days later I researched this particular family group because although they were family, my Aunt could not quite remember which branch they were connected to!  I was very pleased with myself because I found the connection, made all sorts of notes to add to the ones I had taken with my Aunt and intended to add all this to my genealogy programme very soon!

Now to the present, and of course, you guessed it, I didn’t actually put that info on my programme anytime soon after getting the info.  But it was kept in a safe place in readiness for adding to that programme.

Now I have this newer, updated blog, I am sorting out all sorts of things to add to it and this in turn is getting me to do all the things I should have done a long time ago, like scanning photos and documents – all the things I kept meaning to do.

I decided I wanted to add a family tree chart for the family I had collected that information about from my Aunt a few years ago.  Oh my goodness, where is it?  What did I do with it?  I have piles of folders, files, papers and just so much stuff for my research after just over 20 years delving into the family but it is just toooooooo much to go through.

I saw my Aunt a few days ago, she is very soon to be 100 years old.  I reminded her of those relatives to see if she could remind me of the notes I had taken.  Sadly she can’t remember much at all now, not the names, not the places, but she does remember them all often sitting round the table singing Little Brown Jug!!  Well I was in despair, I knew I had the info somewhere but it would take me forever to find.  I could not believe just how silly (mad) I was not to do something with the information then and there when I collected it a few years ago.

So, I had a chat with my Mum, she is almost fifteen years younger than my Aunt so can remember more easily.  But, as she pointed out, she came along a long time after her brother and sisters and so did not really have anything to do with the relatives that I wanted the particular information about as they were very elderly and she was so young.  So, for the last few days  I was more in despair because I was beginning to feel that this info had been lost maybe forever!

I searched and searched through all my papers, but could not find this particular info.  To say I was down in the dumps doesn’t really decribe the feeling of annoyance with myself for not acting on it straight away.  I decided ok, I better search from scratch, there’s more on the internet now, so give it a go.  Well, I am delighted to say that I found the information I wanted on the internet after flitting from here and there to different sites and was very pleased with myself.

And you know what?  Guess what I found yesterday in my paperwork?  Yes, the original notes I took a few years ago chatting to my Aunt then and the follow-up notes I had done when I found the information to find the connection!!!!!  And it also confirmed what I found on the internet in the last couple of days, so I haven’t made any mistakes in trying to do this research again and doing it quickly.

Now, I am determined to get myself more organised.  Doing this blog is helping a lot with that.  I have started a Live Journal blog, but it is from me to only me and is now my To Do List place and where I will keep all the Notes and jottings I have accrued and forgotten about over the years – it’s surprising how many useful bits and pieces I have found while searching for those notes I collected a few years ago with my Aunt.  So I have started the Live Journal now and will have all sorts of bits and pieces in one place only, so I can dip into it and use it and hopefully never lose it!!  I’m sure I won’t be so mad (silly) again, I’ve learned my lesson!!!

May 13, 2010

Surprises! – Edward John Dartnell

Filed under: Edward John Dartnell, SURPRISES! — Tags: , , — rootsresearcher @ 6:09 pm

I recently dug out some old paperwork I had collected on my maternal Dartnell family and discovered that my 2 x great grandfather Edward John Dartnell was working in The Atheneum Club in Pall Mall, London. 

The 1851 Census shows that he was working at this Gentleman’s Club, so now I am off on a hunt to see if I can find staff records of sorts from that time.  I am hoping there is an archive for the Club somewhere as it is still going today and it would be very good to learn more about it.

copyright Mary Ann Sullivan

The Club where my 2 x great grandfather Edward John Dartnell was working in 1851

I’ve been having a browse on the internet to see what there is about the Atheneum and it’s so good to see the photos of  it – very grand!!  It must have been a wonderful place to work in, although probably very hard work at the time.

It’s going to be interesting finding out more about this!!

April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Who? When? Dickens or Dartnell? Definitely family!!

Filed under: DAILY BLOGGING THEMES, Wordless Wednesday — Tags: , , — rootsresearcher @ 12:53 am

This photo (digitally scrapped by me) is one from an album that only has family photos in it.  Sadly, no elderly surviving relatives can put a name to the pictured family.  We only know they are either from the DICKENS or DARTNELL side of my Mother’s family here in the UK.  Anyone out there good at dating old photos?  Any help gratefully received!!

Original photo in my private collection, this copy digitally scrapped by me - copyright 2010

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