So That's Where I Get It From

March 13, 2011

March 12 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

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

My maternal grandmother, Lucy Sinclair (nee Dartnell), worked as a Court dressmaker when she was young and in the early years of her marriage to my grandfather, Frederick Sinclair.  As far as I know she did not go out to work while bringing up her five children.  Because of her experience as a dressmaker, she made all her own clothes and clothes for her children.  She also knitted many items and continued to do so until she was in her nineties.  She lived to the ripe old age of 101 and was always active.

This is a digital scrapbook picture I made of my maternal grandmother and I have shown it previously elsewhere on this blog together with other ancestors for the Carnival of Genealogy – Scrapbooking Your Family History.

Original photographs in my private collection and digital scrapbook page made by me - copyright 2011

I have absolutely no knowledge as to whether my paternal grandmother, Jane Read (nee Stapleton) went out to work and know nothing at all about any work she may have done before her marriage to my grandfather, John Read.  Sadly there is no one left that I could ask about this.

This is another digital scrapbook page I made for my paternal Grandmother Jane and is the only photo I have of her.

Original photograph in my private collection and digital scrapbook page made by me - copyright 2011

My own mother, Jean (nee Sinclair) has always worked until she retired.  My two brothers and I were what people used to call “latch-key kids”.   Obviously she had some time off when she had each of  us, but when she was at work, as an Accountant, there was always someone we could go to after school until Mum and Dad picked us up when they returned from work.

Mum frequently brought work home with her and I was always amazed at just how quickly she could add up very long columns of figures.  She never used a calculator, it was all done in her head.  Maths was my worst subject at school and although I can add up in my head, I could never do it as quickly as my dear Mum. 

We never suffered or felt bad because Mum was working when we were younger.  We had a happy childhood and there are no regrets because she was working.  I think Mum would not have been happy to be a stay-at-home Mum and I know that if I had had children myself, I’m pretty sure I would not have been a stay-at-home Mum either.  I don’t think this has been detrimental in any way to my brothers and I that Mum worked all through our childhood.  I know at times it was hard for Mum going out to work and looking after her home and family but she did it and is now retired and enjoying the life she has now.

This is a pic of Mum aged about 17

Original photograph in my private collection - copyright 2011


And another of Mum as she is now, this photo taken in November 2010 at her sister Lucy’s 100th birthday party.

Original photograph in my private collection - copyright 2011


Three very special ladies in my life.  My two grandmothers I miss very much and my Mum I love very dearly.


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.

March 5 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 5 – How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?

I asked my Mum about whether she knew of how her parents met or how my Dad’s parents met but she does not know any details!  Apart from my 100 year old Aunt Lucy, there really is no-one else I can ask anything regarding my grandparents on either side of the family.

But, although I knew some of the details of how my parents met, I asked Mum to tell me something of how she and my dear Dad met.  She happily chatted about their meeting.

She was working in an office as an accountancy clerk and my Dad came to work there as an electrician, with some other men, doing various things in the offices.  They worked there for a number of days and obviously Mum and Dad started chatting to each other.  It seems my Dad kidded my Mum on by telling her he was married with five children and Mum thought “oooh, I wouldn’t marry him”!   (I have no idea why Dad pretended this and neither does my Mum)!!  Mum had stopped seeing her last boyfried seven months before meeting my Dad and seemingly she was still very unhappy at this situation and must have told my Dad about it.

He also kidded her on saying that of course she will never meet someone else as all she could think of was the ex boyfriend.  At the end of each day, my Dad would wait for my Mum and walk her home from the office, so they chatted, and chatted and then after a while they stopped off for a cup of tea in a restaurant and chatted and chatted and so it went on from there.  They obviously started seeing each other as a couple and eventually married and had three children.  They were still together until the sad loss of my dear Dad when he was aged 58.

February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Uncle Gordon Sinclair

Filed under: DAILY BLOGGING THEMES, Wordless Wednesday — Tags: , , — rootsresearcher @ 11:38 pm

This is a pic of my Uncle Gordon Sinclair (1908 – 1931) when he was a young boy.  He sadly died aged 23 of TB.

Original photograph in my private collection - copyright 2011

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!!  😉

January 31, 2011

Ancestor Anniversaries: Frederick Sinclair

Today would be the birthday of my maternal grandfather Frederick Sinclair.  I loved him very much and still miss him terribly.

He loved to keep scrapbooks and had loads of them.  It was always a delight when I was a child and older, poring through them.  Grandpa would put anything and everything in them, there did not seem to be an order of topics.  If he liked the look of it he would cut it out of where he saw it and stick it into his scrapbook.  There were also news items, photographs, all sorts.

The photos of Grandpa that I show here have been on the blog before, but I have very few photos of him, so hope I am forgiven for showing this again.  (It was used for the Carnival of Genealogy – Scrapbooking Your Family post).

Photos in my private collection and shown here digitally scrapped by me - copyright 2011

August 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Lucy and the Ostrich!!

Filed under: DAILY BLOGGING THEMES, Wordless Wednesday — Tags: , , — rootsresearcher @ 11:15 pm


My Aunt Lucy with an Ostrich in South Africa in the mid-1970s.  Today she is so very near to her 100th birthday!!

original photograph in my private collection - copyright 2010

May 26, 2010

Ancestor Anniversaries: Gordon Alexander Sinclair

Filed under: ANCESTOR ANNIVERSARIES, Gordon Alexander Sinclair — Tags: , , — rootsresearcher @ 9:38 pm

Today’s anniversary marks the death of my uncle Gordon Alexander Sinclair in 1931.  He was only 23 when he died, the Death Certificate says Consumption which I believe is what we know as TB.

My Mum was only 4 years old when her brother Gordon died.  She remembers him with much fondness but does not know too much about him as she was so much younger.  Uncle Gordon’s only other living relative that he knew, his sister Lucy, will very soon be reaching her 100th birthday and she does not now remember a great deal about him.

My uncle Gordon Alexander Sinclair at c 22 years old  (about 1930)

Original photograph in my private collection copyright 2010

 Although I never met him, like my Mum, I too have a great fondness for my uncle Gordon.  I think it such a shame that he died so very young and so missed out on maybe marrying and having a family of his own.  I’m sure he would have been a very favourite uncle to me if he lived long enough for me to have known him.

There is very little information that I can say about uncle Gordon that I have managed to glean over a few years from my Mum and my Aunt.  I do remember once coming across a photo of him tucked into a draw when I was a child at my grandmother’s house and asked her who he was.  She just said “That’s Gordon” and put the photo to the back of the drawer and shut it tight.  Gran never talked about uncle Gordon when I was around!

I know now that she was very upset still after quite a number of years and just could not talk about him.

Uncle Gordon played the saxophone and had his own small band, about four of them.  The band used to perform in entertainment places at night – he did not get the chance to give up his day job working in a bank.

My uncle also used to really enjoy playing tennis, and he owned a motorbike too.  Apart from that there is very little else that I know of my uncle.

I know of course that it can never happen now but I certainly would have liked to have known my uncle, he seems to have had some fun in his short life.

May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Margaret in her car!

Filed under: DAILY BLOGGING THEMES, Wordless Wednesday — Tags: , , — rootsresearcher @ 9:43 pm

My Aunt Margaret in her car about 1940s or 1950s - Original photo in my private collection copyright 2010

« Newer Posts

Create a free website or blog at