Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sepia Saturday: Follow the Signs

Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history and memories through photographs.

I have nothing historic in the way of signs or shops, so instead this is a nostalgic  trip  down memory lane of happy holidays,  highlighting "Signs with a Sense of Place"

Beginning with Scotland - and here is an unusual sign at the England/Scotland Border at Carter Bar, south of Jedburgh.  And no,  you will not find  a place to have a drink, as "bar" in this context is the old word for "gate" or "pass"  where the drovers drove their cattle to market.  [York has its Mickklegate Bar and Monk Bar].  It is the high point on the A68 road north with stunning views of the surrounding Cheviot Hills.    

Staying in the Scottish Borders, I like to capture distinctive street signs - and here are two which reflect  Melrose's  key attraction  - its 12th century abbey.


Across to the islands and two  signs at Tobermory on Mull  which make me smile: 

Here the real Highland cows on the island! 

A bookshop sign on the Iona reflects the Celtic  history of  this tiny island,  off the southwest coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides.   It is only  1.5 miles wide by 3 miles long, with a population of around 120 permanent residents, but everyone talks about  the magical nature of this  seat of Scottish Christianity where St. Columba founded his Abbey in 563AD. Later it became a place of pilgrimage and learning,   and over 40 of Scotland's earliest kings were buried there. 

Shop signs abroad have such an appeal - some tips here, perhaps,  to  brighten up our beleaguered High Streets. 
An opticians in Salzburg
A travel agent in Salzburg

 A hat shop in Vienna.
A guest house in St. Wolfgang, Austria.

A shop in Bad Ischl, Austria advertising its handmade biscuits - Lebkuchen, 

And after all that shopping, look out for a restaurant sign! 

At Chatres, France

At Krakow, Poland

And finally I'll  finish  with the  directional sign at Lands's End - Britain's most southerly point - next stop west  New York 3147 miles away.   And if you are  into planning a long distance charity ride,  it  could be useful to know that you  have a 874 mile journey ahead of you to reach mainland Britain's most northerly point John O'Groats at the tip of  Scotland. 

Just follow the signs!  

Click HERE to see how, this week, other Sepians are pointing the way 

Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

Friday, 18 July 2014

Sibling Saturday: Eight Rawcliffe Sisters

The birth of eight sisters (with three dying in infancy), the intriguing name of Septima meaning 7th daughter,  the early death of their mother, a step-mother with three illegitimate children and the birth of three  half-siblings - all findings I discovered in the search for the background of my great grandmother. Maria Rawcliffe (left).  

Maria Danson, nee Rawcliffe (1859-1919)  of Hambleton, near Poulton-le-Fylde Lancashire,  has been at the heart of my family history story and featured regularly on my blog. 

But what of her family?

My first knowledge of my great grandmother's sisters  came from the 1871 Hambleton census, which listed Robert Rawcliffe aged 49, born at Marton,  a widower at Town Row, with his three daughters Anne aged 23,  Jane aged 20 and Maria aged 12, all born at Hambleton.  Thsi tied in with my mother's  vague recollections of a great aunt Anne who married  a farmer and great aunt Jane who married a man from nearby Fleetwood

Turning backwards to earlier records, the family were listed in the 1851 census for Hambleton - Robert, a carter aged 28, his wife Jane, aged 30,  and two daughters (named I found out later  after their  grandmothers),  Anne aged 3, and Jane aged 7 months.

Onto the 1861 census where Robert was described as a farmer and carter aged 39, wife Jane is 41, daughter Jane is 10 and “Mariagh” 2 - the enumerator’s idea of spelling !  Their eldest daughter Anne is not listed, but may well be the Anne Rawcliffe, aged 13, a house servant, resident with John Rawcliffe, taylor and grocer, his wife Barbara, 5 year old son Thomas and apprentice Richard Parkinson.  So far no family connection has been traced between these two Rawcliffe families.

However of most interest in the 1861 census was the first knowledge of two other daughters Alice aged 6 and Jennet aged 4. But where were they 10 years on in 1871?  In service elsewhere perhaps?  

I tuned to the IGI (International Genealogy Index) (this was in the days of microfiche) and discovered two more daughters born to Robert and Jane Rawcliffe - Margaret, born 1852  and Martha Septima - a second name that intrigued me - born 1863.   But I could not find trace of Martha in the 1871 census. So what had happened to her?   

The family group record on www.familysearch.org  gave confirmation of the seven children of Robert and Jane Rawcliffe.  However the individual record search produced details on an eighth  daughter Peggy. born 1861More confusion, as this meant Martha Sepitma was not in fact the seventh daughter, but the eighth. 

I next turned to the Lancashire Parish Records Online to find that three of the sisters had not survived infancy, with Margaret dying at 3 weeks old, Peggy just 16 day old  and Martha aged 4 months, just after her baptism - all buried at the  Church of the Blessed Virgin mary in Hambleton.   Unfortunately there is no gravestone nor listing in monumental inscriptions. 

So  Maria’s mother Jane, gave birth to 8 children in a sixteen year period   Jane was aged 44 at the birth of her youngest daughter Martha and died two years later, buried on 4th May 1865, leaving her five  young daughters motherless at the ages of 6, 8, 11, 14 and 17. - the youngerst my great grandmother Maria.  
Alice Rawcliffe.

So what happened to the five surviving sisters - Anne, Jane, Alice, Jennet and Maria?  I will follow their stories in future posts.  

Through the Internet,  I made contact with Jane Rawliffe's great grandson and Alice Rawliciffe's 's great granddaughter  and discovered we held the same family photographs.  The surprise finding was to discover that Alice Rawcliffe died in Jamesburg, New Jersey  - the first time I was aware of any American connections.   

Again It was a story of births outside marriage, infant deaths, large families and remarriage - all features of  life at the time. 

So watch this space for more tales of the Rawcliffe sisters.   

Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Sepia Saturday - Jennie's Friendship Photos

Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history and memories through photographs.

I must admit that my inspiration was failing when  faced with a "Free for All" choice of theme.  I clearly need the photo prompt to get my brain buzzing.  All I could think of were themes I had already featured.  

Eventually I decided this was the opportunity to show for the first time the friendship photographs from my Great Aunt Jennie's collection.

Jennie Danson (1897-1986)  was the only daughter and last child of James Danson and Maria Rawcliffe of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, born on 24th December 1897, after eight surviving brothers - George then aged 3, Frank 5, Albert 7, Tom 9, William 12 (my grandfather), Robert 16, John 18 and Harry 20 - a large family in a small terraced house. Her father died when she was eight years old. Jennie managed the home for her bachelor brothers, following her mother's death in 1919,  and married in 1928. 

In Jennie's photograph collection, besides family pictures,   were about 50 photographs of friends and I presume friend's children.  Very fortunately in most instances, she had written names on the reverse of the photographs. Many were taken at W. J. Gregson  & Co., W.P. Beck Proprietor, Photographers, 92 Talbot Road, Blackpool or the While-U-Wait Studio, Wellington Terrace,The Promenade, Blackpool.

Was it the custom to exchange such photographs?  Perhaps faced with  a household  of all those brothers, Jennie  was especially grateful for the company of her female friends.

Annie Jolly was a popular subject amongst Jennie's photographs.   

In the 1901 census, she could well be the 2 year old Charlotte Annie Jolly, living at Queen's  Square, Poulton, daughter of Edward and Jane  Jolly.  Edward was a joiner like Jennie's father.  Also in the household was Jane's sister Sarah Haydon Lounds, a domestic servant, who married Jennie's  older brother, John Danson.  By  the 1911 census Annie Jolly  was aged 12,  living at Longfield Avenue, Poulton with her uncle Richard Jolly, and his wife Isabella. Jennie's brother William ((my grandfather) lived on the same road with his wife and young family. 

Nellie Jolly
Any Dodd
Landgirl Becky Bennet



What on earth was the occasion for this very glum looking group? 
Billy Hopkins with Lizzie and baby.
Billy Long

Many of the photographs in Jennie's collection featured young men in uniform, looking apprehensive and  about to go to war.  One cannot help but wonder if they survived.  Given the scale of causalities,  and the fact I had only basic details, it has not been possible to identify them on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.  

 This is a puzzle!  Identified as "Mr Ashcroft, Postman at Poulton - daughter Melita".  According to her daughters, Jennie worked in Poulton Post OfficeButthe reverse of the photograph indicates  it was taken by  by Photographie Kramer in Gronungen,  a city in the northern Netherlands.

To end this short selection, two charming photographs: 

Granny Jolly & Grandchild
Young Jacky  Threlfall

Click HERE to see how other Sepians have taken up this week's open theme challenge