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Thursday, 21 June 2012

My Brain is Buzzing - Sorting Saturday.

My brain is buzzing and my mind  all over the place with family history matters - I definitely need a Sorting Saturday. 

Why this "headless chicken" phase?   A burst of family history developments, which I am so keen to get down on paper and screen,  plus a slight health scare (fortunately under control)  which made me want to do everything now.  There is nothing like a bit of success to get motivated, but the result is  I am juggling so many  postings and lines of research  at once, flitting from one to another.    

So what has led to this state of affairs?

  • A telephone call from my cousin to say a distant relation had contacted her with some old photographs relating to our uncle Fred Weston.  

    By coincidence this came just after my posting "Are You Inspired by Some Ancestors more than Others"  where  I expressed a wish to  look more at my father's Weston family and I bemoaned the lack of photographs and memorabilia.

    Here is a photograph I had not seen before of my uncle's wedding in 1930, with my father, looking rather solemn on the left, carrying a trilby (or is it a panama hat?), and my grandmother  in the cloche hat in the middle.    Unfortunately I cannot identify my grandfather - he could be the man partially hidden in the back row.  I presume the older couple on the right are the bride's parents.
  • A photograph in Uncle Fred's collection  was identified as  Tommy Rodger, Ironbridge and showed him with a coracle on his back standing by  the River Severn,  with the famous iron bridge in the background.

    My father grew up near Ironbridge, but I am unaware of any Rodgers connection.  A quick Google search revealed lots of information on Tommy who appears to be quite a colourful local character and a classic subject for a blog posting. 
  • A visit from my brother who was home from working abroad prompted his  interest in our Weston background and he is off to ironbridge, to explore the area, and hopefully provide me with photographs for my blog.
  • Then the same week I heard from an internet (www.ancestry.co.uk) connection whose grandfather Samuel Matthews was the sister of my paternal grandmother - Mary Barbara Matthews. Linda was over the moon to hear I had photographs of our great grandparents - John Matthews and Matilda Simpson, a rather stem looking couple, known to be prominent Methodists. Again this discovery was another incentive to find out more about my Matthews ancestry.

    A few months ago, after many years of fruitless  message board queries etc.  I heard from the great granddaughter of Alice Mason, nee Rawcliffe, who emigrated to New York in 1887 and was the sister of my great grandmother.  We have exchanged photographs and I  need to update my information on Alice and my new set of American relations - albeit distant ones.
    My grandparents
    William Danson
    & Alice English
    Last week I was delighted to be contacted by a  history teacher who  is researching the men who fought in the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment during  the First World War.   He had found my blog and the postings on my grandfather William Danson who  was awarded the Military Medal for "conspicuous gallantry and determined devotion to duty in action at Givency on 9th April 1918".  We have exchanged information and photographs and I look forward to using this new material for my postings.
  • Plus I am trying  to keep pace with my particpation in various blogging series  such as A-Z Family History Challenge, Sharing Memories and Life's a Journey, and record stories from my other family sidelines.
It's all happening - so how do I intend to get sorted?

A professional approach is called for, I think. I have done the brainstorming and I have a long list  of topics for future postings. My watchwords for the future  need to be:   Focus - Strategy - Action Plan.

Watch this space to see how I get on! 

Sorting Saturday is one of many daily blog prompts from www.geneabloggers.com to encourage writers to record their family history.


  1. Congratulations on your recent family history developments!

    I love your photographs. They are so fun! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Some good breakthroughs Susan even though they now mean more work to absorb and incorporate. Look forward to hearing more about it.


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