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Saturday, 25 April 2015

A-Z Challenge - V for Verses & Vicissitudes

A-Z of Family History Sources & Stories 
Join me on this A-Z journey to explore the fascinating records 
that can  enhance your family history research and writing. 

VERSES - this may seem an unusual theme to feature but it is sparked by two memories. 

My father in this 80's could still recite poems that he learned at school.  He enjoyed the dramatic tones of his favourites: The Border ballad "O young Lochinvar", "The "Charge of  the Light Brigade", "The boy stood on the burning deck",  and  "The High Tide on the coast of Lincolnshire".

O young Lochinvar has come out of the west ,
Through out the wide Borders, his steed was the best.
And save his good broadsword, his weapons were none

He rode all unarmed and throde all alone
So faithful in lvoe and so dauntless inw ar
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar

My great grandmother Maria Rawcliffe (below)  came from Hambleton, one of a  group of small villages in north coastal Lancashire.  In a local history,  I came across the following traditional jingle.

    Pilling for Paters (potatoes)
Preesall for pluck
Hamelton for bonnie lasses
Stalmine for muck! 

An apt rhyme for the Rawcliffe family of five daughters - and I like to think of my great grandmother  as a "bonnie lassie".
Did your parents or grandparents have favourite poems, songs or books that you remember them by?  Are there rhymes and local songs connected with your ancestral homes?   

I particularly like this one from Hawick in the Scottish Borders, where two rivers (the Slitrig and Teviot) meet.

"Where Slitrig dances doon the dell
To join the Teviot Water,
There dwells auld Hawick's honest men
                                         And Hawick's bright-eyed daughters" 

VICISSITUDES  of life are generally easy to find amongst our ancestors living in harsher times,  as  illustrated by the experiences of my families. 

  • The many children who did not survive infancy.
  • Elizabeth Bailey, nee Danson - who died in 1885, followed by her husband a year later, leaving their youngest children orphaned, aged  only 12 and 9.  Margaret went to live with her eldest married sister, whilst Mary Jane joined the household of her eldest brother Henry.    
  • Mary Gaulter, nee Danson - who died in 1864 aged just 26, following the birth of her second son.
  • Ellen Danson -  who had an illegitimate daughter in 1866, named Mary, probably after Ellen's sister above. 
  • Margaret Brownbill, nee Danson -  who was  childless and widowed twice  by the age of 32. 
  • Jane Rawcliffe, nee Carr  - who died in 1865, leaving five young daughters motherless,  including my great grandmother aged only 4.
  • Anne Rawcliffe - who in 1873 had an illegitimate daughter Jane Alice (named after her sisters?).   Anne married but still faced sadness with the death of her twin son Matthew  aged just 7 weeks and five years later the death of Jane aged only 14.  
  • Sarah Danson, nee Lounds -  who died of TB in 1906 at the age of 21, leaving her baby daughter Annie motherless. Annie made her home with her grandmother  Maria, but suffered the loss of her father John Danson in 1917. 

  • George Danson, John Danson, Arthur Matthews,  and Frederick Donaldson - who all  died in the First World War.
    Copyright © 2015 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved 

    On to W for War and Weddings 

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