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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

A-Z Challenge: H for Honour, Humour & Heirlooms

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.

Your own family memorabilia and stories can be sources of so much of your family history writing - as illustrated here.  
HONOUR  your ancestors.  I am thinking here in particular of my family HEROES - grandfather William Danson who won the Military Medal in 1918; three great uncles (George Danson, John Danson and Arthur Matthews) who lost their lives in the First World War; my father (John Weston) who advanced in 1944-45 from Omaha Beach through France to Germany; my uncle (Harry Danson) who was rescued from Dunkirk; and uncle Charles Weston who suffered as a Japanese prisoner of war.  There is a story behind all their experiences.

Poulton le Fylde War Memorial, Lancashire with the names
of John and George Danson inscribed on it

The Military Medal citation awarded to my grandfather  William Danson

HUMOUR, by contrast, can be a part of your family stories, with my father contributing two such tales which make me laugh with his accounts of his Hair-Raising First Drive and How a Pigeon Sent the News (a forerunner of Twitter!).

Also if anyone in the family looks to be getting above themselves, I can always bring them back to earth by the reminder that one of their ancestors was a lowly  "tripe dealer"!

My father John Weston (left) with his first car and brother Charles

HEIRLOOMS - I watch with admiration programmes like  "Antiques Roadshow" where people show wonderful items, such as portraits, jewellery and furniture  that have been passed down the generations.  My heirlooms are much more mundane - my great grandmother's copper kettle and teaset, simple jewellery  family photographs and the embroidered cards that my grandfather sent back  from Flanders to his family during the First World War.  But it is not the value that counts and they are a significant part of  your past that can illustrate your family history.


Onto I for:   Illegitimacy and Irregular Marriages

Copyright © 2015 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved


  1. OK, that story your father told about picking up the car, driving 90 miles without ever driven before - seems what could go wrong, did go wrong - haha. But, he made it! You are so wonderful to record his stories by writing them down! Love your post!

  2. What a gorgeous tea set and kettle. I wish I had something from my grandmother to pass down...

  3. Three good words here. I hope you use the kettle often.

  4. Thank you for your lovely comments. Sue, I was so pleased you read the link to my father's hairy driving story, I have never actually used the copper kettle as a kettle - but it makes a lovely feature in my hall.


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