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Monday, 14 May 2018

A Tribute to Five Generations of Mothers: 52 Ancestors - Wk 19

""Mothers' Day  is the theme of week 19 of Amy Johnson Crow's prompt series "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks".

Profiles of Mothers in my family history have featured prominently  on my blog,  including in the  "52 Ancestors" series.  Here I pay a photographic tribute  to five generations of mothers in my immediate family.   

My Great Grandmother Maria Danson, nee Rawcliffe (1859-1919).
Maria Rawcliffe was the seventh  of eight daughters (five surviving infancy) and her  mother died when Maria was six years old. Not surprisingly her father went on to marry again and Maria became part of an extended family that included four half sibings and three step siblings.  Maria married my grandfather at the age of 18, and they had ten sons (two died in infancy) and finally an only daughter.  Two sons lost their lives in the  First World War.  So Maria's life provided a  great source for my family history stories.

Widowed Maria with her granddaughter Annie Maria, c.1916

My Grandmother Alice Danson, nee English,(1884-1945) 
Alice's early life remains a mystery and is my major ancestral brick wall, for, in over twnety years of researchh, I  have been unable to trace a birth certificate for her and so  find out the name of her mother.   The suspicion is she could have been illegitimate and that the  father's name given on her marriage certificate was a false one for the sake of respectability.  The  1911 census gave her birthplace as Bolton, Lancashire and I was always told we shared the same birthday - September 23rd - and this was confirmed by the 1939 Register.  Alice died when I was a baby, so I never knew her and her children seemed reluctant to answer any of my questions on  her life before she met my grandfather.   

Given that Alice is wearing a corsage, I always wondered if this was a wedding photograph. Why did I never ask a question about this? 

Alice with her four children, Edith, Kathleen (my mother), Harry and baby Billy.
Taken 1916 when William was due to go to war. . 

My Mother - Kathleen Weston nee Danson (1908-1999)   
My mother was apprenticed as a tailoress at the age of 14, and I often think of her motto as "Happiness is Stitching".  She was a very talented lady in all kinds of crafts and created a home-based dressmaking business. She  was still making her own clothes and a patchwork quilt in her 80's.  She was also a "joiner" - as we moved around with my father's work, and she gave me a lesson in joining in local activities, making friends and creating an interesting  life for herself.


Myself  -  with My Daughter

My Daughter with Her Daughter 



52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

1 comment:

  1. I like that your mother was a joiner, a great attitude.
    Has DNA helped you to make any progress with Alice? I think of it as another document, not necessarily that easy to read but it does contain answers.


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