Photo Album: Percy Ebenezer Trower

9 Jun

This portrait is yet another photo from the collection of Percy Ebenezer Trower and it is of Percy himself.

Percy Ebenezer Trower

Unfortunately I don’t have a date for this photo, the original is mounted on a large piece of card, but it doesn’t mention a photographer’s studio.

Percy was born in 1898 and I would guess this photo shows him in his mid to late twenties, so that would date it around the late 1920s, but I could be wrong.

I will have to see if there is anything in his diary about visiting a photographer.

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Photo Album: Kate and Beatrice Trower

8 Jun

This holiday snap is another photo from the collection of Percy Ebenezer Trower.

Kate and Beatrice Trower (July 1949)

Kate and Beatrice Trower (July 1949)

The woman on the left is Percy’s wife Kate Trower and next to her is her sister Beatrice Trower. Beatrice was the second wife of my great-grandfather Henry John Trower, Percy’s brother.

This photo was taken during a coach trip to Maidenhead, Berkshire in July 1949.

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Why I owe so much to Percy Trower

7 Jun

My family history wouldn’t be half as interesting if it wasn’t for my 2x great-uncle Percy Ebenezer Trower.

Without him I would have virtually no photos of my Trower ancestors and relatives, I would be short a dozen or so death certificates and copies of wills, a handful of letters and not to mention the wonderful diary (actually three volumes).

Even the family bible/prayer book owes it’s survival to Percy.

I never knew Percy, he died four years before I was born, but through his diary I think he is probably the one person in my family tree that I know most about (outside my close family).

I know all about his working life, where he went on holiday, his pets and what he did in his spare time even down to which films he went to watch and what time bus caught.

Perhaps most interestingly I know what he believed in, and his diary charts his transition from Christianity to atheism, although I am not sure if atheism is the right word.

The diary also records the visits and movements (and ultimately the deaths) of so many relatives and of course his friends, colleagues and his wife’s relations, like Ern and Doll Nye.

So thank you great great-uncle Percy for everything you left behind. I don’t know whether you did it intentionally or by accident, but your legacy is greatly appreciated.

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Photo Album: Kate, Percy and Emily at Rochester

6 Jun

This photo is a partner to the one that I showed a couple of days ago.

Kate Trower, Percy Ebenezer Trower, Emily Nye (July 1950)

Here Ern (Henry Ernest Nye) has been replaced by Percy himself, flanked by his wife and sister-in-law. Presumably Ern is now the one behind the camera.

This was taken in July 1950 in Rochester, Kent. Percy described the visit is in his diary:

Tuesday with Doll & Ern went to Rochester, weather came out very bright but windy, it was a good ride, many years since we were there before.

It is very unusual to have an exact date for a photo, it was helped by having a location and a month and year on the back. This coupled with Percy’s diary tells me that the Tuesday in question was the 11th July.

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Watching the Coronation – an extract from Percy’s diary

5 Jun

As we come to the end of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations I would like to share an entry from the diary of my 2x great-uncle Percy Ebenezer Trower.

Sunday June 7th 1953

The first week our holiday over, (which included Coronation Day) cold winds all the week but not much rain.

Went to Hastings & Chilgrove Mon afternoon 2.15 till 8.15, a pretty ride & generally bright, had tea at Petersfield.

Tuesday was Coronation Day & a dull & windy day too & wet at times especially in London. We saw it on Dolls television at H[aywards] Heath, came through very well.

This is a perfect example of what makes Percy’s diary so interesting, it includes comments on news and events as well as personal and family events and even what the weather was like.

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Photo Album: Ern and Doll Nye

4 Jun

Here is a photo of the couple that I mentioned yesterday, Ern (Henry Ernest Nye) in the middle and Doll (Emily Nye) on the right.

Kate Trower, Henry Ernest Nye and Emily Nye (July 1950)

The woman on the left is Kate Trower, the wife of my 2x great-uncle Percy Ebenezer Trower and the sister of Emily Nye. The photo was taken in July 1950, almost certainly by Percy, in Rochester, Kent.

Both women were the daughters of John and Emily Standing. Just to make things a little more complicated another of their daughters, Beatrice Standing, was the second wife of my great-grandfather Henry John Trower.

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Diamond Jubilee Genealogical Synchronicity

3 Jun

In the diary of Percy Ebenezer Trower that I mentioned yesterday are frequent references to “Ern and Doll Nye”. Apart from being good friends I had no idea who they were or whether they were related although I suspected they might be related to Percy’s wife Kate Standing.

Ern and Doll also appeared in some of the photos that I had which had originally come from Percy’s collection, so I thought it would be good idea to try to identify them properly.

It was highly likely that Ern and Doll were nicknames, my thinking was that they were probably Ernest and Dorothy Nye, but I couldn’t find a suitable marriage for that combination.

Fortunately last night  I came across an entry in the diary for the silver wedding anniversary of Ern and Doll in April 1951. Even armed with that fact it took a while to find the marriage in the GRO indexes.

It looks very likely that Ern was actually Henry Ernest Nye and Doll was in fact Emily Standing (more than likely Percy’s sister-in-law). They were married in Q2 1926 in Cuckfield Registration District.

I will need to check the actual marriage entry to make sure that Emily was Kate’s sister but I was able to match the death of Henry Ernest Nye in the GRO indexes with the death of Ern in Percy’s diary, so it seems a likely match.

This morning I decided to try to find out a few details for Henry Ernest Nye. He was born in 1902 so the obvious place to look was the 1911 census. Henry Ernest was living in Ansty, Sussex the son of Ernest and Anne Nye. The address they were living at in 1911 was Diamond Jubilee Cottages.

Presumably these cottages had been built around the time of the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. How strange that I should have turned up this record during the diamond jubilee of our present Queen!

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