Tag Archives: birthdays

Treasures from the attic: My grandparent’s birthday book

21 Oct

To be honest I had forgotten I had this little treasure stored away in my parent’s attic until a few weeks ago. I guess when I was initially given it I wasn’t so passionate about family history, now I realise what a wonderful resource it is.

Birthday book

The book is tiny, about 1¾" x 2¼" and about ½" thick. It was published, if that is the right word, by Eyre and Spottiswoode (Bible Warehouse) Ltd., London, and is rather grandly entitled The Royal Bijou Birthday Book.

Each page is divided into two and each half is headed with a month and day (e.g. October 21), a bit like a diary but without the year. The left-hand page has quote for each day, "A Selection from the Poetical Works of SHAKSPEARE, WORDSWORTH, HOOD, TENNYSON, MOORE, BURNS, COWPER, SCOTT, GOLDSMITH, HEMANS, BYRON, MILTON".

The right-hand page is more like a diary, with a space for writing down the relevant birthdays for that day.

The entries are in two different hands, that of my grandmother (Dorothy Annie GASSON née TROWER), who presumably started the book, and after her death in 1964 it was continued by my grandfather (Charles Percy GASSON). I don’t know for certain whether the book was started before their marriage in 1936 or not, I suspect it was probably after their marriage and analysis of some of the entries might confirm this.

I need to go through this book, transcribe all the entries and identify all the names and their relationship to my grandparents. A lot of the names are known to me and the majority are still living (because they are my cousins, aunts and uncles) so I won’t be publishing the details. Some of the people were probably neighbours and friends.

There is one other interesting addition to the book which is a bit of a mystery. Slipped in towards the back of the book was the passport photo shown below. I have no idea whether it belongs in there or who he is, he doesn’t look like any of my relations, but I could be wrong, perhaps one of my relations will be able to put a name to the face.

Unidentified photo

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 40

3 Oct

I don’t know quite what happened last week, the last seven days seem to have just flown by and I don’t seem to have achieved anything in my family history.

I suppose I did spend some time fiddling around with my to-do list, and there was a bit of searching, but for the life of me I don’t remember actually achieving anything. In my defence I would say that I probably didn’t have quite as much free time as I would normally, but that is not really a very good excuse, because there were opportunities to do some research.

I am struggling to remember if I have actually updated my database last week, I probably did add one or two bits and pieces, but nothing major (or indeed memorable as it turns out). If there was an event at the Commonwealth Games for procrastinators I would be in line for a medal, I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about what I could do, but I just never seem to get around to doing anything about it.

I did get all my latest postcards scanned, and I feel I could probably spend a couple of weeks just writing about my postcards. I would like to write more about postcards and using them in family history, but whether I will ever get around to it is a different matter.

I think the big problems is that there is so much that I would like to do but don’t have the time, whether it is blogging or family history. I think the answer is going to be to capture all the thoughts that are running around my head and put them all into my to-do list, where I don’t have to worry about them unless I want to.

The exciting news is that whilst searching for one of books in my parent’s attic, I discovered (or re-discovered) a few family history treasures, which had once belonged to my grandfather, including a tiny little birthday book, which lists the birthdays of many of my relations (from the TROWER and GASSON side of the family). I am going to have great fun going through that and extracting all the details.

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