Tag Archives: diary

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.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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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!

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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When the Trowers moved to Sayers Common

2 Jun

When I wrote about the importance of Betley I mentioned that my 2x great-grandparents moved from Henfield, Sussex to Sayers Common, Sussex.

I have long known the reason behind this move, it was because Ebenezer was going to work as a gardener for Rev. William Buchanan Dunlop the new vicar at Sayers Common parish church, but the exact date was a puzzle.

From the baptism records of their children it was possible to narrow down the date range to around 1892, but it never really felt that important to have an exact date.

An entry in the diary of Percy Ebenezer Trower (one of their sons) provides an exact date for when the family moved and also a date for when Ebenezer retired from work.

Wednesday Dec 31 / 30

The end of 1930! Father came home to-day at dinner-time. 39 years ago next March 7th that he came to Sayers Common to work for Mr Dunlop, just installed as Vicar here. 39 years, probably half his life he has spent with Mrs Dunlop. He came from Henfield with two children, Ethel & Henry one year old. Since then four more were born. I being the fifth, and two have died, one in the R[oyal] Sussex C[ounty] Hospital and the other killed in France. What changes he has seen in those 39 years. He must feel the severance of this long time as gardener for Mrs Dunlop but the long journey to Hassocks was too much for him.

The “next March 7th” would be in 1931 and 39 years ago would be 1892. So Ebenezer and Annie Trower and their two children moved to Sayers Common on the 7th March 1892.

It is nice to have an exact date for when an ancestor moved, because so rarely is there any record of their actual movement unless, it is a major move such as emigration, usually the only sign that they had moved is the change from one record (like the census) to the next.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Trying to stop the memories fading away

29 Sep

Over the last few months I have been thinking about writing my own personal history. Not that I think my life has been particularly interesting and I am sure it will not be of interest to anyone other than myself. I would be writing it for purely personal and selfish reasons, to enable me to remember things that have happened in my life.

I am becoming aware that things are changing in the world around me and I am not getting any younger. My memories of my childhood and schooldays, my early working life are starting to fade or have already gone. It was really brought home to me last weekend when I was thinking about my walk along the South Downs Way, although it was only a few months ago the details are starting to fade.

I know I wrote about it on my blog, but that was only a very basic outline. Perhaps it will be enough to jog my memory in the future, but I am sure there will be things that I have missed out which will fade from memory. I also have lots of photos, and these will help jog my memories, but will I be able to remember all of the place names and why I took that particular photo?

I suppose this blog is the closest I have ever got to keeping a diary, despite previous attempts I have never lasted more than a few weeks keeping a daily diary. Going forward I probably need to try again, but not recording every day, just important or interesting days, most weekdays are not that memorable the following day, but every now and then something more interesting happens that I might want to remember at a later date. Even if nothing interesting happens it will probably be worth recording what a typical day was like every once in a while.

Then I can go back and record as many of my memories as I can before it is too late. Many of them will not be for a specific date, more for a period in my life, such as childhood or schooldays. Some entries may be very brief, perhaps even just place holders for things I need to try and remember (or ask others about) such as when we visited a particular place, a book that I read or a film that was special in some way.

I have been wondering just how I was going to record all these memories and I think I will probably use a blog like this one, except that it will be private, not that there are any shocking or scandalous secrets, just that it will probably not be of any interest to anyone other than me. Occasional memories might slip over into this blog (hopefully not accidentally) if I think they might be of interest or relate to my ancestors.

I think a blog is going to be the perfect medium, because of the simplicity of adding photos and other media and because I know may way around it. I have always been one for hanging on to things like train tickets and buying postcards when we visit places. Then there are things like the covers of books and CDs that have some special significance. The good thing is that because it is for my own personal use I don’t need to worry too much about copyright on images.

The other thing I like about using a blog is the ability to tag things, so I can put things in a rough chronological order, buy tagging with a specific date, a year or even just a time period such as schooldays or 1980s. The only problem will be finding the time to actually do the writing and adding in images, although once it is set up it shouldn’t take too long to just write a piece. For starters I think I shall try adding just one memory or event from the past each day along with anything interesting that happens on a day to day basis.

My genealogy diary is starting to fill up

3 Jan

I’ve been updating my diary for the first few months of the year, and it looks like I shall be quite busy attending family history events. Like last years most of the events are at the beginning of the year, but I am sure I will find something else to do for the rest of the year.

The Sussex and South London Family History Fair
(14th February 2010)

This small one-day fair is held at the K2 Leisure Centre, Crawley, West Sussex. It is a mixture of trade stands and family history societies, with a few postcard dealers thrown in. An excellent warm-up for the next big event.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live
(26th to 28th February 2010)

Three days of family history at London’s Olympia, so far I have only booked tickets for two days (Friday and Saturday), but I shall probably book for the Sunday as well because they have a special one-day conference which looks very interesting.

Sussex Family History Group Annual Conference and AGM
(20th March 2010)

Not many stands here, but three talks, two of which are of particular interest to me (Mills and Millers of Sussex and Inns, Alehouses and Taverns of Sussex). Held at Clair Hall, Haywards Heath, West Sussex.

The South Coast Fair
(25th April 2010)

This is similar to the Sussex and South London Fair, except that it is held at the seaside at Worthing, West Sussex. A good excuse for an ice cream and a stroll along the sea front in the spring sunshine (if I am lucky).

I would also like to attend some of the talks at the National Archives and Society of Genealogists, these could hopefully be combined with research trips to the repository concerned.

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