Tag Archives: family tree

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.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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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Here Ern (Henry Ernest Nye) has been replaced by Percy himself, flanked by his wife and sister-in-law.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.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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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.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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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.

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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My Family History Week: Sunday 27th May 2012

27 May

Family history activity has been a bit haphazard this week. Nothing really very focused, just poking about my family tree adding bits and pieces here and there.

National Probate Calendar on Ancestry.co.uk

I spent a while conducting some searches on the newly updated National Probate Calendar on Ancestry.co.uk but I soon realised that I probably ought to be a bit more methodical about it.

There are potentially hundreds of records in this collection that I ought to be looking for, but unless I actually make a point of being more methodical I am probably going to miss plenty of people along the way.

I am going to have to give some consideration to what is going to be the best way to achieve this.

Early Trowers in my family tree

I also spent a while looking at the information I have for some of the earliest (17th and 18th Century) Trowers in my family tree. I am conscious that I have lots of different bits of information floating about, mainly from wills.

I felt it was probably about time that I actually translated some of this “floating” information into some hard facts in my family tree or at least decide what further work is needed to be able to include this information.

Adding a pair of 7x great-grandparents

One off-shoot of this work on the early Trowers was that I was able to add another pair of 7x great-grandparents, Robert and Mary Greenfield of Henfield, Sussex whose daughter Ann married Henry Trower in 1747. This brings the total number of 7x great-grandparents in my family tree to eight individuals or four pairs.

Challenging times: Sorting out Patrick Vaughan’s information

As I suspected I never got around to doing anything about sorting out the information I have about Patrick Vaughan. I don’t want to let this slip but it has been several weeks since I said I was going to do this.

We have a long bank holiday weekend coming up soon and I am hoping that this will give me the opportunity to get back on track. Hopefully after this I can get on with setting myself with some new weekly challenges.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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William Trower and the fly in the ointment

24 May

My 4x great-grandfather William Trower of Henfield, Sussex is one of the weak points in my Trower ancestry.

At first glance everything seems right with the world, William was born about 1790, his death was registered in 1875 when his age was given as 85. Likewise with his burial at Henfield on the 8th January 1875 his age was given as 85.

Tracking back through the census we find him aged 81 in 1871, 70 in 1861, 59 in 1851 and 50 in 1841. In short everything seems to add up right and points to William being the son of Henry and Ann Trower.

A baptism exists in the Henfield parish registers for William the son of Henry and Ann Trower on the 13th March 1791. Don’t you just love it when everything works out neatly?

Unfortunately the fly in the ointment is a burial at Henfield on the 23rd January 1794 for William the son of Henry and Ann Trower, which of course I can’t explain.

Was this William my 4x great-grandfather? or rather was did the William who I thought was my 4x great-grandfather die at the age of three? Should I be looking for another William?

I can’t satisfactorily explain this burial record, it looks like my William Trower could not be the son of Henry and Ann Trower, but there are no other William Trowers who would fit the bill for my William Trower.

My saviour is in the form of a family bible (technically a prayer book), which has been passed down through the Trower family, or rather has survived through the generations without being thrown out. This bible clearly links Henry and Ann Trower with William’s descendants.

So where does this leave the William who was buried in 1794? I can only assume that Henry and Ann Trower had another son after my William but he died suddenly, perhaps before he had even been given a name or baptised. Stuck for a name for the burial register they used the name William. Either that or the vicar simply made a mistake.

Perhaps one day I will find further evidence (there is no sign of a will for William’s father) to be able to prove the relationship one way or another. For now I can only acknowledge the presence in my database of this fly in the ointment.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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