Tag Archives: minnie hemsley

What became of Minnie Allison?

12 Mar

My grandmother’s “adopted” sister (in reality her cousin) had seemingly been left behind in England when her mother and four siblings emigrated to Canada in 1919, to be brought up by my great-grandmother Minnie Hemsley (as she would have been then).

I had been focusing very much on the Canadian side of things and neglecting Minnie. I knew she had married as it was her husband’s name that had enabled me to find her in the first place, and her death registration had led me back to her birth in Essex, but what had happened in the intervening years?

Through the GRO BMD indexes I was able to discover that Minnie and her husband had a son, that son had married and had a daughter. This opened up the prospect that somewhere out there was a living descendent of Minnie, who through Thomas and Ellen Driver (Minnie’s grandparents) would be my third cousin.

The electoral rolls, on CD and online at 192.com enabled me to pin down where the family had been living until quite recently, whether they were still there was another question. Naturally the daughter had grown up and left home, but if I was right she was still in roughly the same area, what is more I thought I had found also found her contact details online.

I knew I ought to get in touch with my third cousin, after all she might be able to fill in some of the gaps in the story and perhaps she would know why Minnie was left behind whilst the rest of the family went to Canada, but for some reason I didn’t make contact straight away.

I kept telling myself that I needed to get all the facts together first, but in reality it was probably because I didn’t want to make a fool of myself if she wasn’t my third cousin. In the end I figured that I didn’t really have anything to lose, but plenty to gain if I was correct.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Personal Research Update: Thursday 29th September 2011

29 Sep

In the couple of weeks since my last update I have done very little family history whatsoever. It is not something I am particularly happy about because I do feel that I have been a bit lazy, but I think in part is also due to having no energy left after a long day at work.

It is not all bad news however, I have done a little bit of work on my great-grandmother Minnie DRIVER and in particular her death certificate. Inspired by my recent South Downs Way walk I was looking for a good reason to return to the Petersfield area of Hampshire and do a bit more exploring.

I will probably write more about Minnie in the coming days, especially if I get to go for the walk, but the bringing together of her death certificate and an Ordnance Survey map has given me a much better understanding of where she and her husband were living and corrected a misconception that I had developed.

It has also raised the question of where she was buried. Was it with her first husband (probably somewhere in East Sussex, maybe High Hurstwood) or where her second husband was buried much later on (Oving in West Sussex) or was it somewhere completely different? Another little challenge to work on…

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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