Tag Archives | genealogy

Art Plus Family History

Before the new year, I participated in a couple of online courses about blogging, and one thing that I seemed to take away from both of them was the fact that it’s okay to incorporate lots of things about your life into your blog, and that you don’t have to stick to one topic.  Then today, just as I was feeling guilty about not posting here for a couple of weeks,  I read Abby Glassenberg’s post on her blog entitled ‘How to keep blogging when you don’t really feel like it’.  One of the things she said was

“Or maybe you were only going to blog about polymer clay, but you’re also passionate about science fiction and find yourself wishing you could write about that as well? Just do it.”

Basically she said, go ahead, write about whatever you want to….

You may know that as well as art, I am keen on family history and have a genealogy blog as well as this one.  Recently I’ve been struggling to keep up both of them, so I’ve decided to incorporate the family history into this blog – after all, it’s about my life and background as well as my art.  It’s all story and narrative and I hope you find it interesting.  My aim is to build up a picture of some of my ancestors from what I know about them in the records so I’ll start by reworking some of my earlier genealogy blog posts  so that it makes sense in the context of this blog.

Meanwhile, in art news … I’ve been busy stitching together rows of train tickets and it’s looking pretty good!  We are hanging the exhibition on Wednesday – lots of shinning up ladders and getting tangled up in fishing wire I expect… The exhibition itself starts on 8 April when the Riverfront arts centre is opening after the Easter weekend and we are holding a Meet the Artists event from 2pm to 4pm on the following Saturday 11 April – if you are in the area, you are welcome to come along.  If you leave a comment that you’re hoping to come, I’ll look out for you.

Here are some of the rows of train tickets all stitched together, a sneak preview!

Here are some of the rows of train tickets all stitched together, a sneak preview!

Here is the poster about the exhibition; more information is on the Diverse Manners Facebook page.  Hope to see some of you there!

poster showing Beneath the Surface Exhibition, the Riverfront Arts Centre, Newport starting on 8 April.

Beneath the Surface Exhibition, the Riverfront Arts Centre, Newport starting on 8 April.

1

I’ve been Google Street-Viewed!

Google Street View has just come out for the whole of Britain rather than just several of the largest cities, and DS1 discovered that I am on it, crossing the road probably going shopping.    It must have been last summer from the clothes I’m wearing.  And thankfully they have blurred out my face!

I have also had a happy few evenings virtually walking round Stoke on Trent, where I grew up, and finding the streets (and possibly the actual houses) various ancestors lived in, with the help of the census records and a website which converts old street names in Stoke to their new equivalents.  In the 1950s lots of them were changed because the six towns which made up the city of Stoke on Trent had grown up independently and there were lots of duplicate street names, with resultant confusion.  Lots of High Streets, Albert Streets, Church Streets, etc!

Here are a few of the streets in Fenton, not far from where I lived until I was 11.  Fenton is the town that the 19th century novelist Arnold Bennett, in his novels about the Potteries, missed out, and who never forgave him for the omission.

This is Berdmore Street where my great grandmother, Minnie Simpson, was living before she was married:

simpsonminnieberdmorestreet

John Swetnam, my 1st cousin 4x removed, lived somewhere in this street in 1871:

swetnamjohngeorgestreet

The husband of the half sister of my great great grandmother, Sarah Swetnam, lived in this house in Heron Street in 1901 (sadly Sarah died in 1883 but several of my first cousins 3x removed were there.)

leighsgeorge14heronstreetwhitedoor

William Brown, my second cousins 3x removed, lived in this street in 1891; then it was Peel Street, now Ramsey Street.  He was a mineral water carter.

brownannie21peelstreet

Hope you enjoyed this little tour round one of the Potteries towns!

Vintage textiles and family heirlooms

Over the last year, I have been doing a lot of family history research.  I’ve been lucky in that first my Aunt, then my parents and my brother, have built up a huge family tree and I’ve been adding to it and looking into it more.  I have also been given various family treasures by family members over the years and I decided recently to photograph them and put them all together rather than scattered all over the house!

I’d love to find out more about this handkerchief.  It was given to my Nan by my Grandad during the Second World War.  I think it is silk, but the edges have been cut in a scallop pattern and outlined in pen, and the heart decoration is a sort of raised embellishment.  The writing is also in pen and there is no stitching on it at all.  Apparently while my Grandad was in the army, one of the things he was involved in was running a prisoner of war camp so I wonder if this was made by one of the prisoners?

world war 2 belgian handkerchief

My Nan wore this hat at my parents’ wedding in 1959. 

1950s flower hat

My Mum’s cousin (who was a lot younger than her because she was the daughter of my Grandad’s oldest brother… I had to look that up on the family tree!) was a house servant when she was young and she gave me her maid’s uniform – this is the cap and one of the cuffs she wore.  I’ve got the apron and collar as well but the apron is too rumpled to photograph at present and I don’t want to risk it picking up all the gunk on the iron (wonder how that got there?!).

maid's head dress early 20th century

maid's cuff

I took this photo the other day of the reflection on our bedroom ceiling and thought it fitted in well with a post about vintage textiles.  Doesn’t it look lacy?  (I think that is a reflection on the state of the windows but the less said about that the better.).

lacy ceiling reflections

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...