Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 14 - Special People (Family)

Each week there are prompts which require answering. 

Last weeks post when I had to plan a dinner party but could not include family I found it quite difficult as there are so many of my ancestors I want to meet, so I have found this weeks post much easier.

For my dinner party this week I would invite:

  • John Davidson (c1800-c1838), my great, great, great, great grandfather - he his a puzzle and brick wall in my family research, which is one of the main reasons I want to meet him. He was a musician in the Royal Marines, so I want to know more about his time with them. I want to know how, why and when he died, who his parents were, where was he born, had he lived in Woolwich, London as a child? I want to find out more about the origins of our Davidson ancestors, were we of Jewish origin or the Scottish clan, Davidson? How did he live daily, what was his house like? Did he enjoy his career? (To read about what I know already about John Davidson see Chapter 1 of The Davidson Family)

  • Harold Vernon Poole, my great grandfather - he was a dear father to my grandmother and died only weeks after my father was born, so my father has no memories of him. Since my grandmother passed away I feel as if I have no one to talk to about him. He fought in France in World War I and whilst he was there his mother suddenly past away and his father remarried a few months later. I would love to know more about Harold's feelings towards his father, mother's death and new step-mother, for I know Harold chose to have very little to do with his father throughout my grandmothers life. What exactly caused that rift? Were there more secrets no-one else understood? Also I'd love to ask questions about his years in France and what it was like for him.

Grandad with Spider

  • Dennis Sutcliffe, my grandfather - I had a very good relationship with all my grandparents but especially do with my grandfather, but I never asked him enough about his early childhood and his years fighting in France and Africa during World War II. I have recently found photos of him with a friend called Spider, but who was he? Where they know one another from?

  • William Presswood, my great, great, great, great grandfather - he committed suicide in 1841 which was really sad but the newspaper cutting about his death, says he was fighting illness, had to raise a large young family and the workhouse was looking eminent for them. What desperate measures caused him to make that decision to end his life? How was life before he died? What was the reality of the workhouse like? How could he have been helped? Was he ashamed he could not provide for his family? I would also send him home with a doggy bag to feed all his young hungry mouths.

  • Mary Skipper York (1857-?), my great, great great grandmother - she had an illegitimate child, Alice York (my great, great grandmother). I would love to know who the father was of her child, as she was working in domestic service at the time, so I often wonder whether she was taken advantage of at work or whether she had a one night stand in her youth? 

  • John Davidson (1832-1897), my great, great, great grandfather - he was the son of the John Davidson named first on the list.  He moved his young family from Poplar in London to Hull in East Yorkshire, so I would love to ask him why they moved? I also want to know more about his childhood, as he lost his father at a young age and his mother remarried, how did he and the rest of the family cope with these life changes.

  • Jessie Ephas Wilcock (1844-?), my great, great, great grandmother - she has such an unusual name I would love to go back and ask about how she came to be called Ephas? Although she may not know why, so perhaps asking her mother or even her grandparents might be better alternative? I would love to ask about her family as well, as again she was another illegitimate child in my ancestry, so did she have any knowledge of who her father was?

  • Edward Sutcliff(e) (c1818-c1895), my great, great, great grandfather - I am struggling to find any further information about him and his parents, so I would love to ask him who were his parents. I would also love to know more about him and his life, as he moved about an awful lot, was this due to work or another reason? He lived in West Yorkshire, in which the surname Sutcliffe is fairly common and makes researching incredibly difficult, but I want to be able to trace this family line back further, as I am sure there is much more to learn.

I would just love to learn so much more about the everyday lives of each & everyone of my ancestors, did they go to school, can they read, what was life like for them, what were their houses like, etc?

I would cook my beautiful BEEF GOULASH with rice, as I feel my Victorian ancestors would be better suited to a good beef stew, although I would serve it with rice, although I am unsure how common rice was to the Victorian's.

My beef goulash

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