Tuesday, 1 February 2022


The photograph above features the family of Felice Andrea D’ANNUNZIO, the great-great uncle of my wife, Sandra. Also in the photograph are his wife Mary Agnes DOUGLAS, and two of their children. The couple look to be approximately in their early thirties. 

There is no firm identification on the photograph for the names of the children nor an indication of when it was actually taken, but looking at the data I already possess on the family, I believe the older child would be their first surviving son, Henry Edward D’ANNUNZIO (b.10 June 1902). He is only young in the photograph, but Henry was reported to have lived to a ripe old age of 93, eventually passing in 1995, after having a family of his own. 

A previous son of the couple, Anthony D’ANNUNZIO (b.31 Dec 1900), survived for only a few months, and unfortunately passed in 1901. 

However, I’m finding that I can not be so certain of the identity of the younger child, in whose honour the photograph would seem to have been taken. 

The couple had a third son, Francis D’ANNUNZIO, who had been born in 1904. It is not known if he survived very far through infancy, as I have not been able to locate a death record for this child. However, if the baby was indeed Francis, then that would suggest Henry’s age to be around two and a half years old. In my mind this does not seem to correct as Henry appears to be a little older in the photograph - perhaps three to four years old.

If the above theory is accepted, then it might indicate that the baby could actually be the couples’ fourth child, Maria Eleanora D’Annunzio (b. 7 May 1906). It is known for sure that Maria survived into adulthood, again having a family of her own after marriage, although at this time no evidence of her death has been found. 

Furthermore, with the couples’ previous three children having been boys, the birth of a girl might also be imagined to be an excellent reason why the couple might employ a professional photographer to take the familys’ portrait. Which proud parent would not want a memento of such an occasion? 

With these facts in mind, for the time being in any case, I will identify the baby to be Maria in my records, until such time as I receive firm proof that I am mistaken. 

This highlights just how difficult it is to identify a persons ancestors from unmarked photographs. It is something we have all come across and each of us knows how virtually impossible and downright frustrating it can be at times, but it can also be so worthwhile if you can work out the details successfully by looking for the smallest clues.

Finally, one last snippet of information about this family.

While researching the various censuses, I decided a while back to try and find photographs of the properties or even streets, where our ancestors lived. As well as keeping the photographs connected to my local family dataset, I also upload them to Google Earth and fix place-markers into the locations where the properties once stood. 

In searching for the D’Annunzio family’s address on the 1921 census, which I found to be 7 Whale Street, Liverpool, I located the above image on one of the Liverpool Facebook local history groups which post old photos of the city.

Obviously, there are no property numbers to be seen in the photograph (above), but Whale Street itself is physically tiny. It can therefore be safely assumed that the family resided in one of the properties on the left of the photo, as the street possessed more odd numbers than even ones.

But a feature which caught my eye almost immediately was the small wall which stood at the very end of the street (see the enlargement above). 

I was already aware that the D’Annunzio family had been photographed out in the open in front of a similar brick wall, possibly due to a lack of suitable light being available within their own home. Looking at the family photo further one can just make out what appears to be the edge of the brickwork as it would frame a door or gateway. In addition, there is also what would appear to be a small step behind the child on the left, at the base of the wall.

It appeared to me that there was little doubt that, as in the enlargement of the Whale Street photograph above, one could clearly see the gateway which led to the rear of an adjacent property, and also the pavement kerbside (the small step in the photograph) laying in front of it. These small details almost certainly confirmed where the family portrait had been taken. 

Call me daft if you like, (my other half certainly did at the time!), but I was genuinely overjoyed to find this information just by chance - two totally separate photographs which could be linked together to show the actual location where the original family photograph had been taken.

For this might indeed only be a small unimportant detail in the overall history of the Liverpool D’Annunzio family, but I believe it is one which brings them a little closer to us, and gives us a clear indication as to how closely family history and social history can be related to each other.  

Sources: Ancestry, Find My Past, D’Annunzio ‘Generations’, Seaman Family History

Tuesday, 25 May 2021



Pictured on her wedding day to my father, Charles SEAMAN, is my mother, Joan WELSH, together with her three bridesmaids.

On the right is her cousin, Marion ERLIS, and on her immediate left her chief bridesmaid, her sister, Elizabeth WELSH. 

However the identity of the lady on the absolute left is unknown. A replacement for my father's sister who was not able to attend, she was reported to be a friend of a cousin, and was said to not actually be a member of our family. Unfortunately, my mother cannot recall her name, and as far as I'm aware we don't have any other photographs of her apart from these, and certainly none with her name written on them. If anyone does happen to recognise her, I'd therefore appreciate if you could let me know, so I can let my Mum know once and for all!

The couple were married in St Paul's Church, Princes Park, Liverpool which had been situated on Belvedere Road. The church was demolished in 1970 and replaced by the new Belvedere School... now a successful preparatory school and Academy.

St Paul's Church, Princes Park, Liverpool

Further information about St Paul's Church can be found < here >....

#familyhistory    #genealogy    #seamanfamilyhistory


Tuesday, 18 May 2021



Following on from my earlier post regarding this treasured family heirloom, I found that I had two choices when the 91-year-old stool came into my possession. Either leave it as it was-- a bit beaten, battered and careworn-- or do what they would do on the popular hit TV programme, 'The Repair Shop', and repair it so that it lives again.

The two photographs above are the result.

Now with the wood strengthened, cracks glued and filled; nails taken out and painted; the child's stool created around 1930 by my Norwegian great-grandfather, Peder Gerhard Ingebretsen, now looks pretty much like it did when he first made it for his grand-daughter, my aunt, Elizabeth Welsh.

With one exception... the footmarks of our grandchildren-- Paige, Phoebe, Charlie, Demelza and Pearla. Space has also been left on the sides of the stool, just in case any further little additions to our family come along.

The item might not get used as it previously had, but to be sure it will continue to be loved and treasured by a new generation of the family.


#familyhistory #genealogy #familyheirloom


Friday, 23 April 2021


Jabez Graham - Lincolnshire Chronicle article - 1850

Jabez Graham - Lincolnshire Chronicle article - 1850

The image above is taken from the Lincolnshire Chronicle, representing an 1850 newspaper cutting giving details of the trial of Jabez Graham who had been caught poaching with a J Silvester. The trial occurred in a magistrates court in Spilsby, Lincolnshire on July 1 1850. The ages of the two men are not given but a Rootschat entry seems to imply that the two men could be cousins. This supposition is probably based on the fact that Jabez Graham (b.1821) in Lincolnshire, the son of William Graham and Elizabeth Taylor, was employed as an agricultural labourer. This fits with the occupation stated in the newspaper article. The other link is the man's companion - a J.Silvester who also was being charged with the same offence.

The Jabez mentioned in the article above had an older brother, Taylor Graham who was born in 1812. Taylor was my direct ancestor, my x3 great-grandfather. Taylor went on to marry a girl from Hagworthingham in Lincolnshire, a Harriot L.Silvester, and it can be assumed that the 'J.Silvester' mentioned in the report was related to her. This connection between the two families may go some way to explain the claim that the two men appearing in court could be cousins. Before this fact can truly be claimed as true however, further research would need to take place into the Silvester family themselves.


Sunday, 18 April 2021



(Photo: St James Cemetary)

A depiction of one of the two mills situated at Mount Sion (or Zion), Toxteth, Liverpool in the late 1700's. St.James' Mount (it's more common name), was also known as 'Quarry Hill' at one time as a large quarry was built and mined there.

My sixth great-grandfather, Edmund Highton (b.1744 - d.1805) was of the Church of England faith, and worked as a miller on the site when he was 35 years old. This had been recorded within the baptism data for the christening of his daughter, Ann Highton (b.1770 - d.1847), my fifth great-grandmother. 

Edmund married his wife, Ann Barton (b.1749 - d. n/k), in Liverpool on the 5 November 1765. They went on have at least four children that we know of so far (Jane (b.1767), Thomas (b.1769), Ann (b.1770) and Mary (b.1773).

Edmund's occupation of miller was still recorded as such in 1805, when he was 61 at the time of his death. He was buried on 12 February 1805 in St James' Cemetary... the site of his workplace throughout his life.

Photo: St James Cemetary

(Photo: St James Cemetary)

The site was later developed as St James' cemetary and was chosen to be the site of the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, the fifth largest cathedral in the World.

The quarry access tunnel can still be seen in situ within the graveyard below the cathedral itself, and the windmill depicted above would have been on the site of where the current Oratory building now stands.

(Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, St James' Mount)

(Photo: Graham Seaman)

(Text Source: Seaman Family History / St James Mount by Reginald Threlfall Bailey M.B.E) 


Thursday, 6 June 2019

William John Welsh - Grandad's Birthday - 6 June 2019

Graham with his grandad William John (aka Jack Welsh)

...another photo of Graham with his Grandad William John Welsh (b.1897 d.1965)

Remembering my grandad, William John Welsh, who would have been 122 years old had he still been with us today. 

Happy birthday Grandad - missing you. x. 

#familyhistory #seamanfamilyhistory

Saturday, 8 December 2018


(Muriel Frances Seaman)

From today, the title of these posts are going to change. I'm moving the focus away from them being 'Friday' photos to 'Family' photographs instead. The past few weeks have been a bit frantic for me for a number of reasons, and I've found it impossible to keep to my weekly posting schedule. Hopefully, doing this now, I should be able to remove some of the pressure and leave me with a little less guilt than I have been feeling of late!     

The post today gives details of my great-aunt, Muriel Frances Seaman, who was related via my paternal side of the family.

1920 - Muriel Frances Seaman was born on 1 Nov 1920 in Liverpool, Lancashire. She was the fifth of six daughters born to Joseph Frederick Seaman and Sarah Ann Smith, my paternal great-grandparents. Only one of her sisters was younger than herself - Daisy - who was born in 1922.

1939 - In the 1939 register Muriel was found to be living with her parents, at their home in 4 Lily Grove, Wavertree. As well as Joseph and Sarah, her brother William and sister Daisy were also in residence. On the original register entry, her name had been given as Muriel F Seaman. This surname had been crossed out however, and the name 'Holmes' entered, with a date of marriage being written alongside of 3 January 1945. Muriel's occupation at the time that the register was taken was given to be a 'general office clerk'. 

1944 / 1945 - According to the marriage indexes, Muriel married Dennis E Holmes in the 4th quarter of 1944. This is contrary to the evidence of the note made on the 1939 register entry which states that their marriage date was 3 January 1945. This fact is also confused by the fact that she featured on the Electoral Register for 1945 by her maiden name of Seaman. The actual marriage certificate would need to be ordered to try and resolve this discrepancy.

1944 / 45 - The couple were reportedly married in St Cyprian's church, Edge Hill, Liverpool. The church itself is still standing, although it has now been converted into a modern block of flats for student accommodation.

1944 / 45 - Married Dennis Edwin Holmes in Liverpool on 3 January 1945 (evidenced by a note made in the 1939 register). The couple went on to have at least three surviving children.

2006 - Records were found in the Death indexes stating that Muriel passed away on the 13 November 2006. She was 86 years of age when she died.

Both Muriel and her sister Daisy were known to my father, Charles Seaman during his lifetime. He went to visit them on a number of occasions, although sadly I can't recall if he ever took my brother or I to meet them. I know that at least one of them used to live in Woolton village quite near to where we live now, in Cavell Close, which is off School Lane in the village, although unfortunately I now cannot be sure which sister it actually was.