Friday, 10 August 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 22 - ELIZABETH RICHARDSON - DAMAGED DURING AN AIR RAID


This is the one and only photograph of my g/g-grandmother, Elizabeth RICHARDSON, who had been born in Barony Parish, Glasgow in 1838.

Elizabeth was the daughter of David RICHARDSON, a shipwright by profession, and Victoria VERUE (also referred to at times in certain records by the surnames VALUE and VEVIESER).

The photograph, approximately six inches tall, has been coloured by hand and is mounted on a stiff cloth backing. 

According to information from my aunt who gave me the image some years ago, originally it had been much larger and was mounted in a dark wooden oval frame. She recalled it being a head and shoulders portrait which had hung on the wall of my grandmothers home in Hughson Street, Toxteth.

Unfortunately, during WW2, the terraced house next door took a direct hit from a German bomb during an air raid. Luckily our family remained safe, tucked away in the brick and concrete air raid shelter which had been built in the rear yard of their house. But their home itself did not escape unscathed. Its windows were blown out and the photograph and its frame were blown off the wall by the blast. Other possessions of my grandparents were either damaged or looted from their home after they had been forced to move out while the house was being repaired.

Years afterwards, my aunt cut away the damaged parts of the image-- trimming the photo down to its current size with a pair of dressmakers pinking shears-- leaving it decorated with a serrated edge.

Of course, I would have loved to have seen the full portrait of my great-grandmother in all its glory, but considering what had happened to it following the air raid, I consider myself extremely lucky that we have any of it left at all.          


Friday, 3 August 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 21 - LILIAN WELSH, TOXTETH, LIVERPOOL

(Lilian Welsh - b.1927 / d.1928)

Unfortunately, Lilian Welsh was the aunt I never knew.

She died when only an infant and the only information I had received previously about Lilian's death was that she had fallen in the street, hit her head and subsequently died of meningitisIt was also believed that she had died while in Myrtle Street Hospital, Liverpool.

This information had been passed to me from Lilian's older sister, Betty (Ellen Elizabeth Welsh), but I had no way of substantiating the data until I recently obtained the child's death certificate. However, this record proved that the original information from Betty had been in error.

Lilian had actually passed away on the 22 September 1928 aged only 20 months old. She died while resident at Alder Hey Hospital, in the West Derby district of Liverpool. 

The death was reported by her father William John Welsh on 24 September 1928. William was working as a labourer in the Liverpool docks at the time of his daughter's death. 

Lilian's cause of death was reported to be by her becoming ill with gastroenteritis, the death being certified by Doctor M.Gudwin.

I can't say for sure how my aunt had apparently misremembered the information regarding her sister's unfortunate death. But Betty had been only three years old when Lilian died, so it is unlikely that she had been aware of the event at all herself. More likely that the details of the death had become blurred for her over time, understandable perhaps when considering that it had been around eighty-one years since Lilian had passed away.

Lilian's death was undoubtedly a sad loss for all our family, but speaking as a family historian her story is also perhaps a prime example of why one should never accept such information as true fact, and should take it at face value only-- at least, until such time as there is hard documentary evidence to support it.  

Friday, 20 July 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 20 - A NEW WORLD (Leaving Norway)

My post this week is not a single family history photograph, but rather a video made up of a selection of photos which we have in our family archive.


(click above for video)

I have already written a couple of posts here on the website about my great-grandparents, Peder Ingebretsen and Elizabeth Douglas, featuring a couple of photos we have of them in our possession.

This video is an attempt to tell Peder's story in greater detail; pulling together photographic resources from our collection and also using other material freely available off the Internet.

For my 50th birthday I was taken by family members on a five-day Norwegian cruise holiday, making my first visit to the beautiful homeland of my ancestor. During this visit I saw first-hand the type of community he would have grown up in; seeing for myself the mountains and fjords, together with the types of towns, villages and farms with which he would have been familiar. I have used some of the photographic and video footage I shot during that visit to illustrate this video.

The video attempts to recount a short version of Peder's story; presenting images of what his life would have been like growing up within his Norwegian homeland, and his subsequent journey to England. 

Working as a mariner on ships which regularly sailed between Great Britain, Europe and the America's during the late 1880's, my great-grandfather found himself in Glasgow, Scotland. It was here that he first met my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Douglas, and her family who resided within the city.

The family eventually moved to Liverpool in England, and the couple were married in the city in 1890 and ended their lives here-- but not before founding the family groups from which myself and some of my cousins are descended.

The soundtrack is the beautiful ballad 'Into The West', as featured in the movie 'Lord of the Rings: Return of the King'. The music was written by Howard Shore with lyrics by Annie Lennox and Fran Walsh. I've always loved this song above all the others which appeared in the film series, and at the time I was putting this video together, I felt that the majority of the lyrics seemed to fit the story I was trying to tell.    

     

Friday, 13 July 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 19 - ROBERT LAYTE BURIAL PLACE - 1785




Combining a business trip with family history research, a few years back I made a visit to St. Mary's church in Haughley, Suffolk as I'd discovered that my great-grandfather (x6) had been buried here on 11 December 1785. 

Robert Layte was born in 1708 in Suffolk, England.  

He married his wife of German descent, Sarah Kurtz, in 1732 and seems to have lived in the small village for the majority of his life as most of their children were born in the area.

In total, the couple had at least 11 children-- with our immediate family being descended from their sixth-born child Timothy, who was born in 1742.

Over the years, the surname of the family was altered slightly-- either by choice or by it being transcribed incorrectly. Early iterations of the family name used by the branches who lived within the Suffolk and Norfolk areas, were spelt either Layte or Laight. 

By the time our branch of the family left the East Anglia area to move north to Lincolnshire, and to subsequently end up living in Liverpool-- the spelling of the name had changed once again to become Laite or Lait. 

There is a family legend, so far unsubstantiated, that the name is derived from France, and that the family came into England as part of the Huguenot community of immigrants who fled religious persecution in the late 1600's.

Research into this branch of the family continues, but I won't be taking any bets at the moment that the legend will actually be proved true... even if the word 'lait' stands for 'milk' in French!    


Friday, 29 June 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 18 - SARAH ANNE SMITH

(Sarah Anne Seaman - nee Smith - 1878 to 1951)

This is photo of my great-grandmother, Sarah Anne Seaman (nee Smith). She is pictured standing against a painted backdrop whilst leaning on wooden railing; an apparently posed shot taken in a photographers studio. Unfortunately, no details of the photographer are shown on the original photocard, which appears to have been cut to fit into a frame at some point.  

Sarah was born in 1878 in Liverpool, the eldest child of James Smith and Margaret McCartney.

On the 1891 census her occupation was listed as a dressmakers assistant. She was only 13 years of age.

On 15 April 1900, Sarah married my great-grandfather, Joseph Frederick Seaman in St Dunstans Church, Edge Hill, Liverpool. She was 22 years of age, the same age as her new husband.

In the 1901 census the couple were living at 56 Wendell Street, Toxteth, Liverpool; just off Smithdown Road, occupying 4 rooms in their home. There is an existing property in Wendell Street, a former 'two-up, two-down' terraced house which could therefore be the home of my relatives. However, I am still to confirm when these properties were actually built.  

At the time the census was taken the couple were living in the property with their first child... Mary Cecily Seaman, who was only one month old. The couple went on to have another nine children between them.


 

Sarah Anne died on the 3 October 1951 in Liverpool and is buried in a marked grave (above) in Allerton Cemetary, Liverpool.

#familyhistory #genealogy #sarahanneseaman #seamanfamilyhistory 

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

FAMILY HISTORIAN 6 - CHILLING AND CONSIDERING THE UPGRADE...




Bouncy castle folded up, M&S loungers on, mug of tea in hand while considering the latest upgrade for Family Historian in the garden at 9pm. 

But not before I do a full backup first methinks! ;-) 

#familyhistorian6 #softwareupgrade #genealogy

Friday, 22 June 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 17 - THE QUEEN MARY (ELIZABETH WELSH)

Three photos for the price of one today, as I was watching a documentary on TV earlier recalling the history of the luxury cruise liner, RMS Queen Mary. The programme was most interesting and told the story of the Cunard-White Star line flagship from her launch in 1936 to her retirement from service in 1967. 

During her time at sea, she served as a floating home to the rich and famous. She also carried troops during the war and was a favourite of the British royal family.

But I also recalled that she carried my aunt Betty on a trip to the U.S. from Southampton, UK in 1967, on what would be her final voyage for her owner-company, Cunard

  

The three photographs above have been taken by the official photographer on board the ship, and show Betty at dinner and also with a member of the crew.

Betty was a seasoned traveller by the time these photographs were taken and had travelled on a number of occasions-- either alone or with her friend Mavis-- on several cruises. These had been either to the Meditteranean and also the U.S.A.

I hadn't realised before looking at these photos after watching the programme, that they had been taken during that final voyage. After the ship left Southampton on 31 October 1967, I'm not sure if Betty travelled only part of the journey or whether she stayed with the ship until it finally docked in the U.S. I'm still researching this part of the puzzle. Unfortunately, my aunt is no longer with us so that I could ask her myself.

I've included a YouTube clip of the great ship leaving Southampton for the final time at the link below. It makes me smile to think that Betty had been aboard when the film was made.   

(video from YouTube (c) Margaret Lee) 

Saturday, 16 June 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 16 - MARGARET ELEANOR GRAHAM LAIT


Margaret Eleanor Graham Lait, my grandmother on my father's side of the family, was born in Liverpool in 1901. Margaret was the third child of ten in the family of Charles Graham Lait and his wife, Eleanor Kaye.

MEG, as I affectionately know her, married my grandfather Joseph Seaman in September 1928 in St Catherines Church, in the Edge Hill district of Liverpool. The couple had five surviving children, the sixth-- my aunt, Joyce Seaman-- unfortunately passed away as an infant.

In the 1939 Register, MEG's employment was listed as being 'unpaid domestic duties'-- in other words, she was a housewife in the family home. At the time the record was taken, the family were living in 54 Moorgate Street, Edge Hill... just across the road from the railway station. 

Margaret died in Sefton General Hospital Liverpool in October 1947 of heart failure. She was only young at forty-six years of age. 



According to information from my uncle, Margaret was employed at one point in her life as a confectionery worker in a sweet factory (see photo above). MEG is pictured here on the left with one of her co-workers. Two things stand out for me looking at this photo-- the first is the highly-polished shine on my grandmother's shoes, and the second is the woman sitting at the rear by the cart, who was basically photo-bombing the couple, around 80 years before the term was even invented!  

Finally... the name 'Graham' in my grandmother's name referred to the maiden name of her own grandmother-- Mary Ann Graham, who had been born in 1853 in Raithby, Lincolnshire. And both my parents agreed that I should be named Graham in honour of my grandmother.  

Friday, 8 June 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 15 - ELIZABETH WELSH, BUDGIES AND A CONCEALED RADIO

(My gran, Elizabeth Welsh)

There are a number of things in this photo which bring back memories for me.

The first, obviously, is my gran. In this photograph, which has been taken from a colour negative, Elizabeth is pictured sitting in her favourite chair in the front room of her house-- a two-up, two-down rented property in Hughson Street, Toxteth, Liverpool 8.   

I remember Lizzie, (as close family and friends knew her), as being a quiet, loving woman. She would most often be seen busying herself around the house, wearing her trademark 'pinnie'-- either preparing meals for the family or involved with general household cleaning duties. She loved to cook, and I remember standing or sitting beside her in the kitchen, while she allowed me to stick a spoon into a tub of cooking malt or sugary apple pie mix. I would have a smile on my face a mile wide as I sucked and licked the spoon dry afterwards.

But as I mentioned previously, I am reminded of a couple of other things on the photograph too.

The budgie, for a start.

There were three sets of animals in residence in Hughson Street at various times. Budgies, cats and Fred the tortoise (who had an unfortunate end while hibernating in the coal-shed). I remember a green budgie (Georgie-porgie), a yellow one whose name escapes me, and the blue one in this picture-- predictably named Bluey. He was a noisy specimen and can be heard twittering away to himself on a couple of audio tapes I still have. But he also had a bit of a mean streak in him-- and would viciously nip at our fingers if my brother or I were asked to change his cuttlefish bone for a fresh one.

The other memory I have is of the curtain behind my gran, or rather, what the curtain concealed.

There was a shelf built into this alcove and on it, my Dad-- who was well used to working with electrical equipment-- had installed a large valve radio set, and later a gramophone for the family's entertainment.

My Mum recalls that my Dad once fitted a microphone into the amplifier circuits of the equipment. During a family party, my grandad made an announcement through the radio while it was playing music, to play a trick on a relative-- Bridget Price, a cousin of my grandmother.

"Here is an official announcement. Would Mrs Bridie Price please contact the nearest police station. They have information which will be beneficial to her if she attends at her earliest convenience."

Thinking that the announcement was real, Bridie apparently almost fell off the couch in shock and became quite flustered at the thought of having to appear at the police station the following morning. But Mum recalls that everyone at the party had tears of laughter after Grandad's joke had been revealed, none more so than Bridie, who possessed quite a sense of humour herself as I recall. 

There is another memory of this equipment... involving a three-year-old, a mains lead, and a pair of nail clippers. But you can read more of this particular tale <here>.  

Thursday, 31 May 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 14 - MARY SMITH (m/n DUNN)

(Mary Smith b.1903 - d.1990)

Born on the 9th October 1903 in Liverpool, Mary Smith was the seventh child of nine, born to Michael Smith and his wife Bridget (nee Seary/Seery).

Mary was baptised in St Augustine's church, Vauxhall, Liverpool on 17th October of the same year.

Later in adulthood, her occupation would be officially listed as a machinist in a local factory making sacks. These would then be used to carry goods (perhaps coal or grain etc). 

On the 30th June 1925, Mary married James Patrick Dunn when she was 21 years of age. The couple went on to have nine children, five of whom survived into adulthood.

Mary died peacefully at home on the 24th October 1990 aged 87 years of age.

Mary will be remembered fondly by her family for many things. For example, for many years she enjoyed a drink of bottled Guinness in her local pub with her friends in the 'Snug'. Also, anyone who visited her home was asked to help prepare her 'tags' - lacing loops of string through blank parcel labels - a job which earned her a few extra pounds to subsidise her pension. 

(Mary - at home, working at preparing her parcel tags...)

Mary was undoubtedly a party animal - a lady who was full of life, full of fun, right to the end. And she also had a wicked singing voice, which can be heard <here> singing 'Lily of Laguna' at a family Christmas party...

Friday, 25 May 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 13 - FAMILY PARTY - 1971 / 72


A photo, taken by myself using with my trusty Kodak Instamatic
of a family party which we had in our flat at 22 Childwall Heights, Liverpool.

The picture features Mal, Eric and Marion Taylor who had come to visit. 
Also pictured are my brother Gary, Aunt Betty and Mum Joan.

Just why they had to pretend to form a band; being pictured with our two guitars, a Bontempi organ and a couple of tape-recorder microphones, I don't recall. But what I do remember is that such events were a regular occurrence in our house. We would be visited often by friends and family, and these events would always end the same way-- food and drink would be consumed, music would be played, and everyone would generally have a fab time. 

I also remember that I had an extension speaker my Dad brought home for me from the Hippodrome cinema where he was working at the time. It was an unwanted piece of kit he rescued after the cinema sound system had been upgraded.

During these parties, I would place the speaker in the living room and play music from my gear in our bedroom. I played both records or tapes-- playing whatever artists or albums had been requested by those present. Then, once the dancing was over and the conversation and general chat started, I would plug the speaker into the microphone input of my tape deck and sneakily record some of the conversations which ensued. 

After a while, I would fess up and playback a section of the recording to the audience. Once everyone had realised what I'd done, they'd listen to themselves speaking and even more laughter would take place. For some, it might have been the first time they had heard themselves talking on tape; quite a strange occurrence for some of them back in the 1970's.

It might just have been a family party... but the photo reminds me of such magic moments! 

How I wish I'd kept those tapes. 

I would just love to listen to them now. 

Friday, 18 May 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 12 - ELIZABETH ENGLEBRETSEN (nee DOUGLAS)

(Elizabeth Douglas b.1873 d.1928)

Elizabeth Douglas was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Douglas, 
who was my maternal great-grandmother.

She was born in Glasgow, Scotland on the 16 May 1873 and was one of three sisters who came with their father to Liverpool from Scotland.

It is believed that she had met my Norwegian great-grandfather while living in Glasgow. 

Peder Gerhard Ingebretsen, (...his Anglicised name Peter Gerard Englebretsen), worked as a mariner on ships which carried goods into and out of the ports of Britain. The exact circumstances of their meeting is not known, but it is believed that the couple met and started a relationship while Peder was on shore leave from the ship.

Elizabeth's mother passed away, and her father brought the family to Liverpool

On 1 November 1890 Elizabeth and Peder were married in Holy Trinity Church, Toxteth, Liverpool. The couple went on to have at least eight children. Three daughters survived - Hannah, Elizabeth and Martha. 

Elizabeth Douglas died in Sefton General Hospital, Liverpool in 1928. 

She died of mitral stenosis - a valvular defect in her heart which led to heart failure.  

Friday, 27 April 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 11 - BETTY WELSH IN TOXTETH STREET, L8

(Toxteth Street, Liverpool 8)

Betty Welsh (right) and her friend Ruby out for a stroll in the sunshine. 

There is no date on the photo, but the presence of bunting and age of my aunt 
(around 19 years of age) seems to indicate that this was around the time of the 
VE day celebrations in May 1945. 

The location of the photo is believed to be Toxteth Street, 
which ran between Park Street and Harlow Street, Liverpool 8.


Friday, 20 April 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 10 - THE ERLIS FAMILY, LIVERPOOL




A family photograph of the ERLIS family of Toxteth.

Thomas & Frances Midwood Erlis are pictured sitting outside their home, the outside of which has been decorated to celebrate a royal event - 
possibly the Silver Jubilee of George V of 1935. 

It was a normal, happy family moment caught by the camera. 

But along with many other families who lived in Liverpool at the time, the Erlis' were to suffer tragedy during the Second World War.

On the 6 May 1941 the family home at 12 Gaskell Street, Toxteth took a direct hit during a German air raid.

Their daughter Lilian, seen here standing proudly next to her Mum, was killed as a result of the bombing. She is officially listed among the war dead of Liverpool for 1941. A separate post about Lilian can be found <here>.

But the mother of the family was also badly injured. Frances tragically lost both her legs during the incident, and was forced to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair - a fact remembered by my own mother.

(photo courtesy of Lilian Wilson and Marion Wilkinson)

Friday, 13 April 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 9 - CHARLES IRVINE


A photo of my grandmother - Elizabeth WELSH (nee ENGLEBRETSEN) - attending a family party at her sisters home in Lordens Road, Huyton.

Pictured with her is her brother-in-law Charles IRVINE, the husband of her sister Hannah.

Born around 1892, Charles was father to five children - Charles Gerard (b.1916), May Henrietta (b.1918), Edna Marion (b.1921), Hannah (b.1924) and Lilian (b.1928).

Charles served in the Great War, although I have as yet been unable to find his war record.

His son Charles was tragically killed on 9th April 1945 at Bari, Italy when a liberty ship (the SS Charles Henderson) was being unloaded and the ammunition on it exploded.

Of the couple's children, the three middle sisters - May, Edna and Hannah - survived. I have fond memories of all three of them, and also the subsequent cousins (their children) who I grew up with.

I asked Mum about her specific memories of Charles Snr, and she recalled that he would often give her half an orange before she had her breakfast when she slept over. "Get that down you...it'll do you good," he'd tell her.

The final star of the photo above must be the phonograph - the handle on the front being used to wind the clock / spring mechanism inside which drove the turntable around and play the record. 

I have a few old 78 RPM records of my Mum's in the garage downstairs. 

I wonder if any of those were ever played during that happy family party, all those years ago.    





Friday, 6 April 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 8 - JOSEPH FREDERICK SEAMAN




Back once again after a blip of a couple of weeks - hectic family life and a stinking cold are just two of my excuses, but apologies nevertheless!

Anyway. Here we have a photograph of my great-grandfather on my Dad's line - Joseph Frederick SEAMAN. 

Joseph was born in the Everton district of Liverpool on the 18 September 1877. He was the third eldest son of Joseph SEAMAN and Mary RAVENSCROFT of North Wales.

Joseph Frederick married Sarah Anne SMITH of Liverpool in St Dunstan's church, Edge Hill on the 15 April 1900. 
Joseph Frederick and his wife Sarah Anne SEAMAN
After what appears to be quite a long and happy life, in which the couple had at least ten children,  Joseph finally passed away on 17 June 1958 in Newsham Hospital, Liverpool. He died of congestive cardiac failure.   

Friday, 16 March 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 7 - ELIZABETH WELSH (nee ENGLEBRETSEN)

 

Two photographs of my grandmother, Elizabeth Welsh (nee Englebretsen).

The first photo shows her photographed in a professional studio in Liverpool. It is estimated that she was around nineteen years of age when the photo was taken, which-- with Elizabeth's year of birth being 1895 --would put the date to be around 1914.

In the second photo, my grandmother is pictured standing on the steps of one of the large houses she used to serve. It is believed that she worked with an agency who provided service staff to families - for example, cooks, maids, cleaners, housekeepers etc. My aunt also informed me that she had been directly employed to at least one family as a general maid.

The houses were said to be those in the Princes Park area of Liverpool, which at the time were owned by prosperous businessmen and their families.

I'd love to be able to trace the property itself and see whether it is still there.

#familyhistory #genealogy #englebretsen    

Friday, 9 March 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 6 - MARTHA ERLIS (nee ENGLEBRETSEN)



Martha ENGLEBRETSEN (married name, ERLIS), and her daughter Marion.

Martha (b.1912) was the youngest daughter of my Norwegian great-grandfather, Peder Gerhard INGEBRETSEN and his wife Elizabeth DOUGLAS. 

Like her two surviving sisters, Hannah and Elizabeth (my grandmother), she was named ENGLEBRETSEN at birth, as this was the Anglicised version of the surname which her father adopted in this country.

Martha and her husband, John Frederick ERLIS (b.1913), lived in Prophet Street in Toxteth, Liverpool 8 with their family - daughters Marion and Lilian.

We only lived around the corner in Hughson Street and I remember the family fondly, our two families growing up, remaining close and sharing many happy times. 


Friday, 2 March 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 5 - CINEMA ADVERTISING - BETTY WELSH

 Betty Welsh - Hotel Sahara

A photo of my aunt, Betty Welsh, dressed in a skimpy costume and standing next to an advertising board which stood in the foyer of the Gaumont cinema, Princes Park, Liverpool.

It was common during the 1940's and 50's for such advertising to be seen, giving details of movies which were 'coming soon' to the cinema chain. Local advertising companies would sometimes be called in to create the items, which might then be passed on from cinema to cinema.

On whose idea it was to dress my aunt in a skimpy costume, I have no information at all. I only found this photo after she passed away and we were sorting through her effects. 

For all movie fans out there, the film itself was released in 1951 and starred Yvonne De Carlo, Peter Ustinov and David Tomlinson (see link below). 

 Hotel Sahara - IMDB Link

I might see if I can get hold of it, buy some popcorn and enjoy a night at the movies!
   

Thursday, 22 February 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 4 - D'ANNUNZIO - AN ITALIAN CONNECTION


Felice and Mary Agnes D'Annunzio



Above is a photograph of Felice D'Annunzio and his wife, Mary Agnes (formerly Douglas) with two of their children, dressed in their Sunday best clothes. The photo was taken at the beginning of the twentieth century, probably in Liverpool, during the early 1900's.

It appears to show one of their children dressed as if ready for baptism, the other-- slightly older child-- dressed smartly, his boots polished and shining.

On checking our family records, I believe the older child to be Henry Edward D'Annunzio, who was born on the 10th June 1902 and lived until he was ninety-four years of age. He married a lady called Jane Lloyd, but at present no further details of the family are available. 

Judging by his probable age in the photograph, it is likely that the younger child could then be his sister, Maria Eleanora D'Annunzio, born in 1906. She later went on to marry Thomas Fitzsimmons and had at least four children. 

Felice was brought to Liverpool by his parents, along with his siblings, after leaving the ancestral home in Atina in Italy. The collective families then established themselves in Liverpool, where some of their descendants still live to this day.

One of his siblings, Filipo (also known as Puche) Annunzio, is the great-grandfather of my wife, Sandra. Felice is, therefore, her great-uncle.


Thursday, 15 February 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 3 - MAURICE LAIT (MISSING IN ACTION)


Maurice Lait (centre) - listed as missing in WW1


This is a photograph which has been added to our family record only recently.

I had already written some of the story of my 2nd cousin (three times removed), Private Maurice LAIT, on another blog post on this site which you can find <here>

But one of the things which was missing from it was an actual photo of the man himself.

I received a message from a researcher who is looking into some of the deceased from 1916, to say that he had found this photo of my relative in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph newspaper.

At the time it was posted he had been listed as missing. It was a plea for information from his mother who was living in Buxton, Derbyshire.

Unfortunately, Maurice was found to have been killed in action on the 1st July 1916.

His name is listed on the Thiepval Memorial in France.

I am so grateful to the researcher who sent me this photograph. I had gathered a fair amount of information about my cousin, but what was missing was an actual image of him.

For this kind gesture, I am extremely grateful. 


Friday, 9 February 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 2 - THE ENGLEBRETSEN SISTERS

Hannah, Martha & Elizabeth Englebretsen

Pictured in the back garden at the new house in Lordens Road, Huyton, the three Englebretsen sisters - Hannah, Martha and my grandmother, Elizabeth.

The photo is not dated, but we estimate that it was taken shortly after WW2 ended when Hannah, her husband Charles Irvine and their family were living in a property built in Huyton - in what were then the suburbs of Liverpool.

A couple of other photographs from this day exist in the family archive, and there is no doubt that the family were enjoying a party - there is a wind-up gramophone pictured on one, another shows some of the family dancing in the garden. Unfortunately, the reason for the 'do' hasn't been recorded. 

However, my mother fondly recalls visits up to the house with her parents when they lived in Toxteth. At the time, the young teenage girl used to feel that Huyton was 'out in the country', being situated on the edge of the main city conurbation at that time. The area was surrounded by greenery and visitors from Toxteth needed to catch two trams or buses to get up there. It was a house she remembers fondly and with love.

The house was home to succeeding generations of Hannah's and her daughter's family, until relatively recently when my aunt (also named Hannah) passed away.

The house was then sold to a local family, who will hopefully find as much love there as they all did. 

Friday, 2 February 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 1 - JOAN SEAMAN AND THE BOYS IN HUGHSON STREET


 Joan and the Boys

Mum Joan SEAMAN around 1959/1960, with Gary on her knee and Graham holding the lorry. Pictured in a rare colour photo of the time, sitting on the couch in her parents rented home in Hughson Street, Toxteth, Liverpool 8. The house was a small two-up, two-down terraced house in which we were all living at the time. 

My Gran and Grandad slept in the main bedroom at the front of the house, while Mum, Dad, Gary and myself slept in the smaller back bedroom. My brother and I would eventually sleep in bunk beds - Gary on the bottom, me on the top. My Aunt then slept downstairs in the front parlour room on a fold up sofa bed. 

As if all this was a bit basic, there was also no bathroom in the property. We had to get washed in the back kitchen, after it had been warmed up from the heat of the stove-- or had to take a stand-up bath in front of the fire in an old tin bath. When not in use the bath would usually hang up on the wall outside the kitchen in the backyard.

Finally, there were no indoor toilet facilities in the property. If we needed the loo we would have to go down to the bottom of the yard and do our business in the outside toilet. There was no heating or lighting in the cold brick-built shed. We would need to go down there during the snow in winter or with an umbrella when it was raining. 

Not good. Oh...and don't forget your torch whatever you do!