Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park in Spring

A selection of photos I took before volunteering in the Cemetery Park today. The robins are always happy to see the volunteers as they think we're going to start digging up big juicy worms for them. I bet they were well disappointed when I started doing grave recording instead! I also spotted (but was not … Continue reading Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park in Spring

Gravehunting in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

I've not updated this blog in some time and the main reason for this is my NHS day job and that pandemic business being a bit time consuming and energy-sapping - not to mention the difficulty of getting to faraway graveyards and archives during a lockdown. In August last year I moved from Walthamstow to … Continue reading Gravehunting in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

Samuel Doidge Brent

Samuel Doidge Brent 1863-1937 Postmaster and my great grandfather I have a tradition of naming snails after my great grandparents.  My two pet Giant African Land Snails were Percy and Phoebe, after Percy and Phoebe Beale, my dad's mum's parents.  Meanwhile, the furry toy snail that accompanies me to parkruns is called Samuel, not just … Continue reading Samuel Doidge Brent

Leanor Ann Appleton – Part 2.

I found her. People who are not genealogists will probably never understand the excitement and sense of accomplishment that comes from tracking down an elusive ancestor that has eluded them for years.  You may wonder why it matters so much to me to find out what happened to a fourth great aunt who died over … Continue reading Leanor Ann Appleton – Part 2.

Edmund Thornton Watkins

Edmund Thornton Watkins 1849-1929 (?) Professional Singer and no relation to me whatsoever Forever on the search for my fascinating name changing bigamist 4th great aunt, Leanor/Angelina Appleton/Collins/Moxon, I decided to try another tack and found myself researching a fascinating individual who may only have been tangentially linked to my family. In 1891, Leanor is … Continue reading Edmund Thornton Watkins

Runaway Ancestors

Charles Richard Curteis/Pilcher 1836-1915 Runaway to New Zealand and my cousin three times removed This is a lovely example of how DNA evidence and family hearsay can come together. One of my DNA matches, RP, caught my eye.  We shared enough DNA to be approximately third cousins, and had a number of more distant matches … Continue reading Runaway Ancestors

I'm currently taking part in the MIND initiative, RED January - the purpose of which is to do some form of exercise every day to raise awareness of mental health issues and how exercise affects the mental health. While I'm doing that, I'm also going to take a look at some ancestors whose mental health … Continue reading

Jean Mary Olorenshaw: A Tribute to My Grandmother

Jean Mary Olorenshaw 1921-1958 My grandmother This is a hard post for me to write, because unlike the other ancestors I have written about, this isn't just a piece of history that has been forgotten.  There are people who knew Jean who are still alive and who remember her final days only too well.  This … Continue reading Jean Mary Olorenshaw: A Tribute to My Grandmother

My Northern Roots

I think of myself as not only almost completely British, but almost completely Southern as well - most of my research is within Kent and Essex.  But I am actually one eighth Yorkshirese.  My great grandmother, Elizabeth Danby, came from a little town near Harrogate.  She met my great grandfather, Frederick Downing, when he was … Continue reading My Northern Roots

John Beale: letters from the grey sheep of the family

John Beale 1811-1873 Farmer of Biddenden and Beckley and my great great grandfather.   Rich Richard Beale, 18th century dog doodler and Twitter sensation, had eleven children.  The second youngest was my great great grandfather, John.  I have been lucky enough to receive some copies of letters once in the possession of my 3rd great … Continue reading John Beale: letters from the grey sheep of the family