Arthur Charles Baldwin: The Boy Who Killed His Sister

Arthur Charles Baldwin 1898-1950 Miscreant child of Southend on Sea, Essex, and my second cousin, three times removed. Whilst metaphorically leafing through old issues of the Southend Standard on FindMyPast, ever hopeful of finding something new about my ancestors, I chanced upon an article about the family of my first cousin, four times removed, Thomas Henry … Continue reading Arthur Charles Baldwin: The Boy Who Killed His Sister

Annie Catherine Downing: Found Mutilated on the Line

Annie Catherine Downing 1877-1899 Domestic Servant of Southend, Essex, and my great great grandmother. My mother actually started tracing the family tree before I did.  The person who sparked her interest was her grandfather's mother.  She knew her grandfather, Frederick, had been brought up by his uncle, because his mother had died.  She did not … Continue reading Annie Catherine Downing: Found Mutilated on the Line

Harry William Downing: Lost at Sea

Harry William Downing  1876-1915 Painter and Sailor of Southend-on-Sea and Bristol, and my third great uncle Harry was the third child of Henry and Harriet Downing, brother to Emily, Joseph and my great great grandmother Annie.  He was born in Steeple, Essex, in 1876.   I am pleased to say that Harry was not a bigamist … Continue reading Harry William Downing: Lost at Sea

Henry Downing: the effect on a young family of the death of a parent

Henry Downing, 1847-1898 Painter and Decorator of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, and my great great great grandfather In the 19th century,  the death of a parent could spell financial disaster for a previously comfortably-off family, like the Downings.  Families needed a father to bring in money, and a mother to look after the home and children.  A … Continue reading Henry Downing: the effect on a young family of the death of a parent

Frederick Allen Downing: finding the father of an illegitimate child

Frederick was an obvious choice for a starting point for this blog.  His parentage was the biggest mystery in my family tree, and at one point, I thought it an unsolvable mystery.  It turned out the answer was staring me in the face all along. Read more...