A branch from my Family Tree
I love local history. Mr Point Five is fascinated with Ancient History and can watch hours of Roman/Medieval documentaries, but me, as soon as we moved here I was instantly into the Shire Office to suss out our towns past. I wanted to know how our town came to be and see the faces of the people who built it with their bare hands. I love seeing the old homes/businesses that are still standing and I LOVE living in one of the original town historical buildings which is over 120 years old. I love wandering around our house and picturing all the people who lived in it before. I wonder where they slept, how they lived. I imagine the conversations and different scenarios that have played out under my own roof. To be a part of such colourful history is simply wonderful to me and the day we leave here I will be truly sad. I just adore our home with its inbuilt safe, prisoner hatch and quarried limestone walls.
When we left our town three towns ago we put a lot of furniture into storage as our next house was only small. I had inherited quite a few lovely antique pieces from my late Grandmother and we said goodbye to them until we had a home big enough to have them displayed. We now have the German Walnut piano that I learnt to play on as a small child back in our home, as well as a few leadlight bookcases, a stunning rocking chair with tapestry upholstery, china display cabinets (yes, with a lot of gorgeous china handed down too – I am still pissed at myself for hocking some when I was in Uni to pay my rent. REALLY pissed!), stools and crystal, all of which belonged to either Grandmother of mine before they passed away.
I wear this ring 24/7 on the middle finger of my right hand. It was my (maternal) Great grandmothers wedding ring. It has a D and an R engraved on the top, for Dorothy and Reginald. Engraved inside the ring is the date they got married; July 16, 1908.
Dorothy died giving birth to my Grandmother, Margaret, in 1912 and I value this ring even more than my Wedding Ring. Shhhh.
This is one of the pieces we just got back out of storage. It was my maternal Grandmothers. I’m not sure if it was her mothers as well but I know my Mum had it sent over when her Dad passed away. I would love to turn the key, pull the little desk down and do my homework on it when I was younger. Our Christmas tree always stood next to it in the house I was growing up in and I remember the lights twinkling in the glass. The glass is leadlight and it presses in if you push on it. Eeeek! The two pieces on it I inherited from my Paternal Grandmother, also named Margaret. She said to each of her grandchildren that we could choose just ONE thing from her house when she died, and we could take it, no questions asked with the rest being split between my Dad and Aunt. I chose this matching vase and clock. I love them so much, even if the vase is slightly chipped and the clock no longer works.
Back to the cabinet. I inherited it about 5 years ago from my mother, complete with all its books and I LOVE having it in my home. The smell is divine; musty fusty dusty museum type smell, all leather and paper.
I want to share a little of its contents with you because it blows me away every time I unpack them and put them on the shelves. I hope it does you too.
Dorothy was my Great Grandmother, as previously mentioned. This would have been for her tenth Christmas as she was born 31st October 1885. Her Dad was named Montague. Little did she know she would be married 14 yeas later and would die in childbirth with her second daughter.
Aged 16, and reading Shelley. I was reading Sweet Valley High. Oh dear.
Wow. Just Wow. I wonder who the Princess of Wales was back then. The daughter of King Edward VII? Princess Louise? Need to do some homework.
This is the Piece de la Resistance of my cabinet. It is a leather bound Bible given to my Great Grandfather Reginald, from Dorothy a few months after they had been married and a few years before she passed away. It was obviously the most precious item he owned and it is just amazing to behold, nearly 100 years on. To actually have it in my hands, passed down through the years, it brings tears to my eyes, I cannot explain.
Under her Signature, her husband had since written the date she was born, when they got engaged, the date they married, when she died and the day she was laid to rest. So tragic; only seven years from engagement to eternal parting. A young widower with two young daughters.
He has also written under her dedication his own parting script; “I trust I shall shortly see thee and we shall speak face to face“. He wrote this in his beloved bible two years after he lost her. All the tears.
On the left up the top are their own daughters birth dates, my grandmothers just 16 days before the death of her mother. I have only now done the math and realised that Dorothy must have been about 3 months pregnant when she was married – seems I have a bit in common with her there.
Under that are the children my Grandmother had, five of them, one dying aged 10 months from a heart condition.
It appears from the bottom left my Great Grandfather remarried three years after the death of his wife and they had another daughter together. My Grandmothers sister and half sister never bore children of their own.
Anyway, I adore my old books and the housing that encases them. I just thought to share one of my passions; are you a sucker for local history too? Did your Great Grandmother get knocked up before she was married? What a scandal! Did you sell something precious that you totally regret now?