Category Archives: World War I

The San Marzano Oliveto war memorial

When my 17 year-old great-grandmother emigrated from Italy to America in late 1912, she could hardly have imagined that in less than three years her homeland would take part in the First World War – a conflict which was to … Continue reading

Posted in Death, Genealogy, Italy, Killed In Action, War, World War I | Leave a comment

Victorian mourning

We are all familiar with the quintessential image of Queen Victoria in her widow’s weeds, dressed from head to foot in deep mourning for her beloved Albert, the Prince Consort. “Why may the earth not swallow me up?”, wrote an … Continue reading

Posted in Death, England, Genealogy, Marriage, Royalty, Women, World War I | 1 Comment

Tragedy, the Lancastria and my Firkins cousins

Susan Tippins was my great-great-great-grandmother’s youngest sister. As the paper trail went cold, until very recently I’d suspected she had died young, or fallen into obscurity. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that a distant cousin of mine in … Continue reading

Posted in 1911 Census, Australia, Death, Genealogy, Herefordshire, Liverpool, Ships, Wales, World War I, World War II | Leave a comment

Looking for Edwin

In 2014 I decided to take advantage of my Ancestry.co.uk subscription and expand my research area beyond my own blood-relatives to collateral lines and families who intermarried with my own. By doing so I knew I would probably hit a … Continue reading

Posted in 1911 Census, 1939 UK Register, Adoption, Ancestry.com, Birth, Civil Registration, England, Genealogy, Herefordshire, Illegitimacy, Killed In Action, War, World War I | 1 Comment

The curious private life of Mary Willoughby

On 23rd December 1880, a wedding took place in the church of Saint James the Great, Colwall, at the foot of the Malvern Hills which separate Herefordshire from Worcestershire. The bride was twenty-five-year-old Mary Willoughby, my great-grandfather’s third cousin and … Continue reading

Posted in 1881 Census, 1891 Census, 1901 Census, Birth, Colwall, Colwall Soldiers, Divorce, France, Genealogy, Herefordshire, Marriage, Worcestershire, World War I, Yorkshire | Leave a comment

The story of Charles Henry Vickress

During the summer of 1870, my great-great-great-great-grandparents Frederick and Ann Vickress welcomed their tenth (and last) child, a son whom they had baptised on 21 August in the local church of Lyonshall (Herefordshire), where Frederick worked as a humble carpenter … Continue reading

Posted in 1871 Census, 1881 Census, 1891 Census, 1901 Census, 1911 Census, Australia, Birth, Cheshire, Death, Emigration, England, Genealogy, Herefordshire, Lyonshall, Pembridge, Wales, World War I | Leave a comment

Researching Clara Allen

Several years ago I learned, thanks to the English census, that my great-great-grandfather John Allen had a younger sister called Clara. For some inexplicable reason, I have always felt a keen interest in Clara’s story – perhaps because for many … Continue reading

Posted in 1851 Census, 1861 Census, 1871 Census, 1881 Census, 1891 Census, 1901 Census, 1911 Census, Birth, Colwall, Death, England, Genealogy, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Illness, War, Women, Work, World War I, World War II | 1 Comment

Part I: A mound of relatives

Lately I dedided to do a bit of research on the Mounds, the family of my 3x great-grandmother Ellen. But before delving into the past and (hopefully) unearth some skeletons, let’s learn a bit more about Ellen herself. To start … Continue reading

Posted in 1851 Census, 1861 Census, 1871 Census, 1881 Census, Adoption, Death, Downstairs staff, England, Genealogy, Herefordshire, Hope Bagot, Shropshire, Wolverhampton, Women, World War I, Wormsley | 1 Comment

Cousin Marjorie’s Letter from Canada

Years ago, probably sometime during the 1950’s, my grandmother’s cousin Marjorie Allen visited Canada and there met up with friends and acquaintances from her native Colwall (Herefordshire) whom she had not seen in decades. The story of her trip, which … Continue reading

Posted in Canada, Colwall, Death, Emigration, England, Genealogy, Herefordshire, Marriage, New York City, Property, Ships, United States, Women, World War I, World War II | Leave a comment

Remembering Ash Villa

There are not many buildings left standing where an ancestor of mine once lived. One of the few exceptions that I know of is a quaint yet ordinary-looking, four-bedroom house called Ash Villa, in Upper Colwall, Herefordshire. Nestled behind the … Continue reading

Posted in 1851 Census, 1861 Census, 1871 Census, 1881 Census, 1891 Census, 1901 Census, 1911 Census, Adoption, Birmingham, Birth, Colwall, Death, England, Genealogy, Herefordshire, Property, War, Worcestershire, World War I | 6 Comments