"I just want young people to embrace where they come from, be proud of it, and share their family's history. This country was built on beautiful stories of heritage,". ©️Zendaya. I’ve been fascinated by my Great, Great, Grandfather, John Cornelius O’Connor, from the very first time I heard his name and how he was born … Continue reading The Life Of Annie Dorothy O’Connor – 1879-1954
My love for genealogy is fuelled by my determination to discover the truth behind our mysterious O’Connors. My passion is at its fullest when it comes to them. They are my biggest headache and my greatest love. I’m not entirely sure what fuels that passion, was it the incredibly kind, loving heart of my, Great … Continue reading Meet The O’Connors – The Bairns of, John Cornelius O’Connor.
Even though I still very much believe that our, John Cornelius O’Connor, was born in County Kerry, Ireland, I have been following a possible paper trail for the, O’Connor family. After trolling the birth index’s I came across two birth index’s, one for, John’s brother, Thomas, and another for John. Both give the mothers maiden … Continue reading The Hunt For, John Cornelius O’Connors, Birth Index And Birth Certificate, 1872.
We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted. Each of us contains within this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise. – Edward Sellner I’m sure by now, you are well aware of my love for genealogy, but more so … Continue reading The Life of Rosina Margaret O’Connor 1884-1939
My maternal 3rd Great Grandfather, Jesse Townsend, is one of my ancestors who has stolen my heart. Of course he has to be one of the hardest people to trace, especially his beginnings. Even though I have managed to trace him through the census’s, found his marriage, know who his children are and even what … Continue reading 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Jesse Townsend, 1835 – Update
You have to find something that you love enough to be able to take risks, Jump over the hurdles and break through the brick wallsthat are always going to be placed in front of you. If you don't have that kind of feeling for what it is you're doing, you'll stop at the first giant … Continue reading The Life Of Thomas Kirby 1831-1911
It’s been a while since I updated any information to my 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks, but with the release of the “1921 census” last week, I’m hoping to update when I can. Unfortunately the 1921 census is pay-per-view even if you have a membership with, Find My Past, as I do. I must say … Continue reading Eileen Mary Kirby, Update – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks.
If you read Stacey’s guest blog, “Your feet will bring you where your heart is”, you may remember that she has been in contact with Co. Kerry library and they have kindly been looking into our, John Cornelius O’Connor, for us, in hopes of tracking his roots down. Stacey and I were extremely excited when … Continue reading John Cornelius O’Connor – The Hunt Continues.
My life time dream, has always been to visit Ireland, if possible to move there. I’m extremely proud of my Irish roots, even though so little is known about them. Each year that passes the ache to connect with my irish ancestry grows, unfortunately life always seems to take me down different roads and I … Continue reading Your feet will bring you where your heart is.
When I first started my blog back in January 2018, its main purpose was to document my family history, through completing a 52 week challenge, about my ancestors. A year on, I’ve done just that and boy I’m glad I did. I feel pretty pleased and a little proud that I managed to complete it … Continue reading John Cornelius O’Connor -Update
Welcome back to the life of my maternal Grandmother, Doreen June Willats. Today we visit the second part of the series, the school years but if you missed the first part, you can find it here. Let’s get straight to it, shall we. Do you remember any holidays or special outings from your younger years? … Continue reading Doreen June Willats – Part 2 – Growing
Family history research seems to only concentrate on the souls who have passed over, to where ever it may be. But what about your ancestors whom are still alive and kicking, the ones who remember the souls you are desperate to discover. Isn’t it our jobs as budding historians to document not only the deceased … Continue reading Doreen June Willats – The Beginning.
I can’t believe I’m at the end of my “52 Ancestors" challenge. At times I thought I would never get here. It’s been extremely hard work, time-consuming, blooming expensive, but most of all it’s been an absolute pleasure. I’ve also learnt a lot about myself along the way. I’ve learnt that my spelling is still … Continue reading Mr and Mrs, Reginald George Wilfred Willats – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 52 – Part 3 – Memories
Welcome back to the life of Reginald George Wilfred Willats (Reg) and Eileen May Willats Nee O'Connor, my Great-Grandparents. Its the year 1928, in the City of Southampton in Hampshire, England. The city is well paved, sewered and lighted, and has an excellent water supply, a fine sanatorium, a municipal dispensary and a school clinic. … Continue reading Mr and Mrs, Reginald George Wilfred Willats – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 52 – Part 2
Have you ever felt really close to someone, So close that you can't understand why you and the other person have two separate bodies, two separate skins? My maternal Great-Grandparents love for each other wasn’t just a love of the heart but a love of the soul, an eternal love, a love unbreakable even through … Continue reading Mr Reginald and Mrs Eileen Willats – Part 1 – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 52
Welcome back to the life of We left Harry back in 1944, working as management for The Peacock Hotel, a Grade II Listed Building in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, while he was taking a break from the music halls. Dick aka Harry, first appeared back in the tabloids on, October 24 1947. Sadly, this is where Dicks … Continue reading Harry Richard Thomas Willats, Aka DICK MONTAGUE – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 51, Part 3
Welcome back to the life of Harry Richard Thomas Willats, also known as our One Any Only 🎭Dick Montague🎭 Last week I told you all about his life as Harry, this week we travel back in time and see a snippet of his life as Dick Montague, through the tabloids. It may be a little … Continue reading Harry Richard Thomas Willats, Aka DICK MONTAGUE – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 51, Part 2
Just a little update for you as promised in last weeks 52 Ancestors post about Harry Richard Thomas Willats, which you can find here. I have received his son's birth certificate and can now clarify Brett's date of birth and birth information. Brett Herbert Montague Willats was born on August 9, 1953, at King Edward … Continue reading Brett Howard Montague Willats – Update.
I’m sure you may recognise the name, "Harry Richard Thomas Willats," by now, his name has popped up a good few times over my "52 week challenge" and this week I finally get to tell you a little about him. I’m not going to go into the history of the name "Willats" as you can … Continue reading Harry Richard Thomas Willats – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 51
Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. (Menachem Begin) Ever since I saw this photograph of my four maternal Great-Grandparents, Reginald George Wilfred Willats, Jesse Edward Townsend, Bessie Eva Annie Sweet … Continue reading Jesse Townsend – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 50
It's funny how as you grow older, your history becomes so much more important. Those small details hold greater meaning and you begin to relate your own life and personality to the ones that came before you. As I have mentioned in other posts, our family have always had a passion and deep love for … Continue reading Andrew Porter – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 49
The Mysteries are gateways, thresholds between this world and the Otherworld, the meeting place of gods and people. Family history is just a gigantic mystery waiting to be solved and this weeks ancestor has a good few, well hidden, missing pieces to her puzzle. 🧩 Although I know a great deal about her family, her … Continue reading Eliza Cameron – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 47
We may all wish, that we came from royalty or some famous hero, but I am pretty happy to say I come from, hard-working humble roots. Ancestors whom worked the land, the mines and helped build our towns or cities, roads etc. This weeks ancestor made a working class, honest living, and that’s just fine … Continue reading Alfred Wheeler – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 46
Welcome back to the life of, Harry Herbert Willats (Money). We left Harry back in 1911, Margate, were he was performing with his “White Stars Concert Party,” married to Eleanor Willats Nee Kirby. They have had three children, Harry, Doris and Reginald. Baby Doris, passed away leaving a family of four, living the life of … Continue reading Harry Herbert Money/Willats – Part 3
Welcome back to the life of our one and only Harry Herbert Willats and the year 1899, in the southeast town, Margate, known for its sandy beach and entertainment on the pier. Harry Herbert Willats, performed there, at the Hall by the sea, for the annual benefit of the manager, Mr Wm. Sanger (Documented in … Continue reading Harry Herbert Money/Willats – Part Two.
A while ago, I told you all the story of, one of my favourite ancestors, Eleanor Mary Kirby aka Nellie Montague. Since childhood I’ve had a magical picture of how wonderful Eleanor and her husband's life would have been, how much in love they were, you know one of those unbreakable loves, that no matter … Continue reading Harry Herbert Money/Willats – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 45 – Part 1
This weeks ancestor, is truly a tricky one, but very enjoyable to research. I've still not 100% cracked her puzzle but I'm getting close. I'm very lucky to have a photo of her, which unfortunately I can't really share with you as I was given it by a very kind, distant relative Hazel. It's funny … Continue reading Eliza Stockwell – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 44
From the beginning of my research, I have been fascinated with this weeks ancestor, as very little is known about her family. Her parents are a frustrating puzzle that never seems to let up and give me clues. Her Husband also fascinates me because his life before the age of six is a complete mystery … Continue reading Catherine Fielder – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 44
🎖Frank Milward Newell 1899-1918 Pas-de-Calais 🎖Harry Pearce 1874-1916 Beaumont Hamel, France 🎖Walter Pearce 1883-1916 France and Flanders 🎖Horace Lennan Willats 1894-1916 Rugeley, Staffordshire. 🎖Alton Henry Willats 1889-1917 Pas-de-Calais, France. 🎖Harry Ashley Willats 1889-1917 Battle, Sussex. 🎖David James E Willats 1898-1917 France and Flanders. 🎖James O’Connor 25 Oct 1915 The Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley Marsh, Hampshire, … Continue reading Lest We Forget
Tradition lives because young people come along who catch its romance and add new glories to it. (Michael Novak) Gone are the days of what I call real craftsmanship, when everything was done/made by hand and not pumped out by the billions from a factory or huge machinery cutting the corps and ploughing the fields, … Continue reading Charles Frederick Joseph Townsend – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 40
Our family has always had a love for the ocean, from the calm before the storm, to the waves crashing upon the shore, to the tranquility of the open waters. It’s almost like a pull, a pull from deep within our souls. Just to sit and listen as the ocean waters ripple as it mees … Continue reading Isaac Porter – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 38
Me again, just a small update for you. The two certificates I was waiting for have arrived, unfortunately it seems the yet again, it’s the wrong birth for, Alice Maria Money. The hunt will have to continue. However the death certificate for, Mary Ann Money nee Skeleton, Alice's mother is correct and I can confirm … Continue reading Alice Maria Money – Update.
I often talk about those tricky ancestors whom like to play a good old game of hide and seek, well this weeks ancestor is one of them, from different dates of birth to places of birth, and constant name changes, she’s not the easiest to pinpoint. And even though I can’t be 100% certain about … Continue reading Alice Maria Money – 52Ancestors In 52 Weeks – Week 37
Certificates have been floating in, in dribs and drabs throughout the last few days, all apart from one which I was refunded for. My 3rd Great Grandmothers, Eliza Stockwell, original birth record is in too poor condition to be sent as a pdf, which is such a shame, as I am slowly buying all my … Continue reading Stockwell Angels – Elizabeth Wren, 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks, Week 34 Update.
Through dusty documentation, census records, birth marriage and death indexes we are incredibly lucky to be able to trace, the one whom gave us life, whom fought battles, faces heartbreak and struggled through life. This weeks ancestor one of the saddest, heartbreaking lives, of my ancestors. She’s pretty incredible as is her husband. How they … Continue reading Elizabeth Wren – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 34
Throughout my family research, so many of my ancestors have kept me on my toes, they’ve loved to play a good old game of hide and seek. The Kirby family especially like to play. I have big gaps in their history and a family rumour to clarify. My Nan Doreen Townsend nee Willats, was told … Continue reading Alfred Kirby – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks -Week 32
The Music Hall, which is in no thing, but makes use of everything gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness, rediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations. To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the Music Hall. How I would … Continue reading Nellie Montague / Eleanor Mary Kirby – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 30 – Part 2
Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop. It’s been a long time coming but FINALLY I broke down Eleanor’s brick wall and I’m chuffed to bits. Seriously I’m doing a massive victory dance. The lady that mesmerises me, finally has an end to her story and I can even say that it looks like a “Happy Ever After.” … Continue reading Eleanor Mary Kirby – Update
I’m so excited to finally be able to tell you all about my Great, Great Granny, Eleanor Mary Kirby. She is probably my favourite ancestor. She’s intrigues me, even fascinates me. She’s also one of my hardest ancestors to research, even though as you’ll find out, she should be one of the easiest. Eleanor, is … Continue reading Eleanor Mary Kirby / Nellie Montague – 52 Ancestors in 52 Week – Week 29 – Part 1
I always thought that my Great-Grandad, Reginald Willats, only had one sibling, Harry. How wrong was I. I’ve since discovered that he had a Sister called, Doris, and eight half siblings, who have given me endless questions, the need to know more and an overwhelming sadness for my Great, Great-Granny Eleanor. I will shed light … Continue reading Doris Eleanor Poppy Willats – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 28
Family history research isn’t easy, with one brick wall after another, it’s a little like life and all its challenges. So I thought this week I would do something a little different and share with you one of my hardest ancestors, a women who I am desperately trying to find out about, and unfortunately not … Continue reading Ellen Tilley – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 24
Just a quick update for you. Last Friday I told you all about, Susan Mary Kirby nee Lagden but I was waiting on four certificates, for two of Susan’s and Alfred’s angel baby’s, Alice Maud Olive Kirby and Richard Arthur Kirby. Their birth and death certificates finally arrived in my inbox this morning. As promised here … Continue reading Susan Mary Lagden, Update.
Family researching can at times be easy, everything falling into place with out to much trouble. At others times it can leave you pulling your hair out, steam oozing from your ears and your computer heading at full speed towards the window. I have a good few branches of my tree, that leave me feeling … Continue reading Susan Mary Lagden – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 21
Some say, our life's and death's are planned out for us, the day we are born, that fate/destiny is the controlling factor. Some say, your life is what you make it. Neither can ever be proven, well not as far as I can see but I do believe fate plays the larger hand and with … Continue reading Harry Ashley Willats – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 18
Just a quick update for you. I have just received, John Sweet’s, birth and death certificates, which confirm he was the son of Emily Sweet Nee Forhead and Edward Sweet. John Sweet was born on the 27th May 1888, at 3 High Street, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England. John died two days later on … Continue reading John Sweet 1888 – Update
Life, Is it what happens to us ? or is it what we make it? I would like to believe that it’s the latter , but I also believe fate or our already written destiny has a huge role to play. Some peoples lives are one massive advantage, while others, sadly live to work, never … Continue reading Emily Forhead – 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks, Week 17
Just a little update to tell you, I have found the burial for Elizabeth Grace Gibbs Porter and her husband, George Frederick Sweet. They were buried at Ryde New Cemetery, Ryde, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, in section K, Plot 3632. Their Headstone inscriptions are - IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY DEAR HUSBAND GEORGE SWEET, DIED … Continue reading Elizabeth Grace Gibbs Porter – Update
Another week is over and I must admit, I am far from being ready or prepared to write this post. I've found it extremely hard to pick an ancestor to write about this week, I've also have had the bug from hell for over a week now and was very close to not writing a … Continue reading Emily Shinkfield – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 15
The sun is out, the sky is blue, I’m sat at my computer writing to you. It’s that time again, time to share this weeks ancestor with you, week 14 of 52. This week is going to be a little bit different and I’ll almost be repeating myself but I’m so excited and humble about … Continue reading Katherine and Rosa Townsend – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Week 14.
Every day that passes we are making our own history, the love and friendship we give will forever be imbedded in our families hearts. We will leave our own little mark in this huge universe, though small, it will in its own right be powerful. Some of us will leave more than others, some will … Continue reading Ethel May Wheeler – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 13.
Some ancestors are so much harder to trace than others and this weeks ancestor is no exception. She’s been a tricky one that’s for sure. I have a good few lines on my martial line, that have the highest, strongest, brick walls to break. The O’Connor family is with-out a shadow of a dealt the … Continue reading Elizabeth Grace Gibbs Porter – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks
So it’s week 9 of my challenge and I’m sorry to say this week is going to be a little different, in true honesty I’m really struggling with that fact. Up until I have been buying the birth certificates for each child born, which I’m hoping to carry on and do when possible. This week … Continue reading Rosa Alice Freak – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks
It’s that time again, time for the next instalment of my 52 week challenge, I can’t believe we are on week 7 already. As you already know I’m going to writing about the brother of Horace Lennan Willats, I hope you enjoyed his story, well all of my posts so far. If you do please … Continue reading Alton Henry Willats – 52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors.
This morning I finally received two pdf certificates for Horace Lennan Willats His birth certificate. And his death certificate. Cause of death - From compression of the brain due to haemorrhage inside the skull caused by accidental wounds to the head from the premature bursting of a grenade whilst engaged in bombing practice on December 17 … Continue reading Horace Lennan Willats – Update.
My boys always say, "Why are you researching your history, it’s the past, live for the future?" While I agree on many levels, I also disagree. My family’s history is extremely important to me, why ? I don’t really know how to answer that, I don’t have the right words to explain it. All I … Continue reading Horace Lennan Willats – 52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors
Elizabeth Grace Porter - Week 5. We all know to well that life is very good at throwing us endless stress, more bad days than good. Life is hard at times, truly hard. We all go through struggles, some days we cope, others we don’t cope as well. Not matter what happens in our lives, … Continue reading Elizabeth Grace Porter – 52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors
John Willats - 52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors, Week 3. It wasn’t my intention to write about my 6th great-grandfather this week, I had already written it on my 2nd great-grandmother Estella Rudgely but I’m waiting on happy mail in forms of a few birth certificates, which unfortunately haven’t arrived in time so I’m now going … Continue reading John Willats – 52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors.
52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors - Week 2 Jesse Townsend 1835 - 1905 I write this weeks "52 weeks, 52 Ancestors", with a heavy and broken heart. We lost a great man at the weekend, a man who showed us what family really means, a man who gave us faith in humanity, whom loved whole heartedly, … Continue reading 52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors – Week 2 – Jesse Townsend 1835-1905
52 Ancestors, 52 Weeks - Week 1. JOHN CORNELUIS O'CONNOR, my great, great martinal Grandfather, is one tricky subject and the hardest brick wall so far in my family history research. This man draws me in, he gets under my skin, visits my dreams, and consumes my daily thoughts, way more than he should. I … Continue reading John Cornelius O’Connor.