Family documents are a tossup- what was considered worth keeping for one hundred years? I have documents that date from 1910 to the 2000s- a school memoir, the draft of a will, travel diaries, photos, ephemera, and hundreds of letters that start ‘Dear Mummy’. Trivia from the past becomes fascinating when a window into a different way of life opens- even if one only gets a peek.

This family history starts in the middle of the eighteenth century when the Hazell brothers left England and ended up in St Vincent, West Indies.  My mother, Cynthia, recorded what she and her cousins worked out about the family tree, and also wrote stories about her mother’s life in the 1890s and the early twentieth century.  The blog follows chronologically from the early posts with those stories; a memoir written by my grandmother, Carol, when she was seventeen; family photos to illustrate the posts, to the 1920s when Cynthia’s letters begin.  I hope you enjoy the twentieth century from her perspective.

  • Family Letters

    August 9, 2019 by

    When I first thought of reading my mother’s old letters to my grandmother, it was because I had been listening to CBC radio talking about the polio scares of the 1950s.  My husband Pat is five years older than I and can remember the public swimming pools in Windsor being closed because of fear of… Read more

  • July 27 1952

    November 26, 2020 by

    31 Acacia Avenue  Ottawa.  27th July, 1952  Dearest Mummy,  Thank you so much for your lovely long letter and the wonderful parcel which arrived yesterday. I couldn’t think what toy would make the jangle-jangle noise when I looked on the label & when I opened it & found all the pennies & dimes rolling around… Read more

  • July 21 1952

    November 25, 2020 by

    31 Acacia Ave.  Monday morning.  Dearest Mummy, I have just put Lindy to sleep in the garage & not having a thing to do thought I would write to you! Actually, I meant to write yesterday of course, but we asked Angie & Paul Routley to tea & it was a very hot humid day… Read more

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