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

  • September 25 1969

    September 29, 2022 by

    This is the letter Cyn promised the day before, when she answered the questions in Linda’s letters, (some of which were the ones I had thought when I read her previous letters) about the Nursery School children’s behaviour! 49 Cedar Road,Ottawa 9, Ont. 25th Aug. [although she meant Sept!] Thurs. Darling Lindy, I talked to… Read more

  • September 24 1969

    September 14, 2022 by

    49 Cedar Road,Ottawa 9, Ont. 24th Sept. Wed. Darling Lindy, I thought that I had lots of time to shorten my new bedroom curtains and then write to you, but it has taken me ages to shorten one so I have stopped and will write a short letter to mail this afternoon and then write… Read more

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