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

  • October 8 1950

    September 30, 2020 by

    803 Granger, Ann Arbor. Mich.  8th October 1950. Dearest Mummy, We are having a wet Sunday afternoon- nice – and I am writing letters and ignoring the chores! Cec was going to go back to the Lab. & do some work, but the rain has discouraged him & he is sitting reading- supposed to be… Read more

  • October 1 1950

    September 29, 2020 by

    Sunday. 1st October. 1950.  Dearest Mummy,  I still haven’t got around to that long letter answering yours, but I still intend to, so it will be coming! I got yours of the 18th on Monday, & was so pleased to get it & glad that you were having fun painting! On thinking back, I remember… Read more

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