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

  • June 8 1961

    June 16, 2021 by

    Cyn’s birthday was April 3rd. In her letter of June 3rd, she had told her mother that there still had been no sign of the birthday parcel that Carol had no doubt mailed in early March! Not only had there been her birthday presents and treats for the children inside it, but Carol had also… Read more

  • June 3 1961

    June 15, 2021 by

    2043 Montreal Road,Ottawa 2. Ontario. 3rd. June, 1961. Dearest Mummy,You seemed to approve of the type written letter and feel that it encouraged you and your typing out effort, so I am very happy to continue that way, as it really is much quicker than writing and I do get so much more on the… Read more

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