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 10 1969

    July 1, 2022 by

    Kohaku- maruOn the inland seaSept.10, 1969. Dear Linda, Believe it or not, I’m at sea. In Sydney I received a letter from Professor Morino suggesting a long itinerary for my trip to Japan. Part of it was to go from Fukuoka (University of Kyushu) my first stop to Beppu by train. Hirota- who was in… Read more

  • September 1969

    June 25, 2022 by

    Now I have to go back a bit chronologically, and interrupt the flow of Cyn’s letters to her mother, because I discovered that, like my grandmother Carol, I am a packrat. I may not have kept ALL of the letters Cyn wrote me, but I discovered, while looking for pictures of my university buildings, a… Read more

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