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.
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
19th Feb. 1957. xxx from L. & C. *The S.Sch. sent me a beautiful box of spring flowers. Dearest Mummy,I meant to write you a long letter, but somehow at the moment I don’t seem to get around to doing things, so I thought I’d write one of these & hope to get going soon.Actually… Read more
8th Feb. 1957 Dearest Mummy,Well! Well! Everything happens to the Costain’s! And what do you think it was this time? I had a miscarriage. Now I know just how surprised you are & that you’re saying you didn’t even know I was pregnant, and the funny thing is that I didn’t know either, so no… Read more
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