52 Ancestors: I’d Like To Meet / Favourite Photo

I have decided to do 52 Ancestors again this year, after taking a break in 2022. I’m already a week behind hence why this post is a bit of a twofer.

In terms of “I’d Like To Meet”, assuming we mean a deceased family member and not – picking a name at random from the ether – Henry Cavill, then the answer is clear and blindingly obvious to anyone who I have ever bored to tears spoken with about my family history.

So who would I most like to meet?

Yes, it’s one of my 4 x great-grandmothers – Ann Peters formerly Hurcombe nee Halliday. She is responsible for the biggest brick wall in my research, and one that is unlikely to be solved without some pretty intensive DNA detectoring to uncover the identity of the father of the son born well into the 2nd year of her widowhood (minor DNA detectoring already done for one suspect)

The chance to sit down with her and gab about her life in general and how she saw national and global events unfold, such as the Industrial Revolution, the rise of the railway, the end of the Georgian era, and the coronation of Queen Victoria, and how they affected her in the Gloucestershire villages where she spent most of her life. Her marriage to Stephen Hurcombe (himself a widower aged 36 at the time) at the age of just 19, her years as a widow and then her second marriage at 59 to the ex-soldier Peter Adams. Her son, George, and his move to Australia with his wife and son. Did she keep in touch with any of his descendants?

A sit down at Christmas 1891, a few months before she died. That would be good. Get it all out into the open. Confession, apparently, is good for the soul.

What about my favourite photo?

That is a tricky one. One of my uncles presented my mother with an album at Christmas full of photos of her when she was little, and of her dad and some other random family members. (For context, after their mother died and their father moved into a convalescent home, my uncles and one of my aunts took it upon themselves to empty their house. For some reason all the photos ended up with this particular uncle … a bit of a sore point all round, especially as all the letters and paperwork relating to my gran’s first husband [and my mother’s biological father] were also removed at this point. But hey ho.) Anyway. Over Christmas my mum and I were going to go through and label the subject, location and date of the photos in her album, but we didn’t get around to it what with one thing and another. I know that there are some wonderful pics in there of my mum’s stepfather, but those will have to wait.

But for this one I’ve gone through all the photos that I do have … and it’s a tough one, but I think that I’m going to go with this one:

My mother on her wedding day in 1967, aged 21, with her stepfather, Otto.

(Now, of course, the real answer to both these opening prompts is fairly simple and straightforward:

I will never lie or lead you astray, dear readers. Well, no more than is truly necessary.)


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