Archive | May, 2012

London Awaits……Diamond Jubilee Celebrations!

30 May

It’s here….time to fly over the pond to London! There will be so many things to do, doubt any of us will get any sleep. Serendipity has been with us in getting the details of this trip to fall into place. What can I say! In a city that hosts many fabulous events each year, this weekend’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations will be one of a kind. From the Grand Thames Diamond Jubilee Flotilla to the Street Parties and other  more local celebrations like those at the London Metropolitan Archives, where they will be sharing memories from Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 to the present or the Society of Genealogists, who will host a Neighbourhood party in the cul-de-sac outside their location, it will be one SUPER PARTY! 

Sunday, THE BIG DAY, we will watch the River Parade from a suite in a 5 Star Hotel along the Embankment ( more about this later) and take in a Party in Battersea Park, where I won tickets from the Thames Festival, which hosts the annual Mayor’s Thames River Festival in September. This year it will end the Olympic celebrations in London with a Grand Finale held on September 8 and 9, 2012. Wish I could be there!!!!

Well, time to go and do my final chores before I head to the airport! My 2 Adventurous Tripper friends are already there. Now it is my turn. Bon Voyage!



Diamond Jubilee Celebrations for the Queen!

26 May

Next week at this time,  I will be in London.  At the moment, I am sitting at home in Western Canada watching a TV program called  The Changing Face of the Queen. It is showing the crowds gathered outside of Buckingham Palace awaiting the Balcony Scene with the newly  crowned Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, following the Coronation at Westminster Abbey.  It was the first ever to be televised.   Since I was a small child, I have always wanted to be part of the crowd gathered there  for some special event…..and YES, on June 5th, 2012, I will be there!!!

It is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee……60 years since her accession to the Throne. Her Coronation took place June 2, 1953, making her the UK’s second longest serving monarch after Queen Victoria, her great great grandmother. Events will be taking place all over London, and one of the most spectacular will be the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant with 1000 boats from all over the world.

Amongst Canada’s representation, will be a canoe from Seeley’s Bay with Voyageurs’ doing the paddling and a  Dragon Boat, powered by a crew of 16 Women Breast Cancer Survivors from Vancouver, BC who have renamed themselves  Abreast from the West. They, along with other people powered boats,  will have pride of place in the pageant. Because of safety concerns for the wash that will be created by the flotilla, they will be in the first stage of the procession and will be just in front of the Barge carrying the Queen and Prince Philip.

I and my companions,  Adventurous Trippers from the Alberta Genealogy Society, Edmonton Branch made a spur of the moment decision to go to London for the BIG PARTY WEEKEND… June 2-5, 2012.. We might even fit in some time for actual research on our English Ancestors, but that is only after we have done the partying and, if any of you thought Genealogy was something that “old” people did, come along on our trip and we will dispel this notion!!!!! CHEERS!

Women who married into the Perkins Family!

19 May

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day here in Canada. Of course, I was remembering my own mother, Agnes Irvine MacMillan Perkins, who died in 1996. But I was also thinking of those other women who married into the Perkins Family and who I have discovered through my research, Ann Mason, Clara Benford, and Sarah Jane Sleath. I wondered how the lives of these women differed from that of my mother.

Ann Mason Sutton Perkins was my Great Grandmother. She was the farthest I had gone back in my Paternal line. She was born in 1790 in Withybrook, WAR and christened at the Independent Chapel in Stretton Under Fosse in 1791. Her parents were John Mason and Esther  Iliffe. I knew they were Dissenters and that I might not find family records through the regular channels. I would likely need Non Conformist records.

A week ago as I was surfing the net looking for nothing in particular, I discovered that one of the paid sites had posted the Parish Register for Withybrook.  As I was a member, I started searching. Suddenly I had Mason’s back to a Thomas Mason who was buried at Withybrook, January 13, 1691 and listed as “age near 90”. This would mean that he was born circa 1601. I have not yet connected all the dots, but I have discovered a number of Thomas and John Mason’s born at Wolvey and Withybrook that could be likely contenders for Ann’s ancestors. I discovered that in 1745 John Mason married an Ann Spencer and that this name was carried on as a middle name. John Mason and Esther Iliffe, Ann’s parents, were married in 1789 and one of Ann’s brother was called William Spencer Mason. More work needs to be done, but I have just made a 200 year leap backwards in the Mason Family.

Now back to my original thoughts about Ann’s life in comparison to my mother’s…… just as a starter, I have a woman whose family seemed to live in one area forever! Ann, as an older woman widowed for the second time at age 48 when Joseph Perkins died (1838), eventually crossed the border into  Leicestershire, to live  near her son, John Perkins, Blacksmith at Claybrooke Magna and to die at the Frolesworth Alm Houses in 1861 at the age of 70.

My mother lived on 3 continents before the age of 15 years. She was born in Chile, South America, passed through Maidstone/Chatham, Kent, England and ended up in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada.

Much more to say, but this is the Victoria Day Holiday Weekend, celebrated here in Canada long before Canada even existed, to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Birthday. Time to go out and enjoy!

Hello world!

12 May

Today would have been my Dad’s  birthday. He was born in Claybrooke Magna, Leicestershire, England on May 12, 1904. How he would have loved this wonderful technology!

He  started his working life here in Canada as a Telegram Delivery Boy and soon progressed to a  telegrapher for Canadian Pacific Telecommunications. He was a fantastic typist. As a child I remember sitting in our basement on cold winter nights and listening to him as he operated his HAM Radio. Nothing was more exciting than to have him make contact with another operator somewhere in the world. VE6 IR was  his call number. Confirmation of contact was made with postcards and I would check the mail everyday to see if any new ones had arrived.

He never lived to see the world of computers and cell phones, but I am sure he would have been amongst the first to have such items. He was a man before his time way back then and today, he would have been on the net with all its instant communication! And Google Earth with all aerial and street views….oh my!  He never flew in a jet plane! and didn’t know what the world looked like from up there.

I became interested in Genealogy about 8 years ago after I retired. Over the years, I had discovered photos of relatives left behind in England when my Dad and Grandparents emigrated to Canada in 1913. Of course, like many others, I never asked who were the people in these pictures….so,  I set out to discover who they were.

I pursued much of my research using online databases. The highlight of my connection with the Alberta Genealogy Society was the London Trippers trip to England in September 2010. There is nothing like spending time in Archives with others who are as passionate about their research as you are and then being able to visit the areas in England where your ancestors once lived and to walk down those same country roads.

Originally I was interested in learning who my ancestors were and where they had come from. I started out creating all those wonderful pedigree charts. Some 8 years on, I have finished, more or less, a few! The names and dates are there for me to look at. In some cases, I have been able to go back to the 1600’s. I guess this is success. What I discovered though was, it wasn’t the names or dates that were really important, it was the stories behind them. These were real people with real and exciting lives They lived in places as far away as  Calcutta, India and Coquimbo, Chile. They were tradespeople and domestic servants. They were farmers and Blacksmiths and they worked on ships as Engineers. They fought and died in the British Army in different wars. They were the true adventurers.

In the past few years, I have learned more history, geography, sociology, rural history, women’s studies, archaeology and computer skills than I did in my entire school years. It is these stories that now keep me engaged! I hope my WANDERINGS will continue to take me to the places where these people lived and died and I will be able to infuse my writings with even greater details of Lives Lived!

NEXT UP:  Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in London June 2 – 5, 2012

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