Family history - what's yours? (please, no more Brexit)

This evening, I’ve been digging through old family paperwork and came across some surprising bits and bobs… (to me anyway)…

1921, my maternal grandmother was struggling to provide for her baby, after her husband had been arrested for bigamy. She decided to “change her stars”. Her family rallied round and her daughter “became” her niece. Thus, as a single women, she could apply to join the Civil Service.

Along with 8,141 other women, she sat the Entrance Examination… and her marks gave her 7th place, which guaranteed her one of the 438 vacancies. She worked in London… which meant she could live with her father and the rest of the family, quite a houseful by the sound of it.

During 1939 she was moved from Clerical into Communications, staying there right through WW2, returning to the Clerical side in 1946 until she retired in 1954. It’s clear from some of the documents/memos I have found, that she had held a relatively important position (for a woman).

(these are not secret papers that I have found…no worries on that score)

How I wish I had known this while she was still alive… it would have been fascinating to hear what went on in those long ago days. I was close to her, but this part of her life was never discussed.

Women at work, women in general… they’ve come a long way… and there is still some way to go, yet…

I’m going to guard these papers carefully… for the next generation to read and ponder on…


I wish I knew.

By an odd coincidence, the very week we emigrated from the UK to France, a relative sent me the family history they had researched - which revealed my ancestors had in fact emigrated from France to the UK in the 17th century!
We came to Brittany, so are now surrounded by people whose ancestors, about 1,500 years ago, emigrated from the land that would become the UK to what is now France.
Oh, and having almost become part of England in the 12th century, Brittany only became part of France - sort-of - in the 16th!


I feel for you, Jane, there are so many ways in which you can feel cheated and bereaved, even though - or perhaps because, and more so - you can’t know what you’ve lost or been deprived of.

You would be welcome to my birth family, except that they’re all dead save one brother, and all the good ones died young. You’re better off without most of mine anyway.

I was distressed too to read Norman Clark’s recent remark about his father’s not recognising him. So many lives marked by tragedy. I wanted to let him know, but it’s hard to say anything much on-line, lest it seem heavy-handed or intrusive. One of those times when it’s hard to know whether to keep one’s thoughts to oneself, or utter them in a ‘public space’ :thinking:


I’ve come to terms with it now.

The worst thing is my own country is willing to deny me the right to live with my daughter in my old age.

Family history…apart from my mother they are all dead !

Most died young( including an adored uncle and my brother) or during the war so no real idea of what the past held, though I do know that my paternal grandmother was a vicar’s daughter from Saffron Walden, and somewhere along the line there was a tie in to the last Duke of Rutland !

I suppose that’s why I have no real tie or pull to the past …

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I’m sure you are not alone with your “no pull to the past”…

Even so, your brief history does have some nice little teasers… mmm… Duke of Rutland…and a Vicar’s daughter… :hugs:

Discovered my grandfathers war records. He’d been married before and his wife’s disappearance was investigated by Scotland Yard. 2 spells in prison too. The family new nothing about his past.


Wow… that’s quite something… just never know what will turn up once we start delving into documents…

One way or another… we all have a “past” … :wink:

Yes, sorry Jane…

but, you are making your own history… now… a pioneer in France :hugs: … this may well be viewed with loving interest by future generations… :relaxed::relaxed:

Forgot to mention that he was known by a false name pre war and had the middle name Louis. His son was named after him and then my uncle (mums brother) named his son Louis. It was a more than a surprise when the surviving family discovered he didn’t actually exist!

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A grandfather is not too distant.
Having said that I never knew any of my grandfathers.
Looking back has its difficulties, you never know what you will find.
I never ever dreamed that my half brothers and sisters, who I found, would lie and take me to the High Court to stop me from finding my natural father.
My daughter was told by her uncle, my half brother, that he would like to keep in touch with her.
She said, that his actions spoke louder than words, and she stamped on the gold watch he had given her for her 21st birthday and put into the bin.
This is the daughter that Brexit will keep me from living with.
She has always been there for me and I love her to bits.
Whst I think about people who have voted for Brexit is not publishable.

Surely you don’t know yet what the situation will be about living with your daughter?

Can we not have just one thread that doesn’t drift off to Brexitland please?


Brexit appears to be tainting everybody’s lives at the moment…
I’m holding off as much as possible, but no-one can avoid it forever.
For myself, I’ll perhaps start to worry when I know what we’re facing.

I came very very close to posting along those lines myself

@tim17 @Codfanglers @anon40466813

what’s in your histories ??? … :thinking::relaxed::relaxed:

She lives in Munich and if we lose Freedom of Movement I will not be allowed to move to live with her if I need to.

That is a bit different to saying Brexit will keep you from living with her

No Brexit, no loss of Freedom of Movement.