Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Family Ties



So much seems to have happened since I last blogged - two amazing vintage fairs, a gallery preview and some successful charity shopping and, if we're friends on Facebook, you'll have seen most of it already, so let's talk about something completely different - my heritage.


I come from a long line of hoarders, people far more interested in the past than the present, which may go a little way in explaining why I love vintage clothes and old houses so much, its in my genes. My Grandpa's aunt Phyllis spent a large part of her life researching the family tree, a tattered document which, after she died in 1977, got passed on to me.



Without the internet it must have taken years to trace our lineage back to Sir Thomas Guy, the founder of Guy's Hospital, London (1644 - 1724).


The scary woman in the hat was his second cousin, Sarah, and the pious looking chap, her husband James Robison.


Together they had nine children, their daughter Sarah (above) married John Cook of Greenwich in 1757.


This miniature is of Harriet (1780 - 1846) one of Sarah and John's ten grandchildren.


Harriet married Andrew Chapman of Trentham in 1806 and gave birth to seven children. The eldest, Robert (1808 - 1885) wed Mary Alice Johnson (1817 - 1882) of Knowsley in 1845. 


Alice, as she was known, was the original owner of not only the brooch I wear,


but also my monogrammed locket,




and mourning jacket.



Alice's son, John James (1853 - 1910) married Elizabeth Adams (b.1854) in 1879 and had 8 children. 


Her first-born was my great grandmother, another Mary Alice (again, known as Alice).


One of her six sisters, Bessie, was the owner of the autograph album I wrote about here.



  Alice married Thomas William Harris at St Michael's Church, Stone in 1908.


His deed box travels with us to all of our vintage fairs.



I have Alice's wedding dress 


She and Thomas lived here.


Thomas outside the garden gate.



Alice in the 1920s


They had one child, my Grandpa, Reginald William, born in 1913.


He married my Grandma, Joan Mary Crosby of Chester, in 1940


They had a daughter, Jennifer Mary, in 1942


Who married in 1966 and I came along a lot sooner than was considered respectable.


The rest , as they say, is history.

1970s maxi (from the magnificent Helga)

The Cheshire Rifleman's jacket from the Boer War, Great-Grandfather's top hat and the handsome daguerreotype who went mad? That's from my maternal Grandma's side and another blog post in the making.

Hope you enjoyed the history lesson.

See you soon!

82 comments:

  1. A really great post; I love all the history surrounding your wardrobe items!
    Also, that you know who's in the pictures. I have loads of family photos but, alas, know only a few of them by name, which is such a shame.
    You look so summer fresh in that polka dot picture. Smashing!
    Thank you for sharing.
    Z xx

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  2. Wow! Love that you have all the pictures and that you are keeping your family tree alive.

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  3. I so love your history lessons. Love the fact too that you know so much about your lineage. It must be quite a grounding thing to know. And of course I am always in awe of the lovely items you have from ancestors past. That mourning jacket is just so beautiful.

    Thanks for such a wonderful insight into your history. History rocks I think!

    P x

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  4. It is amazing that you have so many family heirlooms (as I mentioned before, we have none). I just love family history and to have all those lovely things brings it all to life.


    Oh and I love your Grandma's shoes!

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  5. Amazing story and so great that you have their stuff!
    Xxx

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  6. How lovely that not only do you know about your ancestors and heritage but you care. So many aren't bothered about family history, I find it fascinating. Luckily my late auntie Connie regaled me with juicy family scandal over many a Dubonnet and lemonade. xxxxx

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  7. I really did! It was wonderful. Thanks for sharing all that amazing information about your ancestors. It's not enough that you have the info and the amazing scroll your grandfather's aunt laboured over, but to also have their images and possessions is really something special and rare. There's some good looking people in there! Sarah Cook is rather lovely as is Alice in the locket and your grandparents. But of course the most adorable is your little mum. So sweet and so like you. A great post Vix! Looking forward to hearing more and finding out the OC connection! xxxxxxx

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  8. I find myself wondering hoping that in another 100 years some gal will be posting about you and all the lovely things she is wearing that once belonged to the legendary Vix, hottest hoarder in all of the UK! This post is mad with history and beautiful momentos from past lives, you do them a honor by keeping, and using their stuff!

    The family tree by your great Aunt is a historic masterpiece that was obviously treasured. You are the keeper of so much my dear and you wear, live it well. I love you honey!
    XXOO

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  9. It's amazing you have so much family history - all the photos and clothing and other treasures! I'm pretty sure a lot of mine was lost when everyone migrated way down here to nz. I do know my Dad's family was Cornish. Rich jokes we should go there one day as everyone will look like me and share my weird surname!

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  10. Wow - what a great story and how wonderful to be able to trace your family back so far!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  11. I loved this family history tour. Years ago I did a bit of a family tree while my grandparents were still alive and able to pass on correct information. We originate from over your way and have our fare share of pioneering folk to be proud of. I have loads of fabulous old photos and some amazing stories that hopefully generations to come will be interested to hear. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. As one who appreciates history, you are very lucky to have such a rich store of family photos and other keepsakes. Women just seemed to pop out kids non-stop - gaaah - 8 kids, 10 kids... But it's a good thing because here you are Vix! There's was a genealogy reality show on TV here for a while showcasing celebrities desperate to find ties with royalty, or so it seemed, even if it were 12th cousin to the Duke of Whatzit.

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  13. Blimey, Thomas Guy. I used to know someone who worked at Guy's.

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  14. I know a lot about my family history and it has been researched back a long way. What I don't have, and envy you so much, is any artefacts from family members.

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  15. Love this post!! I love family history and old photo's.
    A couple of years ago I resarched my mom's family and put together a little book for her as a gift. It was a BLAST and so illuminating!!

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  16. Oh this was so fascinating - I was holding my breath till we got up to you in 1966! What a wonderful collection of photos and stories to tell. xox

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  17. seriously that is fabulous! how i am in awe that you have so much information! It's just awesome and those old pictures are divine ( would that be your great grandmother as a child with her mother in the one...it's my favourite) the fact you own coats and wedding dresses and jewellery also has me a bit teary! Loved this xxxxx

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  18. How fascinating! I love how you wear these pieces of history without feeling the need to keep them 'safe' cooped up in a box somewhere. Xx

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  19. delightful to see so many pics of your kinship, I like genealogies and all that old stuff, and also love that you're still wearing some family jewelry and that pretty jacket!
    My dad's family has lived in the same old village from fifteenth century, and one of my dad's cousins was a genealogies freak!
    it's funny to talk about our ancestors!
    besos

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  20. O, my FARKING GAWD, what a dazzling post. Bloody loved it. How fascinating and wonderful to know so much about where you come from!!!
    What I know could be written on the back of a matchbox.
    Can't wait for the next installment!!!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  21. Wow, amazing that you know so much of your families history Vix. Its really interesting.

    X x

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  22. How wonderful to see how much hoarding is in your genes (!) as well as to see all the permanent reminders of family members being worn and used and kept and enjoyed. And what an impressive number of generations on that family tree.
    Back at home, there are so many 'things' on shelves, in corners, in wardrobes, on hooks on the backs of doors that whisper little stories from both sides of my family. I'm glad I have hoarders in previous generations too. My only problem is lack of space, as I've definitely inherited the condition!

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  23. Hi there! How amazing and awesome-this is a great story and such fabulous accountability and photos!

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  24. Fantastic post! And a Knight in your family! i shall have to start calling you Lady Vix! You have such a fascinating family history! and garments and jewelry too! I love family history and my mum is very keen on it too. With the help of the internet we've traced our direct descendants back to the 1500's - around the time of Queen Lizzy. but at that point documents become hard to find, perhaps due to the reformation. However more recently, we have found that off in one of the distant branches of the family we had a bush ranger! how typically Australian. Gotta be related to an outlaw or its just Un-Australian.

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  25. I never tire of hearing of your family's history and seeing the pieces that were worn and loved so many years ago, which continue to be still treasured yet functional items for you. I've said this before, but how many of us know our histories in this way? My paternal grandmother came from Russia as a babe, and all the records were lost in the war so we don't even know the lineage beyond her and her parents. I wish I had items of hers, and my maternal grandma. Sadly, this is what happens when people disperse and live in differnt places. It's reality, but things are definitely lost. Xo

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  26. I bet those green eyes of yours come from a long line of strong and powerful wome with fire in their hearts.
    We tried to do something like a family tree, but went as far as a few generations, and that was that.
    Wonderful pics, Vix such an honour to share them with us.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXx

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  27. What wonderful documentation and heirlooms from your family. How fortunate you are to be the caretaker of these precious items. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

    xxx

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  28. Loved the history of you,thank-you,Vix!

    I'm a Tommy's baby btw part of the Guy's & St. Thomas Hosp NHS Trust!

    X

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  29. How fabulous to have all that family history ... and the photos to boot. You clearly come from a long line of very stylish women ... so it's well and truly in your DNA by now.
    xx

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  30. What an amazingly rich family history - and only from one side! Got to be a book in there, or two. I am only blessed with half a nice family, so I revel in their history - and make it up for the other lot!

    The mourning jacket and locket are just stunning xxx

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  31. SO interesting! And to think you are related to Sir Guy!!!x

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  32. What a beautiful locket. I love hearing about family history I wish someone in mine had saved so many wonderful things too.

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  33. You truly have the most amazing family stories and I can't believe that you have some many wonderful family heirlooms.

    Vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

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  34. wow! what a family!
    and so great to have not only the family tree but real things from your ancestors! and such beautiful things :-)

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  35. Love the family history you shared .
    To have all that info and the photos , such a treasure !

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  36. Indeed I did. I love hearing more about your family history, it's brilliant that you can look back with relative ease (ooooh a pun!), my family is all over the place.
    That's a fabulous photo of Elizabeth and Alice. I'm still in the process of sorting through my granddads photos and there's some real treasure in there.
    Take care petal. Loves ya.
    xxxxxxx

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  37. this is such an amazing post, I think it's fab you can trace back so far, Aunt Phyllis worked hard! It's lovely to have pieces of the past in the present, I don't have many but I like the way it makes me feel part of something huge, the wedding dress is beautiful, and you look beautiful in the photo's- btw I'm from Knowsley too! x x x

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  38. Heck! What a wonderful family history, now we know where you get your talents from!
    Mine is icredibly mundane in comparison!
    Thanks for sharing and showing the artifacts.

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  39. It's a very, very special heritage that you have, Vix, there is such a wealth of knowledge and history in that wonderful document of your grandad's Aunt Phyllis. And all the portraits and photographs to go with the names, it's really fabulous to see them. And not only that, having some of your ancestor's possessions and treasuring them to this day is just amazing.
    What a wonderful post. Naturally, you look gorgeous (you come from handsome stock!) I'm not much of a believer in the idea that our behaviours and traits are genetically inherited, but clearly there is a strong family culture of valuing the past, which each generation has learned to do, and you have received that wisdom and continue the tradition. And it's a beautiful one! xxxxx

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  40. Wow, I can't believe you have all those family heirlooms! That's so cool! I know alot about my family tree as my brother did a lot of researching on it, but no cool heirlooms like that! Great post xx

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  41. Every family seems to have one person that takes on the job of documenting the family tree. Thank goodness for Aunt Phyllis - what a wealth of information about your ancestors she has left you! Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about mine except up to my grandparents, and even then it's sketchy. The family heirlooms you have are to be treasured, and worn.

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  42. My week is not complete these days if you are not at Visible Monday ... but this was worth chasing you down! Really fascinating post! Now we can see where you got your good looks.

    My mother did considerable research along with other relatives of ours ... not many clothes left, only recent jewelry (dirt farmers didn't do jewelry, it seems...) but tons of cooking utensils and lots of china. And some pre-civil war era silver (1860-ish, much later than yours there ...) and so many photos from the 20th century I'll never get them cataloged.
    So nice to know these names and faces, yes?
    You look quite lovely in all photos, especially the wedding dress. Such a big, big deal!!!

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  43. All I can say is wow. It's always so interesting hearing about your family. X

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  44. I just loved this so much. In fact, I think I can see a little Vix in both Grandpa Reginald and Grandma Joan. Don't you just wonder about the next gorgeous descendant to wear that brooch a hundred years from now?

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  45. Thanks for sharing your family history Vix, I think its awesome that you wear the heirloom pieces and they are not stuck in a museum. You have some very fine looking ancestors :-)

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  46. This is fascinating stuff. We can trace our ancestors back to Britain, Ireland and Guernsey but have met with several brick walls and will need to travel to find out more. Hopefully one day we can just take a DNA test and all will be revealed!

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  47. This is so interesting. It's great that you know so much about your family history. I don't really know anything about my relatives beyond my grandparents. It's awesome you have all those treasures that belonged to your relatives as well. That mourning jacket is beautiful.

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  48. Wow! What an exciting post to read about your lineage...you look wonderful in your great grandmother's(Alice) wedding dress.

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  49. It always amazes and warms my heart to see how much of your family's past you still carry with you today. So much gets lost by familys over the years which is so very sad. Its great to hear about your family tree and even more wonderful that you still wear the items and clothes and carry the life in them still instead of them being tucked away in the loft. dee xx

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  50. Love this post , its so interesting , wish my family were hoarders , although i might be starting a trend, you have some beautiful possessions and look beautiful in the wedding dress, so romantic , not usually your style i know, but that looks as it was made for you xxx

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  51. I'm really fascinated by our past and it's a great pleasure to see that your grandfather and your aunt spent so much time writing your family tree, what a great treasure!
    It's always great to bring a piece of who is not still here, with us!All the photos are beautiful!
    Love xxxxx

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  52. I absolutely love this post!

    It's wonderful that you own so many of your ancestor's treasured belongings.

    You've inspired me to delve into the depths of my ancestry. Who knows what evils lurk there! :) Have a lovely day x

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  53. I'm always impressed by how much family history you have - and so many of their possessions as well. Sadly, I know very little about my family for various reasons.

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  54. What a terrific post! So interesting. It's great that you have all the information and some of the things from your past. I salute your grandfather's aunt Phyllis. That would have been a ton of work to pull together.

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  55. GREAT post! That's an amazing family history you got! Have to say, they all look very handsome indeed and impeccably turned out - yep definitely in the genes xx

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  56. I think it's lovely that you know so much about your family history. I'm always fascinated to learn more about mine and I love wandering around Whitechapel(where my family go back over 100 years) and thinking about them going about their daily lives there. x

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  57. Oh, my goodness! What a complete history. I don't know much about my family history, and to be honest, I'm not too bothered. But I'm pleased that you have so many wonderful things from the past around with you. Fabulous!!

    I did mention I can't see you this Saturday, didn't I? We'll have to do it another time.


    Much love,
    Rosemary from
    www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com

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  58. It's so wonderful you could keep so much from your family and it's precious to you. Both my parents families were argumentative and bitter & just plain nasty at times and my parents kept well out of it meaning although I have 8 aunts, 9 uncles and 18 cousins, I speak to barely any of them - 1 aunt & uncle, 1 cousin & his wife, other than that, nothing. I love history so much and have researched my own - they had such fantastic names like Marmaduke, Maximilian, Jabez and really traditional religious names. When folks died, there was always fighting etc over property and again, my parents didn't get involved so I don't really have anything of my past past if that makes sense. Most of my family treasures are from Mama when she passed which obviously mean loads to me. Beautiful, sentimental, tender blog - thanks for sharing! x

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  59. This is incredible. You are like a walking history book. The coolest is that you have items from your family that you wear. That is just fantastic. A walking living breathing history museum.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  60. Hello gorgeous, I'm back! And it looks like I've missed some fabulous blog posts - this tour through your family heritage is so lovely, not to mention the photos of you in such amazing garb.
    Love the previous post about Jon's wardrobe too, what an uber stylish pair you are.

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  61. Bonitos recuerdos familiares!!!
    Saludos

    http://judithbysucre.blogspot.com.es

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  62. How lovely, not only that you have the photos and the bits and bobs, but that you know who was who. I have old photos but I have no idea who they are of. My mum died and she was the only one who knew. You look sooo like Harriet, you could be sisters!
    xxx

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  63. Remarkable and so wonderful that you know more about your family. I love that you have Alice's dress still. See, it's good to be a hoarder sometimes! Thanks for sharing.xx

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  64. Amazing!! When my dad retired, he became obsessed with genealogy. He put together a book which I find oddly fascinating. Although I don't put too much stock in ancestry, it is fun to imagine who they were and what they might have experienced. I love the photos and the confusing family trees!! How wonderful that you have those precious items that belonged to your family long ago. XXOO

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  65. Hi Vix, I read this somewhere once...Remember me in the family tree, my name, my days, my strife; then I'll ride upon the wings of time and live an endless life...you have a wonderful family tree for sure.

    xo, Bonnie

    PS - enjoyed the post on your sweetie!

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  66. Great post. It's really good that you actually know your family history for such a long way back. I myself have no idea of mine... no one ever really did something like that and it's a real shame...
    x

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  67. How wonderful that you know your family history in depth and thank you for sharing. You are as interesting as your ancestors and you have inherited the beauty of generations.

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  68. My mom was adopted so I know nothing on her side and little on my dad's, we come from dirt-floor poor stock. I hope someday I can track down more information. LOVED reading your family history!

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  69. Aren't you lucky to know all that about your family, plus having all those heirlooms, fantastic i tell you
    We tried to do some research on my father's side, very hard even with Internet, it got stuck in some island in Canada - I know more on my mother's side - Lots if Indians in my family

    Take care

    Arianexo

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  70. Vix... this is an absolutely brilliant post! I am fascinated by family history and you have such gems in your heritage. Love all the details and the heirlooms that are clearly so important to you :-)

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  71. I love this kind of stuff. Thanks for sharing

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  72. Yes, I DID enjoy this history lesson! You should be so thankful to your (was it) great aunt who did all this research :)

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  73. wow! that's so cool that someone has kept up with your family history! I can only go back to my great great grand parents, then you start running into slavery times and everything starts getting patchy.

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  74. Beautiful Pictures etc, but ... THE LAMP!

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  75. I have been doing my family history lately and its been quite interesting. I could only dream of having access to the things you have. I am happy you use the things you have inherited, and get pleasure from them, its much nicer than leaving them in a dusty case for another 100 years lol.
    V
    xxx

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  76. What a fascinating post! It's so interesting learning about your family and I love that you have so many things that belonged to them.

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  77. My dad has put a huge amount of time into researching our family history and drawing up our family tree ... it's fascinating. Sadly, I don't have any beautiful handed down items of clothing and jewellery like yours though! M x

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  78. So wonderful to have so many tangible wonders of your family tree ... you do your ancestors great credit ... love it!

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  79. I'm so behind in blog reading after being down with a bloody sinus infection that would not accept its eviction notice! Thank you so much for sharing your family history, I absolutely love reading about ancestry find it fascinating! Its so lovely that you have keepsakes too. I treasure the few I do have, no one else in the family cares about them. Speaking of ancestry, we just found out one side of our family that was titled, actually went further back with the titles, one in the 1500's and one went back to Caesar! (which one I have no idea, but it'll get found out as someone is researching it.) Fun to know how your ancestors moved around, and my cousin just sent me a CD with all the family photos she's found through all the aunts, cousins etc. I so love looking at their clothing of course!2 XXX

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Love from Vix
xxx