On the 24th April 1888 my Great, Great Grandparents suffered the loss of their daughter Laura. So how did they let people know?
First some background.
Laura Dent was born around April 1880 in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. She was the 9th child of 11 born to William Thomas Dent and his wife Louisa Dent nee Payling. William was a farrier and also ran the Red Lion Inn on North Brink alongside Louisa. In total the couple had 3 sons and 8 daughters born between 1864 and 1884. They were Louisa 1864-1940, William 1865-1945, Marion 1867-1937, Richard 1870-1877, Jane Ann 1871-1943, Ella 1873-1959, Maud Mary 1875-1876, my great Grandma Eva 1878-1918, Laura 1880-1885, Myra 1882-1966 and George 1884-1887.
The family had already know tragedy as in 1877 they had lost their son Richard aged 7 and their daughter Maud Mary in 1876 who was under 1 when she died. Loosing Laura would have been heart breaking for the family. She was just short of her 5th birthday. Laura was buried in St Peter’s churchyard on the 26th April 1888 alongside her siblings.
Laura’s parents announced her death in the Cambridge Independent Press on the 02 May 1885 but by now she had been buried. Her family had a funeral card produced to inform family and friends of her passing.
These would have been sent to members of the family who may not have been able to travel to the funeral. Louisa, Laura’s mother was from Long Sutton in Lincolnshire which although only 10 miles away may have meant members of her family may not have been able to travel to the funeral. The card would have given them a memento to remember little Laura with.
Now Laura’s card was typical of the time. Most cards were on heavy card and embossed with a grave and a boarder. On the grave was the information of the deceased along with some uplifting words or phrases intended to offer solace to the recipient.
As time went on and printing techniques evolved the cards became more elaborate. They would include a picture of the deceased and may have gold lettering on black card rather than white card with black lettering. As with everything the more elaborate to the card the more expensive they were.
As time went on the cards evolved into folded cards with more information on and became more of an order of service for the funeral along the lines of what some people have today.
So what use are the funeral cards to genealogy. Well to start with they are a great insight into social history. They give an indication into the times your ancestors lived in. The more plain the card the earlier they are.
In terms of for genealogy they give an insight into the financial situation of the family. A poor family would never have been able to afford to spend money on funeral cards. So if you have a funeral card in the family the deceased family must have had some wealth. Then the card itself can indicate the level of wealth. The better the card, the more it costs so the more wealth they had.
I know William and Louisa Dent had 2 businesses with the farrier shop and the pub around the time Laura died and that this continued as they also had cards made 2 years later when their son George died. There is no card for the death of William Dent in 1900 but in 1911 when Louisa died she had a folded card to announce her death and burial. Also other family evidence indicates they were better off as in photographs I have of Laura’s sisters in the early 1900 they were well dressed and in a nice garden setting.
So it may be just a small card announcing the death of a little girl but the information beyond what is found on the card can give you an insight into the family’s situation.
At the moment I’m sure we all need something to laugh about so I thought I’d repost a blog from December 2017 which looks at the funny names people have given their children over the years in the hope that they can give a little light relief to you.
I’ll start by saying some of these name fails may not have been funny at the time and it is only as life has progressed that the funny side can be seen, I can attest to this. Pre Harry Potter, most people just thought I had a strange surname, but now…. Most just laugh or make a comment about my clothes. For those who don’t know my surname is Dobby, and Dobby is the house elf in the Harry Potter series.
I think some parents knew what they were doing when they chose their child’s name.
So onto the funny side of names in genealogy. I decided to spend an amusing day typing what I thought were funny names into Ancestry to see what I came up with. I’ll admit many I found amusing I have decided not to include as they could be considered rude. Really funny though. So here is my top 40 funny names in no particular order.
Rose Bush – There have been loads of these unfortunate ladies
Holly Tree - There have been loads of these unfortunate ladies
Hazel Nutt, born 1915 in Chesterfield
Timothy Burr, baptised 1726 in Essex (Tim Burr)
Daisy Weeds, born 1889 in Norfolk (my first cousin 3 times removed)
Cristafer Weeds married in Norfolk in 1561. (C.Weeds)
Grass Green who departed the UK in 1947
Teresa Green, born 1852 in Ware
Lilian Ruth Christmas Tree, baptised 1903
In 1886 in London Mary Magdalen married Abraham Bateau
Florence Angel Gabriel was buried in London in 1884
Merry Christmas was born in Sussex in 1874
Thomas Snow White was born in 1882
Cinderella Lord was born in Burnley in 1901
Donald Duck was found on the 1881 census
Michael Mouse was on the 1841 census (Mickey Mouse)
Minnie Mouse was born in Pendleton, USA in 1880
Robert Builder married Susanna Sproll in 1778 (Bob Builder)
Sam Fireman was living in London on the 1911 census (Fireman Sam)
Kitty Williem Catt was born in 1880
James Little Lyons was born in the USA in 1822
Jack Daws was born in Nottingham in 1902
Stanley Still has been the unfortunate name of many men (Stan Still)
Jo King was baptised in Watford in 1589
Annette Curtain (whose dates I’ve not given to spare blushes)
William Board has been the unfortunate name of many men (Bill Board)
Isla White was found on the 1851 census
Peter Perfect was born in Dartford in 1889
Bad Cook was born in Alabama, USA, around 1882
Good Cook was baptised in London in 1723
Olive Cart was born in Warwickshire in 1919
Sunny Day (whose dates I’ve not given to spare blushes)
Sidney Bridge was born in Essex in 1872 (not quiet there but close although my Uncle had a friend call Sidney Arborbridge but I can’t find his records)
River Jordan was born in Birmingham in 1854
Beau Bunting (whose dates I’ve not given to spare blushes)
Richard Taylor Coal Miner was buried in Kirkheaton in 1874
Norman Knight was a soldier during WW1, as was
Harold Norman Knight (who died during the conflict)
Austin Healey who was an England Rugby Player
Morris Van de Car was on the 1881 census (he couldn’t decide if he was a car or a van)
So when you find out your expecting the pitter patter of tiny feet, think through the name you choose carefully so you little one doesn’t have to endure a name fail! And future genealogist won’t sit typing into their genealogy websites to find the funny names like I do.
So I hope I have brought some amusement to you and given you a little light relief in this difficult times.
Now you may not have heard of this lady but what a life she had. She was the second recorded supercentenarian and lived in 3 centuries.
Margaret Ann Harvey was born on the 18th May 1792 in St Peter Port on the Island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. She was the first child and eldest of seven children born to John Harvey and his wife Elizabeth Harvey nee Guille.
Margaret’s father was a shipping magnet and privateer which afforded her a better life than most. She attended school in Bristol followed by finishing school in Brussels. She was a great fan of literature and spoke English, French, Italian, German and Spanish and could read Greek.
On the 18th January 1823 in St Peter Port she married John Neve. The couple lived in England from their marriage until John Neve died in 1849. The couple didn’t have any children so after John’s death Margaret returned to Guernsey and spent the rest of her life living there.
Throughout her life she travelled in Europe. She visited the battle site of Waterloo and throughout Europe including the Austro-Hungarian Empire. She travelled before her marriage and during. In her widowhood her travelling companion was her sister.
It was reported that in 1902 Margaret was found climbing a tree to pick apples at the age of 110. It just shows she never gave up. I couldn’t climb a tree as a kid so full marks to Margaret.
Margaret died on the 4th April 1903 a month before her 111 birthday. She was alive in the 1700’s, 1800’s and 1900’s.
So let’s consider what she was aware of during her life time.
She was alive during the reign of 5 monarchs. When she was born King George III was on the throne and would reign for a further 28 years. Then came King George IV, King William IV, Queen Victoria and King Edward VII was 2 years into his reign when she died. She would have started out life as a Georgian and ended as an Edwardian.
The world changed so much during her lifetime. The industrial revolution was a big part of her life as was the inventions that would change our lives.
Some of the inventions included:
1798. Edward Jenner invented the inoculation for Smallpox.
1804. Richard Trevithick invented the steam locomotive as a form of power.
1837. Samuel Morse develops morse code.
1855. Henry Bessemer develops the Bessemer converter for use in the steel industry.
1867. Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.
1876. Alexander Graham Bell developed the telephone.
1879. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb (amongst others).
1901. The first vacuum cleaner was developed.
Also the steamship was developed, steam trains for passengers, the first steps into flight and the development of the car.
There was also so much change in the world. Margaret was known to have visited the battle site of Waterloo in Belgium but she also would have been aware of so much more. She recalled she remembered the end of the French Revolution which ran from 1789 to 1799. This was followed by the Revolutionary wars which ran from 1792 to 1802. Next came the Napoleonic wars which ran from 1803 to 1815 ending with the Battle of Waterloo. The Crimean war ran from 1853 to 1856 and Margaret would certainly have been aware of this. Next was the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865. The final major outbreak she lived through was the Boer War from 1899 to 1902.
Margaret’s life must have changed so much over her 110 years with so many new developments and inventions, changes in medicine and the world around her.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my Family History Ramblings on genealogy and history in general. I hope you find it informative and hopefully funny!