Chameleon Ancestors – Part 2

Introduction A person's name is very much bound up with their identity and as a result, they can challenging to trace if it changes. In Part 1 of Chameleon Ancestors, I looked at some of the reasons why an ancestor might appear in the records under a different name. Many people, then as now, hated…

Chameleon Ancestors – Part 1

Introduction Leopards may not change their spots but chameleons can change their colour and markings to suit the situation they find themselves in. I reckon that some of our ancestors are a bit like chameleons, changing their name, both officially and unofficially if it suited them, or as a result of their personal circumstances. It…

An Edwardian World of Work

by Ernest William Bullock 1893-1978 Introduction Nowadays, childhood lasts a long time with children remaining dependant on their parents, sometimes into adulthood, as they take advantage of educational opportunities. But during the Edwardian era, most children left school much earlier and went into the world of work to earn their keep. This was certainly the…

A Berkshire Boyhood

Ernest William Bullock (1893-1978) Introduction Previously, in A Wiltshire Childhood, I shared my Granddad's reminiscences of growing up as a small child in the 1890s in Marlborough, Wiltshire. The story moves on, as some time between May 1898 and April 1901, when the census was taken, my Granddad, Ernest William Bullock, and his family, left…

A Wiltshire Childhood

Ernest William Bullock (1893-1978) Introduction In his retirement, my maternal grandfather, Ernest William Bullock, decided to write down his memoirs, producing over 50,000 words on his typewriter. Many of his stories are about his adventures in the Royal Navy, which he joined as a stoker in 1911. He saw plenty of action in World War…

The One-Armed Railwayman

When I was a child, I pestered my beloved Grandma, "Tell me some stories about your family!" She didn't have a lot to pass on but mentioned one extraordinary snippet of information: a relative had lost his arm. Unsurprisingly, this fact has been lodged in my head ever since. All my life I have wanted…

Family Stories – An Amusing Legacy

I've been thinking recently about how a person is remembered, not just by their nearest and dearest but also by their descendants, generations later. Family stories in which they feature are one way in which memories of them are preserved. Though the majority of stories about our ancestors lives and experiences will be forgotten about…