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…

Basing versus Basing

In my previous blog, The Footman, I discovered that Fanny Basing, the wife of William Basing, was living with her children in Poplar, in the East End of London, in 1881. Fanny was recorded as the head of the household and married, but where was her husband? William Basing, now a butler and valet, may…

The Footman

In my previous blog, "Margaret", I told the story of Margaret England, the mother of twin boys, Lewis and William Basing England, who were born illegitimately in Clerkenwell on March 14th 1866. Margaret informed the registrar that the father of her children was a man named William Basing, a footman. This is the story of…

Margaret

Prologue It was already dark and Harriet lit another candle at 39a Southampton Street, Clerkenwell. Margaret was in full labour and the time to deliver was close. She had come to her when her labour pains had started earlier in the day and Harriet was praying that all would go well. It was a risky…

The Unknown Sister

This is the story of Hannah Redman, the half sister of my great grandfather, Josiah Simeon Thomas Bullock. Until recently, her identity was unknown. She is recorded only once with her siblings, enumerated with them in the 1871 census as a 9 year old visitor. She was unknown because her illegitimate birth concealed her existence…