Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 31, 1916.....100 years ago: The Battle of Jutland

The Battle of Jutland happened 100 years ago on this day.
6,097 British lives were lost. Over 2,000 Germans died.
I had never given much thought to this battle until I recently discovered that an ancestor perished on board one of those ships. I've blogged about Alfred George Palmer before, so I won't repeat all the details here. Please CLICK HERE to read that story.

If I ever return to England I'll try to look up this memorial.
I think it would be thrilling to visit it and pay my respects.
I found a battle fleet chart online, and you can see the Broke ship in the 4th Flotilla:

Here is a LIST of men killed on board HMS Broke.

By Loretta (Williams) Houben

Monday, May 16, 2016

Childhood Memories

I finally scanned in the old black and white photos in my parent's small brown photo album.
I've been meaning to do this for a while. 
I tweaked the photos and added photo corners and a description.
These were taken 50 years ago, at our home at 3382 Monmouth Avenue in Vancouver BC.
I loved playing in the living room with our toys. My Mom didn't mind as long as we cleaned the room up by supper time. Sometimes that didn't happen, and if company knocked on the door, we would rush to throw all our toys behind the couch!

My aunt Frieda, Mom's older sister, made my dress and I believe she also made Leona's too. She was an excellent seamstress. I loved all the things she made me. My dress had a red yoke, and purple and red plaid and was very comfortable. Leona's dress is a very stylish 1960's type Mondrian (designed originally by Yves St. Laurent which were inspired by the paintings of Mondrian).

I believe the dolls were given to us by aunt Frieda but I'm not positive. We received them as gifts when we were in Oregon in the summer. An online friend suggested that the dolls look like Madame Alexander "Little Shaver" dolls. I haven't located mine yet (in storage) to see if there's a mark on the back or not. Leona and I loved these dolls. I named mine Flossie and she named hers Nan, after the famous Bobbsey Twin characters.

This is a photo by Eric Koch from Wikipedia, showing an original Mondrian painting, and dresses by Yves St. Laurent. For some reason, I just love this style. To me it embodies the glorious 1960 decade.

By Loretta (Williams) Houben

Monday, May 9, 2016

Alma May Palmer/Williams Memoirs

I'm re-reading my Grandma Alma May's memoirs which she wrote in a lined notebook in 1977. 
I remember her telling me she was working on them, a little each day. I was 17 at that time, and hoped to read them soon. I wasn't able to get my hands on them until she passed away in 2004! Then my Dad gave the notebook to me.
In 2007, thirty years after they were written, I edited them and typed them into my computer. I printed the pages and had them bound at Staples and gave them to my Dad.

Now I'm going through them again. They are very interesting and well written.
They give a glimpse into my Grandma's life so long ago.
Here is a portion about Alma's life in Saskatchewan, near Spalding:
(see excerpt below)

I looked up Fred and found him on the 1921 Canadian Census, which you can see at the top of this post. Someone has added the correct spelling of his surname. So my Grandma remembered his name very well! I wonder what Fred looked like. If Alma had married him, I wouldn't be here!

"I went to work for Mrs. Collop, 14 miles from home. It was hard work so different from what I did in London. I learned to cook, wash clothes on a wash board for five people; Mr. and Mrs. Collop and Lorraine, Bill the hired man and myself for fifteen dollars a month. While there I met Fred Shlondorff, a young German. He was nice, he took me to a box social party. That is, I had to take a shoe box dressed up outside and put sandwiches and cookies, so we put the pretty boxes all together. Nobody knows whose they are. Then a man puts them up for bidding. Fred didn’t know my box. So an older man bid on mine and got it and then we both ate out of my box. (poor Fred) It’s very exciting, though. We did enjoy ourselves. Fred wanted to marry me, but I met Jack Williams, he being a Welsh man, I wanted him instead, so Jack and I got married August 11th, 1928." (page torn in half, bottom is missing)

By Loretta (Williams) Houben

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

This is one of my favourite photos of the Williams family, taken in Spalding, Saskatchewan in the 1930's. Date unknown. My Dad was born in 1929 so I guess this could be around 1935.
My Dad is wearing a tie, so I guess they are going to church.
My grandparents had both died before I ever saw this photo in my Dad's collection.
When you are growing up and raising your own family you just don't clue in to the past generation until it's too late to ask questions.
So if your grandparents are alive, speak to them today!

I'm glad that I have these photos though, and this one was very scratched so I used my handy PicMonkey photo program to erase all the scratches and it looks so much better.

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful hard working moms!

By Loretta (Williams) Houben

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ellen Williams maiden name is EGERTON!

Today, May 5, 2016, the most exciting thing happened to me.
I recently joined the Saskatchewan Genealogy Network on Facebook in order to ask kind people for help in my ongoing research for my Williams family.
Someone said I should also join the Naicam Homecoming Facebook group so I did.
Today, Gord Neish sent me the above copy of Ellen Williams death certificate, which he found at the Naicam Museum today. Apparently these things are on file!
This document solves the mystery of Ellen's maiden name. Her father is listed:

I immediately went to Findmypast and searched for his name on the censuses, and found the above on the 1891 Welsh census. His wife's name was Hannah, and little Ellen was 3 years old. She was born in Bettws-y-coed, Caernarvonshire, Wales.
They lived at #91 Station Cottage in Bryneglwys, Bettws-y-Coed in Denbighshire, Wales.

Here they are on the 1901 Welsh census, but Ellen's mother died between 1891 and 1901. She now has a little sister named Hannah.
This is the most exciting day in my genealogy research yet!

By Loretta (Williams) Houben