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March 2008

With Mothering Sunday falling this week, we decided to celebrate women in this issue and we have articles about  three very special women.  The girls who went into domestic service would often only see their families on this day of the year so this month’s feature article focuses on the life of a domestic servant. In addition we have four very moving stories which describe different experiences of adoption.

 The pictures of the maid, servant and cook used in this issue are from Wikimedia Commons.

Occupation: Domestic Servants

When we think of servants and the places they might have worked, we tend to imagine large households employing many servants as seen in popular television serials, such as “Upstairs Downstairs” or in films such as “Gosford Park”. In reality it was only a small...

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The matriarch

Mary Ann Baker is my great x2 grandmother, the mother of my maternal grandmother’s father. She was born in Horsted Keynes, Sussex, in 1835, the second of Abraham & Lydia Baker’s seven children. By the time of the 1851 census, when Mary Ann was 16 years old, she...

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Madam Dawn

Beryl Stubbs was born in Leeds on 14th January 1938 and was brought up in the area of Middleton. With a stubborn streak and thick, curly auburn hair - you couldn’t miss her. She was born into a poor family of 7 children. Her father served time in the Royal Navy, but...

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Elizabeth Ann

Elizabeth Ann Turrell (sometimes Tyrrell) was born in the Beach Village, Lowestoft on January 19th 1845. Her father, John, was a Beachman. The history of Beachmen on the east coast is a story in itself but, briefly, this means he was a member of a Beach Company which...

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They adopted a child

My nana was a difficult woman. She fell in and out with those around her, including her two daughters-in-law, so that they never really knew where they stood with her. She was very popular with her seven granddaughters though, as she sewed and knitted amazing dolls...

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I gave in to pressure

Let me start at the beginning. I was born in February 1954 and was the eldest of 2 brothers and a sister. Everything was fine until I hit puberty when I started getting stroppy and angry with the fact that my friends seemed to have much more freedom than me. I started...

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It looks like me

One Saturday, in late May 2002, Leonard paid an unexpected visit to his youngest daughter Vicky. As they sat on the sofa chatting and drinking tea, Vicky could sense that her dad had something on his mind, as he was toying with a brown envelope on his lap. She didn't...

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We have each other again

I was born in the early 1960s and given up for adoption more or less as soon as I was born. In any case, I never went home with my birth mother. She went back to her parents, where she was living with her two young sons following her divorce. The fact that I was to be...

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