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May 2008

“L’Angleterre est une nation de boutiquiers.” ~ Napoleon

Welcome to the May issue of FTF Magazine which is looking at member’s shop keeping and business owning ancestors. In addition, Muggins in Sussex describes the occupation and liberation of Jersey.

The vast majority of images in this issue have been donated by FTF members and the magazine team would like to take this opportunity to thank all those contributors, as well as the authors of the articles, whose efforts all go to make the magazine a great success!

In this issue, we also take a look at member’s ‘Family Treasures’ – possessions passed down through the generations into the hands of a keen family history researcher! Three members tell us the stories behind their family heirlooms. More of these stories will follow in next month’s issue.

Butcher, Baker and Milliner

Our traditional image of a pretty village centre, inhabited by the butcher, baker, candlestick maker and perhaps a milliner for a Jane Austen character to buy a new bonnet from, evolved slowly from the middle ages and only really came into being in the 19th century....

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Uncle Sid’s Ironmongery Shop

In the 17th Century Lowestoft was a prosperous port. The rich merchants built houses high on the cliff overlooking the sea and the lower town. Lowestoft grew and prospered and many of the merchants' houses became shops. The lower floor was where the goods were stored...

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“The Grocers, oh the Grocers”

In one of my favourite parts of Charles Dickens’ 'A Christmas Carol' the ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge through the streets of London, and just before they reach the Crachitts’ there is an evocative description of a grocer's shop at Christmas. “The Grocers’,...

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Ewing’s Coal Business

William Ewing and his wife Elizabeth Duncan are my great x2 grandparents on my paternal grandmother’s side. They married in Newton Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 31st December 1849, when they were both 17 years old. William Ewing was the son of Samuel Ewing and Agnes...

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Learned from her uncle

During the Second World War my mum, her sisters and parents were evacuated from Eastbourne to Thrupp in Gloucestershire, where my grandfather, a carpenter by trade, worked in a local aircraft factory. My mum’s maternal grandmother, Maud, took a job as a cook at the...

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Mary’s Story

A number of years ago my mother was very interested in her family tree and spent some time tracing her relatives here in New Zealand. Her great grandparents, immigrants from England and Ireland, had all settled in the South Island of New Zealand, but her parents had...

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Following in his father’s footsteps

On my dad’s side of the family there were definitely four generations of boot and shoemakers, and one of my great grandfather’s grandchildren knew the boot and shoemaking trade, although he didn't take it on as a career, as he was a leather merchant until the 1940s....

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Granny’s postcard collection

When we finally cleared my father’s house I rediscovered my Granny’s postcard collection. Some were in a couple of rather dog-eared albums and others were loose. I remembered playing with them as a child, and my daughter had also looked at them and enjoyed rearranging...

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Marjorie’s Ring

When I was about 13 years old, I was visiting my grandparents' house and we were watching the television programme, the Antiques Roadshow. They showed a beautiful ring, which was quite simple, with three small diamonds in it. My nan said that she had one just like...

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The Liberation of the Channel Islands

On May 9th 1945 the Union Flag  was raised at the Pomme d'Or. For the islanders of Jersey, this is one of the most important days in their history. On 1st July 1940 the island was invaded and occupied by around 11,500 German troops (about one for every three...

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