Tag Archives: Family Friday

How can Peggy be short for Margaret….

Often the names of our ancestors recorded on census returns never seem to line up with their given names. I’ve been struggling to find the ‘real’ name of two ancestors both recorded on documents as Minnie.
Are they Mary or Martha?
There were oodles of females named as Mary and also Martha in this family.
And to complicate matters I can’t find documents with either name for the time period I’m looking at so I can pinpoint which female was given which name.

In another line I’ve got a Kathleen known as Kitty and a Mary known as May.
John was Jack and Charles was Chuck, oh and James was Jim

Nicknames- the bane of a genealogist’s life

If you’ve ever wondered how they came about you might be interested
in these (safe) links.
They are all similar but fun to read and could supply the answer
As to why your Aunt Margaret was often called Daisy

https://www.buzzfeed.com/katangus/how-is-polly-short-for-mary

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/24761/origins-10-nicknames

https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Traditional_Nicknames_in_Old_Documents_-_A_Wiki_List

https://usefulenglish.ru/vocabulary/womens-names.

https://www.behindthename.com/glossary/view/diminutive

https://cafemom.com/parenting/172329-30_nicknames_that_make_better

Fun Friday – the day you forget the worries of the week
I think we all deserve a smile at the moment 😊

Lifelong Friends

You know how sometimes you meet someone and ‘click’
Both of you are comfortable with each other
Pick up on things straight away each time you meet
no matter how long you’ve been apart

I’ll tell you about two such people I know who were like this
Over the years in previous posts I’ve talked a lot about my Aunty Pam
who sadly developed Alzheimer’s and after leading us a merry dance in many ways, moved into a nursing home before dying in 2011…..my reflections in the link

She was married to my mother’s brother 
She was raised in India and thats where she met Uncle John
He was serving there as an officer in one of the Gurkha Regiments
So due to life’s circumstances there was a slight difference in what would have in those days been called ‘class’
BUT
She and Mum got on like a house on fire 
from the moment they met
which would have been in the late 1940s when troops and families 
returned to England after war ended and Independence was declared in India

A Pam had lived a sheltered life
from a respected family she had wanted for nothing
and Mum – well Mum knew about the world
and how to raise a family on almost nothing
so Mum taught A Pam an awful lot about running a home 
and A Pam taught Mum
Well I don’t know what – ‘cept how to be a lady I suppose lol

Here they are together (1953)
Mum (Alice) on the left – A Pam on the right
along with my Dad and my Grandad (Mum and Uncle John’s father)
In front of our little post war prefab in Cosham
A Pam and Uncle John left England the next year to settle in Australia

Here they are again in 1997 when A Pam was visiting England
They had only seen each other a few times in all those years
but it seems from what I heard they laughed and giggled like couple of schoolgirls all that afternoon

Mum died well before A Pam was diagnosed (My reflections in the link) but in later years each time I used to visit her (A Pam)In the nursing home she would often call me Alice and ask if I’d like a glass of wine.
Always the hostess, right to the end – sadly for me, but not for her lifetime friend

When this pandemic is over I think we’ll realise
it was the ones who would just occasionally ring or text, always asking how ‘you’ are
rather than the longtime ‘friends’ who were persistently at our ear all the time
(moaning and groaning)
who will be our new version of lifelong friends.

It was a cold and frosty morn….

This is ‘our big girl’ – born in Norwich (Norfolk England) early February 1963
a bitter day in the middle of what has been called The Big Freeze of 1963. 

And this is ‘our little girl’ who came along later the next year whilst we were living in Singapore.  The hot humid climate suited us all much better lol 

Anyway Our Big Girl won’t be happy if she found out I told you how old she was – but what her birthdate also means is that that like most babies born at that time (and previously) in England she was born at home.

Yes, after The Golfer rang her from the phone box at the corner of the street a midwife (very precariously because of the icy roads) came round on her bicycle and delivered our big girl right there in the comfort of our bedroom..

We laugh about it now, but because the bedroom wasn’t exactly the warmest room in the house (slight understatement) she slept in a huge drawer taken from the bottom of a big wardrobe similar to this one.


It was laid on a couple of chairs beside our bed, with the high sides protecting her, she was cosy and warm and out of any draughts – and there certainly were plenty of those in that old house.

How we survived that winter is still a mystery to me. Snow on the ground…two little ones……tiny coal fires (definitely no central heating). The house In Clarence Road was up behind the station, The Golfer was stationed at Coltishall so needed the car, which meant for me it was a walk into town for groceries and back up the hill with a pram loaded with babes and food. Certainly no taxis for us in those days!

Recently I’ve been rewatching the BBC series Call the Midwife – and even though the series was set in a place very different (both in location as well as the mix of people) to where we lived, it certainly brought back some memories of the system used ….like weighing newborns this way ….in a nappy on a hanging scale


I know it was a huge hit in UK as well as here (shown on ABC) and I believe it’s shown on PBS in the USA.  Does anyone else keep watching it?









I thought I still had a copy of Jennifer Worth’s book Call the Midwife (first book in her memoir trilogy) on the shelf but it’s nowhere to be found. Shame as I was going to reread it, probably moved it on in one of my ‘clearing out frenzies’.

I’m not sure about you but I find it hard to know whether to read a book first and then see what is offered as an adaptation on the screen (tv or cinema) or do it the other way round. See the adaptation and then read to find out what the original ‘idea’ was all about.  Often description in books never seems to get onto the screen and yet sometimes the visuals can turn out much better than the written word.

There are good points whichever way – how do others feel, which way do you prefer?