Tuesday, 11 March 2008


I am in the process of building my family tree.
This is a long and time consuming process but one which is richly rewarding. There is something very special about digging into your past and finding out about people you did not know existed.
And one of the really interesting things is seeing how these people lived. You often read in a newspaper about people being poor but we no longer understand what poor means!
If you go back 100 years or so you find that if people did not work they did not eat. It was as simple as that. There was no visit to the social to get money for nothing ( although M Ps probably could)
I have send for one marriage certificate from my Gran who was married in 1910. But the strange thing is that it reveals she got married on Boxing Day! Cor Blimey I wonder why they would do that I wondered. Then the thought struck me that they did it because Boxing Day was a holiday anyway and they could not work on that day. That would save having another day off work they could not afford.
This is all a far cry from today. When you ask people today where they are going on their honeymoon they may throw exotic names such as the Maldives at you. I think there is more than a fair chance that my Gran and Grandad were straight back to work on December 27th. I see from the certificate that Grandad is listed as a labourer so that would not have been a barrel of laughs. If they saved their money up really hard they may have got to the coast for a couple of days in the summer. But being as they had the cost of my mother 15 months later they would not be able to do that then.
I love looking at old pictures of these days & sometimes think how laid back it must have been at the side of todays stressful life. But I must be wrong. Behind the scenes of the ideal country life there must have been real poverty.
I am certain there has always been stress and worry. There is one thing for certain----the stress is not going to go away!!

All this has set me thinking about when I was growing up & how life has changed over those 60 years. I will tell you about that very soon. Have a nice week.

NEXT WEEK--- My memories of growing up.

No comments: