Countdown to September

So this is the way it is done? Wonderful!

Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

Since my daughter entered school, I’ve always thought of September as the beginning of the year.  So in August I do a lot of organizing/housekeeping things.  This is a glimpse into the crazy that is my brain:  my August to do list.

  1. Use all food that is in my pantry and freezer.  I like to know that there is no food product in my house that is over a year old.  I will use every can, box, grain or frozen thing before the month is up.  I don’t have a large pantry- but I end up with an odd assortment of grains- half container of quinoa, half container of barley.  There are also cans of soup that we pick up “just in case”- this never happens- my family hates canned soup.  And there is always an errant chicken breast or half bag of shrimp loitering in my freezer- I want…

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My Sunday Poem … #23

I hope this will be reblogged by all who can. Thank you Chris White

1951 Club

My Sunday Poem … #23

Some weeks ago I published a two verse poem on here called At Turnebyry in Starlight. It was inspired by the current debate over Scottish Independence. Seeming incomplete, I have since lengthened the poem to five verses. It can be set to the ancient tune of Slane, as in the hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’. Hopefully it will journey far and wide. Scotland will prevail, independent or no. May hope always dwell in peaceful hearts.

At Turnebyry in Starlight

At Turnebyry in starlight a warrior stood,
A King for all Scotland, a soldier for good.
With eyes looking landwards, his thoughts they did turn
To Freedom won dearly at yon Bannockburn.

Would I have the courage to stand in his stead,
Where hundreds have fallen and thousands have bled.
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Fair Caledonia, the bravest of all.

The pipes they…

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OA: The continuing saga of British Home Child Orphan Annie

Research is a wonderful thing and there is always a story within a story, within a story. The very word ‘research’ tickles something deep in my cerebral cortex.  I have discovered that nothing comes to fruition on one’s own.  Links are found and must be followed and where they lead may not be anywhere close to where you thought you wanted to go. And sometimes in a very round about fashion they take you right back to exactly where you wanted to go in the first place,

Do you believe in serendipity; chance occurrences that result in a happy outcome?  There are many who claim there is no such thing as coincidence.  Either way wonderful things can and do happen.

I have a very dear friend who lives half a world away from me in New Zealand named Judith.  We started blogging on WordPress about the same time and an immediate link was established.  So we began emailing, then messaging and now we Skype each week, she with a morning tea, and me often with an evening glass of red.  This had been going on for some time, not the drinking but the Skyping and one day she asked, ‘What are you working on?’

I told her about my great-grandmother, about British Home Children, and about my research which had been going on for year at this point.  At first I just gave general information, and Judith told me about a movie called Oranges and Sunshine, a movie based on a book, Empty Cradles, by Margaret Humphreys and I told her about, Orphan at My Door, written by Jean Little.

On this particular Skype session I expressed my frustration at not knowing how to proceed with the information I had.  “I even have her address her family lived at from her birth certificate we got from Somerset House in 1963.  She was born February 14th, 1884 and her family lived at 4 Poole Rd. South Hackney.”

There was a long pause and I thought perhaps the computer screen had frozen as it does from time to time.  “Where was she born?” Judith asked.

I repeated the information.  Judith calmly said, “That’s about a mile from where I grew up.”  *Please note this was in a different century.

We marveled at the coincidence of it all.  Judith then said that her sister Marianne still lived in England and at times would go into London. Well next thing I knew this arrived,

4 Poole Rd area today (2)

Obviously the original structures are no longer there but I felt overwhelmed by the very thought of the location, the historical link between two friends and the loving action of a sister thousands of miles from each of us.  It sort of completes a circle, or in this case a triangle on the globe.

Now:

THE REST OF THE STORY

We knew the when and the where but not the why or the who until now.

In 1859 there was a former Cholera Hospital at 60 Commercial St. and Flowers and Dean St. which Annie MacPherson first used as The Home. In the late 1880’s it moved to the corner of Club Row and Bethnal Green Rd. which was on the edge of old Nicholas Slum.  This is where Annie was taken.  Thanks to Google Maps this is what that area looks like now:

club row etc

London, especially East End London was full of designated slum neighbourhoods.

Annie was shipped to Canada as part of the BHC program in 1888.  She left Liverpool with 86 other children on July 12, 1888 on board the ship The Parisian.  She arrived in Quebec on July 21, 1888 and then proceeded to Stratford, Ontario.

Not much is known about her life her until 1899 when at the age of 15 she married James Henry White.

But what of her family in England?  What happened to her folks?  Did she have brothers and sisters?  What happened in a four year period from birth on Poole Rd. to entry as an orphan at Bethnal Green?  Lots of questions and now some answers.

Francis Frampton, Annie’s father, was born about 1843, and lived at Mile End, Islington, London.

He was a widower when he married Edith Davies, having been previously married to Sarah Louisa Langlois who lived from 1847 to 1871 and with whom he had a son, William F. Frampton who was born in 1871.  Presumably she died in childbirth but that is not a confirmed fact.  I currently have no knowledge of what happened to William.

Francis married Edith Davies on April 22, 1873 and they lived at 74 Hill St.

Following family lines gets a little confusing for me, so I will start with Annie’s grandparents.

Francis father was also named Francis Frampton (there were 3 generations I know of named Francis Frampton so I shall refer to them as 1, 2, and 3. Annie’s father was the 2nd).

Francis Frampton 1 was born in 1812 (no date of death known yet), and he married Elizabeth Yorkton Slo (1813-1837). He was a banker’s clerk.

Now Annie’s mother and father were: Joshua Davies, born 1817 and married to Eliza Stevens, also born 1817.  I do not know at this point of Edith Davies had siblings.

Francis Frampton 2nd (Annie’s father) did have known siblings, Ann Frampton born 1847, William Frampton, born 1849, George Frampton 1845, and Elizabeth Frampton 1840.  So he was one of five known children.

Francis 2nd and Edith Davies Frampton had 3 known children in addition to their half brother William.  They were:

*Alice Maude Frampton (1876-1958).  This very interesting first known child of Francis and Edith was Baptized November 19, 1876, in the Parish, All Hallows, Tottenham, in the Borough  Harringly.  She died June 27th, 1958. Maude never married.

*Francis Frampton 3rd (1878) who wed Grace Violet Thomas (born 1889). Francis George Frampton was baptized July 28th, 1878 and the baptism record shows their address at 54 Arlington Rd. and his father’s (Francis 2nd) occupation as Grocer’s Assistant.

And then of course *Annie Frampton 1884 – who was Baptized April 24, 1884.

Our family, and Annie Frampton White, wondered for many years what happened that this wee girl ended up homeless and thousands of miles away.  Speculation had been that her father had died and her mother simply could not look after this child.

The truth is much sadder.  Annie’s mother was born in 1853 and died in 1887.  There is another death listed that same day in the same place as Albert Frampton age 0, so I can only assume Edith Davies Frampton died in childbirth, as did Francis 2nd, first wife Sarah.

It would seem that he just could not look after this youngest child.  Her brother and older sister could contribute to the household, even at their young ages but not a child of 3.  There was a record of Francis Frampton, spouse Edith Davies Frampton who died in Pennsylvania.  As soon as I have that specific info I will add it here in an edit.

So folks that is the story as promised.  Many  many questions answered.  Many more to ask.  But for Annie Frampton White this is THE story.happy annie

The Continuing Saga of Our Own Orphan Annie, Who Turned Out Not to Be Exactly That

Perhaps there are those who are able to go about their lives unfettered

by such concerns. 

But for those like us, our fate is to face the world as orphans,

chasing through long years the shadows of vanished parents. 

There is nothing for it but to try and see through our missions to the end,

as best we can, for until we do so, we will be permitted no calm.”

Kazuo Ishiguro, When We Were Orphans

It seems quite strange that the one descendant that could be classified as an orphan, and who grew up in an Orphanage at 51 Avon St. in Stratford, Ontario, arriving in 1888 at the tender age of four years old, was not strictly an orphan, AND that this information was not known until she was seventy-nine years old in 1963.  So really, in her mind and the minds of her family she was an orphan all those years. 

She had randomly given herself a birthday of May 1883 just so she could say she had a birthday. Annie Dorothy (called Dolly then) Frampton suddenly, in 1963 knew her mother and father’s name, where she was born and what her address was in Hackney.  On February 14, 1964 the family held her official eightieth birthday party. She died a year later.

annie's 80th birthday

At the tender age of fifteen she married her one love, James Henry White, who was nineteen at the time, on December 20, 1899.  The marriage was held at the orphanage, the Annie MacPherson Home at 51 Avon St. in Stratford Ontario.  Annie went on to have fourteen pregnancies, eight of which lived to adulthood.

I knew nothing else and had no idea how to find out more about her parents, and the “why’ of her apparent abandonment.  I mean how does a child be born into a family and four years later be one of the British Home Children living in Canada?

Of course there was much speculation, especially by Annie herself as she grew.  As human beings we try to make sense of who we are and where we are and how come we are.  Annie had told my sister more than forty years ago that she thought she remembered her father’s body lying in the parlour.  I was pretty sure that might have been something her young mind wanted to remember.

Having no idea how to go about finding out information I reached out to the Divine Ms M I mentioned the other day. Not THE Divine Miss M of course.  So a half world away, a cousin who is experienced in genealogy came to my rescue and what a wonderful job she did.

So as Paul Harvey used to say, “Here is the rest of the story.”

It turns out that Annie had not just a mother and father but a sister, a brother, and a half-brother.  Her father had been married and widowed before he wed Edith Davies Frampton, and had produced a son named William Francis Frampton who was born in 1871, thirteen years before Annie’s birth.

Tomorrow I shall go into detail on the who, and a bit of the what, and why of it all.   It is exciting, sad, heartwarming, and reassuring.  Annie died in 165 not knowing any of this and all of her children are now gone, but our generation and those that follow will finally know.

 

 

This Writer: The Unsuspected Truth

When I first wrote this I was puzzling over the appearance of how and what we perceive. Today the search for truth continues the layers of which remain elusive and undulating.

bridgesburning

My mind sometimes rides on an endless roller coaster trying to sort out unsortable things.

Truth is one of those – the truth we think we see and the truth as perceived by another.

I had an old friend long ago.  She was old in tenure and age with friends of all ages.  As a matter of fact I and many others called her ‘Mum‘.  She was born sometime around 1916 and lived in a large stately home her father had built in the town of Preston.  She and her sister grew up learning good housekeeping from a very young age and when their school day ended they dusted both banisters of the front and back staircases.

She grew up well mannered, polite and demure as was expected of all ‘ladies’.  She was always a lady.

We became friends in 1967 when I was a nursing student

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The Number One Best Answer of all Time is That One That Demands More Questions Introducing the Divine Mrs. M. The Saga of Orphan Annie continues….

The Divine Miss M is of course the moniker of Bette Midler who of course was and is to this day divine.  The one to whom I refer is Ms. or more accurately Mrs. Divine.  That’s how she pops into my mind.  I figure most of you have already figured out over these last many years that I do not disclose personal stuff belonging to anyone else.  Funny thing is I have actually had people say me, “Don’t write about this” or “I don’t want my illness made public.”

The point is the Divine Ms./Mrs. M is a cousin, far across the seas, who has a wonderful talent and learned skill in genealogy.  A rather difficult and patience-requiring skill; that requires 30% curiosity, 20% tenacity, and 50% Sherlock Holmes detecting skills.  I am sure those percentages can be interchanged but basically that’s what is required.  So I reached out in my frail genealogy weakened voice.  Advice? Direction?  Help!

Sweeping up her super cape, spectacles, magnifying glass, tea to the right, biscuits to the left (I am assuming), she settled down to her quest to help this colonial solve a problem, trace a line, and GET ANSWERS!

Now when we left off last, my great grandmother, (I would normally say ‘grandma’ but since we are talking Britain here I go with the more formal), Annie Dorothy Frampton, (who was 4 years old when she arrived in the orphanage in Stratford Ontario), we found out that she was 79 years old when the family was able to acquire her birth certificate from Somerset House in England.

For the first time in her life she knew her actual birth date, the name of her father and her mother, and mother’s maiden name.  For the first time in 79 years she knew the address where she had lived with her family, where she had been born in 1884 at 4 Poole Rd. South Hackney.  For the first time in her life, on February 14, 1964 she and the family celebrated her legitimate 80th birthday.

So some questions answered.  What we thought all along were the only questions. But…but….who were Francis Frampton and Edith Davies Frampton?  See? MORE QUESTIONS! TO BE ANSWERED NEXT POST!  STAY TUNED! (no go about your business – I will let you know.)  Carry on!

The Thing About Writer’s Block

Led here by a reblog of the wonderful Chris White at Routine Matters. I just love finding new treasure! Enjoy

Secret Diary Of PorterGirl

Not just the scourge of authors, writers and poets – anyone who has ever sat down in front of a blank page will, at some point, have experienced the phenomenon popularly known as ‘writer’s block’. I have come to an important conclusion about this most maligned of conditions and it is somewhat controversial, probably won’t be popular, but I thought I would share it with you anyway.

It doesn’t actually exist.

The natural flow stops not because of some mystical interference from the literary gods, but rather because something somewhere isn’t quite right, the narrative has gone awry or because something just doesn’t work. When the words dry up for no apparent reason and everything comes to a grinding halt, go back and look at it again. Retrace your steps, find out where you’ve gone wrong, look for the bits that don’t fit. There are all manner of things to…

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You Were Born 1, 2, 3, 4

Never ever …

The Chatter Blog

When you were born you needed me for everything.  And you were everything to me.

When you were one you started to realize there were other people in the world.   And though I reveled in your brilliant little self, my heart broke.

When you were two you toddled around to explore and learn.  I was too busy chasing and saving you from falling to stop and cherish the moments of craziness.

When you were three you spoke words of wisdom, I just couldn’t understand it all.  Though your little voice was a song to my heart.

When you were four you started to want other playmates and you were well on your way to determining who you were going to be.  Your temper and disposition were already evident.   It made me laugh.   It made me cry.   It gave me hope for the world.

When you were…

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Petrichor

My sister, not of blood but if choice, who dwells in a land down under, NZ, wrote this, but her thoughts are mine, and after all, I love a rainy night,….and day and the smell of the earth after…way to go J.

I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

Another new word for me today.  You may know that I am a pluviophile – a lover of rain.

Pluviophile

I have written about walking in the rain several times in the past.  More particularly last year when the only independent way of getting around was to walk.

And today I found another new word Petrichor – the smell of the earth after the rain.

Wikipedia tells us “Petrichor (/ˈpɛtrkɔər/) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek πέτρα petra, meaning “stone”, and ἰχώρ īchōr, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.”

I am sure you all know that smell.  It’s almost as if the earth is saying, OK time to wake up and start reproducing the flowers, trees, vegetables etc.  I love that smell and am…

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There are no facts, only interpretations. – Friedrich Nietzsche. The truth I think that validates everything you have to say.

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