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  • Writer's pictureWendy Percival

Precious memories

“She was a sweet gentle lady and we all loved her.” So my late aunt recorded in her family history notes about her great-aunt Minnie Birch, nee Baugh, pictured above with her husband, Harry.

A few years before she died, my aunt sent me a loose-leaved file in which was not only a family tree but also a number of pages with notes and photographs. “I’ve finished it at last!” she wrote in her accompanying letter. We often wrote to one another about our shared interest in family history research, comparing notes about what we'd found out.

After thanking me for the research I’d passed on, she explained how she’d been able to add some personal details about the people she knew. It’s that unique part of the file which is particularly special.

I hadn’t read it for a while but having rekindled my Five Minute Memory regime (see my blog post Five Minute Memories, from a couple of week's ago), I wanted to remind myself what she’d written and also identify the different people she’d mentioned.

This is a side of the family I’ve not researched for a while. While I already have some interesting stories - my maternal grandparents’ stage careers, my Wolves footballing great-grandfather and my gran’s cousin Nora who joined the Women's Land Army in WWI (see photos above) - I’m now keen to dig a bit deeper and see how much more I can find out about the people my aunt mentioned and become familiar with a different set of names and faces, such as those below.

First I have to decide where to start! There’s mention of two different people who ran post offices, some builders, a grocery shopkeeper, a piano teacher, a glamorous aunt who was in love with a married man and another cousin of my gran’s who became the Mayor of Wolverhampton! I think I shall be busy for quite a while.


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