Sunday, December 20, 2015


Interestingly enough all these bouts of illness of the last few weeks reminds one that we are, none of us, protected from the effects of disease. My voice is gradually returning but as I was dealing with all of that I suddenly decided to do something that I have mulled about in my mind for absolutely ages. I need to record these thoughts in my living memory to remind me when I did begin and why!

I wanted to record my life as I have lived it. At first I thought I could do that with a purchased book form that I could list all the highlights and events from my birth onwards. That seemed to work for a short while but it really lacked the ability to have lots of pictures (I have lots of pictures as my husband is an avid photographer as was my father at some periods of his life) and stories around those pictures.

It was a project that I saw myself doing later; always later. Suddenly I began to think that 70 is probably later and that I should begin. Consequently the last couple of weeks in my spare time, instead of working on the Cornwall Census for the Blake family, I have been working on my life story. There was something else that inspired that idea as well but that is all in my story and my story is just for my personal family. I want all this information available in case somewhere in the future someone wonders about Great Grand Aunt Elizabeth or Great Great Great Grandmother (Blake) Kipp or whatever name I could be called in the future. As I have peered back into the past that is what is most missing from the stories of my families. Other than the flat paper records I do not know a lot about the people beyond my great great grandparents except in a few circumstances. My grandfather knew a number of his great grandparents and so I am taken back into the past on those few lines but otherwise just flat paper documents and a few pictures tell me about many of them.

Now after a couple of weeks I have 184 pages of pictures and story that brings me from my birth in 1945 to 1984 when my father celebrated his 80th birthday and we were altogether celebrating his 80 years on this earth. Included with this will be chapters that take me back in time so that I can record everything that I know about my father and my mother and then my grandparents as I know them and even my great grandparents that my parents and grandparents talked about. A few times I will get to go further back and tell those stories. The modern age permits us to document our lives in ways that were not even possible when I was born. It was that collection of pictures of me that inspired me to do the work along with a desire to writeup my thoughts through my life and how they changed from childhood to young adulthood to motherhood and beyond.

I have begun my father's chapter already when I couldn't find this particular set of pictures mentioned on my husband's index but missing from the scans. He found them and I am back once again to my story but as I worked away on my Dad's story I realized that this might be the most important writing that I do for future generations of my parents. Three or four generations down and looking back at Ernest Blake and Helen Pincombe as their ancestors what would they know about them. Their stories need to be told so that they are not forgotten. The time that my mother, a Ranger in the Guilding Movement and a Cub leader, was out on the Thames River helping people who were stranded during the flooding in the 30s. My father who was Chief Scout and very involved in the Scouting Movement in the 20s and 30s. So many things to write down so that I breathe life into these people so that they can be seen by their descendants generations later. 

I think my mother used to think about doing that and I was in the process of acquiring a computer for her when she passed away. Much was lost with my mother's death as she knew a great deal about her families. Some of it was written down when my husband prepared a 50th Wedding Anniversary Book for my parents. Although I did go to the LDS to collect information it was my husband really who guided that book to its completion. It too has been a great help in working on my family nearly 20 years later when the genealogy bug finally caught up with me. But I regret that it did not occur to me sooner to give my mother the ability to record her stories in her lifetime. The same could be said of my father as well as he too was quite knowledgeable on his family. Coming to Canada as a child of nine meant leaving behind all those loving grandparents, aunts and uncles and he had a lot of them. Sometimes he would talk about dancing around the maypole in Upper Clatford on May Day when he was a child but I think it brought back memories that were sad because he left.

Lots of good memories replaced that sadness but thinking back on my grandfather dying when I was eight that too was a turning point for me in life as I truly missed him; I missed his stories and the time that he spent with me.

I think I can get back to working on the Blake and Pincombe families one name studies but will need to find a pace that works for me.

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