Tag Archives: Victorian era

What’s a pandy? Who’s the tucker?

Wed. May 25th [1892]   ….After tea we took a walk to the coal pit from which place we could see the Pandy & Alltiago farm. We got a glass of fresh milk at the Alltiago farm….Continuing our walk we went … Continue reading

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Off to Wales with my great-grandmother’s diary

My mother gave me my first diary when I was 13. It had a yellow cardboard cover and a tiny lock and key. I welcomed the chance to put down my secrets, especially to spill out the doubts and longings … Continue reading

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Playing games with the ancestors

Flinch, a game played with a custom-made deck of cards, was invented in 1901 by A.J. Patterson. He grew up on a farm in Michigan and graduated from high school at the age of sixteen. After working at jobs in … Continue reading

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Pilgrim versus tourist

In his book Spiritual Journeys of an Anarchist (Ardent Press, 2014), Peter Lamborn Wilson described “intentional travel” as a sufi tradition in which the traveler, to fix his itinerary, “waited for ‘signs’ to appear, coincidences, intuitions….” I read these lines … Continue reading

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Pitman transcription reveals my great-grandmother’s secrets

Many thanks to my friend Josie Oppenheim, who responded to the previous blog post by locating a Pitman transcriber online. Tracey Jennings, a shorthand expert in the U.K., came up with translations of the four bits of shorthand text scattered … Continue reading

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Anyone out there know Pitman shorthand?

When my great-grandmother, Mary Davies, was 20 years old, she took a trip to Wales with her cousin to visit relatives. It was 1892, she was petite and pretty, and the Welsh boys flocked to pay court to two exotic … Continue reading

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The rich legacy of childless women

Rummaging through my family tree, I always feel a bit sad when I come across childless women. In the context of genealogy, it seems regrettable that they lack descendants to honor them. On the other hand, in the 19th and … Continue reading

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