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

Posted in genealogy, history | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in genealogy, history, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in genealogy, history, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in genealogy, history, travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Posted in genealogy, history | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in genealogy, history, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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

Posted in genealogy, history, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Byrdcliffe Connection

I share a common ancestor, Abraham Dickerman, with the feminist writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who lived from 1860 to 1935. Abraham’s great-great-grandson was the Yale-educated minister Lyman Beecher, father of 13 children, including abolitionist preacher Henry Ward Beecher, feminist educator … Continue reading

Posted in genealogy, history | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Letters to The Bookman

15.8.99 Dear Sirs: I have by chance met with a number of The Bookman containing [a] portion of an article on the scenes of the Wessex novels, & should feel obliged if you could send me the whole. Yours truly, … Continue reading

Posted in history, literature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

American Tourists in Victorian London

Mary and Maggie interrupt their sojourn in Wales with a week-long trip to London. Mary grew up largely in Topeka, Maggie probably in Columbus, Ohio. What a transformative experience London must have been for two proper young Midwestern ladies! Due … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment