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Hi There!

The Older I get the More and MORE Stuff there is in my life … more stuff to store, more stuff to clean, more stuff to remember … you get the idea…. More and MORE Stuff.

I’m hoping to sort through some of my stuff; get rid of some stuff; repurpose some stuff and maybe even be obsessive enough to catalogue some stuff…

Why?

  • First … in case I can’t remember some stuff, there will be the possibility of there being a record somewhere about it
  • Because it will help me figure out what stuff I have (some seems to be missing??) and don’t have but would like to have… and
  • For sure I’d like to get rid of some stuff – downsize is a big catchword for those in our senior years!
  • And it will hopefully help me clarify just what stuff is important to me (that seems to change depending on where you are in life) and what stuff isn’t.

I’ve never been good at doing anything Every Day … so I don’t know how often I’ll get around to writing new blog entries. First job is to figure out how to use WordPress… make a few entries and baseline each page and launch the site. Then we’ll see if I can establish a rhythm.

The point! you ask… well, as I mentioned, getting rid of some Stuff …. We’ll see if this project can help me do some of that (hahaha! who’s laughing?) AND, more importantly, perhaps, to share memory tricks and ways to remember and ways to stimulate our memories … Because for me, my most important stuff has memories attached to them; memories I don’t want to lose.

  • For instance, within my vision, there is my mother’s pink elephant, and a host of other personal belongings that have “stories” attached to them;
  • My dad’s ashes are in front of me too… and beside me, boxes and boxes of stuff relating to his care for the past decade: stuff to purge; stuff to sort… lots and lots of stuff … some to keep to remember … to include in the family history binders;
  • Then there are my many collections of stuff… china springer spaniels, garden books, craft supplies are a few examples… obsessive collector? Yup. Maybe we can talk about ways to deal with that issue!
  • Mostly, I hope to help you deal with Your Stuff by dealing with some of My Stuff!

Let’s see where this all goes … will I have less Stuff or more Stuff next year this time? What will we have talked about?

If you are past 50; likely you are well aware of how much stuff accumulates…

Some of it you never want to part with and some you wish you had never owned but just how to get rid of it? Yard sales… what a lot of work! Hmmm. I’ve recently given all my father’s clothes to the Canadian Diabetes Textile Recycling bin… I kept his hat… the special one – it’s on the urn!

DNA

I succumbed to the allure of DNA testing. I admit, curiosity is one of my failings. Or strengths, depending on your point of view.

I wanted to know if there was any French in my veins. I also wanted to see if I could find any new information on a few tricksy people in my family tree.

It took me a month or so to spit into the tube and mail it in. Procrastinating is another of my faults. Then came the waiting… it was at least a couple months until the results were finally in.

I was amazed at the amount of new information about my family and at the number of “matches” … people who have taken the test who are my “relatives” …

None of my thorny questions were answered except for the biggest one.

There was absolutely no sign of any French ancestry. None at all.

Not one of my matches were on Auguste’s or Victor’s scions on the tree. In fact there was no sign of a single French relation. And my ethnicity breakdown contained zero French. France did not even get a single percentage point.

The results did catch all of my known ethnic heritage.

Scottish, for sure. My dad’s grandfather’s family came to Canada in 1855. The area they came from in Scotland as well as where they settled here were both identified.

It caught my maternal grandmother’s Germanic lineage, she came from Russia with her parents in 1906.

And, as expected, English. My mother’s father came ftom England in 1913. Then went back to fight in WW1, returning to Canada to stay in 1919.

My paternal grandmother, the descendant of William Dutaillis, came to Canada from England in 1903 with her parents.

The results have been very informative … but I’m kinda sad about the French …

So, it appears William Dutaillis, born 1797 Edinburgh, was most likely a Scot. My DNA results support that theory… as well as my conclusion that he was most likely adopted. I am still thinking by Victor not Auguste.

Whichever one it was. That individual changed William’s life and my family’s destiny, and I am grateful for their influence.

Mary Pauline Dutaillis

Born 1797 Paris per all her records… not her birthname I’m thinking…

Adopted by Auguste Dutaillis is my theory… remember him. I know so much more now than I knew back then.

One record is all it takes to change the story… and an interesting story it is. Full of heart break and true love…

The Emigres that touched my family’s past.

Would love to go back in time and have tea… have a wee chat. I have so many questions…

Mary Pauline marries William Waters Ireland in Edinburgh in April of 1816. I’ve known that for a year, but today I finally sprung for the record… downloaded it from Scotland’s People… and I am stunned. This record adds another layer to the story … a very interesting story indeed

Auguste, her father, was on at least his third occupation since he arrived in Edinburgh… the marriage record states he was a French Teacher…

The groom’s occupation was “comedian” .. We see that in later records for him … baptisms in Liverpool for their kids…

But even though these are interesting facts they are not the Most interesting thing about the record.

Her residence was given as …. the palace of Holyrood House….

Now that is interesting!

Shipwrights Arms

Pre 1890 Shipwrights Arms is the building behind the horse. Photo from the Kent Pub Wiki:
http://www.dover-kent.com/Pubs/Shipwrights-Arms-Ramsgate.html.
Originally provided by Bob Lee to that website. No other source given. ONLY photo I can find ANYWHERE.

Remember Mary Ann? She and her husband George William Hodge ran the above tavern for just over two decades in Ramsgate, Kent, England from 1850 when it opened to 1871, the year George died.

The previous Shipwrights Arms in Ramsgate had been run by the Harlow family. It seems to have closed its doors in 1849. The brewer, and owner of most of these pubs, would have been responsible for the transition to the new location, which was across from the Customs House on Harbour Place. The street was widened in the 1890s, and renamed Harbour Parade. The buildings in the photo were all torn down and replaced. The new Shipwrights Arms kept its street address but was shifted over to the corner make room for the new Customs House. The Queens Head, which you can see in the picture, kept its location and its address, but the building was also replaced. The new Customs House was in between the two taverns.

This was George’s second career. He was the son of pianoforte maker named William Hodge. William was originally from Knowstone, Devon, and had come to London sometime before 1814 to work as a carpenter. He married Sarah Walker in 1815 and they had four children, one of whom died in infancy. It seems William worked for over 40 years on pianofortes … he died in 1862. His daughter Sarah married James Moutrie, another pianoforte maker, and his sons William and George both learned the trade at an early age. The whole family was involved in the developing pianoforte industry in St. Pancras, London, England.

George worked in the piano trade in St. Pancras up until a few years after his marriage to Mary Ann. He was almost 30 when he switched gears to publican. They had ten children together. The first three were born in London, but the rest were all born in Ramsgate. Lots of children, meant lots of help with the work, but only once they were old enough to be useful. It sounds like a busy twenty years. The youngest, Fred, was seven when George died.

After George’s death, Mary Ann left Ramsgate and started a lodging house in nearby St. Peter’s. She does that for a decade or so, and then, with three of her then adult children, she embarks on the Lusitania for Tasmania (1884).

I so admire this woman. She was 60, and was going to immigrate to Tasmania? Fred, her youngest and a bachelor, and her two youngest daughters, Emma and Florence, and their husbands and children, all went together. A total of twenty family members are shown on the passenger list: six adults and fourteen children. One of Emma and Tom’s babies didn’t make it and was buried at sea.

Mary Ann returned to England at some point. We can’t find her return trip home. It looks like she waited until her kids were settled before she left, but we can’t be sure. We know she was “home” by the time she was 75. She spent the last chapter of her life living with her eldest daughter, Sarah Mary Ann, in Margate, Kent, up until her death in 1912 at 89 years of age.

A full life by anyone’s standards.

I descend from Mary Ann and George’s second youngest child: Charles Samuel Hodge. He died before I was born, but Eliza, his wife and my great grandmother didn’t. I was blessed with hearing stories about Mary Ann when I was a child. Eliza had worked for her, as her “lady’s maid” we were told. That’s how she had met Charles! Eliza lived a very long life. She died two weeks before her 107th birthday in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. But that’s another story!

Technical Difficulties

Sometimes it seems the technology that is supposed to make our lives easier makes life harder instead. It seems that way MOST DAYS for me lately.

Operator error a factor I am sure.

Tried out One Drive and document sharing . Do not go there! Not unless you and your co-conspirators know what they are doing. My document ended up corrupted.

And, so it would not PDF.

A week and a half thinking it was my Acrobat Pro at fault. WASTED time.

And of course suckered into a purchase of the NEW now monthly subscription so I can finish my project.

The document Still would not pdf. Another few days rebuilding it … and “Uncorrupting” it.

Then a paper jam ends up killing the printer. So, no luck printing a hard copy.

Are you feeling my pain! LOL. I remember when I would just take that all in stride….

Now I need a few days away from the computer just so I don’t throw things.

Victor?

In family tree research, I am reminded, again, that just One record can change everything. A cascading effect …

Auguste is not the man I seek. Victor is.

Victor and Auguste Dutaillis arrive almost simultaneously in the United Kingdom about 1793: fleeing the chaos in France. Victor settles in London; Auguste in Edinburgh.

My ancestor was born in Edinburgh in 1797. His surname is Dutaillis. I made an assumption.

Turns out the most likely scenario is that Victor “adopted” my ancestor in London. It also seems that the two men, Victor and Auguste, are close relatives, possibly brothers. They appear to have a business relationship as well as the same surname.

I am totally hooked on genealogy… love puzzles to pieces. I would like to prove my theories by finding a record that defines the relationship between either man and my ancestor. Needle in a haystack at this point, but I will keep looking…

In the meantime, I think I will go swing from another branch in my tree.

William Dutaillis

Auguste’s son… remember Auguste!

I still dont know exactly where Auguste was born or where he died or who his parents were but I do know quite a bit about his 9 children …

William is the eldest boy. I actually suspect he was adopted but cant prove it …. yet… He is my ancestor.

He was a cook: Cook to Lord Ducie. He was promoted during his employment to “House Steward to the Earl of Ducie”. He lived at both Tortworth Manor in a wee house on the extensive grounds and on Seamore Place in London at #2, beside the house the Rothschilds eventually bought.

He and his wife Martha raised three children: the eldest, a girl named Harriet; the middle child a son named Henry; and the youngest, Mary Ann, my ancestor. Whom you’ve also met.

William and Martha retired to Ramsgate, Kent where their daughter Mary Ann and her husband George Hodge ran the Shipwright’s Arms. It sounds like a lovely place to retire: the coast of Kent.

My own retirement in process… an interesting life stage. I hope things turn out as well for me.

Mothers Day

It’s over.


Thank you sweetie!

For some people Christmas is the hard holiday. For me it’s always been Mother’s Day.

I am pleased to say my birth daughter, my only child, found me … and that the hurt is healing. But I feel it is unlikely that the scar will ever go away. I am one of those girls who left the hospital with empty arms.

My own mother … she passed 11 years ago: on May 3. Her birthday was just before that: April 20. So Mother’s Day is the third remembering. Each year since her passing my ability to see the woman she was… to see her life as a whole … improves. I can remember her NOT sick. But instead, healthy and vibrant. Alzheimers steals the person. Not just from themselves but from the family too.

The last decade of her life she wasn’t sure who I was… she would look at me … and her eyes would shine.

My dad’s journey was different… I will celebrate him next month. First comes the first anniversary of his death. He knew me 98 percent of the time to the end. The last 6 weeks we were kept apart by Covid 19… he didnt die from it. He died because of it …

From being isolated. From not having the extra support provided by myself and by my loyal and caring staff. Yes. I hired additional support for him in the nursing home. Some of us need more than the system provides. He was one of those…

Six weeks … that’s how long it took for him to fade away … to let himself “sleep the big sleep” and join my mother.

Which brings us back to Mother’s Day.

Great big HAPPY to all you mom’s … without you, we wouldn’t be here!

My mother’s Pink elephant!

Mystery Man

I’ve come a long way in my search for answers about Monsieur Pierre Auguste Dutaillis… my greatx4 grandfather…. but so much of his life is still a mystery!

One BIG mystery solved…. he did not marry Janet after all … and was free to marry Isabella

Just this week I finally found the explanation to that particular mystery about him …. in the record book of Scottish marriages from 1751 to 1800 for Edinburgh parish. What a bonus! His occupation is also listed, giving me hope that I can find more information about his early life in France.

There are so many variations of his surname in the records I do have, and his birth year is not given in a single one! We can guess …. if Isabella was born in 1774 … he is likely older than her …. but that’s about it! With a birth year ranging from 1760 to 1774, and the various spellings of Dutaillis … Du’Taille and Dutailly… DeTaille… Dutailles … to name a few, it is still overwhelming. But there is hope.

In pursuit of information on his origins I joined another genealogy web site: one that is French called geneanet.org. This has been very helpful going forward in his younger children’s lives but so far no answers about him. Just more questions.

Four children went with him and Isabella to France in approximately 1817. There is no record of him after they arrive but Isabella’s death record confirms the family did move “home” as do records of marriages and births and deaths for the children.

Who is he??? Why cant I find him?