Family Albums

Photo and Postcard Albums

I feel privileged to have been loaned two family albums by my cousin Mike. They belonged to his late mother, my aunt Rene. The first album contains many photos of family and friends but we are not sure of exactly who some of them are. However, CSI Fleckney, and a few friends, have been on the case and we now know a lot more than we did to start with.








The photos above are of our grandfather, Thomas (Tom) Ellis, on the right, grandmother Leah (Dolly) Ellis (nee Barker) on the right, and possibly one side of our great-grandparents in the centre.

The second album mainly contains postcards sent to, or by, family and friends but only a few have anything written on them. However, the postcards themselves are quite interesting. I would hazard a guess that it was cheaper to send postcards than the folded, enveloped, card that we are familiar with today.

Unto thy form most lovely, And thy sweet face divine,
I supplicate most humbly, And ask- Wilt thou be mine.

“Dear Charlie, Just a P.C. hoping to hear from you soon being Leap Year. From One who knows Nothing.”


This could be a message to Charles Brotherton from Rosina Ellis. They married in 1928, a leap year.

There are far too many items to list here but another that intrigued me is this one:

Lismore Castle (from the River) Lismore, Ireland.

26 Jun 1914

Mrs. G. Barker,
11 Gower Street,

“Dear Mother, I am going on to D. ward on Friday and pops also. I have heard that Ethel his coming home on Friday. With love from Son and pops.”

26 Jun 1914 was a Friday. Was there some kind of illness or accident that put Son, Pops, and Ethel in hospital? Mrs. G. was Eliza Barker (nee Farley), and presumably Pops was George Edwin Barker. Ethel would be their daughter, who would have been 8 years old, but which of the lads was Son? Charles Stewart would have been 24, John Joseph would have been 20, Philip Henry would have been 17, Victor George Henry would have been 13, Albert Arthur would have only been 2, which pretty much leaves him out. A mystery that we will probably never solve.

Then there is this series of postcards with nothing written on the back of them. Who were they sent by and to whom?

1. A Loving Greeting: There’s never a time of absence That’s so long, But can be shortened by Love’s old sweet song.

2. My All in All: There’s only one thing I shall miss, You’ll miss it too – and that’s a kiss.

3. For Ever and Ever: Though seas may divide us, Our thoughts will unite us.

4. True Blue: The stormy ocean roaring wide, Between my love and me. Can never, never yet divide My heart and soul from thee.

5. Love’s Token: Never sigh, You and I Will meet again By and by.

And finally, another mystery.

Seale Church, near Farnham. St. Laurence, Elstead Road, Seale, GU10 1HX.

Postcard sent from Birmingham and then forwarded from Tidworth Barracks, Andover, 11.15AM, 14 Oct 1912 to No.11 Gower Street, Lozells, Birmingham.

Pte J. Barker, G. Coy, Worcester Regiment, Lucknow, Tidworth

Dear Jim, Just a P.C. hoping you arrived safe and that you are quite well as it leaves me at present. Jim. Sorry I did not have more time to talk to you but you could see I was busy. Hoping to hear from you by return of post. Jim when you write do not mention this P.C. as they don’t know I have wrote it. Yours Sincerely Elsie. Write soon Jim xxx. My address Miss E. Sydenham, 36 New Summer Street, Birmingham.

I don’t know who Jim Barker was, yet, but Elsie Sydenham was the daughter of William and Sarah Sydenham. The family were living at 36 New Summer Street for the 1911 census. It would appear that Elsie died a spinster in 1970. Perhaps Jim never came home? Or was he known by another name? At the time, 11 Gower Street was the home of George Edwin and Eliza Barker. Could Jim have been John Joseph Barker (1893-1965)? As yet, I have not been able to find any mention of J. J. in the 1911 Census or the 1939 Register. Nor are there any obvious military records for him. The search continues …

Many thanks to Mike and Ann who lent me the albums. I will endeavour to continue my research as and when I can but if anyone reading this has any information to add please let me know. The full albums can be viewed by following this link:

Other News

I have more updates from cousin John Oliver Thomas who continues to work tirelessly on branches of The Williams Family Tree. Thank you John, I think I am pretty much up-to-date with you now and I have made a few additions to your data. I still have a lot of checking and editing to do but I will get there eventually.

Thanks to Janette Dienhoff members of the Trenfield family have had a lot of information added or updated. There is, of course, always more to be done as work like this is never-ending. Just as well I enjoy doing it so much!

Many other people have also been in touch which has led to more updates and additions. I would like to say thank you to all who have contributed in one way or another.

We have had a few new members to our little ‘club’ bringing our membership up to 384. Registered users enjoy a few more privileges than passers by. If you would like to join us you can apply via the link below. There is no charge and if you, or a family member, features in the Tree we can add a link to ‘Your Page’.

All that remains is for us to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Enjoy the festive season, eat as much as you like (not my mince pies!), and please drink responsibly.

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Firefox Update

There is a lot going on and a lot of individuals have been added to The Williams Family Tree. More information will follow. However, I felt that this may be important to some of you who use my Toolbar and Extraction Scripts.
The latest versions of Firefox and Greasemonkey break everything! If you want to continue to use my Toolbar and Scripts then you must NOT update Firefox beyond 5.6 and Greasemonkey beyond 3.17.
If you have already updated Firefox it will have updated Greasemonkey but it is easy enough to go back a stage.
Firefox previous versions can be found here:
Greasemonkey previous versions can be found here:
However, please bear in mind the security risks of not upgrading Firefox, Greasemonkey, and other Add-ons.
As soon as I have new versions of my Toolbar and Scripts I will let you know.
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So much happening …

I really must get down to writing more stuff in this blog! The trouble is, so much has been happening with the moving in, re-decorating, exploring the new area, meeting new people, etc., that The Williams Family Tree has taken a bit of a back seat.

Not that the database has been neglected. There have been numerous updates and additions but much of these have been little bits here and there. I have been given access to a few more trees on Ancestry, for which I am extremely grateful, and am in the process of slowly adding more information to the database.

Cousin John continues to busy himself with his research and has send me more files that have been incorporated to the database but which I haven’t got around to verifying yet.

Thanks John, and thanks to everyone who has passed on information and/or links over the last few months. Things don’t look like slowing down too soon on the home front but I hope to put more time into The Williams Family Tree in the future.

Watch this space …

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Lost Email Contacts

I have recently moved house and, unfortunately, the hard drive containing all my emails and email contacts got damaged in transit. As yet I have not been able to find my most recent backup.

If you have made contact at any time over the last ten years or so could you please email me and let me know about your interest in The Williams Family Tree.

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Merry Christmas

A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.


Much has happened since the last post on this blog – including my retirement from work. Yes, my shift is over and I can concentrate more on The Williams Family Tree. Or so I thought! Isn’t retirement fun? You can go anywhere, do anything, at anytime. Loving it!

We have, however, decided to move house and so a lot of my time has been spent sorting out, throwing out, and getting tired out! Lot and lots of paperwork has been scanned and/or re-downloaded and entered into the Tree. The poor old shredder has been given a hard time as it has been in almost daily making packing material from hundreds of census returns and other documents that are no longer needed.

Of course, nothing is ever simple! As I was doing all this I was also updating the records that went with the documents as well as looking at information other people have sent to me. This is one battle that will never be won as more cousins connect and share their research for which I am truly grateful. Please keep it coming.

On a very sad note, our aunt, Irene aka Rene, passed away in November. She will be sadly missed. Our hearts and thoughts are with the family. Bye Rene, you will never be forgotten.


Auntie Rene celebrating her 96th birthday


My Mom’s sister, Rene, the last of the Ellis girls.

It’ always difficult when a loved one passes away, especially one so full of fun as Rene. A sad reminder to us all that we only spend a short time on this planet so make the most of it.

I have spent a lot of time updating the website lately and hopefully the site will remain after I am gone. I have attempted to ensure that all the photos are correctly displayed and all other images are viewable. Time is again the problem here as new information is constantly coming my way, be it from family, contacts, or new sources on the internet. Trying to keep up with it all is fun but hard work. Below is a list of just some of the surnames that have been added or updated in the last few months. As ever I am always grateful for all the information I have been sent.

Adams, Amatt, Anthony, Bagg, Bedson, Blackbourn, Boon, Borders, Boseley, Bowler, Boxall, Brodie, Brooks, Carter, Chalk, Clowes, Cook, Cowley, Cowpe, Crossley, Davies, Davis, East, Edwards, Everitt, Ferrar, Foster, Gerrard, Gover, Grant, Guilford, Hair, Halliday, Hammond, Hawkswell, Hill, Hillsley, Hodson, Holmes, Hulse, Jacombs, Jarvis, Jones, Jones, Kilburn, kirk, Kybird, Lake, Lord, Lunn, Lysons, Maides, Major, Marcus, Marshall, Matcham, Matthews, McKillop, McQueen, Middlewick, Milledge, Morris, Neal, Neild, Norris, Norton, Palmer, Parsons, Payne, Phillips, Plumhoff, Prosser, Randall, Renshaw, Richardson, Ricketts, Stevens, Taylor, Thomas, Thompson, Thorpe, Thrum, Tolchard, Truslove, Walker, Wallwork, Watret, Wells, Wheatley, White, Wilkinson, Williams, Willoughby, Wood, Wright

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