Finding Harry

Harry Joshua Davis was a seemingly complicated man. I never knew him, but the records he left often describe a man with many complexities. Living family members knew little of him, except rumors and hushed opinions as to where he had ended up. His birth in Lancashire, England in 1879, was innocuous enough. The oldest … Continue reading Finding Harry

My Grandfather’s Sword

As a young child I can remember opening my father's closet and seeing a very fancy looking sword hanging in there. I don't think I knew whose it was until I was older and learned it belonged to my mother's father. My grandfather, Harold James Davis, died about 2 years before I was born. The … Continue reading My Grandfather’s Sword

St. Mary’s Changing Churchyard

Towards the end of 1945, Jean Mary Davis (my second cousin twice removed) married John Clement Rix at St. Mary’s, the parish church at Norton Cuckney in Nottinghamshire1. I recently came across this wonderful photograph of them stepping out of the front doors of the church just after they had been married2. The war had … Continue reading St. Mary’s Changing Churchyard

Four Generations in Close Up

Four generations of women in my family in South Africa. There is something about taking these close up photographs and placing them next to each other that reinforces for me the familial bonds that tie generations together. Not to mention, seeing how much they resemble each other! Christina Elizabeth McIntosh was of Scottish descent, born … Continue reading Four Generations in Close Up

Two True Friends – the Soldier and the Nurse

Charlotte Lillie Davis never married and probably would have been known as the maiden aunt of the family. However, that doesn’t mean she never loved nor led a fulfilling and interesting life. She was my second great grand-aunt; a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, and a fiancée. Very little is known about Charlotte’s … Continue reading Two True Friends – the Soldier and the Nurse

Ann Wilson Bellas – a Strong Woman

I have written before about my great-grandfather, John Bellas and his frequent journeys from County Durham, England to Kimberley, South Africa to work in the mines. His wife, my great-grandmother, Ann Wilson, married at age 20, becoming an instant mother to John’s small child from his first marriage. She was a woman who, for many … Continue reading Ann Wilson Bellas – a Strong Woman

Sharing a Meal with my 16 Great Great Grandparents.

At my dinner table… Out of all your ancestors who would you most like to share a meal with?   I would like to sit down with my 16 great great grandparents as they seem to be a fascinating lot. All 8 couples were born in different parts of the U.K. and the world. There is … Continue reading Sharing a Meal with my 16 Great Great Grandparents.

Discover … eGGSA (The virtual branch of the South African Genealogical Society)

eGGSA is the acronym for the virtual branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa.  According to their website the ‘Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA) is an international organization of people engaged in the study of genealogy, family trees and family history with a South African connection’. From the first small colony established by … Continue reading Discover … eGGSA (The virtual branch of the South African Genealogical Society)

The Life of a Miner: from County Durham, England to Kimberley, South Africa.

I have always been fascinated by the life of my great-grandfather John Bellas.  Born into a coal mining family originally from Flintshire, Wales, he spent his entire life working down the mines.  John was born in 1859 in St Giles, County Durham, England.  He was the third child and first son for David Bellis and … Continue reading The Life of a Miner: from County Durham, England to Kimberley, South Africa.

Hide and Seek with Harry

My maternal great-grandfather, Harry Joshua Davis, has generally made himself extremely difficult to find after 1923.  In fact, I have not found him or his date of death or where he might have died and I have been looking for a very long time.  Yes, it’s annoying and he most definitely qualifies for July’s Genealogy … Continue reading Hide and Seek with Harry