In the 1880s my great grandfather, John Gill Keown, left the Isle of Man for South Africa. He worked as a carpenter for the De Beers Mining Company in Kimberly. A little later in his life, he bought land in the Northern Cape and named his farm, Frisco Pokwani. That farm name was key to … Continue reading Locating farm land in South Africa
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
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 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
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
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
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.