The Rector’s Wife’s Letter Mary A Haines, Kirkby Stephen, 1884

Great Musgrave,

Kirkby Stephen

July 31st 1884

Dear Mr Brown

Having casually heard “that Mr Bradburn has been to Carlisle and taken away all deeds and papers and that they are now in his possession” I write to let you know what I have heard, trusting that you will excuse my letter, but I cannot help feeling uncomfortable about it — although resting on your kind province to me that you “would look after my interests and write when there was anything to tell me”.

Being aware how very busy you have been I did not care to trouble you with even a letter but I know positively nothing about matters.

My husband has not been to Carlisle or he would have called upon you.

With kind regards, believe me

Yours sincerely

Mary A Haines

This letter is edged in black which means that Mary Haines was in mourning for the loss of somebody within the family. This could have been up to twelve months prior to writing the letter.

After carrying out some research, it is my belief that Mary A Haines was the wife of the Rector of Great Musgrave, Mr Stafford A Haines. He was born in Bombay, East India in 1839 but can be found in the local censuses for Kirkby Stephen. His wife, Mary A, was born in Dalston, Cumberland circa 1843.

The million dollar questions of course are who was Mr Bradburn and was he up to no good? My guess is that he deeds and papers were connected to Mary’s bereavement. Perhaps an expected inheritance?

Would love to send this letter to one of Mary’s descendants. Any takers out there?

My sister’s birthday, 1935

Postcard sent “with love from Lil xxx” to her sister, Mrs G Roberts, 2 Parsonage Lane, Church Street, Chesham, Bucks.

4 March 1935

If anybody knows who Lil or Mrs Roberts were, please shout so we can return this great piece of history back to where t belongs.

Dear Mother postcard, Dorothy Parr, Widnes, 1915


TUCK’s postcard of a Coldstream Guard.

A postcard written to Dear Mother, I hope you have arrived safely. I have enjoyed myself very much there. Yours, Dorothy. Dated 5 August 1915, sent from Chester to Mrs Parr of 47 Irwell Street, Widnes, Lancs.

Looking to be returned to the PARRS family.

Research notes: we found Dorothy Parr in the 1911 census, at 47 Irwell Street, Widnes. She was 11 years old and living with her parents, George Frederick and Mary Elizabeth Parr, along with her two brothers, Frances Naylor and James Ronald. Dorothy’s father, George, was a schoolmaster at the local council school.


Irwell Street, WidnesIrwell Street


Wartime Greetings, Kathleen Williams, Gloucester, 1917


We have some wartime greetings here, a ‘Many Happy Returns’ postcard sent to Kathleen Williams, of 96 Linden Road, Gloucester, and postmarked 3 September, 1917…”Dear Kathleen, Please accept my heartiest congratulations on this, your birthday. Love Phoebe.”

We found Kathleen, aged 11, living at the same address in the 1911 census, along with her parents Charles and Frances, and her siblings, Edward Charles, William Alfred, Isobel Elizabeth, Kenneth Gordon and Maude Florence.

Somebody must know of this family in their family tree….

Daniel Ivor Williams, 1944


This is the Life Assurance premium receipt for Daniel Ivor Williams. He paid a premium of £2 12s 8d on 6th March 1944. Let’s hope it was a long while before it was called upon.

There is a good candidate on Ancestry – Daniel Ivor Williams, born 23 March 1898 in Llangyfelach, Wales. He died in Bournemouth, Dorset, in 1975.


Hilda Ward attends the Albert Hall, Leeds, 1911

Albert Hall 


It’s Saturday, 18th March, 1911 and Hilda Ward is about to attend the Albert Hall in Leeds, (shown above, this was the Leeds Institute and is now the City Museum)  to collect a prize awarded to scholars from the RSPCA. She has her ticket ready, a seat has been reserved for her (Row C, No.11) but she must hurry to arrive no later than 2.45pm.

Do you have a Hilda Ward in your family tree?

World War 1 Medal – Sgt R Rhodes, Army Service Corps

War MedalAbove all other things, finding war medals makes me feel sad. Here we have the First World War medal awarded to Sgt R Rhodes S/4 128210 of the Army Service Corps (ASC).

I have found his medal card, which tells us that his name was Robert.

Robert Rhodes

Sergeant Robert Rhodes fought for our country – let’s try to get his medal back home to his family.