I Knit London Tweets

Sunday, January 13, 2008

13th January 1908...

Ever since I was about 10 years old I've been fascinated by putting together my family tree. I remember I started with a big sheet of paper and wrote all the names on it with lines in between. I kept that bit of paper for years and added stuff to it, but it was never really that complete. A few years back I started again and have been doing it on and off since then whenever I have the time to spend in front of the computer, looking at old census records and the like. It's quite therapeutic and actually quite exciting bringing these folk back from the dead. My family are spread thin and we're a disparate bunch so it's tricky tracking down relations I've never heard of. In some respects it's easier though - Gerard had a go at remembering his own close relatives and gave up - his mum and dad have about 20 siblings between them!

A few years back I was speaking to my gran who remembered clearly some of her childhood in Eaglesfield and Eccclefechan and I realised there was nothing like personal stories to give these names on bits of paper flesh and blood. My gran was born excatly 100 years ago today, on 13th January 1908. I always thought she'd make it to 100 but she didn't manage it - she died in 2004, aged 96. I wanted to remember her today. It's fascinating and a bit scary to think how different the world she was born into was to the world she left - within a single lifetime everything can change beyond recognition. If you've still got the chance, listen to your grannies and grandads, they have a few good yarns to tell.

Happy birthday Nana, wherever you are....

...still knitting in her 90s!

Agnes Carruthers (née Johnstone): 13th January 1908 - 2004


Betsan said...

My father made it to 100 last July. He was born in 1907 and a few years ago I looked at the things that had changed in his life time - more or less everything. When I discovered that he'd lived at the same time as Indian Chief Geronimo and before Einstein completed his theory of relativity I decided to write a book for mum and dad and my children, which hopefully will be passed down the generations. It helped me to understand him a lot more. For example V neck sweaters were considered to show too much flesh and be bad for your health, so now I understand why he still asks me if I'm wearing a vest! When the clock in their farmhouse stopped he had to climb the tree at the bottom of the garden to wait for the 5 0'clock steam train to pass, which in those days was always on time - perhaps some things have got worse!


WorkingWords100 said...

She is adorable.

Three of my grandparents died before I was born, so I didn't enjoy the nice times like you had. Envy Envy.

Good luck with your family tree.