The picture above is of my great great grandparents, John and Mary Stacey, and probably their 4 youngest children.
Their youngest son George was born in 1882 so that would date this photograph mid to late 1880s.
I will start my thoughts with John and Mary who are the maternal branch of my family.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Great grand aunt Fanny

What a title but the relationship my family tree programme gives me for Fanny is daughter of great, great grandfather.  Fanny was the half sister of my great grandfather Charles Henry Butler.  Charles' mother died in November 1865 when Charles was only 2 years old.  She died, at the age of 25, of pulmonary tuberculosis (then termed phthisis) shortly after the birth of Charles' brother William.  Her husband William Butler remarried and went on to have six more children, Three boys and three girls.  The girls were Fanny born in 1868, Eliza in 1878 and Emma in 1879.  This photo  is of the three girls. Not sure of the occasion but maybe  Fanny's 21st birthday (not sure if they did celebrate 21st  at that time).  The short haircuts of the 2 younger girls make me wonder if they had been ill or maybe has head lice!

Charles married my great grandmother Everil Stacey in January 1887 and they had three children, Ernest, Lily and Edith (my grandmother).  Sadly my great grand grandmother Everil died in August 1900, of pneumonia and heart failure, when Edith was only 25 days old. My great grandfather Charles died also of pneumonia and heart failure the following January.  Everil had become an orphan when she was less than a year old.   The informant on Charles' death certificate was his half sister Fanny who I believe was living with him in Wakefield and taking care of his children after he lost his wife.

The 1901  census shows Fanny back in Ravenfield with her parents and also 13 year old Ernest and baby Edith.   Ten year old Lily was living with her maternal grandparents John and Mary Stacey also in Ravenfield.  In 1911 Ernest and Edith were still with their grandparents but Fanny was now living with her sister Emma and her husband Joe Brocklesby and their son Stanley also in Ravenfield,  Lily was still with John and Mary.

Fanny's sister Emma died in 1914 and Fanny married her late sister's husband in 1915.  By this time Fanny was 48 and so it was too late for her to have children of her own.  I think she had spent her life caring for her siblings and their children.  Although Ernest and Edith were living with their grandparents I think Fanny was more than likely the one who looked after them.

So my great grandfather never knew his mother and my grandmother never knew either of her parents.  Tragedy was to strike yet again when my grandmother Edith died in 1925, at the age of 25, after her clothes caught fire.  This meant my mother did not remember her mother either as she was only 3 at the time of this tragedy.    What she did have fond memories of was spending time with aunt Fanny and uncle Joe who took her in when her mother died and she stayed with them until her father remarried two years later.

Below is a later photo of Fanny and also one of Fanny and Joe with their pigs, not a very good one though.
One thing mum used to tell me about Fanny was that she always wore a man's cap!

1 comment:

  1. How sad for your mum, and the women in the family who came before her, not to know their own mothers. Thank goodness for Fanny!