Its been awhile since I have done any research into my family tree and hopefully by sharing some of it with you and how I went about it, I’ll get myself inspired again to do a bit more.
My father’s side of the tree is already well looked after by his mother who has it traced back so many generations its not funny. So I thought to have a go at Mum’s side of the family. It was Mum who really go me into it in the first place and then as a teen growing up listening to everyone chat about this person and that person while enjoying a Sunday b.b.q I found myself wondering, who the heck is that they are talking about?
I have been told I have very good genes as the women on Mum’s side of the family live for a long time, and by a long time I mean late 80’s to mid 90’s! I still had both my great grandparents on my Mother’s side alive when I was born, I don’t remember either of my great grandpas so well, both passed early in my life but my great grandmas are a different story all together and I think that is where I will start.
Today I would like to share with you a little information on my late Great Grandma Iris, or as we all called her Nanna.
Born in Rochdale, Lancashire (U.K) in late 1911, one of 3 daughters, Iris was the middle child.
When the war started in 1914, Iris was about 6 years of age when she went to the shops with her father. When they got there he told her ‘Wait here, I have a job to do. I won’t be a min.’ Her father went into the shop and put his name down to fight in the war. He then went to war as an ambulance driver and so, left their mother alone to look after the girls. Unable to afford to feed them all, Iris was sent to live nextdoor with her grandparents while the eldest was of working age and went to work in the Cotton Mills with their mum, the youngest of the three girls went to live with friends over the road.
Iris became very fond of her Grandma and Grandpa and often told me stories of how she was to go and collect the rent from the houses he rented out, saying that the money that she brought back was for her Grandma and how perhaps once a fortnight (I think) her Grandpa would bring home a new dress for her Grandma.
Iris married and moved to South Australia in the late 1940’s where she worked in a store with her husband who had come to Australia earlier to secure a job and a place to live before bringing his family over. Sadly for Iris, Australia was not England and though her husband loved her dearly, he could not make her as happy here in Australia as she was in England, many times she longed to go back to England and often would. Each time she went back, he thought she would never return to him, he even wrote a beautiful poem for her (which I will share when I get around to posting information about him).
In the end, Iris said she couldn’t remember much of her father as he was away for what felt like so many years and that she would love to find out more about him. I had made it a bit of a challenge to find out as much about him as I could before she passed, sadly I didn’t find as much information on him for her as I would have liked to.
Iris lived to the ripe old age of 95, not a bad innings if you ask me, she was as independent as one can be without a car or license, right up until she was in her late 80’s when she then moved in with her eldest daughter and her family. They say memories last a life time, but one thing I think that will last a life time and forever remind me of Nanna is the smell of a perm and all that goes with it. Every Wednesday after school, Mum, my brother and I would visit Nanna and for as long as she was living on her own, Nanna would have Grandma visit for a cuppa and biscuit and Grandma would perm her hair for her.
Love you Nanna Iris xxx