Christmas Present

Christmas tree

No, not as in ‘gift’, but as in ‘Christmas 2015’!

Family gatherings over Christmas are certainly a great opportunity to expand one’s family history knowledge.  We heard recently that turkey was not commonly consumed at Christmas-time until the 1950s, so I was curious to know what my parents might have eaten at Christmas when they were young.   Boxing Day was a great time to ask them.  Mum seemed to think they might have eaten chicken.  What we did not appreciate until she explained was that chicken was a treat.  The more common meat to be eaten year-round was beef and lamb, whereas for us it is those that are more of a treat being more expensive.

Moving on from food, Dad then regaled us with tales from his first job, working in the drawing office at Vokes during the war years.  In these days of health and safety and minimum working temperatures it’s hard to imagine having to work in your coat with no fire allowed!

This week it was time to quiz my husband’s side of the family.  I mentioned the S Combridge who had published the Picturesque Sussex that I blogged about the other week.  Ah yes!   He was known about and there might even be an address in Hove forthcoming that we could look up on a future visit.  The Combridge Indian connection was also explained.  And then it transpires, somewhat more surprisingly, that the South African Musketts who we found (or did they find us?) via social media have met my in-laws and are in postal contact!

Out came the family tree (which is vast – good thing a large table was to hand) and we were shown which were the branch that went to South Africa, which were the ones that went to Canada (the Clippesby connection) and which lot went to Australia (descended from ‘bad William’ who got transported!).

Muskett family tree
Muskett family tree

Yes, I know:  I really should have seen these coming and got some sort of recording device ready.

New Year’s resolution:  get it all written down!  And if ‘all’ sounds somewhat unattainable, then perhaps something that is achievable is to finish my write-up of the George family.

Oh and there were family history-related Christmas presents too – binders for my Family Tree magazines and ‘Tracing your East Anglian Ancestors’!

Happy New Year!

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