Well I was going to write a nice little piece aptly timed for Mothering Sunday last weekend, but then events took an interesting turn and I was unable to schedule a blog post for the first time in six months; so my apologies for that!
I had looked forward to a Mothering Sunday spent with my mother and with one of my daughters. In the event I did see both of them, but we were visiting my Mum in hospital following a fall, fracture, and emergency partial hip replacement. Not quite how I had imagined the day.
I had mentioned to the Registrar that both Mum’s parents had lived well into their nineties. Granny was nearly 96 when she died, having lived through two world wars.
A couple of years ago I had an attempt at compiling a matrilineal tree – ie tracing back through daughter to mother. It’s an interesting exercise, not without its challenges, but fascinating to do.
The earliest female ancestor I could find in this line was Sarah Stridwick, whose daughter Mary Cooper was born around 1688 in Warnham, Sussex, meaning that Sarah may have been born around 1668. Mary Cooper’s daughter was Mary Knight, also born in Warnham, as was her daughter Sarah Charman, born in 1762. Sarah’s daughter Harriet Capon was not born until 1800, this time in Capel, Surrey, just across the border. I recently discovered, in the Haywards Heath Asylum Admission records at The Keep, that Harriet spent the last four months of her life in the Asylum, being admitted due to “senile insanity”.
Harriet’s daughter Eliza Sayers was born in 1825 in Ifield, Sussex, again just back across the Surrey/Sussex border, and her daughter Mary Philpott was born in 1853 a little further south in Shipley, West Sussex. My grandmother, Emily Mitchell, was born 35 years later, also in Shipley, in 1888.
Of these seven women, two were over 80 at death and two more over 90 years of age.
I am happy to say that Mum is making good progress. I hope the new hip keeps her going for at least as long as her female ancestors!