Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Travel Tuesday - Or should it be the Way We Were Wednesday?




 My great grandmother Wood, my father's mother's, mother, was born on Midland Terrace in Swansea, Wales.  The first time I went with J to the Oxford Patristics Conference, we went onto Swansea.  I had a copy of her birth certificate, she was born in 1888.  Two years after the cornerstone for the Church around the corner was laid.  I expect that she was christened in that church (the Vicar was part time and not able to meet with us to check the records when we were there.) The sign says Midland Court, Midland Court replaced Midland Terrace when the neighborhood was rebuilt after World War II, the street she was born on, was replaced by senior citizens housing.  She was in her late 70's or early 80s when she came to live with my grandparents on the farm.  She died in 1977.  

I remember her telling stories about her father running after the train to hop on for the ride to work, he was a brick maker.  The train tracks and the remains of the platform from the neighborhood station are at the foot of the street.  

I am the only member of my family who has traveled there to see from whence she came.  As a teenager I spent many afternoons listening to her stories, sharing dreams about my life, marveling at the long path she had traveled.  Traveling there connected me to her in new ways.  Travel does that for me. 

The next trip to London I want to leave time to find where my grandmother was born.  When doing final preparation for the trip in 2020, I discovered that she was born closer to Greenwich, not near Tower Bridge (street by the same name, the district was different, addresses have changed a bit in 100 years.)  As a child she spent some time in Hammersmith.  Her father took a job in Mexico City, and the family went to live in London while he was on that job.   

   

11 comments:

  1. You're lucky to have such wonderful stories of your great grandmother. I envy you that "trip to bountiful" you have planned.

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    1. I rescued a single folder of ancient paperwork from the jumble that was my mothers files, with birth certificates, marriage licenses, discharge papers, and a naturalization certificate, a treasure trove of family history. And from places that are pleasant and easy to get to.

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    2. THAT folder was lucky to find its way into your hands.

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  2. Looking at where you came from, your roots and family origins can be terribly addictive but it is not a bad addiction to have. More an interest.

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    1. I wish there were more connections with the old family,

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  3. It can be very evocative to visit the places where our ancestors came from, I agree.

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    1. If only we knew where my mother's family was from

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  4. On my very first trip to Europe in 1985, I visited the town my paternal great-grandparents were from but I didn't have enough information to hit any exact spots.

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    1. I was lucky to find that file, my grandmother had gathered a bunch of documentation when she filed for citizenship in the 1960's.

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  5. How fortunate you have some Welsh blood !
    I would love to see Wales.

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    1. When the world becomes safe, GO!

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