Tuesday, 12 December 2017

A year of mysteries

With Christmas around the corner, it's that time of year when we peer over our shoulders to look back at the months past. And glancing through my blog posts, I'm actually quite pleased at the one or two mysteries I've solved in 2017.

First, the mystery Mr Vincent, was finally unmasked. Not that I'm much closer to finding out why his photograph was amongst my family snaps, mind you, but it's still good to know who he is.

I still have a theory that he may have some association with the story about my great aunt and a lost love but unless I find someone to verify the connection, I fear it'll always be one of those unsolvable mysteries, on which I can only speculate. Which is a shame. But I shall keep trundling on. You never know...

January saw the "finding" of missing brothers, Charles Alfred Baker and Edward Ernest Baker, whose father, Charles Gabriel Baker had travelled to Australia in 1867 in the hope of a future in the colony, only for tragedy to strike when he died of consumption within 6 months of arrival.

When their mother Susan Baker returned to England after her husband's death, the four brothers were separated and I'd only managed to track the two younger boys... until this year, when I was contacted by a descendant of Charles junior and I discovered the elder brothers' fascinating story, involving desertion from the navy and jumping ship in Rio de Janeiro!

But there's still plenty of work left to do. For instance, why did my grandfather Herbert Colley post the banns of his wedding, twice, to a lady he never did marry? What was the book that Mr Baker was holding in his hand in that photograph of 1865? And what did Uncle Theo do in WW1? And that's only three questions. I'm sure many more will surface in the coming months.

For now, though, I'd like to update you on a previous post concerning the Mystery Percivals and the fascinating book charting the history of the Northampton branch of the Percival family (no relation, as far as I can tell).

I was recently contacted by the son of Brigadier E L Percival, a co-author of The Percival Book, after a member of the family had stumbled upon my blog. He told me that Lady Percival, who, at 92 had been the oldest member at the reunion mentioned in a paper inside the book, had gone on to reach her 100th birthday.

By a strange coincidence he lives in Devon, less than an hour away from where I live! We have exchanged emails and I plan to reunite him with his family's book at some point in the near future, which seems only appropriate.

Well, on that comforting thought, I've just time to thank you for dropping in on my blog. 

I hope you'll visit again soon to discover what family secrets I unearth and which mysteries I manage to solve in 2018.

Meanwhile, I'll wish you...