Ann Hamilton 1931-2021

Ann Hamilton was the godmother of my wife, who heped look after her and her brother after their mother died when they were infants. I put together this tribute to her, which was printed and distributed at the requiem mass held for her at St Anthony’s church in Rye on September 27th. It brings together reflections from close friends, family and colleagues, with other material published about her. It hopes to provide a flavour of the esteem in which she was held, her impact on the lives of those she came into contact, and just as importantly how she was much loved. A short biographical sketch below has also been included about aspects of Anne’s life not covered in the reflections and other material.

Continue reading “Ann Hamilton 1931-2021”

Jack Birtwistle (1922-2014)

This article about John Wynn Birtwhistle (aka Jack) was shared with us by L. Alan Birtwhistle, author of Thirtyone Generations of the Birtwhistle Family: A Family History (2006) who we’ve been collaborating with on stitching together a family tree of the different branches of the Birtwistle and other spellings diaspora (see more here). It was written by his cousin John Michael Birtwhistle:

John Wynn Birtwistle (aka Jack) and his wife Ida Mae (aka Robie, née Robins)
Continue reading “Jack Birtwistle (1922-2014)”

Miss D.M. Birtwhistle Mystery

I.M. Birtwistle, 1943

The photograph above is of my aunt Iris Mary Birtwistle (aka Lilla and IM Birtwistle). She was a poet and gallery owner, who achieved notoriety – in part – for continuing to run her gallery after she had gone blind (see her wiki entry here).

I’ve shared the photograph because it is an example of how searching for one thing can yield another. And in this case that started by trying to find out more about a Miss Birtwistle mentioned in documentary about Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

Continue reading “Miss D.M. Birtwhistle Mystery”

John Birtwhisle of Dundeugh Coat of Arms?

As part of serialising Thirtyone Generations of the Birtwhistle Family: A Family History (2006) compiled by L. Alan Birtwhistle, we tried to identify who had been granted the ‘John Birtwhisle of Dundeugh’ Coat of Arms mentioned (see Coat of Arms chapter).

Bob Birtwhistle – who is behind the site – is pretty certain that it’s John Birtwhistle 1799-1869. He was the son of Alexander Birtwhistle (1750-1810) and Mary Purdie and, and also Deputy Lieutenant of Kirkudbright.

Continue reading “John Birtwhisle of Dundeugh Coat of Arms?”

Birtwistle surnames and other spellings

The logo above was created by the late John W. Birtwhistle (aka Jack) for the masthead of the first edition (Volume 1, Number 1) of a family newsletter he published in June 1983. As he explained:

The logo or masthead at the top of the page is designed to show both the variety and unity of the various ways of spelling the name. All five vowels appear as the second letter, and ‘y’ when it is was in fashion before 1600. The ‘h’s placement decides the two major spelling groups today. The consonants are the unifying element in the name with the exception of the second ‘t’ which sometimes fades away. The last two letters are almost always present but often switch position.

Jack included over 100 spellings that were taken from public records. These have been included below and were kindly shared by L. Alan Birtwhistle (Jack’s first cousin once removed) who compiled Thirtyone Generations of the Birtwhistle Family: A Family History (2006).

Continue reading “Birtwistle surnames and other spellings”

Edmund Frederick Astley Birtwistle (1924-1986)

Unlike our uncles Michael and David, our uncle Edmund (aka Frog) never received an obituary we can find (even in the Ampleforth Journal):

As a child I had heard stories about his war exploits from my mother and grandmother, which included how he may have been picked up in the North Sea having had to ditch from a plane or possible accident while crossing the channel in patrol boat. That apparently included getting lung damage through the inhaling of diesel fumes, which may have contributed to lung problems later in life. My cousin Hamish had also been told a similar story by his mother, although in the version he’d heard our uncle had ended up in the channel when boat he was in sunk on its way to France.

Continue reading “Edmund Frederick Astley Birtwistle (1924-1986)”

More on the Cleaver family

Christina Clair Maitland aka Nina was my 2x gt. aunt and I have written about her here, after having been sent photos of her and her family by one of my not so distant cousins.

Nina married Percy Alan Cleaver and George Graham has added some more information about their family on his site including their 3 children:

  • Cerise Marie
  • Noel Ramsay
  • Bernard Box

Noel was Killed In Action in WW2, and Cerise died in mid-60s unmarried. My mother remembers meeting Cerise and her mother (Nina) at their apartment in Palace Mansions near Olympia in London. We don’t know what happened to Bernard.

George has also added information about a few more generations of both Percy’s paternal and maternal ancestors. If anyone has any photographs or portraits then please get in touch.