Happy New Year everyone, it has been quite eventful for me so far! Starting on the last day of 2019 I received a message on Ancestry from a lady in California, she was very excited, since then we have been corresponding with various bits of information all about the family of Mary Ansell and descendants. J’s branch of the family are descended from the Ansell and then the Soule‘s.
Here’s some of J’s first message written to me on the last day of 2019:
“Hello, from California. My sister and I have been working on our family tree, here and there, for the past year. This Christmas my cousins pulled out the OLD family bible that needs restoration. I was excited to see the family names handwritten on the inside covers of the 1770 Holy Bible to compare to what we had on Ancestry. The first name on the list, the original owner, is George Pain Ansell born Dec 9th, 1790.
I came across your Ancestry tree and began filling in and connecting the dots. I was just going to message you to thank you and saw that you have an incredible blog. I’m blown away with the amount of effort and time you have spent on our family. And absolutely shocked (full body chills) at how you came across your box of family photos of MY family at an antique fair. It’s insane. I’ve always wondered how and why family photos end up in antique fairs and flea markets. And now we’re one of them. So sad.
We’ve known that we were somehow related by marriage to J.M. Barrie, but haven’t made the connection up to that branch on the family tree on Ancestry until now.
It’s nearly 1am here, I’ll have to pick it back up in the morning to straighten out my tree and to finish reading your blog. But I needed to send you a quick note to thank you. I’m so excited. My mother and sister will be so pleased with all the photos and research you have”
After sharing the good news with her Mum and sister J wrote to me: “I can’t thank you enough for saving these photos and family history. It’s almost like you’ve cared for and healed a sick loved one of ours. It really does mean a lot to us that you took care of them and took an interest in them and paid attention to them. Thank you, thank you”
As most of you know this was my largest project of 2019, resulting in the first Blog about Mary Ansell and her family. I spent many many hours on the research and then wrote the second blog about the Ansell Wills just a couple weeks ago. I do get very involved in ‘my families’ that I’m researching and this collection has become very dear to me as I feel I know them all so well.
Although it has a connection to JM Barrie, above all else it is a family collection of old photos and it is only fitting and right that it now be in the ownership of the Ansell family descendants. So a large parcel is on its way across to California right now, with all the photos, and my research into their family history!
Getting to know J a little better over these past few days I am sure that she and the family will cherish these treasures within their family, so that they may be passed on to future generations. As she says ‘We’re so excited to have them. I will let you know when they arrive. They’ll love it here, in California😊’
Here’s the direct link to Mary Ansells Blog: Mary Ansell Blog
Smallacombe Farm, Dawlish, Devon.
While all the above Ansell messages were occurring I also received an email from Simon in Dawlish, Devon who is the current tenant farmer of Smallacombe Farm, he’s been there for 30 years, he heard about the old photo I had found via his daughter in Norway. So after corresponding, this wonderful old photo taken at the front of Smallacombe Farm is now also on it’s way to its new home, it’s going home! As Simon says ‘it will have pride of place in the house for all visitors to compare and contrast with the current scene at Smallacombe‘.
Simon is looking into hopefully having the photo restored and an enlarged copy made to really bring it to life. What a great start to 2020!!!
Here’s the link to my original Blog back in 2018: Smallacombe Farm Blog
Till next time then………….