Tuesday, 15 June 2010

So much information and so little time

Photograph: Mary (Polly) Atkins Ross, aged about 11 with her father Edward Atkins and sister, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Atkins aged about 13, circa.1860.

In that all or nothing way of family research I have an ever-increasing pile of information and not a lot of time to put it to good use. Still, the most important thing is the collecting of information... the use of it can wait. It has all in fact been waiting for decades.

I now have photographs of all of Charlie and Mary's five children. Not all of them are particularly clear but they are better than nothing. It is extremely satisfying to put a 'face' to people from the past. I may not be able to do that with Charlie Ross, although we do have his grand-daughter Flora who was said to look exactly like him, but , what is even more exciting is that I have a photograph of Great-grandmother Mary as a child.

Cousin Jenny, the grand-daughter of Georgina Anastasia , known as'Teeny', had one of Mary with her sister Lizzie and their father Edward Atkins. It must be from the 1860's and therefore quite precious. For me at least.  Mary was said to be small so it is hard to say if she is 10 or 13 in this photograph, but with two years between the sisters I am betting it is around 11 as Lizzie looks to be in her early teens and is wearing a dress length which indicates she is no longer a child.

It is interesting to see how much of the maternal and paternal traits went into the genetic mix for their children. It is clear that Mary's daughter Georgina Anastasia inherited her looks in a way my grandfather, Charles Vangelios did not. Constantinus John was said to be smaller in height than some of his brothers and in a photograph I have received he also looks to be slight of build.

Interestingly, four of Charlie and Mary's children were not known by their given name. Constantinus was known as 'Jack'; Georgina as 'Teeny' ; Chrysantheous as 'Dan' and Spiros as 'Dud'. No doubt my grandfather kept his given name because it was the most anglicised. Then again, he was also known as 'Nigger' although one presumes not by his family.

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