I decided to try the #52Ancestors challenge this year but I’m a little late already! But anyway the first week’s theme is Foundations so I thought I would start with the person who inspired me to research my family history.
Edith Evelyn Mary Terry 19 October 1911 – 14 January 1991
Here she is with grandad in front of the garden of their home in Punnetts Town, East Sussex.
My maternal grandmother, I have many very good memories of my granny and she has been an inspiration to me throughout my life in many ways. But with reference to genealogy when I was a child, she taught me a rhyme which I now know is made up of the surnames of her maternal ancestors
“Terry, Payne, Faulkner, Fowler…..” I thought there was a Sales in there too but they are on a paternal ancestor’s side so I either didn’t listen to her very well or wasn’t particularly interested at the time. Although I have remembered those first 4 generations and found them plus I’ve taken back her maternal ancestors another two generations, so I can now add “Neal, Nash…”
But what really started my interest years later and the reason I delved into the 1901 census soon after it had been released online was finding her family bible in the old house after my brother had just moved in.
There was a list of names with births and deaths of people I had never heard of and so I decided to go and research these people. And as the saying goes “From little acorns…..”
She was born to Albert John Terry and Emily Payne who had married as was written in the bible on 24 August 1907 at the Mission Room, Lingfield, Surrey. Albert John Terry worked for the General Post Office and moved his way up the ranks to become the Postmaster at Lingfield Post Office and Edith, her sister Winifred and two brothers Harold and Maurice, known as John, lived in the flat above for many years. I have recently found them there on the 1921 census.
She married Ronald Charles Pilbeam on 7 August 1937 at the Mission Room in Lingfield, Surrey and then moved to Punnetts Town in East Sussex where she lived for the rest of her life. They had four children including my mum.
Also found when the house was being cleared was a pile of letters she had written to my grandad during their engagement, detailing her life at the post office and the wedding presents received and who from. If only his replies had been kept too! But they reveal a young woman about to marry and very different from the old lady I knew as my granny.
Here she is the early 70s with me (holding the plastic owl), my sister and my cousin.