After nearly twenty years of research. Off and on again work and guilt coming from the work done by others and not by me I can tell you that family histories are a labour of love. Twenty years of reading microfilm, holding records older than my great great great grandfather, and trying to discern names from Welsh language tomb stones are treasures of my life.
Anyone who has had to bend their tongues around names of places in non-English lands knows the pain of spelling and mangling the names our Ancestors bore and lived in. Often in history there has been a focus on the great, those men and women who bare a significant part of history or played a role in larger events.
I like so many other historians of culture love the little guy. He or she is not terribly unique, they may have only very little to do with larger events yet they are still important in understanding the way men and women and children lived in the past.
I would like to use my own ancestors for examples.
This is a picture of my grandfather, on the left, dated obvious in the 1940s. My grandpa served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He enlisted but because of his family he was kept in Canada working as a mechanic on aircraft. He was bitterly disappointed to never see active duty. Yet his role was as important as any other in creating and keep the war effort up in Canada. So while he considers himself a minor person in great events, he still plays a role.
My great grandfather on the Williams side was a public house owner in Wales. His pub, seen in this photo before it was damaged by fire a year later, was where my grandfather was born. Unfortunately a year later my great grandad was killed in a fight in the pub. With his death my grandfather and a great uncle were sent into the work houses and farmed out to others to keep and look after them. In one of those places my Grandad met his wife to be in a choir in church. they left for Canada in 1929 and the rest, as they say, is history.
This is my great-great grandma She lived in Wales at the turn of the 20th century. Her Wales was still a rural place which was pastoral. Yet at the same time mines for Manganese were being developed in her small community. These mines, which one of my great great grandfathers mined, were important in the development of steel in Liverpool. For my Nain (Welsh for Grandma) Williams this was a time for her to travel a few miles to sell her home made mushroom ketchup and other goods to make life better for herself as she saw the world change from 1840s to 1923.
For those who have never heard of Mushroom ketchup, it was something often used with poultry apparently and I have found a recipe in looking it up online.
The mushrooms need to stand 24 hours during the first step of the recipe.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hours, 45 minutes
- 1-1/2 pounds mushrooms, firm and fresh
- 1-1/2 Tablespoons pickling salt
- 1 ounce dried boletus mushrooms
- 3 cup hot tap water
- 2 cups white wine vinegar
- 3 large shallots, peeled or 1 small onion, peeled
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 10 whole allspice berries or 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 large mace blades