So now I am going to be a little naughty. Instead of following the story generation by generation, I’m going to pop ahead a bit to the Buckingham family. The reason is that they are my current project because my Granny wanted to find out more about her own Granny.
As I’ve mentioned before, at age 11 Granny (Marion Scott nee Edgecombe) experienced the sad early loss of her mother (Elsie Davis). She and her brother and sisters spent the next few years living with their fathers family and developed a close relationship with her fathers mother – Granny Edgecombe (real name Marion Edgecombe nee Buckingham). Oh and despite the similarity in the name, she wasn’t directly named after her own Granny either….but that’s a story for another day!
It seems that they already were a close family unit – understandable since they had all migrated together from the UK in 1924/25. Granny recalls living with ‘Granny and Grandad Edgecombe’ at Flushcombe Road Blacktown, (Sydney) in the mid 30’s when her sister Hazel was born.
So in 1944, when tragedy struck the family with the death of Elsie, at least there was a certain familiarity to fall back on. But by this time Granny Edgecombe was in her early 70’s though, and had bad knees (I was doomed to have bad knees on all genetic fronts!). So at 11 years old, Marion became the legs for her own Granny and helped cooking in the kitchen.
“Aunty Ena and Uncle Ronnie Neeves were living with Granny and Grandad when we went there to live but they soon moved out. Aunty May lived in the next street and she came up and did the washing and cleaning and was paid out of Dad’s wages. Granny did the cooking and I helped her. I was her legs and had to fetch and carry for her. We muddled along but it was no fun time.”
I imagine by this time that Granny Edgecombe was expecting life to be a bit easier, but instead she found herself caring for a grieving son and 4 young children aged 11, 8, 5 and an infant. As Granny says it ‘was no fun time’. Everyone’s lives were thrown into turmoil and on top of that was the emotional loss of a mother, wife and daughter-inlaw.
And so who was this ‘Granny Edgecombe’ who stepped in and cared for the children?
See here for more details on Annie Marion Buckingham…
And so to the other half of the Scott family story….
Granny (Marion Edgecombe) grew up in Sydney surrounded by a loving extended family of aunties and uncles. In turn, growing up I would hear about ‘Grandad and Granny Davies’ and ‘Grandad and Granny Edgecombe’ and Aunty Ena and Uncle Ted and….well you get the idea. Then one day I was told that my great-granny (Nancy Edgecombe) was actually my ‘step’ great-granny. I loved Great-Granny dearly but it made me wonder who my ‘real’ Great-Granny was and why she wasn’t a part of our lives. Eventually I was told of her (Elsie May Davies) early death and how her husband (Henry George Edgecombe) had later married Nancy.
In 1944 Elsie May died leaving four young children in the care of her devastated husband Henry. Marion remembers her father, Henry, spending the nights walking the streets no doubt struggling to understand what had happened and worrying about his young family.
His wife, Elsie May Davis, was raised in the care of foster parents Maggie and Maurice (or Morris) Davies – known as Grandma and Grandpa Davies. They remained part of the families life after her death and so it seems they were more than a temporary foster family. However, the extended Edgecombe family really rallied around and supported Henry and his four small children. Marion speaks fondly of her early years spent with Granny Edgecombe (Annie Marion Buckingham) and being looked after by her Aunties & Uncles. Being raised by an extended family may seem like a romantic notion but looking at it now, the kindness of the family undoubtedly helped Henry and the children through the tragedy of a mothers death and saw to it that things didn’t turn out far differently for our family. Other families in a similar situation at the time would have seen all the children placed into care.
It is also for this reason that we know much more of the Edgecombe side than the Davies side.
And here my journey began….see Marion Edgecombe and the beginning of the family tree. See my previous post on John Scott and the link to his page.
Growing up I loved my ‘Plain’ Granny (Marion Scott nee Edgecombe) and Great-Granny (Nancy Edgecombe nee Steele). There has always been a loving extended family to fall back on for much needed cuddles. But until Uncle Gary (Scott) started the search for Grandad’s family (John Scott) and I started on this search, the Edgecombe side of the family was really all we knew beyond the current generations.
And there was a reason for that. There are things that happen in previous generations that simply aren’t talked about at the time. But I guess by the time I was in my teens, and Dad and his siblings were in their 30’s and 40’s, that enough water had traveled under the bridge for the family to talk a little more about what was and wasn’t known of previous generations. For both sides of the family there were things that just weren’t discussed – Grandad being a child migrant for example, and then the stunning news that my beloved Great-Granny was my ‘step’ great-granny! So what did we know…..
See the John Scott page for what we started with and Marion Edgecombe to follow….
Hi there and welcome to my family history blog and website,
As my first post, I should probably give a little background on where my journey into our family history journey started.
In the 80’s Mum spent many hours trawling through old records and microfiche for birth certificates and census records….something we can do now in minutes on the various genealogy websites! So, on her side (Moore’s) we had made quite a start to the family history. In recent years my sister Victoria uploaded it all to ancestry.com.au and expanded many lines of research. Mum is now semi-retired and so she is going back and digging a little deeper at some of the family mysteries (Are we really related to Governor Franklin? Is there any truth to that old family tree for the Youngs?) This side of the family I will leave to Mum and Victoria to research but from time to time I may mention it on here.
My father’s side – the Scott’s, is where I have focused my energy. When I started out about 10 years ago we knew both a lot…and very little.
My Grandad (John Scott) was a child migrant sent from Scotland to Australia as a young ‘orphan’ boy. In the 1980’s my Uncle Gary had tracked down Johns mother (still alive) in Scotland, we knew nothing more. John even managed to go back to Scotland and meet his Mum. But she died shortly after and never spoke to Grandad about her family (she barely even acknowledged him as her son). So she took any knowledge of his ancestry with her to the grave. But more on that later….
On my Grannys side (Marion Scott nee Edgecombe), her mother died at a young age and so we really only knew of her father’s side – the Edgecombe’s. Marion’s brother, Uncle Jim, (Jim Edgecombe) researched the Edgecombe family quite extensively many years ago. My Granny was close to her ‘Granny Edgecombe’ and remembers a lot of the family history as well. Although the family had moved to Australia in the 1920’s, there was still contact with Edgecombe family left behind in the UK. I have not really looked at this side of the family at all, to be honest. Uncle Jim did a great job. Maybe one day I can add to it with some of the verbal history that Granny has told me. Instead, I focused my attention on my Grandfathers maternal line – the Scott’s, and my Grandmother’s maternal line – the Davies.
I should say that I am in no way an expert at this type of things…even after all these years! I don’t know how to properly record the names in that fancy numbered way real genealogists do. I don’t know all the parishes and registers and districts. I’m no social history expert either…particularly of the UK. But through this blog I hope to share some of the things I learn along the way.