For which ancestral photograph are you most grateful? Who is in the photo and how did you acquire it? Why does it hold a special place in your heart?
There was little question which photograph I would choose to feature here - one which has been key to the enjoyment I have had from my family history.
|Maria Danson, nee Rawcliffe with her granddaughter Annie Maria.|
In my imagination, her name was an evocative mixture of down-to-earth Lancashire grit (Rawcliffe) with echoes of a more flamboyant Latin nature (Maria). She looked a formidable lady from this photograph To give additional colour there was a, no doubt, apocryphal story that “granny’s dark looks” came from Spanish descent, after an Armada ship had been wrecked off the Fylde coast of Lancashire.
At 18 years old, Maria married James Danson at Singleton and went on to have ten sons, before the birth of her only daughter Jennie in 1897. Nine years later her husband James died, leaving her a widow with a young family. Two sons died in the First World War. All these basic facts of an eventful life made me determined to do more research.
|Maria with her only daughter Jennie and her granddaughter Annie|
c. 1909. A photograph found in Jennie's photograph collection.
Maria's life is at the heart of my family history and it was the first I turned into a family history narrative. She was my inspiration for my ancestral trail - and I have never stopped! All thanks to the original photograph above.