A few old photographs have thrown a whole lot of new light onto the great aunt and uncle who separately left Norwich for the relative wilds of Canada.
Gayle, a second cousin once removed and living in that country, has been looking into her family history for longer than me and has got a collection of photos not just of her ancestors going back to Robert Neal and Mary Earl but also Robert’s sister Alice. Links to earlier articles giving more details on their history are in the Notes below.
This post was going to be about bringing together disparate sources to build a picture, but has evolved into one on the increasing availability and usefulness of newspaper archives.
The British Newspaper Archive website went live late 2011, but while I have yet to use this, cuttings are increasingly adding to the data available. And the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? has featured newspaper extracts in each of the three episodes so far, with a particularly strong impact on Patrick Stewart’s view of his “angry” and abusive father when a cutting mentions shell-shock during evacuation from Cherbourg in 1940.
I have now located her in the passenger lists arriving in Canada. It’s a bit of an odd record, as a form has been adapted slightly. But there’s little doubt this is her, accompanied by her uncle Henry, who had already settled in Canada.
No old photos on today’s item. In fact a photo absence is where it starts. Alice Neal was the only one of the 11 children of Robert Smith Neal and Ellen Elizabeth Watts not to appear in the 1902 family photograph featuring elsewhere on Cutlock and Co. But the very helpful caption, added later by gran (Emily Neal), says “No 3 Alice in Canada”. (Alice was the third child, Emily 9th.) Alice had so far proved elusive to pin down, so this was useful.