The topic for the next edition of the COG will be: 3 Wishes! This is your chance to write a letter to Genea-Santa*. Make a list of 3 gifts you would like to receive this holiday season from 3 of your ancestors. These have to be material things, not clues to your family history (we're talking gifts here, not miracles!). Do you wish your great grandmother had gifted you a cameo broach? Or maybe you'd like to have the family bible from great great grandpa Joe? How about a baby doll that once belonged to your dear Aunt Sarah? This is a fantasy so you can dream up gift items. They don't have to be actual items that you know your ancestors owned. However, they do have to be historically accurate to the time period in which your ancestor lived. Do your research. No asking for a new computer from your great grand aunt! Genea-Santa wouldn't like that ;-)
Well, I'm not that optimistic, but as my daughter might say "Mum, Believe!"
So, Dear Ms and Mr Genea-Santa, please see what arrangements you can make about these three genea-wishes of mine. I'm not much for jewellery, and heaven knows, I have enough dishes, ornaments and furniture here. I've kept my choices light so delivery shouldn't be much of a chore. (These wishes are in no particular order. Truly, I'll appreciate anything you can do.)
Wish #1. A Photograph of Mary Ann White and William Rogers
When my great uncle John William Rodgers/Rogers died in 1978, he was the last of three brothers, one being my grandpa. Almost till his death, he lived in the same house he shared for decades with brother Frank and their step sister in Toronto, Canada. I feel sure anything precious that his mother left would have been saved, and John, as the last sibling, would have inherited any family photos or papers. My dad did attend John's funeral, and met the lawyer who handled John's affairs. John didn't leave us anything specifically, but the lawyer promised to send on John's personal effects which might contain some family papers. Unfortunately, the lawyer was soon very ill, and nothing was ever done about this.
I once wrote the firm asking just in case there was a dusty storage room full of interesting old files, but no answer was received. I know now where John's father came from, and I do realize, Genea-Santas, that there might not have been time or money for even one photograph, but I still hope to see someday an image of John's parents. Even one or two images of his brothers and step-sister, Sue Battice Peel, when they were young, would be grand to see.
Yes, Genea-Santas, I hear you. You think I should at least write that firm again. Santas help those who help themselves, etc. Still Santas, if there is a photograph of William Rogers or of Mary Ann White somewhere in the world, maybe you could ask one of the techie elves to scan it and post it on Dead Fred. Tag it 'ROGERS/WHITE, Shipham, Somerset, England and (???) to Toronto Canada' and I'll find it quick as a wink.
Wish #2. One of my mum's own paper doll sets.
One of my mum's biggest disappointments with her young daughter, I think, was my complete lack of interest in paper dolls. According to my mum, paper dolls were her favourites when she was a girl. I can understand that now as I know she was always interested in clothing and in sewing. Paper dolls with wardrobes would have been such fun for her. Alas, I never was interested despite the number of times she cut out Betsy McCall paper doll pages for me. I still have a few of those. (Betsy McCall paper dolls by Kay Morrissey were published in McCalls Magazine beginning in 1951.)
Wish #3. Harriet Healy's Bible.
Sue and Joan Paper Dolls by Lydia Fraser, published in the Canadian Home Journal, March, 1936. These paper dolls are too late for my mother to have played with, but she would have cut this page out to keep, I'm sure, had she seen it.
LINKS - Here's some more info, Ms and Mr Genea-Santa, in case it helps the research elves.
The History of Paper Dolls by Judy M. Johnson, The Original Paper Doll Artists Guild: http://www.opdag.com/History.html
The Eaton Beauty Doll:"The Doll We Will Never Forget" by Evelyn Robson Strahlendorf on Civilization.ca: http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/exhibitions/cpm/catalog/cat2101e.shtml