Saturday, 28 August 2010

Dorrie, Dos or Dot

That's three of the nickname versions that Doris Lillian, my Mum, had during her lifetime, and the first photo, which is the earliest one I have of her, shows what a little dot she was! She was born in 1911, on the 25th July, just about a month after her father, William, died of a fever. When she started school, she scandalised my Gran by telling inquisitive children that she didn't have a father, when they asked about her Mum and Dad.
She was used to being the baby of the family, and her elder brothers were always inclined to spoil her. Here they are in a group portrait, taken in about 1904, which shows William and Ada, William Jr (from William's first marriage) then in order of age Arthur, Dorothy, Albert and Archibald. 
After the time of this photo came two more girls, Gladys May and lastly my Mum, Doris Lillian. Another son, Victor, born in 1900, didn't live long enough to make it to the 1901 census.

The photo was taken in the back garden of the same house that I knew as a child, when the widowed Ada still managed to rule the roost, all those years later!

And if you'd like to hear some stories from way back when, look at my Sunday's post...

Alan and Kath at Sepia Saturday gave the impetus for this post.


  1. A lovely look back into time
    By one who's very good at rhyme.
    If I could rhyme the way you do,
    I'd have a lovely look back too.
    But, no, alas, 'tis not to be:
    Few photographs were left to me.
    So I'll just look, and I will sigh,
    And bid you, jinksy dear, goodbye.

    Temporarily, of course.

  2. A fine family group. Your grandmother must have been very young when she first was married as William Jr looks quite a young man.

  3. Lovely post and photographs, Jinksy. I can see that the boys names, beginning with 'A' but for Victor, may have been taken from their mum's name but wonder what decided the 'D' for two of the girls with Gladys inbetween?!

  4. Really good photos, I really like seeing families and hear the stories behind the families. I imagine Ada had to be a strong person.

  5. I enjoy old family photos, too. These are wonderful...and your story with it. ;^)

  6. ada had to be strong! i wonder at the backbone of women in those times. wow!!! steven

  7. Ah Jinksy they don't seem to make those matriachs any more do they? My paternal grandmother was one too - she ruled the household to the extent of taking the wages off her daughters and giving them pocket money (when they were in their thirties!)

  8. We grumble about our lives, sometimes but it did seem to be an especially harsh time to be living in.
    Lovely sepia photos.

    My father was born one year later than your mum and he lost his mother at 10 yrs old and had previously lost many siblings through still birth or miscarriage.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  9. We inherited some family photos from a maiden aunt, which she had kept in her Bible. One depicted an elderly lady sitting on a verandah in setting which we judged to be in the USA. This picture was annotated on the reverse "Great Aunt Sarah B******" So we were able to fit her into the Family Tree. Researching the "B*****" branch of the family on www, my son came across the EXACT SAME PHOTOGRAPH, not just the same old lady, the very same photograph. Made in Idaho.

    Tell you, Jinksy . . . one day this will happen to you! Some day an unsuspected distant relative will comment . . "We have a copy of that picture." Quite an eerie feeling.

  10. I love reading about the upper leaves of people's family trees. You tell it so well. I keep wondering how you know so many details! These pictures are great too. I think partly why I've always assumed life was harder and less happy all those years ago is because the people always looks so sad/unfeeling in their pictures. Perhaps it was the fashion to pose like that.

  11. My Lord how I've missed you! Loved this post, and so grateful to be back amongst friends!

  12. A friend had both a sister and wife named Dorothy, so the sister got Dor and the wife got Dot. And all lived happily ever after.

  13. What a little dot indeed! How wonderful these old photos are, how redolent of the time and place at which they were taken.

  14. I loved this. How hard life must have been for widowed mothers then. The photos are wonderful.

  15. I also have a Doris whose nickname was Dot. You'd never find a girl called Dot these days. In the family photo, I noticed that father and oldest son look very much alike.

  16. Your photos are wonderful, and your mother looked so lovely, she was a wee dot.

  17. The photographs were resonant in more ways than one for me, they reminded me so much of the photographs of my own parents and their families. Indeed my own mother was born just two days after yours and, being called Gladys, nearly shared her name. Fascinating stuff.

  18. Gosh, you and Alan B. are almost family ;-)

    It must have been so hard for your grandmother to lose her husband just before the birth of her child.

    RWP does not only rhyme with plague I see ;-)

  19. I'm impressed. I have many of these photos in my possession but know very few of the folks who are posing for them. My mother was a Lillian.. lovely to hear about Dot.

  20. Oh, this is lovely! What a great distraction for a long working afternoon... More please!

    Re: following post, I always thought it was "butty-shoog-shoog", not buppy. Gran used to make me those for a special treat. (Am craving one now.) Isn't it funny how we all heard these crazy old phrases differently?!


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