Looking back at my Sepia Saturday posts, one thing I notice is the overwhelming sense of disorganisation with regards to my weekly postings. Whilst others take a structured and logical approach to their family history, I flip from branch to branch of my family tree like a demented gibbon (or, for my British readers, like an expense-claiming politician). Here we are at Week 23 and we have Enoch again (you met him in week 17. his grandsons in week 16 and his son in week 21). The way things are going, you might meet his father next year and his third cousin by the end of the decade. I long to be systematised, I crave design. I want neat little diagrams in leather-bound books fixing forever the exact relationship between Cousin Ada and Great Aunt Ruth-Annie.
So I start with Enoch. Born in the fourth quarter of 1878 in Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the son of John Burnett, a weaving over-looker, and Phoebe Broadbent. John was a man on the up living in a town on the up. Whilst it was quite acceptable for his daughters to follow him into the mill, he wanted something better for his sons. The eldest son, Israel, was apprenticed to a butcher and would go on to own a butchers' shop in Bradford. The youngest son, Albert, was apprenticed to a coachbuilder and would go on to run a small business near Manchester. But Enoch, the middle son, was different. Whilst the others had firm goals and planned campaigns to achieve them, Enoch had a wondering mind. He joined a travelling funfair for a time and flipped from one thing to another. Sometimes he was a window cleaner, sometimes a clock repairer. Often he was both at the same time. He obviously had difficulty sticking to one thing or in taking a systematised approach to life.
I have started a file. Written "Enoch Burnett" in large letters on the cover. I have added one or two census records and started to draw little boxes on squared paper. But as I examine the 1881 census I notice that the chap living next door is listed as a "cow keeper" whilst his son is listed as a "book keeper". How unusual. How could anyone keep cows in the middle of industrial Bradford? I start working my way through old books and searching through old records : all thoughts of organisation and structure evaporate as I embrace the circuitous with the fondness of an old friend. So I have no idea what Sepia Saturday offering you will get next week, but the chances are that there will be no logic to it. It's in my genes. I blame Enoch.
|Go to the Sepia Saturday Blog for links to other Sepia Saturday posts.|
|Links to my other Sepia Saturday posts.|