Thursday, July 16, 2015

Setting the Record Straight: Rediscoveries About Katherine's Family

It was five years ago that I first started exploring John Henry's oldest daughter Katherine Livingston Timpson.  Katherine was born to John Henry's first wife in 1873.  When Katherine's mother died, she was raised by her Hammersly aunts, rejoined John Henry when he married his second wife Emily.  Eventually Katherine too married, and she moved to England in 1905. 
And it was complete luck when, late last summer, the doorbell rang and one of Katherine's great grandsons appeared in Clermont's basement with a bag full of goodies and a head full of history about Katherine's life.  The donation was a treasure trove of snippets from Katherine's life (including the miniature portrait of Katherine's oldest son Theodore "Theo" at left and the miniature of Katherine herself above), and the stories that I've only just begun to catalog have been painting in rich new details on Katherine's life. 
One of the most important things that comes out of this for me is a correction of my history!  When I wrote my first blog about Katherine back in 2010, my records seemed to stop with Katherine's first three children.  Pictured at right are Theo (1901), Kay (1903), and Bob (1908).  But I failed to check the genealogy, and I missed the births of Katherine's last two children: twins Alastair and Rosamund (1915).

Upon going to check my Big Red Book of Livingston Genealogy, I found them there today, not lost at all but neatly recorded on the pages.  Well don't I feel silly!
Since that first visit, I've been receiving periodic emails as my new friend painstakingly photographs and scans the nearly-lost record of his branch of the Livingston family.  First of all, there's Alastair and Rosamund, who were nearly painted out of the Livingston family through my own accident.  About them, I received this tidbit, "Zelly was their governess and was also my mum's (Kay's) governess. She was flemish, French speaking. When Alastair was 11 he spoke French and English equally well. Whilst Appleton was being renovated Zelly was asked to take the twins to their house in Coq Sur Mer, Belgium. When Katherine died in 1933, she left the house to Zelly. My mum consequently loved it and got to know that part of the word very well."
The emails land in my box in little groups of 4 or 5 or 6.  And each one is loaded with more images of the family that Katherine built.  Here are Kay and Theo, the first two children.



Then there are even a few pictures of Clermont, which show the mansion with its extravagant veranda on the front.  The walnut tree on the right will have its own blog entry coming up!

Since this donor is descendant of Kay Timpson, many of the best photos are of her of course. Kay as young teen: 



Kay at a London wedding:

Even Kay presented at court:

There are so many beautiful pictures to share, I believe it will take me good bit more time to sort them all out--and I haven't even shared any of the Appleton Manor photos yet!

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