The Other Side of the Family Tree
These pieces on my Mum aren’t particularly planned either. They are simply a gathering together of a bit of what I know about my Mum and her family. The sad thing is that little of this I got from my Mum herself, despite the fact that I probably spent more time with her than my Dad. Partly that is because she didn’t tend to talk about herself or her family much, but also because she died before I had wit enough to ask. I did however eke some stuff out of her as I collated the photos that have peppered the blogs about my Dad and will also illustrate these couple of blogs.
|My grandmother, Ellen Porter,|
15th June 1946
My Grandmother moved initially to Derry, where she worked in the local asylum, before moving to Glasgow to do the same work. There she met a Belfast man, Jim Kerr who was working in the shipyard and they got married and settled in Greenock. Jim had been married previously, and it is still uncertain how many of the children they raised were his by a previous marriage, or were borne by my Grandmother.
Certainly it seems now that it is unlikely that my Aunt May was actually a blood relative. She was an exotic creature from my childhood, who lived outside Kingston on Thames and worked Bentalls, the department store there, returning to Belfast annually like lady bountiful with amazing gifts. She had actually falsified her age on marrying a much younger man my Uncle “Sam” Samson in England, with him also making himself seem older than he was to make the age difference seem less scandalous. This had the side effect of obscuring the fact that she couldn’t possibly have been my Grandmother’s daughter. This lack of blood relation did not lessen the strong affection she and Sam had for us and us for them, with some of my more memorable holidays spent with them.
|Aunt May, 1943|
|Aunt Lily, 25th March 1944|
The fourth member of this “first family” was Mabel, who like May and Lily had gone to Birmingham during the war, but she, like Lily, didn’t return and also settled outside London. However there was some sort of a falling out and we never really knew her. Lily kept in touch but my Mum didn’t and we only met her a short while before her death when she returned to Belfast for a brief visit, presumably to make her peace.
|Mum with Uncle Warren in Dublin 1947|
during my parents' honeymoon
|My Mum and Granny Easter 1947|