Tag: family history

Tales from the Past Ep. 22: How I Got My Name

 

In the deep, dark corridors of the PIT where I usually hide out, I commented on page 1881 about it being the year that my “Riconym” was born. I decided, with encouragement, to venture out into polite society and share this cool story (if I do say so myself).

In honor of page 1881, I’m going to talk a little bit about my namesake here on Ricochet was born in 1881. LtPercy Watkiss Fisher DCM was born Dec 15, 1881, in Stratford-upon-Avon to an upper-middle-class shopkeeper. The family was wealthy enough that his older sister (my great-grandmother) never had to cook a meal until she had married and emigrated to Canada in the early 1900s to homestead when she was in her late 20’s. He attended King Edward VI School (founded in 1295) which is the same school Shakespeare attended. He and his younger brother Raymond (b. 1883) were near inseparable and had many adventures together, up to their volunteering on the same day, hours apart from each other, for service in World War I. Percy and Raymond had previously volunteered for the Boer War, were captured and escaped from POW camp. Percy trained as an electrical engineer and as a shipping engineer and also spent time as a war correspondent for the London Times in the Russo-Japanese War, where he devised a way to transmit battle maps. As stated below, he prepared 34 different maps to accompany the news reports. He also apparently fought in the Persian Civil War in 1908 and for 6 months in 1912 had an Engineering commission in Canada before returning to England. He won his Distinguished Conduct Medal (at the time it was the next step down from a Victoria Cross for an enlisted soldier) when he helped defend and repel an attack on a captured trench against superior numbers of Germans. He also later earned a battlefield commission; his promotion came with a month of leave in England and shortly after his return and, being given command of a platoon; he was killed on September 11, 1916, at Hill 60 in France. He is buried in the Hebuterne Communal Cemetery with a handful of other soldiers, likely killed at the same time/place. He died a day before his brother Raymond, who was posted to Salonika Army HQ in Greece as Raymond was fluent in Bulgarian (having fought in the Balkan War in 1912/13), and on the same day, a 3rd brother (Reggie) was seriously wounded fighting down in the Middle East. Receiving word of her two brothers’ deaths was immensely hard on my Great-Grandmother, made even worse when her eldest son (my grandfather) was killed 28 years and 4/5 days later.

Member Post

 

I love those shows that reveal a famous person’s genetic past. It’s fascinating to find such a mixed bag of not only ethnicity, but history. One comedy actress was directly linked to the Salem Witch Trials, and an actor (hint: who did not marry Jennifer Lopez) was mortified to find his family owned slaves. One […]

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I have a strong interest in family history and being able to identify with and connect to my ancestry. What really draws my interest is seeing how, through the ages, there are common elements to humanity; love, death, sadness, joy et al. I figured I’d share, from time to time, a few excerpts from some […]

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The Old Wooden Shoeshine Box

 

Back in 2005, I was searching for a shoeshine box for my husband. I know that it’s a nutty gift, but I found all his shoe polish, old rags, and brush in a nasty, zip lock bag. He would get it out and polish and buff his shoes on occasion. He was taught to take care of his shoes, his car, his clothes, all his belongings.

I had fond memories of this wooden shoe box that belonged to my dad. My dad’s wooden shoe box contained all the supplies needed to make your leather shoes look like new, and a footrest to buff, on top of the box. I loved that box – it was a part of my dad’s life, like his army dog tags in his cedar box on the dresser from the 1940s, where he was deployed to Japan and served as military police, and his hand-tied fishing hooks that I still have from his fly-fishing days.

My husband reminisced about a similar shoeshine box that his dad bought him from a drugstore when he was ten. His dad showed him how to care for his shoes and it contained buffers, polishing rags, a brush and several colors of polishing paste. I was determined to find a similar box as a birthday gift.

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Rob Long’s trip to Cuba inspired me to share with Ricochet a document I recently received concerning my maternal grandmother’s extended family. In October I saw a picture of her great-uncle on find-a-grave.com. After asking about it, I began corresponding with a woman who is his great-granddaughter (a third cousin to my mom). This John […]

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For some of us kids (most of us are now in our 60s) this is a favorite photo of our mother.  It was taken in 1940 when she was 16, not long after she ran away from her mother’s home in southern California.  She had packed her suitcase, got on a train, and before long […]

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How do the family stories even get started? I’m a Southerner, no matter where I was born and raised. My father’s family landed in Virginia before the Lees. Our particular patriline dipped south of the border into North Carolina after a few generations and then a few generations later started moving westward. Our forefathers went […]

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The Unwanted Child: On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

 
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All children are wanted, even if only by themselves.

Betty was 18 and infatuated with a young lad in town, and the young lad returned her affection gladly.*  She was pretty and intelligent, and just the right mix of demure and friendly. The lad’s parents, however, did not approve the connection, hoping to encourage their boy to put off marriage until a better and more socially acceptable match could be arranged. You see, this lad was soon to leave their parochial farming town for the University, where he was to study medicine. There was no sense letting him marry this daughter of farmers.