Handed down to my mother from her Aunt Audrey were a collection of photographs and postcards that had belonged to Audrey’s father, Alexander Wright, my mother’s grandfather.  My mother and I didn’t know who most of the people were in the photos, but Alexander’s sister (and my great great aunt) Lavinia and her green pen helped me solve several mysteries!  She wrote on the back of many of the photographs, often with a distinctive green pen, so even the ones that she hadn’t signed with her name, it was clear who the writer was.  And she obviously had corresponded regularly with my great grandfather as the postcards are mostly from her.

Yesterday I posted a photograph from Lavinia, presumably sent to Alexander.  Doing a quick Google search, I found a reference to an old poster appealing for help on “France’s Day” – the date of the appeal was July 14, 1915.  So now I have an approximate date for my photo!

I’m not sure who the two boys are with her – one is most probably Percy, Lavinia’s son (and Alexander’s nephew), who would have been around eleven.

Lavinia Ellen Wright was born around 1883.  I’ve been unable to find her birth registration in the GRO indexes on FreeBMD, though there is a likely candidate registered in the September quarter in Greenwich that year, but with the name Lottie Elizabeth Wright.

In 1891 Lavinia is living with her parents and siblings in Deptford, London, and then seems to disappear for the 1901 census.  However, in 1902 she marries William John Luxton1, and by the time the 1911 census rolls round, she’s at 42 Ravensbourne Road in Forest Hill living with husband William, their son Percy (7) and daughter  Eileen (1)2.

(The census data has been mis-transcribed on findmypast – Lavinia is listed as ‘son’ of William with a birth date of 1904, so I couldn’t find her initially until I searched on her husband’s name.  Her son Percy doesn’t appear in the transcription.  It’s obvious the two lines of data – Lavinia’s and Percy’s – have been combined into one entry, and I’ve notified findmypast.)

Percy William’s birth was registered in the September quarter 1903 in Greenwich.  Eileen Mary’s birth was registered in the September quarter 1909 in Lewisham.  And I found another daughter registered in the September quarter 1913 – Lavinia Alexandra.3

Lavinia (Alexandra), Percy & Eileen Luxton, May 1923

Lavinia (Alexandra), Percy & Eileen Luxton, May 1923

Lavinia (Alexandra), Percy & Eileen Luxton, May 1923 (reverse)

Lavinia (Alexandra), Percy & Eileen Luxton, May 1923 (reverse)

I love this woman! If only all our family photographs had been captioned in this way.  Many thanks to my dear aunt.

Thankful Thursday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. “England & Wales, FreeBMD Index: 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl : accessed 29 Nov 2010), marriage entry for William John Luxton and Lavinia Ellen Wright; citing Mar 1902 [quarter] Greenwich 1d [vol] 1395 [page].
  2. “1911 England Census, William John Luxton (age 27) household, Forest Hill, London,” findmypast, (http://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed 20 Apr 2011), citing PRO RG14/2838, Lewisham registration district, Sydenham sub-registration district, ED 32, household 225, 02 Apr 1911.
  3. “England & Wales, FreeBMD Index: 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl : accessed 29 Nov 2010), birth entries for Percy William Luxton (citing Sep 1903 [quarter] Greenwich 1d [vol] 1034 [page]), Eileen Mary Luxton (citing Sep 1909 [quarter] Lewisham 1d [vol] 1155 [page]), and Lavinia Alexandra (citing Sep 1913 [quarter] Greenwich 1d [vol] 1835 [page]).