Another postcard find! – Miss Annie LAST of East End Farm, Stonham Aspall, Suffolk

Many postcard sellers now list postcards for sale not only by the picture on the front but also by the name and address of the receipiant on the back, which is great for all of us that are carrying out a One Name Study into a surname. However some surnames are easier to search than others with LAST not being one of those, because as soon as you enter the word LAST into the search options many other items appear containing this word!

However last week I thought I would have another go at this search and after trawling through many unrelated items I struck gold and found a postcard listed addressed to Miss Annie LAST of East End Farm in Stonham Aspall in Suffolk – as it was a ‘Buy it Now’ item I wasted no item and pushed the button.

image image

The postcard duly arrived in the post with a postmark form 1904 and a pleasant scene of Blackpool Sands on the front – immediately I started my investigations into Annie LAST to find out more about her and her family and to see if we were linked in any way!

Annie was born in 1875 in Combs in Suffolk the daughter of George and Maria Thirza LAST (nee FEARVEARYEAR) who married in 1863 – the 1891 and 1901 census records show Annie living in Stonham Aspall in Suffolk with siblings including William, Ellen, Harry, Laura, Mabella, Benjamin, Frank, Alice and George.

As the postcard had been sent from Blackpool by a Nellie could this have been her sister Ellen?

I then looked to see if Annie appeared in my own extended family tree, which she did and it appears she is my 5th cousin 2x removed – however it appears that her mother Maria FEARVEARYEAR’s line also has a LAST connection as her Grandmother was a Frances LAST who was 2nd cousin 5x removed!

As  I have struck lucky on eBay with two family related postcards in the last fortnight I am keeping my fingers crossed to discover a third one with a connection!

Simon LAST

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another postcard link to WW1 and my family tree – Lewis SPINDLER from Suffolk

I was really pleased to find this old postcard on eBay with the name SPINDLER which rang some bells of a connection to my paternal family in Suffolk

11046694_779493535499751_4405270866462362819_n  11066514_779493558833082_6184161124712227507_n

After some more research the L SPINDLER is Lewis who was born in 1885 in Knoddishall and who died in 1958. Lewis served in World War 1 and this postcard was addressed to 12th Company Royal Garrison Artillery in Harwich in Essex.

The postcard was sent by Ada in October 1914 who was his fiancée Ada Alice COOK and they married in the April quarter of 1915 in Essex.

Ancestry shows Lewis’s relationship to me as 2nd cousin of husband of 2nd great grand aunt – distant I know, but still a connection and another new World War 1 story for me to investigate!

I have now been able to find the 1911 census record for Lewis SPINDLER in India and Ceylon, together with his WW1 Medal Index Card to help me piece his military history and story together – update to follow in due course.

Lewis SPINDLER 1911 census

Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 34997; Page: 5

Source Information: 1911 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

Lewis SPINDLER WW1 Medal Card

Source Information: British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008.

Simon Last

Twitter: @charnwoodgenie

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fifty Years as Organist – Framlingham Church

Whilst doing some recent Framlingham research using the British newspaper archive website I found this intriguing small article from the Bury Free Press newspaper dated Saturday 1st July 1933:

Fifty Years as Organist

‘Over one hundred people were present on Saturday evening, to witness presentations to Mr and Mrs T J Wright on their retirement as organists at Framlingham Church.

The Rector (Canon Lanchester), who presided, said Mr and Mrs Wright had been the organists for more than fifty years; a “splendid record of wonderful service,” he remarked’

I therefore decided to do a little more research into Mr and Mrs Wright and to consider all the events they had seen during those fifty years’ service in the church, including the death of Queen Victoria and World War 1 amongst others.

I found Thomas James Wright on the 1881 census living with his parents Samuel W and Eliza Wright in Well Close Square in Framlingham. Thomas was aged 24, having been born about 1857 and his occupation was shown as a Professor of Music.

As Thomas had been Organist for fifty years in 1933 it was around the time of his engagement to Fanny Barker that he started in this position and he married Fanny in the January quarter of 1885 in Framlingham.

Looking at some old postcards I have of St Michael’s Church it is interesting to see how the Organ has moved around the church over the years to where it currently resides.

Framlingham Church organ

Interior Framlingham Church

Framlingham Church 1
By the 1911 census Thomas was living in Wells Close Square aged 54 with his wife Fanny aged 47, sister Eliza Woolnough aged 68 (a widow) and his children Vivienne Frances aged 24, Cecil Thomas aged 22 and James Trotwood aged 18.

Thomas died on 18th March aged 42 and is buried in Framlingham Cemetery with his daughter Vivienne Frances Wright who had predeceased him on 1st February 1927 aged 39. According to his probate record his wife Fanny was still alive in 1942 and at this stage I am unsure as to where she was buried.

Simon Last

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Using old postcards as research…..

Those members who were at the first One Place Studies conference in Telford last year will have heard me talking about my WW1 War Memorial books and how I researched them.

One area of research I really enjoy is searching for old postcards relating to the places or names I am researching and trying to link the locations, the addresses to the census or see if the recipient is a member of the family who has married or moved away.

For example I was very lucky during my Aldeburgh World War 1 research to find an old postcard sent from the WW1 frontline in 1917 to an address in Aldeburgh and was able to include this in my book.

Postcard from the Front 1917  Postcard from the Front 1917 reverse

I have also spent time when I have purchased a bundle of old postcards at a car boot sale to research the names on the cards, to see if they feature in any family trees on Ancestry and again this way I have been able to reunite these items with closer family members who are interested in adding them to their own family research.

Although this takes time to do it has paid dividends to me as over the course of the last year various genealogy friends and contacts have found postcards which mention Parham my One Place Study or LAST my One Name Study and they have very kindly either sent me a message about them or bought and sent them to me.


Parham Hall 11 3 14 Front  Parham Hall 11 3 14 Reverse


Jane postcard 1 16 5 14  Jane postcard 2 16 5 14

Again with my WW1 interest I recently found some old photo postcards of a Soldier that simply said Uncle Will SAWYER on the reverse and with it in the second hand shop were some other postcards addressed to a SAWYER family in Buxhall in Suffolk, again using Ancestry I have been able to find a relative and reunite these photos, which always gives a great sense of satisfaction.

Postcard 4 front  Postcard 4 back

Postcard 3 front   Postcard 3 back

Therefore spread the word about the places you are researching for your One Place Study or the names for your One Name Study via Facebook pages, blogs, Twitter etc. so that people have those names in their minds when they are trawling car boot sales, postcard fairs, EBay etc. as you never know what may turn up in your post one day!

Simon LAST


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Did they or Didn’t they? – George SOLE & Eliza BARKER continued

Following on from my earlier post George SOLE has now been found in the 1871 census living in Badingham in Suffolk with Eliza BARKER and two children George BARKER aged 7 and Sarah BARKER aged 3. The record has been transcribed as SOLL, but on looking at the original it reads as SOLE.

George SOLL 1871 Census

George’s occupation is shown as a Great Eastern Railway Porter.

Ten years later in 1881 George SOLE is living in Bradford with Eliza SOLE his wife (although I can find no marriage record to verify this) with children George SOLE aged 17 a Shop Porter and Sarah SOLE aged 13 a scholar – George’s occupation is shown as a Railway Checker.

George Sole 1881 censusGeorge Sole page 2 1881 census

Well this answers my Did they or Didn’t they? question, because even if they had not married on 25th December 1865 they were still together 16 years later with two children.


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Did they or didn’t they? – George SOLE & Eliza BARKER

Whilst searching the parish registers of St Michael’s Church in Framlingham today I was intrigued to find the following marriage entry:

25th December 1865 George SOLE full age (bachelor) clerk in the goods station off. Eliza BARKER full age (Spinster) of Framlingham

Groom’s father –

Bride’s father – Samuel BARKER

And then the following addendum:

Please note this entry in the register was crossed out with the flowing note:-

N.B. the banns were published 3 times but the parties did not present themselves at the church for the marriage G.A. Rector

George Sole marriage 1866

Bearing in mind that the wedding date was 25th December Christmas Day I bet the Rector was none too pleased!!

I have then looked to see if George SOLE and Eliza BARKER married at a later date, but can find no evidence for this.

However I have found George SOLE  in the 1861 aged 21 (born in Cambridge) living as a Lodger in Framlingham and working as a Railway Porter – strangely however I  have been unable to find no trace of him still living in Framlingham in the 1871 census!

George Sole 1861 census

I wonder why the marriage didn’t happen and will have to see what other information I can find!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Investigating more family death cards – William LAST & Ethel Maud DIX

Following on from my recent research into the death cards and causes of death for George and John DIX I have now researched further the remaining two cards I have.

William LAST was my Great Great Grandfather and he died in Parham on 5th December 1902 aged 62 – on ordering his death certificate I have found out that he died from Typhoid Fever.

william     William Last death cert

William was a Thatcher and was involved with thatching many of the cottages in and around the village of Parham.

Last Property 010

Thatched cottage in Parham

Ethel Maud DIX was my first cousin two times removed and her death card says that she died after a long and painful illness on 22nd March 1919 aged 32 – her death certificate shows that she died in Parham from Pulmonary Tuberculosis, often referred to as consumption.

ethel  Ethel Maud Dix death cert

I have also discovered that Ethel had a six year old son Horace Leonard DIX who was born on 28th January 1913 and when she died he was brought up by other members of the extended DIX family.

The informant on the death certificate was her younger sister Violet Dolly DIX who was only aged 19 at the time.

I have found these death cards fascinating to research and I am so grateful that someone preserved them within the family.

Simon Last            

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment