Friday, January 08, 2010

Lang may yir lum reek wi ither fowk's coal

click image below for biggary & detail
frús'trey-ting-lee.........if enlarged ,you can see the faint inprint of a previous letter written over the top of this Xmas card.............................

"lang may yir lum reek "or 'long may your chimney smoke'.............a shortened version of “Lang may yir lum reek wi ither fowk's coal.” ( “Long may your chimney smoke with other people's coal.” )
This is my contribution to Alan's Sepia Saturday .As i told Alan the other week in Union Cross pub in Halifax I have a big box full of old (mainly sepia) photographs I need to scan/preserve.This is one i pulled out at random.The problem with many of these photos is ,although they are connected to my family, I really do not know the detail behind them.My Mum's side of the family came from Fife & Edinburgh. One of the few things I know about what is a very complicated family tree is that I am related to Robert Louis Stevenson .
The reason it is complicated & why big chunks are unknown to me is that my maternal grandfather was married 3 times .His first 2 wives (including my grandmother) died in childbirth.He had 3 children.One to each wife.My Mum had a half-brother & a half-sister.each of who had different mothers!


Although all the 3 were reasonably close they ended up living throughout the UK.One in the Home Counties of England.One in Edinburgh & my Mum in Yorkshire..My childhood was an endless series of trips to distant half -Aunts and quarter -cousins!


Genealogy has always been an ology-too-far for me .It's just too damn complicated!My maternal grandfather died (in Malta.he was a sailor) in 1951.He kind of abandoned my Mum when she was wee.So she was never very forthcoming on him & his relationships and the finer points of family history.Added to which my Dad's Polish family was even more complicated & distant to me .Astrology has always seemed a better bet!


Anyway this is a series of photos I had passed onto me when my half-Aunt Brenda died in Edinburgh 1985.This was a Christmas Card sent from Saranac Lake in upstate New York.


My guess is it was posted around the late-1800's or very early 1900's.Another guess it was sent to a member of my extended family.Maybe the sender too was a relative? I have several other photos from North America around the same period.I have about twelve from the series.Lots of Snow!It's really frustrating because one is of The Family Dog (with HIS name written on the back).I know the name of their bloody hound but not theirs!
Finally.For This Week.Here is another photo I dug out today.Again I know little.I seem to remember my Mum saying they were Family.and the house is in The Americas.Another mystery............but please look here.You could write a whole historical tv mini-series on the basis of this one photo alone!


Sometimes Life is like getting a 1000 piece jigsaw for Christmas.Then,come January you find out that 743 bits are missing................................

POSTCRIPT: [click ]
Coincidence...............after writing the above I went to Wiki and read up on the life of Robert Louis Stevenson.Turns out he wintered in Saranac in 1887! Of Course my post is probably 99% totally unconnected with this fact..but it does make you think.................

at last, a Protest Song about Afganistan..............


"..............Drawn from Martin Carthy's extensive repertoire, the song is a Napoleonic anti-war ballad about crippled cannon-fodder, brought bang up to date to reflect the toll paid by amputee veterans of Blair's wars..............." INDEPENDENT:

32 comments:

Baino said...

I think this is even more interesting than 'knowing'. I'm imagining it's unusual for someone back then to have married three times! Imagine the scandal. And judging from the picture of that huge house, the US branch of your family fared very well. I'm a bit like you. I have loads of old photos but no idea who the people are other than "Uncle Billy" or "Aunty Ruby" and yes, Uncle Billy's two black labradors feature prominently. My family were all from Wales or Great Harwood which has now been absorbed into Grt. Manchester so very hard to trace. I can't trace my family beyond my maternal great grand parents and certainly no brush with fame . . my gran was a Lady's upstairs maid though.

Coffee Messiah said...

In some of the books I scan, many genealogical, early 1800s and on, sometimes the brother would die, and the other brother would marry the brothers wife etc. I catch glimpses and find it amazing, but they were different times and circumstances and sometimes people were miles apart.

Cheers! If ya fix them (photos)or have them conserved, be careful and make sure if they're using any backing it's acid free.....

Poetikat said...

My goodness! Your genealogy makes Queen Victoria's family tree look like a twig!
That is some house! You should write a story about it.
This was very interesting, indeed.

willow said...

Fascinating family history you've got there, Tony. All of us who've caught the genealogy bug are still searching for those 700 some odd missing pieces to the puzzle!

Beautiful Christmas card photo.

Glad that was an "L" and not "B" in the reeking bit.

tony said...

Willow.It's All Behind Me Now!

John Hayes said...

Interesting material--my dad's background is also pretty much shrouded in mystery--he grew up very poor in a second generation Irish immigrant family & he didn't talk much about his past--both my paternal grandparents had died long before I was born. There is something to be said for history being left to the imagination.

tony said...

I Agree John. In any case, You only learn the objective & never the subjective Non?

Poetikat said...

I forgot to mention how fascinating I find it that you're related to R.L.S. I learned to read on "A Child's Garden of Verses".

Brian Miller said...

how very cool tony...a few puzzle pieces along hte way and let our imaginations fill in the rest...nice.

ArtSparker said...

I think that house has just been finished, the people are very proud of it, I wonder how they made the money which they turned into this wedding cake mansion? Upstate New York, the Hudson River Valley, is very beautiful.

savannah said...

marvelous, sugar! truly a great way to spend a few snowy days/nights looking back in time. for a variety of reasons, my family history only goes back as far as my maternal great grandmother and even that is sketchy. but right now, my history is yesterday and i'm ok with that! xoxoxoxo

(stay safe and warm!)

Betsy said...

Very cool about the Stevenson connection, Tony! And I love the saying, "Long may your chimney smoke with other people's coal."
Your genealogy is complicated, but completely fascinating, too.

Akelamalu said...

Genealogy is fascinating even if you don't unearth a long lost uncle who murdered a politician. Your family tree sounds more interesting than most. :)

PS can you uncover another mystery? Why is everything in Swedish(?) on your blog?

Alan Burnett said...

Great post Tony, great photo and great Stevenson mystery. Let's hope that you get round to scanning more from your collection because it is a great addition to Sepia Saturday. I love the "Lang may yir lum reek" quote which I have now shortlisted for my gravestone.

squeekid said...

highly informative, this. and related to the inventor of steam? guess you won't run out of puff then ... ho ho ho. sorry, the christmas jokes are wearing a bit thin now ...

tony said...

Sometimes,Historical Photos Raise More Questions Than They Answer!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

wonderful family story...even the bits imagined. like with you so many of the photos i've ended up with have no dates and no information detailing the whos and wheres...


lang may yir lum reek!!

do I sense a new rallying call!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

dang forgot to thank you for the vid/song

powerful!

bye, bye

Dominic Rivron said...

Interesting artefact. You've got me thinking I'll have to go digging in the boxes shoved under the bed to see what I've got.

Why 257? :)

Kurt said...

My grandpa wrote the genealogy text for my mom's side of the family (Rhodes), so I got lots of genealogy info. The Internet is stuffed with genealogy info, too.

Joanna Cake said...

I think it's totally fascinating and that house looks amazing! My family is supposed to be related to the Kennedys but it's so difficult to research because the surname is so common and the children of all the families, including cousins, all seem to be the same too!
But dont you just have to look at the connection with that house?

tony said...

OhYour Right.Once Scanned, I,m passing the photos on via these 2 sites.....
http://hsl.wikispot.org/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saranac-Lake-NY/Historic-Saranac-Lake/241312283150
They Might Well Answer A Few Questions.

Tom said...

love these old photos...back in the day they didn't take pics of any 'ol thing. Not big on geneology, though have family that are.

Stephanie said...

Lovely photo. Love the Robert Louis Stevenson connection.

My mom worked on our geneology for many years - her biggest gripe was women not keeping their maiden names (at least in the US)- upping the degree of difficulty.

tony said...

Today (Sunday) I Have Uploaded Some More Of This Series Of Photos HERE

Renegade Eye said...

My family comes from the same village as Trotsky's, with his real last name. I'm not a relative, maybe a descendant.

Robert Swipe said...

What a fantastic building Tone!

My only claim to fame is that my Mum used to live two doors down from former Brentford triallist/popular vocalist Rod Stewart on the Archway Road. My Dad (who was still 'courting' my Mum in those days) would open the door to find a snotty nosed raggamuffin with a harmonica and a washboard stood on the doorstep asking "Is Kenny in?" What he wanted with country legend Kenny Rodgers is anyone's guess - but there you go. Not much of a past, but it's mine...

Your boys deserved all 3 points at the weekend, methinks. Still, a cracking game considering the conditions...

L.U.V. on ya,

Bob

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Tony, do you have an email for white rabbit/andrew keogh please?

The Sentinel is spamming his comments with abusive stuff about me and would appreciate it if it gets taken down asap.

Any help much appreciated sir.

tony said...

hi Daniel, I,ve just been over to WR's Place.He seems to have attended to matters.Sorry To Hear About Your Grief.Give 'Em Hell My Friend.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Yep, thankfully he's taken care of it and gave me his email in case it kicks off again.

Cheers sir.

Kimberly said...

I would be quite facinated to find the branches in my tree....It would be a journy worth the walk.........I'll probably be linked to the real "ELEANORE RIGBY" somewhere back when,....I dunno...But LIFE in the now, I would say is like uhmmm.......well yeah,getting the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle....(from the man-o-my-dreams) only after finaly finishing it in.....March,mine would say..."Here! Give this to your sister & cousin, send em my love tell them we should meet".....

Great post Tony....Hope your holidays were ......fabulous!

tony said...

Kimberley! Your Returned! Nice To Hear From You.