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Family Notes June 2007
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Family Notes - June 2007


This is a sample of the information provided to members of the P*rr*tt Society in the June 2007 edition of Family Notes. Family Notes is a 56-page printed magazine that is distributed to society members every quarter.

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For King and Country!

The photo below is of my grandfather Thomas Edwin Perrett. He was born in Westmeath Township, Renfrew County, Ontario on February 13, 1871. His father was Henry William Perrett the son of Thomas Perrett, the latter being baseborn at West Lavington , Wiltshire, on July 6, 1806 of Mariah Perrett. Her two baseborn sons and two baseborn daughters are noted on page 190 of George Perrett's book, ‘In Search of the Perretts’. Thomas Perrett enlisted with the 37th Regiment in 1826, served many years, transferred to the 71st Highland Light Infantry and was discharged in Canada in 1843, thus beginning the Canadian line of my family.

Thomas Edwin received his bachelor's degree in Toronto and took graduate studies in Chicago and at Columbia University in New York. He taught at the "Normal" school in Regina, Saskatchewan (teaching prospective teachers) for a number of years rising to Superintendent of the City schools. He was a member of the local militia until World War I, when he enlisted with the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in 1915. After a variety of stops, he was eventually assigned (at the age of 46) as a Lieutenant Colonel to the 5th Battalion Canadian Railway Troops outside Ypres, arriving at headquarters on September 9, 1917. The CRT was responsible for light railway construction and responsible for light railway construction and maintenance of British rail lines.

Twenty days later, on September 29, 1917, he was injured as a result of a bomb dropped from a plane and lost the sight of both eyes.

He was eventually transferred to the Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire Hospital in London and then St. Dunstan’s Hostel for the Blind which had opened in 1915 in Regent’s Park.

We believe that the photograph of King George V and Queen Mary with my grandfather, assisted by another officer who has his arm linked with my grandfather’s, was taken in September 1918 in London.

He returned to Regina in November of 1918 and resumed his post as the principal of the teachers’ school. In 1919, he was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) which was presented to him by the Prince of Wales at a ceremony in Regina on October 4, 1919.

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8 year old Queenie Perrett (below) went to off into the NZ bush where she was abducted by a nomadic group of Maori gumdiggers. In 1886 she married Ngoungou, a visitor from Whakatane, and lived with him at Whakatane for the rest of her life. In 1926, by sheer chance, her sister's daughter recognised her on the street of Whakatane. She chose to remain a Maori until her death.


The photograph below taken at the turn of the 20th century but showing a scene of rural life which seems an eternity away from the present day. It shows Amelia Parrott (wife of Richard Parrott); her father, Leonard Hackett; and Amelia’s daughter, Charlotte Rose Parrott. Amelia is the grandmother, and Charlotte Rose the mother of Denise Warnes (412).

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If you are new to tracing your family history, here are a few pointers about how to proceed.

Dating London Photographs

Most genealogists come across old family photographs and usually 2 problems arise: first, the subject’s name is not on the photo and no-one knows who it is; and secondly, although the photographer’s name and address often appear (usually on the cardboard back of the picture) this fact is of little use since the picture is undated.

Fortunately, help is at hand. There are various books dealing with the fashions worn at different periods and these will help to narrow down the likely date of the picture. Ask at your local library or bookshop, or from an online source such as Amazon.com.

The other source is via the Internet. Various people have catalogued the names and addresses of Victorian and Edwardian photographers and the dates at which they were at those addresses. I shall quote from one source which deals with photographers who worked in London. It is: http://www.photolondon.org.uk/directory.htm and is well worth a visit if you want help in this area.

The heading photograph shows a Victorian lady and her hair style suggests it was sometime in the middle of that Queen’s reign (1837-1901). A printed inscription shows that the photographer was A.J.Meluish of 12 York Place, Portman Square, W. A check on the above web site indicates that he was at that address from 1864 to 1886 - but his business had other branches at different times. A word of warning however - if a photographer moved premises frequently he may well have used up stocks of card bearing a previous address.

The Web holds many other similar directories relating to photographers; for instance you can find those in Edinburgh on: http://www.edinphoto.org.uk/s/street_P.htm.  See if you can find something similar for your town!


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Last modified: 22 July 2018