Saturday 24 April 2021

Upon reflection - AJCP

Family papers

In examining many collections of family papers throughout this series of posts I have been pleasantly surprised about the variety of materials within them. Some have family trees and many of the finding aids for the individual families provide potted biographical and historical information about that family. Land deeds, photographs, diaries and journals as well as letters to friends and family make up the rich resources.

Many filled the long days of their journey southwards to Australia or New Zealand by writing diaries. These often detailed embarkation and departure, reflections about all on board and descriptive passages of ports visited along the way and the final arrival.

It is well worth searching for those surnames on the far branches of your own family tree.

The Upton Family papers 1865 -1930

The Upton family papers which were filmed at the private residence of Mrs Francesca Upton. Shropshire, England are no exception. There is a shipboard diary and early letters back home. There is also an extensive letter collection dealing with family matters and the daily exploits of the children and their educational progress.

Images from this collection

1885 School report
Photographs of Corporal Robert H.B. Upton 
Corporal Robert Henry Bramley Upton (1874-1900) died of illness at Johannesburg,
South Africa on 13 June 1900 whilst serving in the Second Boer War (1899-1902)
with the 3rd Contingent, No. 5 Company, New Zealand Mounted Rifles.

University collections

Many of these collections hold family papers. Here in the Glasgow University Archives and Business Record Centre there are journals, photographs, diaries of voyages, appointments to positions, business papers, conferences, newspaper cuttings and more.

T.G.B. Osborn includes photographs of his boys in a November 1916 Christmas/ New Year letter

U - Unless one searches or browses these comprehensive collections one may never know the treasures within.

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  1. U is almost as difficult as Q but U've done a great job with this challenge. I particularly like Unless :) Now there's a call to action !

  2. Letters and diaries are like found treasure aren’t they? This year in A to Z I’m trying to give the story of my great grandmother from her family letters. I would not have known her at all if she had not been such a writer. I like your research method.

    1. Wow, her diaries are very detailed, what a treasure to have.

  3. I researched some records at the Glasgow Uni Archives some years ago but maybe I’ll have better luck here.

    1. I need more than luck to find anything related to my families!


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