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The Family Tree for Fanny Harris Williamson - Edinburgh

Updated December 8, 2005

This Album is a brief history of the genealogy of Fanny Williamson and her brother Frederick Simon. Fanny and Fred felt that they had been dumped and abandoned by their parents at the age of 4 and 2 respectively, this continued throughout their lives and they never knew the reason why this had happened. This sad story told to me by my mother (Cathy Kelly) in 2004 prompted me to research the 1901 Census and the Births, Deaths & Marriage records online through the General Register Office for Scotlandís database at and the Public Records Office at Kew, London. I hope the following information I found gives the reader a true history to the relatives of Fanny and Fred, also that the records help to indicate why their aunt, Jessie Matthew, raised them. As you read through the documentation it will appear that they were not abandoned by their parents but were victims of circumstance and the time in which they lived. Please note that names and addresses vary with each document. Most of the records kept for the period I have researched were handwritten and therefore not easily legible.

Fredís memory of his childhood, as relayed by his wife Lily, was one of cruelty by Thomas Kane, (second husband to Jessie Matthew), and a feeling of not being loved or wanted. He left home at the age of 14, found himself employment and lived in rented accommodation in Comely Bank, he worked hard throughout his life and gained qualification as a skilled Heating Engineer for a company called Baker Perkins. He was very active during the Second World War, he was excused entry into the forces because of his knowledge and ability as a skilled engineer. He was employed by the government and often found himself on the frontline amidst heavy fighting. On the rare occasions he spoke of the war and his experiences, he told Lily that when living in a small bedsit in the centre of London, he found it particularly hard to remain calm and positive during the heavy bombing and feared for his life. This was also the same when he was abroad on government duty.

Fanny worked her early years in a shoe shop (Timsons) in Leith before marrying James Williamson and raising a family of her own. She often thought of her father, she and Fred would chat as to his possible whereabouts, their thoughts were that he had gone to Australia as a Singer sewing machine salesman and had forgotten all about them. I donít remember my Grandma ever talking about her parents or her childhood.

Christine Hoggarth (nee Kelly) 2005
Grand-daughter of Fanny Harris Simon

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