Issue 14

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Zeal Monachorum revisited The working woman Three shopkeepers 

This month's guest contributor is Janet Hiscocks. She brings us her own refreshing view of a family group we visited on more than one occasion last year - the family of James and Mahala Stentiford of Zeal Monachorum. Janet was able to add picture material from her own collection to what is mainly a first-hand account of her ancestors. The death of a member of that family in the Great War is only one of many that we hope Roy Hewitt will be commemorating for us in coming months - he makes a welcome return to these pages in the next Issue.

History is very largely about men. They were the kings, leaders of battles, heads of State, political figures, presidents, generals, artists, architects, engineers - all very important people when we  review the events of our past. But Family History, especially when that family has been a working-class family for several centuries, points a wider lesson. It is that women were the glue that held everything together. No startling events, no memorable dates - just an army of strong women who got up every day  and did  their best for their families and the people round them. 

They looked after their children and husbands - a full-time job in itself when you had 9, 10 or 11 children - and they worked as well. They did hard agricultural work, kept shops, taught in schools, wove cloth, made gloves, lace and clothing, cleaned other people's houses as well as their own and took care of the sick. They did washing, baked bread, cooked meals, took in lodgers, and frequently worked alongside their husbands at manual tasks such as cutting wood and gutting fish.  In this Issue, we begin to tell the stories of some of these unsung heroines of our families.

Keep in touch,

Muriel and Richard


Link to Office of National Statistics for information on how to obtain copies of Birth, Marriage and Death certificates.

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Zeal Monachorum revisited The working woman Three shopkeepers 

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