Ria Reddick’s 90th birthday

I nicked this photo from Fiona Carson Reddick Symth’s Facebook page, showing her mother’s 90th birthday. Her mother and my mother, Ella Hayes (born Growdon), were first cousins, and last met in Glasgow in 1967, and my mother died in 1983.

Ria Reddick’s 90th birthday party

Ria was born as Ria McFarlane Hannan on 9 November 1921, and married Hugh Cumming Reddick in 1943. They lived in Rhodesia after the Second World War, and their younger children were born their. Their eldest child, Craig, was killed in a car accident, and Hugh died in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Ria returned to the UK in 1966 after the Rhodesian UDI, as she did not want to bring up her children in that kind of society.

Bill Hannan of Durban

Ria is also first cousin to Bill Hannan, whom we met for the first time last Sunday. There are not many of that generation still alive.

More Hannan cousins – Badcock Walters & Reddick

Our holiday trip ended as it began, with Hannan cousins in Clarens, though my second cousin Peter Badcock Walters was away in Namibia this time, but his wife Toni, son Craig and half-sister Louise Philp were there, and it was the first time we had met Craig and Louise.

Badcock Walters

Craig Badcock Walters, Louise Philp, Toni Badcock Walters, at Clarens, 19 May 2011

We went to Clarens brewery to sample the local brew, which was a considerable improvement on the fizzwater produced by SAB Miller, but not quite up to the standard of that we had tried at Nieu Bethesda. I don’t normally drink much beer; for one thing, I couldn’t afford it, and most beer produced by the SAB Miller near-monopoly tastes insipid. But when there’s a local brew I’m always willing to try it.

Knot the Juggler

Craig Badcock Walters, alias Knot the Juggler

We talked late into the night. Louise is interested in family history too, so we swapped notes and stories, and Craig is a fan of Tolkien’s books, and so we talked about the similarities and differences between  the creation stories in The Silmarillion and the Bible. I invited Craig to join our Internet discussion forum on the Inklings so that we can continue the interesting discussions we were having. It is the Neoinklings forum, and the aim is not merely to discuss the works of the Inklings (J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis & Co) but to write new work in the same kind of genres they wrote in, and to discuss our work as they did. Anyone else who is interested is welcome to join us.

Craig is also into juggling and street entertainment. and has his own blog under his stage name of Knot the Juggler. You can also “like” his Facebook page. He has also done some work in TV production. He has a daughter Leah, aged 16.

I’ve seen Peter Badcock Walters (Craig’s father, and Louise’s half-brother) at fairly long intervals, because we’ve always lived far apart. The first time I met him was on 7 June 1953.

Michael Curtis, Elizabeth Dods, Peter Badcock, Stephen Hayes, Sunningdale, 7 June 1953

I was at boarding school, and as it was a Sunday a friend, Michael Curtis, came home with me. I must have had a masochistic streak, because Michael was much bigger than me, and used to hit me for no reason at all, but his parents were away, and he would have had to spend the day at school alone, and probably being made to work in the school gardens by the headmaster. At that time we lived on a smallholding in Sunningdale, just outside Johannesburg. My mother’s cousin Betty Stewart (formerly Fowler, born Hannan) from Ndola in Northern Rhodesia had come to stay with us, bringing her nephew Peter Badcock, who was about 4 years old.

Peter Badcock, Stephen Hayes, Michael Curtis, Elizabeth Dods

Another friend, Elizabeth Dods, who lived nearby in Sandringham, came with us, and the four of us went down to the Huddle Park golf course, alternately riding and walking with our two horses. There we saw some big concrete tanks with water covered with green slime. There was a sign that said “Contaminated water”, and none of us knew what it meant. When we got home I asked my mother, and she said I should write to ask my godfather, Tromp van Diggelen, who lived in Cape Town. It was a sneaky way of getting me to write him a letter. Michael Curtis kept threatening to hit Peter, and saying “Stephen’s little cousin is going to get hurt.”

Peter Badcock, Michael Curtis, Stephen Hayes. Sunningdale, 7 June 1953

I next met Peter when doing a moonlight flit to get away from the Security Police in South Africa. A Detective Sergeant van den Heever wanted to give me a banning order (I didn’t know it at the time, but discovered it many years later in my SB file). I drove through the night from Johannesburg to Beit Bridge, which we reached at dawn. John Davies, the Anglican chaplain at Wits University, accompanied me to take my mother’s car back. We crossed the Limpopo and went into the Rhodesian immigration hall — this on Wednesday 19 January 1966, two months after UDI. The Rhodesian immigration officer, looking very British in white shirt and shorts, asked us to fill in a form at the desk. We went to the desk, where there were about 15 cubicles for writing, each with a neatly framed notice: “Please do not allow your children to scribble on the blotting pads.” First impression of Rhodesia. John wanted to take one as a souvenir. We took the forms back to the immigration officer with white shirt, very different from his South African counterparts who were wearing dowdy grey suits or sports jackets. He questioned the amount of money John was bringing with him — he had only put down five pounds on the form, but the man let him pass when John showed him his building society book with 500 in it. Then we went to the customs, got third-party insurance for the car, a temporary importation permit, and a petrol ration slip. We expected to get only about five gallons, but they gave us fifteen, and obviously have not begun to take the oil sanctions seriously. Then we went out. It was now 7:30, and we drove through the gate with the Union Jack still fluttering above, an incongruous testimony to Harold Wilson’s exousia. Then to a hotel where we bought cold drinks, and saw a sign advertising petrol at Messina prices, indicating that here, at least, the petrol is brought by rail from South Africa. And when we paid for the cold drinks we were back in the land of pounds, shillings and pence.

My mother arranged a plane ticket to the UK, which I collected at a travel agent in Bulawayo, and late in the afternoon boarded an Air Rhodesia twin-turboprop Vickers Viscount. In just under an hour the plane landed in Salisbury, and at the airport I phoned Mum’s cousins after studying the instructions on how to work the telephone for ten minutes. It required the tickey to be dropped before dialling, and various buttons to be pushed. They came out to the airport to see me: Betty Stewart and Alex her brother and their mother Aunt Agnes and Peter Badcock. I asked how they were, and Betty looked grim and said “We’re determined to see this thing through,” which wasn’t what I meant. We talked a little, keeping off politics by mutual consent, except that Aunt Agnes said that soon we would be facing the same difficulties in South Africa, and Betty shushed her saying, “Stephen probably doesn’t agree.” And then I had to go through customs and into the transit lounge, where I bought a James Bond book to read on the plane — an Alitalia DC8, which took me to Rome, where I changed to a Caravelle, which took me to London.

Now a slight digression, to a different branch of the Hannan family. My mother had another cousin, Willie Hannan, who was a Scottish MP. Betty Stewart had written to my mother around the time of the Rhodesian UDI, when Harold Wilson’s Labour government in the UK was straight from the deepest pit of hell in the eyes of white Rhodesians. Betty described cousin Willie Hannan in her letter as a “one man one vote bastard and a sick leftist”, so I pictured him as some kind of heroic and romantic revolutionary Che Guevara figure, and was slightly disappointed to find that he was very mild, very conservative and the furthest thing imaginable from the wild radical of Betty’s description. Because of my precipitate departure I’d arrived about 9 months early for the UK academic year, and Willie had contacts who helped me to jump through the bureaucratic hoops necessary to get work when I had entered the country as a student. I worked for London Transport as a bus driver.

And there was yet another Rhodesian cousin, Willie’s sister Ria Reddick, whose husband and eldest child had died in Rhodesia. She didn’t like the idea of living under the Smith regime, and returned to the UK, and I went with Willie to meet her at the airport on 4 February 1966. Her plane was due to arrive at 12:20, and then she was going up to Glasgow with Willie at 3:00. On the way to the airport on the bus Willie told me about his family, and how he had met Tommy (Mum’s brother, who died 2 and a half years ago) when he was in the merchant navy during the war, and he said I looked like him. He also told me of his father, who during the First World War was a pacifist and a a socialist, and had spent two years in jail. I told him that Mum had said that my pacifism runs in the family, but did not enquire about the nature of the socialist Sunday School she had said her uncle (Willie’s father) had sent his children to. At the airport we found the plane with Ria, a South African Airways Boeing, would be late, and we sat having tea and sandwiches, and I told Willie something about the Liberal Party and its policies, and a little of the way in which our activities were hampered by Special Branch intimidation and so on. He said he was not a religious man himself, and I said I wouldn’t have expected it. “Oh, why do you say that?” he asked. “Because so few people are,” I replied. He said he admired John “Honest to God” Robinson, and thought he might be able to accept those views. I then told him how issues in South Africa were sufficiently clearcut to enable one to make a political speech using biblical texts, but that here it was not so. When the plane with Ria arrived at about 1:20 we had to go over to another building for them to get the plane to Glasgow (there were 3 terminal buildings at Heathrow — one internal, one European, and one intercontinental) and there we had tea and talked about Rhodesia. Ria said that she had had a Rhodesian passport and citizenship, and felt that she could not stay after UDI, so had got a British passport on the 9th of November, two days before Smith went mad. Two of Willie’s parliamentary colleagues joined us while we were waiting, and Ria showed us a letter she had had to get from the government giving her permission to resign from her job with Shell Oil. Then Willie and Ria and the children left. The kids were quite sweet — a boy of about 15, called Carson, and Heather, about 12. Both had dark hair, like their mother. There was another daughter, Fiona Reddick, but I didn’t meet her then.

Peter Badcock, December 1968. Cheltondale, Johannesburg

End of digression. I returned to South Africa in 1968, and at the end of the year Peter Badcock, then 18, came to spend a few days with us. He came with two friends, Gary and Brian, who were wanting to buy musical instruments for their band, and were in search of a wah-wah pedal and a fuzz box, which were not available in Rhodesia, because of sanctions.

I didn’t see Peter again for another 22 years, when Val had to go to Durban in October 1990 to install a new computer for Rasco Fire Protection, where she was working. Peter was then married to Antoinette Willemse, and living in Kloof, and doing educational consulting after having been a book illustrator for a time (we have a copy of the works of Herman Charles Bosman that he illustrated). We were staying at the Fields Hotel in Kloof (now closed) and went to see them, and also met their younger son Ross.

We saw them again about three months later when they came to the Christmas service at our church, St Nicholas of Japan in Brixton, Johannesburg. Peter Badcock came with his wife Toni and sister Philippa, and said they had enjoyed the service. I hadn’t known he had a sister, and was even more surprised when he said he had four of them, and then added that he himself hadn’t known they were his sisters until he was 21, and he had also found out that the man he had thought was his father was not actually his father. It appears that when Betty discovered that her younger sister Nan was pregnant, she persuaded James Badcock to marry her. But Peter’s real father was William David Fanshawe Walters, who later married Elizabeth McKenzie and had four daughters, including Louise and Philippa. James Badcock had left Nan, and, without divorcing her, had married someone else and had several children, and Peter said he could say to them “I’m the only legitimate bastard among you.” So the Badcocks are no relations of any of us, but I suppose I could describe Louise as my step-cousin.

Peter and Toni moved to Clarens some years ago, and bought an old sheep shed, which they are converting into a house with a studio that Peter can use for his art, and several self-contained self-catering apartments that they can let out, or use as accommodation for family who come to visit.

sheep shed

Peter and Toni Walters's house in Clarens in the Free State -- a converted sheep shed

Livingston mysteries

Yesterday I was scanning some family photos and came across one showing three middle-aged women in strange poses. I turned it over, and found I had written on the back who they were — fortunately I had asked my mother before she died, and she said it was her grandmother, Ellen Hannan, and her cousins Bella and Flora Livingston.

Ellen Hannan (nee McFarlane) with her cousins Bella and Flora Livingston

Ellen Hannan’s maiden name was McFarlane, and her parents were David McFarlane and Emily (or Amelia) Livingston, who were married in the parish of Barony in the county of Lanark in Scotland in 1846.  There is some confusion about whether it was spelt Livingston or Livingstone. So if these women were Livingston cousins, they must have been children of Ellen’s mother’s brother(s).

But we don’t know Emily (or Amelia) Livingston’s parents’ names, so how can we find the names of her siblings, and know that they were her siblings?

A bit of scratching around online led me to a family in the Scottish censuses, which I think is the right one — David McFarlane, a calico printer (that fits with what we already knew) and an Emelia McFarlane. Emelia could explain the confusion between Emily and Amelia on the marriage certificate.  David McFarlane was born in Maryhill, Glasgow, in about 1816. His grandson Willie Hannan was MP for Maryhill for about 25 years until he retired in 1976. But David McFarlane’s wife Emelia seemed to have been born in Ireland about 1828, which complicates matters somewhat — how do we go about looking for her siblings in Ireland, if they were born of unknown parents?

But the census did reveal some brothers and sisters of Ellen McFarlane that we hadn’t known about before, so perhaps we can follow some of those up:

  • Duncan McFarlane, b. 1847
  • Maria McFarlane, b. 1849
  • James McFarlane, b. 1853
  • David McFarlane, b. 1855
  • Ellen (or Helen) Mcfarlane b. 1858 (married William Hannan)
  • Amelia McFarlane, b. 1862

They all appear to have been born in Maryhill.

If anyone knows anything more about these McFarlane or Livingston families, please get in touch by leaving a comment or something.

 

 

Maternal lines

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Matrilineal Line suggests:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) List your matrilineal line – your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!

2) Tell us if you have had your mitochondrial DNA tested, and if so, which Haplogroup you are in.

3) Post your responses on your own blog post, in Comments to this blog post, or in a Note or status line on Facebook.

Well here’s my matrilineal line:

a) Steve Hayes
b) Ella Growdon (1910-1983) married Frank Wynn Hayes
c) Janet McCartney Hannan (1882-1946) married George Growdon
d) Ellen McFarlane (1858-1933) married William Hannan
e) Amelia or Emily Livingston (c1826-?) married David McFarlane – of Glasgow, Scotland

and here’s Val’s line:

a) Valerie Greene
b) Dorothy Pearson (1823-1984) married Keith Dudley Vincent Greene
c) Martha Ellwood (1885-1968) married William Walker Pearson
d) Mary Carr (1847-1897) married Thomas Ellwood
e) Isabella Little (1822-1895) married Ralph Carr
f) Ann Akin married Edward Little — of Cumberland, England

Neither of us have had our mitochondrial DNA tested.

The Hannan family

My grandmother was Janet McCartney Growdon, born Hannan (1882-1946). She died a couple of days before my 5th birthday, so I have only a few childhood memories of her, and of going to visit her and my grandfather at McKenzie Road in Durban, where they lived. In their back garden was a big avocado pear tree. Their house was near the Stamford Hill aerodrome, long since removed further north to Virginia, and replaced by sports stadiums – Kingsmead, Kings Park, and a new one being built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

When we were in Durban a couple of months ago we visited my grandparents’ grave in Stellawood Cemetery, where they are buried with my uncle Willie Growdon, whom I never met — he was killed in a motorbike accident before I was born.

Three years ago, however, we visited some other graves — of my grandmother’s grandmother, after whom she was named — Janet Hannan, born McCartney, and her husband Thomas Hannan. Their graves are in Girvan cemetery, in Ayrshire, on the west coast of Scotland.

Gravestone of Thomas and Janet Hannan in Girvan

Gravestone of Thomas and Janet Hannan in Girvan

For much of the 19th century the Hannan family lived in Girvan. Janet McCartney came from Maybole, not far away, and they were married there. But most of their children died young, and their names are inscribed around the gravestone.

The eldest son, William Hannan (1856-1928), went to Glasgow, where he met and married Ellen McFarlane. He was a carpenter and joiner. One of their sons, Stanley Livingstone Hannan, was killed in action in the First World War, and his memorial is next to that of his grandparents in Girvan Cemetery.

Memorial to Stanley Livingstone Hannan, and his father William Hannan

Memorial to Stanley Livingstone Hannan, and his father William Hannan

William and Ellen Hannan’s eldest son Tom Hannan (1879-1941) married Hannah Carson and lived in Glasgow. He was a life-long socialist, and was jailed as a conscientious objector in the First World War. His youngest sister Maria (Ria) married Jack Cochrane, and we know nothing about what happened to them. If anyone knows, please let us know!

The other children of William and Ellen Hannan came to southern Africa. Janet McCartney Hannan met George Growdon in Waterval Boven, Transvaal, where he worked as an engine driver for Central South African Railways, and they were married there on 2 June 1909. My mother Ella Growdon was born in Pretoria exactly a year later, and a couple of years after that they moved to Durban permanently.

Emily Livingstone Hannan married first Charlie Mould, and then Arthur Sharp, and lived in Berea in Johannesburg.

David McFarlane Hannan went to Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), and died at Ndola in 1951. Their children lived in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Duncan MacFarlane Hannan (1894-1957) married Margaret Helen Bain, and was a butcher in Durban.

If anyone reading this is related to this Hannan family, please visit our family Wikispace, and have a look at the Hannan family pages there. You can goin Wikispaces and add to the family stories there.

Davi

Robert Laing of Colington

The Scotsman Mon 19 Mar 2007 carries an obituary for a South African genealogist, Robert Laing of Colington, who died on 12 March, 2007, in Johannesburg, aged 58.

Robert Laing was sometime chairman of the Genealogical Society of South Africa, and was an enthusiastic researcher into genealogy and heraldry, though rather given to claiming dubious and even outright spurious titles for himself, though his friends and fellow genealogists usually good-humouredly granted them to him, and he was referred to in the Genealogical Society’s publications as Chevalier Robert Laing, and Robert Laing of Colington.

We had some common research interests as Dorothea Wilhelmina Katerina FLAMME (1816-1858) married Peter LAING in Cape Town in 1836, and they had three children, who went to Scotland with their father. Robert Laing never managed to establish the connection between himself and this Peter Laing, but he did spend quite a lot of time researching it. Dorothea Wilhelmina Katerina FLAMME was the sister of my wife Val’s ancestor Petronella Francina Dorothea FLAMME, who married Henry CRIGHTON.

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