Address same as Lucy Seward in 1891 census

A brick wall in the family history. One of the very distant cousins had added a 1892 death for Lucy. I’d suggested it couldn’t be the same person as she seemed to have died in 1862, but there wasn’t any proof.

Lucy Stone was born in Folkestone in 1842. She shared her name with the founder of the Lucy Stone League, a campaign for women to keep their own family name after marriage. Family history research would be much easier, although some people include variations in their children’s names.

There was no sign of Lucy Stone on any census after 1851. I had a copy of her marriage certificate from 1861. She gave birth to my grandfather in 1862 before disappearing

My great grandfather was described as widowed in a transcript of the 1871 census. He was a lodger in the house of Amelia Bliss and her daughter Eliza. Some time later, another transcript showed him as married, boarding with landlady Ann Elliss.

In theory, Isaac Daines was still married in 1891, even though he didn’t appear to have married anyone else since 1861. I searched for Lucy, born in 1842, living in the area mentioned in the 1892 death record. The results showed a lady born in Featherstone in Kent. Another strange transcription! I ordered a pdf of her death certificate.

True, but not the truth

Lucy’s death had been registered by her sister Emily, who had also witnessed the 1861 marriage. I had expected the death certificate to show a birth name for identity purposes. There was no mention of the man Lucy had been living with for the previous 20-odd years. Keeping up appearances? This must be confusing for any Seward descendants.

I don’t know anything about Lucy beyond the official facts. People with criminal ancestors have access to photographs and physical descriptions of their elders. Crime might pay, in that respect. Successful criminals weren’t arrested, not that hiding in plain sight is against any laws. She didn’t intend to make the family tree difficult, she lived in the same region for decades. What have I inherited from her?

Spring Equinox

A little mindless biro drawing with added shadows
Other versions of the sketch

I tried to draw a larger version of my little doodle, it looked too stagnant. Instead, I enlarged the biro drawing by 283%. Much better.

Drawing transferred onto lino

I didn’t plan to make this print, the doodle happened over breakfast. The sun’s face will have a beard made of flames, sparks, leaves, feathers, petals and whatever else comes up.


Red lettering on yellow card

I finished cutting a lino block for future birthday cards. At some point I felt the fine v tool go into the end of my finger. No blood, no pain until the following day. A week later a little v shaped scar has appeared!

After printing a few test copies I went out to deal with some weeds in the garden. It seemed a good idea to clean the green juice off the shears when I’d finished. I sliced a bit of thumb while scrubbing the blades, which caused lots of blood to leak everywhere – same shade as the ink used earlier. Maybe a risk assessment before attempting any further actions…

Jig or Reel?

Brown lino and a pencil rubbing

I found a very old lino offcut which was exactly the right size for a little print. It was quite difficult to cut but not too bad after being warmed to soften up.

The image is loosely based on an etching from 1525 by Urs Graf.

Pencil rubbing to check progress

When I inked the lino there were still some mistakes. I cut deeper lines, using tweezers to remove the tiny pieces. I liked the idea of a little rocking card, so some of them are printed on circles…

Tiny hand

Linocut tiny hand with larger hand

Twenty five years ago I took a few photos of my firstborn’s hand on my hand. Since then I’ve made drawings from the least blurry pictures, and transferred one of those to a little piece of lino. Sketches and lino blocks go missing during house moves and home improvement projects.

Finally, after years of dithering, I have cut enough of this lino to make a test print. It might benefit from more little dots in the background and a different colour ink but that’s for another day.

Lino block with test print