What an interesting family!

One of the main photos (they alternate for this Blog*) is of a group taken in 1888 at Weston Super Mare, Somerset. It depicts two small boys, probably on holiday, with their mother and her parents. Also in attendance are the nurse and the maid standing respectfully at the back. The boys are Harold Thomason Carew Ivens with his younger brother Charles Wilfred Macpherson Ivens and their mother, (far left) Alice Georgina Isabella Ivens (Nee Hutchinson). To the right is Colonel Charles Waterloo Hutchinson, and in the bath chair is his wife, Eliza Montier Hutchinson (nee Hutchinson) known as ‘Memsahib’.

The boys grew up in the world of Empire to survive 2 World Wars. The eldest, Harold, enlisted in the 26 Punjabies, Royal Fusiliers and notably found himself on a train journey in Mesoptamia with T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), eventually retiring to the New Forest with his family of 4 daughters and a son. His younger brother, joined the 76th  Battery, Royal Horse Artillery (King’s Troop), based in India, was married in Srinigar, India to the daughter of a famous painter and eventually retired to Angmering, Sussex. Neither ever knew of the internet or mobile telephones and would have marvelled at their capability. Harold died in 1950 so probably never even experienced television.

The point of this photo is that today, some of their granddaughters are now grandmothers. The photos of them as young men are now treasured as family heirlooms. Their lives are summarised in part by official records and part by family memory. But their lives give a fascinating insight to a very different social time.

I have had a long standing interest in the history of the Ivens family, and have been researching it over many years. I now hope to share some of the more interesting aspects with you, but in a digestible way.

It is a complex story with many threads and branches, which makes it easy to be overwhelmed with dates and trees and complicated cousin relationships. In this Blog, I hope to bring you the stories worth recording and passing on – highlighting the famous, the notorious, the amusing, the tragic, and the everyday.

With luck, it will build to be a useful and accessible reference library for the next generation, and the wonderful tales and anecdotes will continue to be passed on down, just as they have been for generations.

Take a look at the postings on this site, especially How Big is the Ivens Family‘, and How far back can we go?‘.  Together, these give you a useful background and overall shape.

But different people need different ‘maps’. Some want the anecdotes, while others need to see the big picture. Then again, others want to see how they fit into the jigsaw. Their own ancestry, if you like. All are valid, but shaping that information is not so easy.  That’s why I have now created a large database of ALL UK Ivens records, from all sources, and combined them into some 6800 individuals, tracking their families, siblings, ancestors and descendants.

2014-08-06 16.21.12


P.S. The photo above of Roberto is commemorating Roberto Ivens, the noteworthy Portuguese explorer who made significant discoveries in Angola and Madagascar. More of his story elsewhere, but meanwhile, he once featured in a Daily Telegraph GK Crossword.

Roberto is a descendant of William Ivens of Swinbrook, Oxfordshire. [See Post Roberto Ivens]

*The other header image is a montage of photos and portraits covering 7 generations.

2 responses to “What an interesting family!

  1. Just a brief comment-could the date given for the Weston Super Mare photo be a ‘typo’? As the fashions look more like those of 1906 rather than 1806!


  2. It’s more serious than that! I made the transcription error. The photo was taken in 1888. Well spotted, Jan … and thank you. [I have now amended the date]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s