Monday, August 22, 2011

Family tree

Wendell Road.
Today, I went to see the house where my great-great-grandparents lived in Hammersmith, London around the turn of the last century.  The hubs has been poking around an internet genealogy site of late, and the address of this place is one of the nuggets he's uncovered.

The family lore I've always heard was that great-grandma Bea, having been born in Hobart, Tasmania, came over from the east coast of England to San Francisco on her own, and that she'd sent for her siblings later.  This is, thanks to the hubs's digging, largely incorrect.  While the Ceiley family does hail from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, they had lived both in Australia and London before moving as a family to California.  This lovely stretch of road in a relatively nice part of West London was where they hung their collective hats for a spell before moving far, far away to the western part of the States.

The documents found on the internet lists Henry Ceiley's profession as 'carpenter' in England, Australia, and California.  I wonder if he were attracted to building booms that may have been happening in both Tasmania and California just over a hundred years ago.  He certainly must have been in demand after the resulting fires of the 1906 earthquake destroyed many homes and businesses in San Francisco.

I know, too, from my dad and uncles that Robert Ceiley, son of Henry, was a San Francisco firefighter.  And, in fact, it was his name that my uncle, an SF firefighter himself, some 50 years later used to pen charged letters-to-the-editor about the then current state of the SFFD.  What happened to the five other siblings of great-grandma Bea is not known.  Great-great-grandfather Henry, at some point, left his wife, Louisa, in San Francisco and moved back to Australia where he died in Bankstown, New South Wales, in 1940. 


  1. @IJrdn: yeah, it's pretty cool and a very unexpected find. :)


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