My mother’s paternal family name was Matthews; she was the youngest of four children, William Alan, Audrey, Rene Beryl Lois and Phyllis Monica.
William Alan, always known as Alan was the eldest son of my grandfather William Reginald, always known as Reg, who in turn was the eldest son of William Henry Matthews. William Henry was always known as Billy and he was the son of yet another William Matthews, who was the son of the original William, son of Solomon Matthews.
William Alan Matthews, 1918-2001
William Reginald Matthews, 1887-1962
William Henry Matthews, 1861-1933
William Matthews, 1838-1920
William Reginald aged about five, William Henry aged about thirty-one and William aged about fifty-four.
William Matthews, 1813-1896
When the oldest William was born in 1813 to Solomon Matthews and Mary Davies, Napoleon still ruled France, Prince George was regent in Britain for his father, King George III, the Tsar of Russia was Alexander I and James Madison was President of the United States. Germany and Italy had yet to be unified, slavery to be abolished and steam engines to be invented.
William Reginald sat on old William’s knee, and I sat on Reginald’s knee when I was a child – I feel as if I have touched the past.