A distant cousin

My mother and her sisters and brother grew up knowing little about their mother’s family, probably because much was kept secret but also because much was unknown. My grandma, Ida Isobel was the middle child of Lois and Louis Walford… their secret was that in fact they never married and their fours sons and daughter were illegitimate. I’ve discovered a lot about the family thanks to the wonderful resources now available to us.

I came across something i wrote probably some time in the 1980’s, mainly conjecture from the stories I had been told. Much of what I wrote was incorrect, for example –  Louis Frederick was the son of Silas Moses – wrong, his father was Samuel – … who was born in London – wrong, he was born in Tasmania – … he married Lois Penney – wrong, they never married…

When my two aunties were teenagers, they were taken to see Mr Alfred Walford  an ear, nose and throat specialist (I’ve no idea why) by their mother who later told them that the consultant  they had seen was a cousin of hers. Many years later, my aunty wrote to the consultant sending a copy of a photo (presumably of Louis) asking about the family connection, and this was his reply:

Dear Mrs S.,
Thank you for your letter sand photo which certainly shows a strong resemblance to my Father.
My grandfather was Mr Samuel Moses who was connected with a whaling business in Tasmania. He returned t o England and had fourteen children .I think my father was the youngest.
I certainly heard Louis being talked about but I think he was already dead and myself being only a child I never heard anything about him.
My grandfather’s children changed their name, some of them to Walford and some to Beddington.

Most of the stories Alfred had heard were true, and indeed Alfred’s father was the youngest of the children. There was never any further correspondence, and no enquiry from Mr Wal;ford about his cousin, my grandma.



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