Sometimes life just throws a surprise at you that makes your heart sing!! I have been trying to make contact with my cousin Caroline for quite some many years but the problem was that I could never remember her married surname, and she lived somewhere in New Zealand, but I didn’t know where. I looked on Ancestry.com to see if I could pick her name in any Bailey family tree that I could find as her maiden name was all I had to go on. I messaged countless people and although I got many nice replies, no-one could help me.
Well yesterday, right out of the blue, the Pastor of a local church here in Tamworth messaged me on Facebook, to let me know that Caroline, along with her husband George, had been to see him and was looking for me! I haven’t seen Caroline since I was about 12 years old and she was nearly 17 – I think – and the last time we spoke was in the early 1990’s but we lost contact. I was super excited to to speak with her yesterday morning and asked her over to my home straight away.
Yesterday afternoon we had a fantastic catch-up. We spent a number of hours chatting and laughing and of course going over family history – adding names, dates and tales to the family tree. She had brought with her a couple of little family treasures that she thought I might like to have, and I was so deeply touched that she would want to pass them on to me.
Firstly, a wedding photograph of her mum and dad, my uncle Clarry and Aunty Betty which I had never seen before. Clarence Edward Bailey married his second wife Betty Sinden on 4 Aug 1947 in Glebe, New South Wales and they went on to have my 4 cousins – William Terrance Bailey (Bill), Caroline Ann Bailey, Michael Harold Bailey (Mick) and Peter Charles Bailey (Pete). As children they lived not far from us in the western suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales.
The second item was a stunning wedding photo of my grandparents Edward Thomas and Ines Maude Bailey nee: Smith. I had seen a black and white photo of this picture, but never the original sepia wedding photo. I need to have it framed so it can be preserved for future generations.
Then there was a book in an original envelope outlining when Clarence Edward Bailey joined the Junior Cadets in 1925 at the age of 14 years, and was subsequently discharged as medically unfit (a story for another day) in February of 1928. This was between WW1 and WW2 of course, so this has opened up a whole new area of research for me!
And finally, a tiny address book belonging to my grandmother Ines Maude Bailey nee: Smith. As I gently turned the discoloured pages I was stunned to find the addresses of many of the people that I have written about on my blog over the years.
Thankyou Caroline, I am so very glad you contacted me on your flying visit through Tamworth – for many reasons, but mostly so that we could finally reconnect after all these years. It was such a joy to see and talk with you again.