As I’ve been getting to know my Uncle Peter, I’ve been asking questions about the paternal grandparents I never knew. Over the last couple of years, my Uncle has given me my grandmother’s jewellery (including her five-diamond engagement ring); the family Bible; and some photos of my grandfather.

I knew from my father that his parents were born in England and that my grandmother was born in Sussex (Ditchling to be precise). I’ve now learnt from Uncle Peter that my grandparents decided to move to Australia and they actually met in Brisbane. I thought they had eloped and married in Brisbane. I thought my Uncle told me this last year but seems I had it a bit wrong. They met in Brisbane and married before deciding to live in Wellington. Apparently, my grandmother’s parents did not approve of my grandfather and disowned or disinherited her.

On my visit last week with my Uncle and Auntie, Uncle Peter gave me the 1906 sale document for my great-grandparent’s farm in Lower Beeding, Sussex. It was called Plummers Plain Farm. He is hoping I might visit the area one day and see what is standing there now. Well, I’ll need to do a ton of research to find out why the farm was sold and where it once stood.

What I was stunned by was the the page describing the horses to be sold – 19 horses and one donkey. All the horses are listed by name and I imagine that one or two of these belonged to my grandmother. If so, she must have been incredibly sad as my Uncle tells me she loved horses. I’m not sure if this happened before or after my grandmother hopped on the boat to Australia and was disinherited.

Looking at the names of the horses is heart-wrenching actually – Topsy, Emily, Shamrock, Tottie, Kitty, Countess – to name a few. There was even a bay mare called Rose. Spooky, considering I have a horse called Rosie. I wonder where all the horses ended up and where my great-grandparents moved to.

I know a bit about my maternal side of the family and now I’ll be researching the other side. My Uncle is keen for me to find out the family history. I must say, now that I have the sale document, I’m super keen to get going and find out the family mystery. Maybe it’s no mystery but I want to know why the farm was sold. Guess I’ll have to join one of those online ancestry sites because they seem to have access to family records.

My grandmother’s maiden name was Alice Ruth Evans and I guess the farm belonged to the Evans family. If you know anything, please let me know!

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