52ancestorsGenealogist Amy Johnson Crow, who blogs at No Story Too Small, has set a challenge to write about one ancestor each week. I’ve decided to take up that challenge to wake up my (somewhat) languishing blog, but to honor my ancestors. I plan to post every week on Sunday, and I encourage others to join the challenge with me.

Some of My Wiltshire Ancestors

My great great aunt by marriage was Emma Flexton, who married my 2x great uncle Nelson James Mason in Monmouthshire, Wales in 1874 when she was 17 years old. She was born in St. Sepulchre, London on April 15, 1857.

Emma Flexton Mason (1857 - 1926) with her two sons.

Emma Flexton Mason (1857 – 1926) with two of her sons.

Her birth must have been a bittersweet occasion, as her father had died only two months earlier, leaving behind his pregnant wife and one young daughter. By the time of the 1871 census, Emma and her sister Lucy were in their teens, and they were both living much further west of London, in Wiltshire, which is where their mother was from. Mother does not seem to be around, as Emma is living with a relative, and Lucy is a servant with a butcher’s family.

It rains 9 months out of 12 in Wales all the year round.

About 10 years after Emma married Nelson Mason, her sister Lucy decided to emigrate to Australia. I was fortunate to find a descendant of Lucy’s who had the photo above in her possession, as well as a letter written by Emma to her niece Linda Kerslake, Lucy’s daughter in Perth, Western Australia.

The letter, dated November 1907 included a photo of Emma’s son, and talked of “a lot of wet weather” where she lives in Wales and that there’s a “saying that it rains 9 months out of 12 in Wales all the year round.” Also she said how she would dearly like to see Australia. She probably never saw her sister Lucy again, who had died in 1902. I’m sure Australia seemed a world away from Wales.

Emma (Flexton) Mason, born in London 1857, died in Glamorgan, Wales in 1926.