Thursday, 8 December 2011

Parents have Parents, and Grandparents - Next Chapter (with Australian Vegetables???)

Visiting his grandparents, a small boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out. He picked it up and found that it was an old leaf that had been pressed flat between the pages. "Mama, look what I found," he called out.
"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked."
With astonishment in his voice, the boy answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear!"

Growing Family Trees
In my last blog I looked at the Nickisson Family Tree and the Direct Line from myself to the oldest Nickisson, John Nickisson born abt 1690, my 5xGreat Grandfather. See the Direct Line Chart in the Blog; Parents have Parents, and Grandparents!!

I wrote about my parents, Victor Nickisson (1919-1981) and Lilian Byatt (1923-2002) and now I'm going to look at their parents, my Grandparents, Ernest Nickisson and Florence Ada Smallman,

Growing English - Australian Vegetables
There is not a lot happening in the Allotment now that Autumn/Winter is here. I have just planted some Onion Sets and covered them with fleece to help them through the winter. Out of curiosity I went on the internet to find out about growing vegetables in Australia, I have found out that it is not as easy as you might think. Let you know later in this Blog,

So back to the Nickisson Family Tree and my Grandparents,
Ernest Nickisson and Florence Ada Smallman.

This photograph was taken circa 1923 and shows Ernest and Florence Ada Nickisson with five of their children; William Edward, standing next to his father, Gertrude Florence, Ernest, Victor (my father)(sitting from left to right) and Vera Nickisson sitting on her mothers knee.

There are three other children: Arthur (who died before this photograph was taken), Eric and Harold Nickisson (born after the photograph).
* Ernest Nickisson was born on the 15th May 1885 in Napier Street, Kidsgrove, Stoke on Trent. He then moved to Minshall Street, Mount Pleasant, Fenton, Stoke on Trent and was married on the 27th December 1909 to Florence Ada Smallman at St Peter's Parish Church, Stoke .
The 1911 Census shows them still in Minshall Street, a Private House with 5 rooms (not including scullery, landing, lobby, closet, bathrooms). His occupation at the time was a Furnace man and Engineers Labourer, working in a boiler yard.
The family moved to North Street, Stoke, where Ernest Nickisson died on the 26th October 1943.

* Florence Ada Smallman was born on the 26th October 1884 in Harrison Street, Derby. By the 1891 Census she had moved to Milner Street, Hanley, Stoke on Trent and then had moved to Westbank, Penkhull, Stoke (1901 Census) and was working as a Domestic Nurse. When she married Ernest Nickisson in 1909 she was living in Peel Street, Mount Pleasant, Fenton, Stoke. The 1911 Census show she was now working in the pottery industry as a Lithographer.
Following the death of Ernest Nickisson in 1943, Florence Ada Nickisson (nee Smallman) married Daniel Smith Darlington in 1954 at the Wesley Methodist Church, Epworth Street, Stoke.
Florence Ada Smallman died 15th July 1976 at Broadway House, Meir, Stoke on Trent at the age of 91 years.

Daniel Smith Darlington (1881-1965) was born in Stoke on Trent. In the 1891 Census he was living in George Street, Penkhull, Stoke moving to Wood Street, Stoke (1901 Census). The 1911 Census shows him living at Brighton Street, Penkhull in a Private House with 4 rooms, living with his first wife, Ellen Elizabeth Darlington and her parents.
Daniel Smith Darlington worked as a Placer in the pottery industry but by the time of his death, he was a Railway Storeman.

As I mentioned above, Ernest Nickisson (1885-1943) and Florence Ada Smallman (1884-1976) had eight children:

* William Edward Nickisson (1911-1989) married Mabel Wilshaw (1913-1988) in 1931 in Stoke on Trent and have two daughters. Mabel Wilshaw remarried in 1952. William married again in 1947 to Jessie Barnett (nee Hughes)(1920-1985) and had two more daughters and a son. He lived in Stoke on Trent until he remarried and ran a Grocery/Newsagent business in Dorset where he died.
* Gertrude Florence Nickisson (1912-2002) lived all her life in Stoke on Trent and was born in Minshall Street, Mount Pleasant, Fenton, Stoke on Trent. She married Sampson Harrison (1910-2003) on the 11th September 1938 at the Bethesda Chapel in Hanley and moved to North Street, Stoke, only a few doors away from her parents. They had two sons and Sampson worked as a Fitter at the local Iron and Steel Works for over 45 years.
* Arthur Nickisson (1914-1915) only lived for 5 months.

* Ernest Nickisson (1917-1990) was born in Stoke on Trent and was living in Brighton, Sussex when he married Murial Gertrude Barber (1921) in 1932. They have six children, two daughters and four sons and Murial still lives in the Brighton area.
* Victor Nickisson (1919-1981) This is my father, please see my last Blog (Parents have Parents, and Grandparents!!) for family information.
* Vera Nickisson (1922) has always lived in Stoke on Trent and married Charles Clowes (1913-1989) at the Wesley Methodist Church in Epworth Street, Stoke in 1951. They have one daughter and Vera has lived in Cedar Grove, Blurton for many years and still resides there today.
* Eric Nickisson (1926-2005) was born in Stoke on Trent and was married on the 3rd September 1949 in St Bartholomew's Parish Church, Blurton, Stoke on Trent. He married Dorothy Jean Nicholls (1926) (known as Jean) and lived in Birch Walk, Blurton, having one daughter and one son. They then moved to Langland Drive, Blurton where Jean still lives now. Jean was born in Newton Abbot, Devon.
* Harold Nickisson (1927-1929) Born and died in Stoke on Trent.

In my next Blog I will look at my Great Grandparents,
William Nickisson (1842-1901) and Rachel Lunt (Abt 1842-1914)

A preacher visits an elderly woman from his congregation. As he sits on the couch he notices a large bowl of peanuts on the coffee table. "Mind if I have a few?" he asks.
"No, not at all!" the woman replied.
They chat for an hour and as the preacher stands to leave, he realizes that instead of eating just a few peanuts, he emptied most of the bowl. "I'm terribly sorry for eating all your peanuts, I really just meant to eat a few."
"Oh, that's all right," the woman says. "Ever since I lost my teeth all I can do is suck the chocolate off them."

Earlier in the Blog I mentioned about looking at the possibiliy of growing Vegetables in Australia. Looking on the internet, I found this information:

Growing vegetables in hot weather

There will always be more bugs in a tropical climate than in a cool climate, that's for sure! But in a balanced environment there will be more good bugs, too.
Better soil certainly does make your vegetables less susceptible to insects and diseases. Happy plants don't get sick and don't attract as many pests. But that's not the whole story.

Some plants, like cauliflowers or lettuce for example, they just don't like heat. Most Mediterranean plants including tomatoes, they can't stand humidity.
If it's too hot or too humid for them then plants stress. And if they stress they attract bugs, just like people attract colds and flus when they are stressed out and run down... Insects can smell the stress. Really. Stressed plants do emit substances the insects can detect.

The bugs are a symptom, not the core of the problem, and good soil can only do so much. It means the plants will withstand the heat a bit longer, but sooner or later the heat will get to them...

So you can support your vegetables with a combination of good, deep soil, regular moisture and planting them in the right position. Forget what your English gardening book preaches about full sun. Plan ahead so that once it gets hot there will be something shading the more sensitive plants...

But the best thing to do during hot weather is to grow tropical vegetables. Grow vegetables that like heat!

I think the best thing to do during hot weather
may be to lie on the beach, swim in the sea etc. etc. etc.

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large tray of apples. A nun lettered a note and posted it on the apple tray: "Take only ONE. God is watching."
Moving along the lunch line, at the other end was a large tray of chocolate chip cookies. A girl wrote a note, which she put next to the tray of cookies, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."

See you soon

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Parents have Parents, and Grandparents!!

There is not much going on in the allotment now that Autumn / Winter is upon us so I thought it would be a good opportunity to pass on some information regarding the Nickisson Family Tree.

For the next few weeks I will be looking at the Direct Line from myself to the oldest Nickisson, John Nickisson born about 1690, my 5xGreat Grandfather.

* A little boy liked nothing better to do than to sit on his grandfather's knee and have stories read to him.  One day after a story about Noah's ark, and how Noah led pairs of animals to the safety of the ark. 
The little boy asked, 'Granddad, you are very old, were you in Noah's ark?' Gosh no', said Granddad.' In that case, how come you didn't drown when the flood came?'

Back to the Blog!

Now that I have added names to the Nickisson Family Tree, you will see from the Direct Line Chart below that information/proof is needed to identify some of the Births, Marriages, Deaths etc. For example, I have recently added John Nickisson who married a Catherine? This information was found from a Family Tree website on the Internet. So my next step is to research their names at the Stafford Record Office to determine; are they my family? If so, when and where were they born, married and when did they die?

Until the research starts, I thought it would be of interest to pass on information from the chart below that has been proven. This is found from Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates and Registration Documents, Parish Records, Military Service Records and even British Phone Books.

For this Blog I will look at my parents, Victor Nickisson 1919-1981 and Lilian Byatt 1923-2002. See the chart below.
* Having one child makes you a Parent; having two makes you a referee

My father, Victor Nickisson was born in Bridge Street, Mount Pleasant, Fenton, Stoke on Trent on the 13th September 1919 and was christened on the 19th October 1919 at the United Methodist Church, Mount Pleasant. He married my mother, Lilian Byatt at Christ Church, Fenton on the 14th September 1946 whilst living in North Street, Stoke. The witnesses were his brother Eric Nickisson and my mothers sister Winifred Byatt.
My twin brother and myself were born in 1947 and lived in North Street, Stoke, until we moved a few miles away to Blurton, finally moving to Cemlyn Avenue, Blurton where three more children, all girls, were born between 1948 and 1963. My mother and father lived in Cemlyn Avenue until my father died in 1981.

My father served in the second world war from 1939 to 1946 as an artillery gunner. He enlisted in Rhyl on the 15th December 1939 and joined the Royal Artillary Regiment  and saw action in North Africa, Sicily, Salerno, Palestine, Italy, Greece and Austria. He left the service on the 23rd of July 1946
He earned (top row ,left to right) the War medal 1939-45 (Single Oak Leaf clasp) - the Italy Star - the Defence Medal (Silver Laurel Leaves clasp. King's Commendation for Brave Conduct. Civil) (bottom row, left) the 1939-45 Star (Battle of Britain clasp)  - the African Star (showing the 1st Army bar).  When my father left the army he worked in the pottery industry, mainly in the production of sanitaryware.
My Mother, Lilian Byatt was born on the 16th September 1923 in York Street, Fenton, Stoke on Trent (renamed Dimmock Street in the 1950's) to parents Alfred Byatt (1881-1953) and Esther Riley (1888-1964). She worked in a sweet factory and as a tea packer until she married and became a housewife and mother to the five children. When my father died my mother eventually lived with my sister and finally moved to Fairbourne, Gwynedd, Wales, where she died in 2002.
In my next Blog, I will look at my fathers parents, my Grandparents, Ernest Nickisson (1885-1943) and Florence Ada Smallman (1884-1976).

* Parenting is the only job, that you don’t know if you did a good job, until it’s too late
* Two young boys were spending the night at their Grandparents. At bedtime, the two boys knelt beside their beds to say their prayers when the youngest one began praying at the top of his voice. "I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE... I PRAY FOR A NEW PLAYSTATION... I PRAY FOR A COMPUTER..."
His older brother leant over and nudged his brother and said, "why are you shouting your prayers? God isn't deaf." To which his little brother replied, "no, but our Grandparents are!"
See you soon

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Times are changing

Times are changing! Clocks were put back last weekend but times are moving forward!

  • Changes to the Nickisson Family Tree.
  • Times have changed at the allotment.
  • Times have changed from our house of 22 years,
  • to a temporary home for the next four months.

* Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once

  • Changes to the Nickisson Family Tree.
I mentioned in my last Blog (October) that due to changes in my email address I needed to create this new Blog. In that previous Blog, (if you would like to familiarise yourself with it, please go to: I decided to introduce into the Nickisson Family Tree information regarding my great great great grandfathers possible parents, brothers and sisters. This was because I could only presume that the information I had was correct but not fully proved.

So I introduced into my tree;
My new great, great, great grandparents:
Charles Nickisson (1771-1852) married (1799) to Elizabeth Stubbs (c1775-1850),
Their children:
Henry Nickisson (already in the Family Tree)
Sarah Nickisson (1802-?)
Charles Nickisson (1805-1864) married (1832) to Elizabeth Oseland (c1805-?)
George Nickisson (1811-1842)
William Nickisson (1816-1866) married (1842) to Mary Ann Parkes (1823-1904
Mary Ann Nickisson (1821-1840)
Their children:
Robert Nickisson (1837-1880)
Charles Edwin Nickisson (1845-1871) married (1865) to Mary Elizabeth Hallam (1846-1905)
Alfred Parkes Nickisson (1840-?) married (1874) Harriet Frances Hancox (1854-?)
Ellen Nickisson (1845-?) married (1866) Edwin Willis (1842-?)
Elizabeth Nickisson (1847-1891) married ( 1871) Carl Casper Franklin (?)
Frederick Nickisson (1857-1941)
Louisa Nickisson (1863-1875)
Their children:
Charles Edwin Nickisson (1869-1870)
Polly Nickisson (1866-?)
Alice Jane Nickisson (1867-?) married (1906) James Howard Small (1860-1915)
Fanny Emily Nickisson (1871-1910) married (1892) John Harvey (?)
Joseph Arthur Nickisson (1876-?)
Frederick W Nickisson (1878-1878)
Herbert S Nickisson (1879-?)
Alice Eva H Nickisson (1882-1882)
Louisa Nickisson-Corbett (1884-?)
Carl Frederick Franklin (1872-1936)
Mary Louisa Franklin (1874-1875)
Ellen Elizabeth Franklin (1878-1931)
William Edward Franklin (1876-1937)

As you may be aware I have been really busy over the last few months and this has meant that the Family Tree has been a little neglected. Now that we are a little more settled and the winter months are approaching, I will start to look for more evidence / proof that will connect the above family members more closely to the Nickisson Family Tree.

I enjoy this part of genealogy

* Time is a great healer, but it's also a lousy beautician

  • Times have changed at the allotment:
from this;
A full allotment, to this;
All the produce has been harvested and since these photo's were taken the remainder of the potatoes have been dug up and stored in the allotment shed. All that remains in the ground are Leeks (that will be harvested next year), Strawberry plants that have been thinned out and replanted into a bigger plot and Rhubarb that will now lay dormant over winter. All the plots have been dug over and some of the plots have been covered to reduce weed growth. Onion sets will be planted in the next few days to produce next years crop.

Times have changed in the greenhouse / Conservatory:
From this;
To this:
Empty now other than the remainder of the Onions,
and the Grapevine is now ready to be wrapped in fleece to protect it through winter.
We had a small but really good crop of Grapes, there should be a lot more next year.

The allotment is now ready for my daughter Joanne
and my grandson Joseph to take over next year.

I will miss the allotment - Vegetables in Australia? Hope so!!!!!!

* Time is like money: you can either spend, waste, or invest!

  • Times have changed from our house of 22 years, to a temporary home for the next four months.

Emotions were high when we left our home of many years and we moved into our temporary accommodation before moving to Australia in March next year.

Times have changed to an empty Foster Court;

The lounge
The Kitchen
The main bathroom
The small bedroom
The main bedroom
Large attic bedroom
Smaller attic bedroom

To Highfield Drive
The small lounge.
The only room that looks like somewhere to live, no storage boxes etc
The study come
TV room come dining room come box storage room
The small kitchen
The main bedroom with rails to store clothes
Another bedroom with rail storage of clothes and boxes

There is another small bedroom but could not photograph it due to not having enough room to focus the camera.
Although small, it has now become a comfortable home for the next 4 months.

Times have really changed.

* Time is relative... The mind makes it slow, the heart makes it fast, our friends make it worth while, and words... make it timeless

See you soon

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


Welcome to my new Blog:
Growing Family Trees and English - Australian Vegetables.

Thank you if you followed my previous Blog, I hope you will find this new one just as interesting.
(If you didn't see my previous Blog and would like to familiarise yourself with

With this Blog I want to continue in the same way as the old one.

  • I will write about the 'Nickisson' Family Tree, children, parents, grandparent, great grandparents......... Where they lived, Occupations, Births, Marriages, Deaths.
  • Bring you up-to-date on how the allotment is growing / going
  • And introduce you to the journey we take to Australia early next year.

It may be a new Blog with a slightly different title, but I hope you will find it very similar to the old one.

And just remember;
On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger on the escape key.
The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
The future isn't what it used to be.
And finally;
There are two rules for ultimate success in life.   1. Never tell everything you know

See you very soon