All Things Pink

As you already know, I’ve been delving into my family history again, of late. This time I’ve been looking at a line on my dad’s side ~ the Pink family. My great-great-grandfather was one George Pink. He was one of nine, with eight managing to survive childhood. However, he died early, at just 28, from Typhoid in 1877. He left a wife, Elizabeth, with four small children. One daughter, Jane, pre-deceased him in 1876, aged three-and-a-half. She died from Tabes Mesenterica, something I’d never heard heard of ~ Tuberculosis of lymph glands inside the abdomen. It was an illness of children caused by drinking milk from cows infected with tuberculosis. How tragic.

George’s 4th child was Emily (1876-1964) and she was my great-grandmother. She was raised in the Church of England but became a Roman Catholic when she married John in 1905. Apparently she embraced Catholicism wholeheartedly and was thrilled when one of her sons became a priest in the mid 1930s. This is her in the photo below. The very stylish lady in the photo below is Emily’s daughter Gloria (1907-1988), George’s grand-daughter and my grandmother. This photo was taken in 1949 at Emily’s other daughter Ivy’s wedding. I have strong memories of my grandmother, she was very much a part of our lives when we were all small and, if asked, I would use the word elegant to describe her.

George’s great-grandson is my dad (1942-1995), Gloria’s only child. We all miss him still. Today would have been his 68th birthday. I was talking with my mum last week and we agreed that my dad’s legacy is not only his two much loved grandsons, but also the impact he made on the lives of hundreds of young people through his long involvement with the Air Training Corps.There’s a lot more still to discover about the Pink line, they were a prolific lot! George lost a nephew and a grandson in the First World War: his grandson John Ford Pink (the son of Emily’s brother William) died in 1917 and is buried in the Bailleul Military Cemetery in France. By a bizarre twist of fate, the above photo came from the War Graves Photographic Project, on which both my sister and I are volunteers. She has photographed most of her bit of NE Scotland and I have photographed West London and Hong Kong (on honeymoon!). You should check them out if you ever want a photo of a British or Commonwealth Military grave.

And then there is the Infant Mortality Rate to consider. The Pinks produced lots of offspring, but, as I’m discovering, an awful lot of them died extremely young: Eleanor Margaret at 15 from Scarlatina (the only sibling of John Ford Pink, a double tragedy for their parents), little Hector John at 1 year from Acute Bronchitis, and 2 year old Wilfred from Measles. I am so grateful for the high standard of childcare and medicines available today. But that’s the thing about family history, you have to take the rough with the smooth. For every family with a Victoria Cross winner or an inventor of something amazing, there are more families like mine. And the really odd thing is that I’m very proud of my Pink line: hard working, working-class and poorly educated, but still attempting to do right by their loved ones. And, after all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

9 thoughts on “All Things Pink

  1. Ruth, I love post people do on their families, I find them so very interesting. Very timely as well as Sunday is Father's Day in Canada and USA. (I'm not sure when you celebrate it)
    You should be very proud of your dad's side of the family, they knew great sadness but gave so much for their families and country….of yes Ruth be very proud indeed…..:-) Hugs


  2. I adore genealogy, and I love it when other people have great finds on their lines, Ruth!

    You know what is odd… it has ended up in several cases that good friends of mine that I met in adulthood are distant relatives. I'll be tracing some line and find a connection. On one, I'm related to one of my closest friends, Nancy, and I loved her before I ever knew that connection. We descend through a mutual gggggg grandfather (who put the most marvelous blessing in his will for his descendants), and his two sons through whom we descend were very close and witnessed each other's wills. The odd thing is that we have been blessing each other's lives for years and didn't know about his blessing passed down. Kind of neat.

    I love the name Pink. That's such a wonderful name, and I loved reading about your family. I'm so sorry that some of them died so very young. I have seen the graves of small children in family cemeteries, and I know the grief the parents must have felt. It's a miracle anyone survived immigrating to the American South with the mosquitoes here and Yellow Fever.

    I think it's great that you photograph those graves, too. I can remember finding some of my Scottish ancestors' graves online (they came to America in the 1700's) and crying when I saw them. They lived to a ripe old age, but what they must have endured in a new country after leaving Scotland just awed me! They were in the wilds with bears and other scary creautres, and at one point, they lived within a log stockade. But they made it and created a new life for their family here. I feel I owe them such a debt of gratitude for all that has been passed down to me.

    Yes, history is very much present to me.




  3. This has been so interesting Ruth, I enjoy family history and my side of the family has been well documented – my husband's not so much.
    All of my immediate family have been to Ireland to see distant relatives and the original area where we can from and my mother has been to Scotland and Germany to trace her roots as well – the German connection has been difficult and frustrating. I am the only one to yet see these places but I plan to – one day!
    My paternal grandfather was the second youngest of 13 and only the youngest 3 had kids – I have a tonne of relatives ….. imagine what it could have been!!!!


  4. Great information! I'm working on my dad's side of the family now. My mom's is really well documented but there is practically nothing about my dad's since my great grandfather was apparently disowned by his family after marrying a Native American woman.


  5. I am a family history addi….. hobbyist too.there is an excellent FREE forum and website for anyone with ancestors from Britain.
    Just take a look at the information on their pages and then register at the forum it is totally absolutely free with no hidden catches or advertising. I have been a member of the forum since 2004 and have had fantastic help there when looking for my jewish actors


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