Trousseau E17

My ancestry project, Trousseau, was always set to grow as I uncovered more information about my lost maternal line.

New records are continually being added to search sites such as ancestry.co.uk and findmypast.co.uk but also a little distance can reveal patterns or facts overlooked first time around.

At the E17 Art Trail 2019, I showed two new pieces focusing on the lost children in my line. It’s hard to imagine the relative normalcy of infant mortality, but it is plain to see in census information.

Resilience focuses on my 2nd great grandmother, widowed at 36 with six children and expecting her ninth. I find it impossible to imagine. The loss of the breadwinner would have put the whole family in jeopardy and, in fact, six of her nine children died. I have stitched the sad facts along with a mantra that evokes the repetitive rhythm of the hard graft of washing laundry and the summoning of just enough energy to carry on.

Resilience Trousseau ©Helen Stone 2019

resilience 2 Trousseau ©Helen Stone 2019

resilience 3 Trousseau ©Helen Stone 2019

One of Many turns to her daughter – my great grandmother. Having traced her lost siblings, I applied the same method to search for one of her own lost children – a surname, a small window of time and a tight geographical location. I failed to narrow it down so have honoured all 45 of the infant deaths registered, each name tag tied with a black remembrance ribbon.

one of many Trousseau ©Hlelen Stone2019

one of many 2 Trousseau ©Hlelen Stone2019

You don’t have to travel far back in time to see how the easily-treated illnesses of today decimated the families of the past. We generally take our well-being for granted, assuming the path forward to always be one of advances. But nothing is certain. Climate change, antibiotic-resistance, growing pollution and the sustainability of food production are huge issues that need to be tackled with the utmost urgency if we wish to continue to thrive.

See the rest of my Trousseau project and listen to the audio that supports the story here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.