• Nicola

Snapshots at 45

In honour of my 45th birthday I thought I would look back on my ancestors in their 45th years.

Paternal granddad – Ernest Rowe. Sadly, Ernest did not live to see his 45th birthday. He was killed at the age of 26 when the small village of Scotby was bombed on 11 March 1943.


Paternal grandmother – Julia Rowe, nee McCabe. It was 1963 when Julia turned 45. It was the year she got divorced from her second husband, Willie Copeland, and also the year that her father Matthew died. I’m not sure where she was living at this point.



Maternal granddad – Eddie Dickinson. It was 1953 when he turned 45. He was married with three daughters, living in Sheffield and working for Cadburys.


Eddie and Elizabeth on an outing

Maternal grandma, Elizabeth Dickinson, nee McCabe. It was 1959 when she turned 45. That was the year her mother, Julia, died. She was working at Walsh’s department store in Sheffield

Jonathan and Rachel Rowe

Great grandfather – Jonathan Rowe. Turned 45 in 1919. He lived near Carlisle. He had 10 children. He was a ploughman on 1911 census. He had been married to Rachel Brown for 20 years. It was the year that his eldest son, John Joseph Rowe, was discharged from the RAF after serving as a 2nd Lieutenant for a year. He had been wounded on 20 September 1918. They must have been so relieved to have him home.

John Joseph Rowe










Great grandmother – Rachel Rowe, nee Brown Rachel turned 45 in 1922. By this time she and Jonathan had 12 children aged between 22 and 1.


Great grandfather – Matthew McCabe. He turned 45 in 1926. He had been married to Julia McCabe for 14 years. They had 4 daughters. He was working as a dairyman at Hairmyres TB hospital near East Kilbride. A house came with the job and my grandma described it:

“That house stood on a hill and it had a garden, it had two bedrooms, lounge, kitchen, bathroom, we had never had a bathroom in our lives so this room was an added pleasure as there was hot water and electricity which we had never had before.”


Seeing as they had come from an apartment block with 1 shared toilet between 4 families this must have seemed like luxury.


Matthew and Julia McCabe

Great grandmother – Julia McCabe, nee Murphy. She turned 45 in 1936. By this time she had been married to Matthew for 24 years. By 1936 they had 5 daughters. The family moved around a lot and it's hard to pin them down from my grandma’s recollections. I think they were most likely to have been in Northumberland.


Frank Dickinson

Great grandfather – Frank Elsdon Dickinson. He turned 45 in 1921. He had been married to Elsie Burrell for 22 years. They had 7 children. Frank was working as a silversmith in Sheffield although I haven’t yet worked out which firm he worked for.


Great grandmother – Elsie Gertrude Dickinson, nee Burrell. He turned 45 in 1924. Married for 25 years, Elsie and Frank now had 8 children. Still living in Sheffield, in 1925 they were living at 33 Hawksley Road, Owlerton. This was the year that her father John William Burrell died, he left 63 shares in Midland Bank to each of his children.

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