Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Childhood Toys

Randy Seaver posts a regular Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge and this answer of mine is Saggers family related.

The challenge topic for this weekend came from Jen at Auntie Jen’s Family Trees. She had posted “Throwback Thursday Favorite Toys” on 23 January, and Linda Seaver thought it would make a good SNGF topic. And Randy agreed.

“What are some (one or more) of the toys you played with as a child?
Share your favorite toy(s) with us….”

My favourite toys were books and dolls, to put them alphabetically. I don’t know which I’d have rated first when I was little. Before I left ‘home’ I ended up with a lot of dolls, and quite a lot of books. I still have a few of the dolls and a lot of the books – and more.

Not everything was brand new. In fact, since my Na enlisted me to help at the church sales she was involved in, I often got to pick out dolls and books second hand. And sometimes, if I was lucky, things were passed down to us.

Here is a now old book with thick board pages given to me by my great aunt and uncle, Uncle Bob and Aunt Elsie, my grandmother’s sister. It’s ‘well loved’, but still good enough that I read it to my little grandson.

It was published in England – the Saggers sisters were all from there; they’d emigrated to Canada in 1907. The book is from the 1940s so someone brought it back from a trip or perhaps a relative in England sent it here to Vancouver. As I child I didn’t care that a few scenes weren’t familiar ones but as it happens, many were. As you will see, the book was inscribed for me by Auntie Elsie and Uncle Bob. I’m sure I was excited about that. Not for my baby brother!

I was pretty careful with my books; my mother was always watchful, I thought. But this book does have initials pencilled in on almost every page. Whose, I wonder? And whose writing? I know it’s not mine. Maybe it’s one of those Saggers-Westwood cousins??

Happy Hours child's book cover 1940
Happy Hours children’s book, 1940s.
Published in Great Britain by Thomas Nelson and Sons, Ltd.
Happy Hours book page-little curl with paper curls in her hair
Home-Made Curls, For A Change. Happy Hours children’s book. Honor C Appleton was the artist. I am surprised I don’t remember trying to add some paper curls to my long and annoyingly straight hair. Perhaps Mum confiscated the scissors!
Happy Hours book page - Playing in the snow
Splendid Fun In the SnowHappy Hours children’s book. I’m afraid I can’t make out the artist’s name. Perhaps someone knows?
This scene in Vancouver, BC is one kids here all like to see.
And at the top, very faint now, is the inscription to me.

Organizing the Saggers Surname Study – 2020 style

January (or late December) is usually the time we take a look at what was accomplished in the previous year, and plan for the year ahead. The Saggers One-Name Study is one of several projects I have on the go so my plans for the first quarter of the year were specific, but not too grand.

Two members of the Guild started a blog challenge though in December and I did join in quite happily. So far I’ve kept up with my own goals here and I’ve written a couple of blog posts to hold back as ‘insurance’. If you are a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies and want to join us, there’s still time! Follow this link to the GOONS Blog Challenge 2020 on Facebook.

One goal for this year was to organize the references I do have for Saggers families in South Africa and to develop that information into a new Saggers tree. I still intend on doing that but!

What I didn’t quite count on was this particular wrinkle. Ancestry announced pretty suddenly that it’s discontinuing all its Rootsweb e-mail lists as of 1 March 2020. I’m the administrator for a number of those lists, including a SAGGARS surname list, so like the other Rootsweb list volunteers, I’ve been spending time deciding on a new home for my lists, and moving them away from Rootsweb. Most of my lists now will have a new home at It’s been an interesting process and I can see advantages for us there in the future.

So if you’d like to join the new SAGGERS Surname e-mail list, please click here to join. This is a free mailing list for the discussion and sharing of information regarding families associated with the Saggers surname and variations (e.g., Sagars, Sager, Saggars, Sagger, Saggers, Sagers, Saggus…) in any place and at any time.

I’m editing this post a bit as I forgot to say that this is entered in The Genealogy Blog Party this month. How could I forget?! The theme for January: ORGANIZE AND PRIORITIZE. Very appropriate for the beginning of the year. And something all genealogists strive for – so do follow this link and have a look at all the other ideas and articles submitted for this month’s challenge hosted by Elizabeth at And if you’re a blogger or post about genealogy on social media, join the Party!

Now I’m really rolling on back to my 2020 plans!

A young cousin in Vancouver, BC, Canada on his Piggly Wiggly wagon. 1920s.
One of my Saggers family cousins in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Late 1920s? Personal collection.

Is a Saggart a Saggers? – short answer, No.

I was asked at one event about other surnames that might be similar to Saggers or Saggers, the focus of my one-name study. And how I’d decide whether to add another to this study.

One surname I certainly see in search results is Saggart which on viewing often does turn out to be obviously Saggars – or Taggart. Taggart/Taggert I soon learned could be an accepted variant of Saggart which comes from Old Irish – sacart, priest, from the Latin sacerdōs.

There is a DNA project at Family Tree DNA for “MacTaggart or Taggart, for all spellings. (And 9 other possible projects listed.) I do not yet see a one-name study for Saggert/Taggart or any variations. It seems to me it would be a smallish study and quite interesting.

But this surname I am certain has quite a different derivation than the Saggers surnames so I won’t be adding it to my study. But if I found a Saggart/Taggart in my own tree, I might be quite eager to study these families!

Recently I noticed this entry in the Irish Newspaper Collection results ( mentioning a Saggart Village in Kildare, Ireland. I thought I’d investigate just a little.

The Freeman’s Journal, Dublin, Ireland,

Thursday, 17 December 1868, page 3.
Sporting Intelligence, Hunting Appointments. December.

Kildare Hounds—17th Bray: 19th, Hollywood; 21st, Kilcock; 23rd, Spratstown Bridge; 26th, Dunmurry; 28th, Donadea Castle; 29th Saggart Village; 31st Dunlavin. At 11. “

I found that Saggart Village was once known as Tassagart/Tassagart. Its name comes from a 7th century monastery Teach Sacra (House of Sacra founded by St Mosacra) that once was there. For more about Saggart, see the South Dublin County History website:

And then there are the Ballysaggartmore1 follies, the Towers near Waterford.

Ballysaggartmore Towers Gatehouse
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Hywel Williams –

Learn more about Ballysaggartmore on the Discover Ireland website:

And if you are a Saggart/Taggart2 and decide to start a One-Name Study, do let me know.


  1. The Very Rev P. Canon Power translates their name as “Baile na Sagart “Priests’ Town.” (The Place-Names of Decies, Second Edition, Cork University Press Oxford, B.H. Blackwell, Ltd. 1952, his revised Edition published after his 1951 death. No page numbers. His original version, 1907.) Available free on the Waterford Libraries/ Leabharlanna Phort Láirge website ( ):
  2. For McTaggart, et al. in brief, see The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, by Patrick Hanks, Richard Coates, Peter McClure (Oxford University Press, 2016), page 1808 for McTagart, McTaggart, and McTaggert; page 2617 for Taggard, Taggart, and Taggert. Available for searches at Google Books:


So far most are involved in sports! (Updated as of 12 January 2020)

  • Kenneth Saggers (1936-2014) South African cricketer
  • Mark Leonard Saggers, English journalist, broadcaster
  • Martin John Saggers, English cricket umpire; retired as a cricketer in 2009
  • Robert Saggers, former Australian footballer
  • Ronald Arthur Saggers (1917-1987), Australian cricketer
  • Jainti Dass Saggar (1898-1954) Scottish physician and Dundee politician. Saggar Street in Dundee, Scotland was named after him posthumously. His biography, Dr Jainti Dass Saggar – from Deharru to Dundee was written by Kamala Stewart, John Stewart & Rosemary McKnight (2015).
  • Shamit Saggar CBE, Professor, Honorary Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education, School of Social Sciences and Director, Public Policy Institute, University of Western Australia.

Annie Saggers, Buntingford, Hertfordshire, England, 1893

Sometimes the stories we find in newspapers are not so happy. That often seems why they made it into the paper. But here’s a happier one – related to Christmas, but also to new beginnings, so I thought it would be right for a New Years’ article.

From the Herts & Cambs Reporter & Royston Crow, Friday, 15 December 1893, page 5.

“BUNTINGFORD [Hertfordshire, England]

PRESENTATION.—The Departure of Miss Saggers from the Buntingford Post Office to that of Biggleswade was generally regretted. She had been so long in her old post, and performed her duties so admirably, that she had won the goodwill of the whole town.”

According to the article, a committee had raised subscriptions to present her with a testimonial, nearly 15£, and with 7£ of that, they had bought her “a splendid marble clock with bronze figures, which was sent to Miss Saggers on Wednesday.”

The inscription on the clock read: “Presented to Miss Annie Saggers as a token of esteem and respect, and in recognition of her invariable kindness and courtesy during her 15 years’ service in the Post Office at Buntingford, Oct. 1st, 1893.”

The clock and the list of subscribers had been in the window of Mr. C. Hamilton1 for all to see and the Committee further “hope[s] to be able to send Miss Saggers, at Christmas, a cheque for 10£.”

There is also a short article in the same newspaper about her new appointment at Biggleswade, 1 September, 1893, page 5 – Buntingford. (Newspapers accessed from; images from The British Library Board.)

The 1901 Census shows Annie Saggers living at Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, England, boarding with a family, and working as a Civil Servant in the Post Office. (She was then aged 39, born at Buntingford.)2 And the British Postal Service Appointment Book for 18933 shows her new appointment, November 1893, as a sorting clerk and telegraphist. I have not found her original appointment – yet.

I’d like to learn more about Annie, so please contact me if you recognize her.

I don’t know how much she would remember from today’s Biggleswade, but I believe at least a few buildings are still there. Interestingly in 1891, the rural district population was only 21, 864, while in 2017, Biggleswade’s population was estimated as 20,200.4 Of course there have been many changes since Annie was there.

To see a Biggleswade Local History Album on Flickr, created by steam60163, follow this link:

Of course, I do wonder what happened to her clock! And I hope she did get the cheque.

Biggleswade’s Christmas Tree, taken 19 December 2010, photographer acather96.
Photograph courtesy of the photographer; licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.


1. Charles Hamilton was listed as a master Ironmonger in Buntingford in the 1891 census. I believe it was his shop the clock was displayed in. The National Archives of the UK (TNA); Kew, Surrey, England; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891; Class: RG12; Piece: 1100; Folio: 69; Page: 1; GSU roll: 6096210. 1891 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

2. Class: RG13; Piece: 1499; Folio: 57; Page: 27. 1901 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives, 1901. Data imaged from the National Archives, London, England.

3. British Postal Service Appointment Books, 1737-1969 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors. Original data: Post Office: Staff nomination and appointment, 1831-1969. Microfilm, POST 58, 80 rolls. The Postal Museum. London, England.

4. 1891 population – Parliamentary Papers, Volume 8, Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons, H.M. Stationery Office, 1895, page 419. 2017 population – Biggleswade, Wikipedia, “Ward population estimates 2017”. Central Bedfordshire, referenced and linked: