Catherine Saggers & Susan Alexander, Chelmsford area, Essex, England, 1834.

Agricultural fair organizers in England often rewarded local people for their thrift and long service. It’s not so often we see women in the lists.

At the Chelmsford Agricultural Society Show in 1834, Susan Alexander (probably of Mountnessing) received 20 shillings as a prize for “having lived under the same mistress 34 years” and for maintaining her “good character” all those years.

At the same time, Catherine Saggers (probably of Great Baddow) was given 10 shillings for her 11 years service with the same master and mistress. Chelmsford Chronicle, 19 December, 1834, page 4. Both prizes were reported as well in the Essex Herald, 16 December, 1834, page 2.

A Catherine Saggers married John Jackson in Great Baddow in the fall of 1835, on the 22 October. If this was the same Catherine, she and John had 2 children, but it appears she died in 1839 and was buried at St Mary the Virgin Church in Great Baddow.

I hope to learn more about her and would welcome any information.


Marriage Register, St. Mary the Virgin, Great Baddow, Essex, England, Family History Library film: 001471808 and “England, Essex Parish Registers, 1538-1997,” database, FamilySearch. John Jackson and Catherine Saggers, 22 Oct 1835; citing Marriage, Great Baddow, Essex, England, Essex Record Office, England.

Burial register, St. Mary the Virgin, Great Baddow, Essex, England, shows Catherine Jackson, born 1810. Family History Library film: 001471808.

New Beginnings….bittersweet

Once again for 2021, there is a Guild of One-Name Studies Blog Challenge. Hashtag – #guildblogchallenge

The prompt for March is “New Beginnings”.

Recently in discussing the hazardous trips many families and individuals took in emigrating to North America, and indeed, across America, and to many other places, I said I thought they, especially the women, were brave – to leave all the familiar places, no matter how desperate for a new start, to realize you likely could never return. I realize some would see it as an adventure, others might be optimistic for future benefits, but to many, including those left behind, it must have often felt overwhelming.

A while ago I read a short understated note in a newspaper about my great aunts that brought this home for me.

From The Essex County Chronicle (Chelmsford Chronicle), 26 April, 1907, page 4.

“Among others from North Essex who have emigrated to Canada are the three daughters of Mr. D. Saggers of Burton-End Farm, Stansted… The scene when the Misses Saggers left Stansted Station was very affecting.” Accessed originally at FindMyPast.

Now this might also be a warning not to take newspapers too literally. Four Saggers sisters left England bound for Vancouver in March, 1907, Constance, Ethel, Elsie and Dora. Ethel had been to Canada before though, and her entry was stamped “Ret’d Canadian”. Had she spent her time back in England convincing them all to leave England for Vancouver, promising them similar weather, great gardening, beautiful beaches and snow capped mountains too? (And on the quiet, mentioned the many eligible bachelors of Vancouver?)

If so, she was successful.

Very soon after, her father and mother followed with her brother, Charles, and the remaining sisters, Florence, and Sarah, my grandmother. (Brother Herbert had gone ahead, alone, some years before. That’s another story.)

But without their journeys, I wouldn’t be here! Or my Saggers study.

Those of you who’ve visited Vancouver will like this glimpse of the busy, growing city the Saggers family came to – in an enhanced version of the first film of Vancouver, taken Tuesday, May 7, 1907 by photographer William Harbeck.

1907 Tram Ride in Vancouver (Granville Street). #Restored​ in #4K​, #60FPS​, #Colorized​, #Stabilized​ with Sound by regnittuB.

Or see it at Vancouver is Awsome:

Spring is coming – Dandelion Wine

I’m happy to see that Spring is coming soon – on Thursday, March 19, early this year. And springtime makes me think of – dandelions! Here is my Grandma Sarah Saggers recipe for Dandelion Wine.

Barn and Dandelions: Along Castlederg road, north of Bolton, Ontario, Canada. Photograph by Allen McGregor, Flickr, CC by 2.0.

Dandelion Wine

1 gallon dandelion flowers

1 gallon boiling water

pour water over flowers and let stand 48 hours

then strain in stone jar add 4 lemons &

4 oranges cut into slices, 4 pounds sugar

& one yeast cake (fleishmans) and a package

of raisins, stir well & stand in a cool place.

Stir several times a day until ferman-

tation ceases & keep covered, in two weeks

strain & add 1 tea spoons bitter almond

then bottle & keep in cool dark place.

if possible let stand six weeks before


Grandma Sarah Frances Saggers, handwritten recipe book, Dandelion Wine, personal collection.

Note: Grandma Sarah was from England, and likely never saw dandelions except there and in British Columbia. Here is a website with an amazing number of kinds of dandelions in the UK – Wild Flower Finders:

1941 Wedding – Saggers and Knapp

I could not resist this Saggers-Knapp wedding announcement. Sounds a lovely ceremony, despite the times in 1941. With connections to Buckingham Palace, no less. Just wondering what happened to these two. Long and happily married, I hope!


Guardsman P. Saggers—Miss D. F. Knapp

The wedding took place on Saturday at Holy Trinity Church, Trowbridge, between Musician Percy Saggers, of the Grenadier Guards, son of Mr. F.A. Saggers of Bexley Heath, and Miss Dorothy Phyllis Knapp, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.G. Knapp of 14. Studley Rise, Trowbridge, who was formerly on the domestic staff at Buckingham Palace. The Rev. W. B. Church officiated.

Mr. J. Flay was at the organ, and besides playing other appropriate music, accompanied the hymns, “Lead us, Heavenly Father, lead us” and “The King of Love, my shepherd is.”

The bride, given in marriage by her father, was dressed in white satin, with wreath and veil and accessories to match. Her bouquet was of carnations. Her only bridesmaid, Miss Ivy Hawkes, a friend, also from Buckingham Palace, was dressed in blue taffeta.

The best man was Mr. Edward Saggers, and the groomsman, Mr. Arthur Saggers, both brothers of the bridegroom.

After the wedding a reception was held at 14. Studley Rise. The newly-married couple’s future home will be at Clapham Common.

Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser, Saturday, July 5, 1941, page 3. Via

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.

Double Saggers marriages, May 1868, Westwood, Tasmania, Australia


LUKUS—SAGGERS.—On 7th May, at Alstonton, Westwood, by the Rev. J. Waterhouse, John, only son of Wm. Lukus, Esq., of Ballarat, Victoria, to Martha Elizabeth, second daughter of Mr. R. Saggers, of Rocklands, East Tamar.

[English papers please copy.]

WILSON—SAGGERS.—On 7th May, at Alstonton, Westwood, by the Rev. J. Waterhouse, James Gibbons, eldest son of the late James Gibbons Wilson, Esq., of Dublin, to Violette Harriett, third daughter of Mr. R. Saggers, of Rocklands, East Tamar.

From the Launceston Examiner, Tasmania, Australia, Thursday, 21 May 1868, p. 5.

Inheritances in 1860? – Lucking, Peacock, Saggers

Saggers, Lucking, Peacock - 1860 inheritance?


I do wonder if these Saggers “inheritances” were ever claimed?

The Times, London, England, Thursday, 12 January 1860, page 17. Accessed at

INHERITANCES. – To all Saggers, Lucking, and Peacock Families. WANTED RELATIVES of JOHN and ANN SAGGERS and of John and William Saggers their nephews, William Saggers, was abroad 1800 ; of Thomas Peacock and William Peacock ; of Thomas and Margaret Lucking. Apply by letter to Hope, Esq., Solicitor, 9, Ely-Place, London.