All things come to those who wait. A descendant of the Grimston GRAHAM I had noted from the BBC War Stories site has popped out of the woodwork. We've a few minor date discrepancies to sort out, but with a name like Grimston in the family I had high hopes that I'd finally found a living GRAHAM descendant for my Stephen of Longtown. At the moment the evidence is circumstantial, but it looks a highly likely match. Gary can get back from Grimston to a David and Jane, both GRAHAM. This David is shown as born Longtown 1841. The only David within 5 years of that age born Longtown that shows up on census data is the David son of Mary, and therefore the grdson of my Stephen. Gary's father seems to think that the more modern Grimston was named for a distant relation who used to be a stagecoach driver in the 1700s.
It will take a while, read a very long while, but over the next few months I hope to have sorted thru and published on the web, the treasure trove of letters and photos to/from the DAWE and ROWE families in England and Taranaki. I've been up to Auckland to visit Marion specifically to take photos of her treasured box of letters, and was absolutely amazed. I hadn't been prepared for the number of the letters, and the number of old photos was also a wonderful surprise.
Great to finally meet her after all these years too.
At a very quick glance, most of my photos have come out fine, but one or two aren't brilliantly focused and will take some deciphering. But at least there is now another copy of them all.