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Saturday 28 November 2015


Tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of my first post on Tall Tales From The Trees. Since then, with a couple of breaks to draw breath, I’ve been posting an article every Saturday, taking one of my ancestors as the starting point for a look at the world and the times in which he or she lived.

To date the blog has had around 220,000 page views. This is my 275th article, and I’m going to take another break now, to decide what to do with all the lovely people whose memory I have, I hope, honoured in these pages. I suspect there will be a book or two in them!

Many fellow researchers and many previously unknown relatives have got in touch as a result of this blog: I hope more will continue to do so. I am always happy to answer questions, correct inaccuracies and compare notes.

For now, I leave you with an early Christmas card, sketched in ink by Phyllis Maureen Gotch – a cousin of my grandfather’s generation (her 3x great grandfather John Davis is my 5x great grandfather).

“My Crown and Sceptre”: Phyllis Maureen Gotch (1882-1963) painted by her father Thomas Cooper Gotch in 1891

I’ve written about Phyllis’s bohemian life here before; the daughter of artist Thomas Cooper Gotch, she grew up being the centre of attention as the frequent subject of her father’s paintings and the little girl who loved to dress up and perform at the parties of her father’s artistic circle in Cornwall.

This hand-drawn card is uncharacteristically monochrome for such a colourful woman. But it captures the mischievous joy of the snow-covered season, and with it I wish you much mischievous joy over the coming weeks.

Hand-drawn Christmas card of unknown date by Phyllis Maureen Gotch (original now in the Thomas Cooper Gotch archive at the Tate)

Whether you have followed Tall Tales From The Trees regularly, or simply stumbled across it today, thank you for reading; and Happy Christmas!


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