Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Only for Life" by Peter MIMMS my cousin, writer.

How exciting it was, when in 2004 while researching my MIMMS branch of the family tree, I discovered this book. Written by Peter MIMMS son of Albert Thomas and Doris Irene nee JARMAN. Not only is it a very well written history of poverty over 300 years, IT INCLUDES MY FAMILY!!! I already had Peter on my family tree as my 2nd cousin 1x removed.

It follows the story from Gregory MIMMS in 17th century Wellingborough, down through son after son to my James who left the impoverished Midlands in about 1830 to try his luck in London at the time of the  Swing Riots. It traces his story for a while before following the author's branch.

How sad I was to discover, when I tried to contact Peter Mimms, to offer the missing image of James, which was in my possession, that he had died just two years previously, in 2002.

It was Peter Mimms who had travelled to USA to track down the story of John (Henry Winfield) Mimms, who I wrote about on Tuesday.

I discovered, from his widow, who wrote me a very friendly letter, that they has travelled widely researching in Record Offices all over the country. After the book was published, he did a lot of lecturing. He was an excellent speaker with a good voice, and was able to give people a lot of advice.

She also shared with me the way in which Peter ended his lectures, which I shall copy here:

"Let me finish with a biblical quotation (Ecclesiasticus Chapter 44/Apocrypha). It begins
"Let us now praise famous men and our fathers that begat us....."

Perhaps less well known are the lines which follow a few verses on:

"There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported.
And some there be, which have no memorial; who are perished, as though they had never been; and are become as though they had never been born; and their children after them."
They were my family and this is their memorial. 

(full chapter can be found here

I think that is a lovely summary of the work we family history researchers do. We may not all have a book in us, but every time we share our findings anywhere online, whether it be a family tree, a website, or a blog, we are leaving a memorial to them.

R.I.P. Peter MIMMS

1 comment:

SheilaMatilda said...

How wonderful for you to find this book and be able to share the research done by him. So sad that you were unable to meet or speak with him.