Review of My Year

Looking back at 2015 I have been surprised at how much has been accomplished. This blog is called ‘Meeting my family’ and that is always my first aim – to meet new family and introduce you to the family I already know about.

Some of the new family I have found this past year include: Patty who sent me a message on Facebook, after finding this WordPress site, via a Google search for her great-great grandmother, Fanny Dinnis. She put me in touch with her sisters, Mary and Pamela who had been given family documents from their mother. They are currently still going through these photographs and documents and will be putting the information on ancestry in the coming year. I am also in contact with Heather, another member of the family.

Fanny Dinnis and her daughter, Edith 1878

Fanny Dinnis and her daughter, Edith

The photograph on the left is one the sisters found among the pile of documents and photographs they have, and they shared with me. You can only imagine how excited I was to ‘see’ Fanny Dinnis, my great-grandfather’s sister! I just never expected to see her, I had nothing about my family other than one photograph of my grandfather and I have been so lucky in finding family so willing to share what they have.






Earlier this year there was a wedding in the family (Mary’s lovely daughter, Beth got married), and I was sent this photo:

group photo of marys family

Mary is seated centre and Beth is to the right of her. What a wonderful group of lovely ladies.

Beth had a bridal shower with a ladies hat theme after reading my blogs about mother’s and wedding day hats.

Other family members I found this year include many from Australia. They kindly sent me some photographs of them all.

Immediate Family355

Sue, centre holding her grandchild with members of her family.

Janet & Robert 312

More Australian family, Janet and Robert








They are related to another sister of my great grandfather, Charlotte Harriet. I wrote about her here:


chd3 - Copy

Charlotte Harriet Dinnis 20 October 1914

Finally, late in the year I found family related to my grandfather’s brother. It’s been great to start getting to know Julie and her father Bob.


Bob Heard, seated and Julie standing on the right, and her lovely daughters at the front

Jack (John) and Florie 1916

John Albert Harold Walter Dinnis and his wife Florence Violet Heard in 1916





As well as finding family, the nature of life is that we sadly lose family, and this year we lost my Auntie Nancy – the last of her generation and a very special lady.

Auntie Nancy birthday - Copy

Nancy Dora Arkell (Dinnis)

It’s easy to feel sad that she has gone, but it is important to also feel glad that she lived and glad that we had the pleasure and privilege of knowing her. I have many happy memories of time spent with her.

I send special love to her daughter, my cousin Sue xxx

I wrote some blogs about Nancy and her time during World War 2.

Also this year me and Sue have had a couple of lovely outings together. The first was a tour of the Old Ship Hotel, which is where our great-great grandfather worked as a Cook and Publican and lived with his family.

Old Ship with Sue 001

We also had a Grand Afternoon Out! Near to the Old Ship Hotel is the Grand Hotel, and we enjoyed a marvelous treat of afternoon tea at The Grand.

Sue (left) and me enjoying the excellent treats of afternoon tea at The Grand Hotel

Sue (left) and me enjoying the excellent treats of afternoon tea at The Grand Hotel

afternoon tea at the Grand 001



I am very much looking forward to 2016, I can’t imagine what will happen during that year. Whatever it brings, I know I will cope with the challenges, enjoy the happiness, and continue searching for family! I wish everyone the very best, and sincerely say

“Happy New Year” to you all.


Posted in Charlotte Harriet Dinnis, Fanny Dinnis, Florence Violet Heard, jackiedinnis, John Albert H. Walter Dinnis, Nancy Dora Dinnis | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2015 in review

WordPress have kindly compiled these statistics about my blog during 2015 and it seemed worth sharing with you all. I will shortly be writing my own post about the review of my year on here. Thank you if you are reading this, it means a lot to know I’m not just writing it for myself!

Happy New Year!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Christmas Eve

red-scribbled-heartIt’s Christmas Eve, and today’s door is the door to my heart. I want to wish you all a very peaceful, blessed and hopeful Christmas. I hope whoever you are with on Christmas Day, that you have a wonderful time, spending it with people you love.

For those on their own, I will be thinking of you.

For those spending a first Christmas without a loved one, I will be thinking of you.

What matters to me is my family. Which is why I enjoy searching for you, and finding you.

If you could open the door to my heart and peek inside, you would see something like this:

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Wed 18th Aug 2012 E&D-300

Alison and Sue 01.07.2015Paul and EmmaWendy11251529_10155469691685231_1035614056_n (2)Pam Whiteleydennis and pattymary and her daughter Beth Cundiffgroup photo of marys familyRobert & Julian314mums11163942_10153103888916559_3583666958771717745_n12341466_10153823591522112_7251026387417009151_n792298_10200484719784325_943326640_oimage twoCatherine Taylor DinnisJoseph Taylor Dinnis, Annie Nancy, Sue and Ianqueenie5Jack HowellsMrs HowellsJackie000924 Aug 1925 Grace, Agnes, OliveLinda and RitaRonald Stanley DinnisJack at Hepworths (2)

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Advent Door 23

Mabel and Dave Howells, Rita's parentsNot so much a ‘door’ but a lovely ‘over the garden gate’ photograph today!

This lovely couple are Mabel and Dave Howells, part of the family that adopted my mother. When Jack and Winifred Howells adopted her they already had three children of their own: Lorenza (known as Bob), Fred and Dave.

The family lived in Brighton Road, Shoreham-by-Sea in Sussex. The home was right on the seafront, I went there many times to visit my grandmother and the family.


Great Grandma Howells at front seated

Left to right: Lorenza, Winifred, Dave and Fred with Winifred’s mother, seated. Unknown lady standing at the back!

Here I am sitting on Dad's knee (Gordon) alongside Dave Howells.

Here I am sitting on Dad’s knee (Gordon) alongside Dave Howells.

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Christmas 100 years ago

This link takes you to an article from the BBC website and contains some lovely photographs from Christmas around 100 years ago, mainly from London. I really enjoyed the article, and thought you might like it too 🙂

Merry Christmas!

Posted in jackiedinnis | Tagged | 2 Comments

A Door to Celebrate a 90th Birthday

Aunt Rose 90th birthday 07.11.1985 - Copy - CopyThis door is in a photograph of my great-aunt Rose when she celebrated her 90th birthday on the 7th of November 1985. Here is the full picture:


Aunt Rose 90th birthday 07.11.1985 - CopyRose is on the left, sitting next to her friend. Nancy Dora Arkell is sitting on the right with her husband, Bert behind her and her brother Jack Douglas Dinnis next to Bert.

Rose looks very well at such a great age, Nancy, Bert and their daughter Sue went to visit her regularly. She lived in Basingstoke.


Aunt Rose 90th birthday 07.11.1985 - Copy (2)She was lucky enough to have two birthday cakes!

It is so lovely to see her looking so well. As I have been looking back through historical photographs I have got used to seeing her in black and white and in the 1920s and 30s. It is lovely for me to see her as a mature lady.


Aunt Rose 01.07.86, 91st birthday 07.11.86Here she is the following year, celebrating her 91st birthday in 1986. She died the following year in August 1987.

She was my grandmother’s sister. Here are some more photographs from her younger days.


Aunt RoseRose (2)


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door 21

2009_0731attemptFirst0016The door today is the door on this little chapel at Woodvale in Brighton. It’s where there is a small memorial to my parents, Gordon and Enid Dinnis. It is among the rose bushes, and is in a really lovely setting.

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A Summer Holiday Door

family group on holidayToday’s door is the door to our holiday chalet. Most of our family holidays were spent at Pontins Holiday Camps, and this photo is one of the years we took my parents along with us.

It was Camber Sands Holiday Camp, in East Sussex not too far from where we live! Our daughter, Emma loved having her grandparents along for the holiday, and we all had a good time.

It took me back to my own childhood, when I went to the same Holiday Camp with my parents. Here I am in one of the paddle boats.



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A Church Door

st nicholas church 007 (2)

St Nicholas Church, Brighton

St Nicholas Church, Brighton








This is the door to St Nicholas Church, Brighton. It’s the church where my great-great grandparents (John Dinnis and Charlotte Sampson) were married in 1836 on the 28th of December. It is the oldest church in Brighton, and is situated right in the centre of the city, a few moments walk from where they lived and brought up their family. Here are some more photographs of this lovely church.

st nicholas church 009 (2)st nicholas church 014

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A Very Small Door

August 1927 Whitley Bay

August 1927
Whitley Bay

Here is a very small door, really more of a doorway! Taken in August 1927 on holiday in Whitley Bay Gordon, Jack and Nancy Dinnis have built a wonderful sandcastle with a door at the bottom!

It looks like a pretty chilly August day, they’re wearing coats, but it looks like they are really enjoying this family day out.

Tomorrow will be a Church door.

Posted in Gordon Charles Dinnis, Holidays, Jack Douglas Dinnis, Nancy Dora Dinnis | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments