Sometimes my art is purely something from my imagination, sometimes there is a story behind it, maybe a personal story such as 'Lost Love' (which you can see on the 'Portfolio' page) and sometimes it's historical such as with 'Ghostly Victorian Widow' (which you can see on the 'Portfolio - Mixed Media' page).
The story behind ‘Ghostly Victorian Widow’.
I often take photographs at the local parish church. I spent over an hour there taking photos a week before the pandemic lockdown. I often then use the photos as backgrounds in my artwork.
One photograph in particular kept playing on my mind. It wasn’t the photograph itself, it was the grave and memorial.
The memorial stone says:
TO THE MEMORY OF
LATE OF ABERNANT Y GROES
IN THIS PARISH
WHO DIED ON THE 3RD DAY OF
AGED 43 YEARS
WHO DIED ON THE 8TH DAY OF
AGED 6 MONTHS
There is no mention of the wife/mother of the baby. I had the ‘feeling’ that she was around 10 years younger than her late husband and my theory was that she re-married and so is buried elsewhere.
My story for the character in my art piece is that, whilst she may not be with her baby and first husband physically, she has never forgotten them and her ghost visits their grave regularly.
Facts of the story
I was driven to finding out who and where the baby’s mother was and on April 23rd 2020 it took me approximately 6½ hours of constant research to find out what I wanted to know.
The baby’s mother’s name was Ann Williams. She was born in 1824 and died in Cardiff in 1908. My 'feeling' was right. She was in fact 13 years younger than her late husband and she is buried in Cardiff, having moved there with her two remaining children, daughters Gwenllian and Margaret (who were 5 and 4 years old respectively when their father died).
On the geneaology website on which I found the details I was looking for, it listed David David and Ann Williams as having two children (the two daughters), but there was no mention of baby David … so I registered on the site and I added his name and dates – May 1855 to 8th November 1855.
Baby David is now listed with his mother, father and sisters, as he should be.