Hilary Neilson

Hilary Neilson

Posted on 09/15/2014


Photo taken on July 12, 2003


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1798

1798
Bill for uniform, Lieut. Vaughan. The trimmings cost more than the suit of 'Redgamentals close'. A piece of my uncle Brynmor's possibly inauthentic genealogical findings, a link from the ubiquitous Williamses to the slightly more rarified Vaughans. I like the tailor's spelling and syntax. A small thing, but human.

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Hilary Neilson
Hilary Neilson
It is all the fault of a great uncle Hubert, who made the first genealogical attempts. I am not sure whether he agreed or disagreed with my uncle Bryn, who was afflicted with grandiosity from an early age. Through their casting around and casting out, a branch of the family was lost, being found by accident in Petersfield market when a little cousin of mine heard the name spoken - 'Vaughan Williams'. My father always said that the appropriation of Vaughan (even without hyphenation) was completely spurious, and made gentle fun of Bryn for it. Mind you, in a Wales stuffed with Williamses, you needed something to distinguish yourself, especially if your given name was also William.

I used to find it all rather ludicrous, and so did my ma, many of whose forbears were Smith; impossible to trace. Now I find it quite sweet and touching, as you can see by my recent resort to the archives. I especially like that at one point my father's family obviously bought a camera and took shots of almost everybody, as well as patronising the local studio, with its chaises and pergolas.

Watch this space ...
3 years ago. Edited 3 years ago.
Hilary Neilson
Hilary Neilson
I think an element of grandiosity is very typical of the Welsh, otherwise a small-ish people. My father was awfully keen on George Thomas, 1st Viscount Tonypandy, now an alleged abuser.
3 years ago.