Archive for July, 2011
Czech connections
Posted on: July 16th, 2011 by pj

Edwin Rainbow (1851 - 1918)

Edwin Rainbow, my great, great grandfather, was a newspaper employee who definitely didn’t hack into mobile phones! Born 1851 in Coventry, England he served an apprenticeship as a printer before becoming a journalist, employed by several Coventry newspapers.

I discovered that during the first decade of the twentieth century he developed a passion for Bohemia (nowadays part of the Czech Republic). In between journalism and his duties as Registrar of Births and Deaths in Coventry he made frequent visits to Prague, financing his trips by writing travel and political articles for both local and national newspapers, including, I believe, The Manchester Guardian. His obituary relates that he was awarded a medal and Freedom of the City of Prague for his journalistic services, apparently helping to improve the image of Bohemia when it was receiving bad press at the time, particularly from Germany.

I have been aware that he had written several books, a tour guide of Coventry and both the official souvenir guides of Queen Victoria’s Silver and Golden Jubilees. Recently I discovered that in 1906 he co-authored a book with Jindérich Malây, about the life of Vojta Náprstek – Vojta Náprstek: A Memoir. Náprstek was a philanthropist, patriot and politician, as well as a pioneering Czech language journalist in the United States.

Vojta Naprstek

I have very little additional information about Edwin’s time in Prague except that he became friends with a man called Mr Musek who visited him in Coventry on several occasions. I would love to find more out about his trips and articles and have a feeling this will be my next ‘dog with a bone’ foray.

Music In the Yard 2011 – Cotesbach, Leicestershire
Posted on: July 15th, 2011 by pj

Looking for something to do tomorrow?


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Missing image #2
Posted on: July 10th, 2011 by pj

Here’s another photo from the stack I bought, abandoned in a junk shop. They all seem to have a connection to the Disney, Vesty, Taylor and/or Watson family from Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK. This guy looks like a cheeky chap, doesn’t he? Is he one of yours.

The one with the book…
Posted on: July 4th, 2011 by pj

I finally went and did it and published my book!! All the research from the last *cough* years, all down on paper…in a book! Of course, since its been written I’ve found out more information but that will have to wait for volume 2!

If you’d like to buy it first of all, thank you!! Second, click the picture below for the various options. Thirdly, thank you!!




Here’s the blurb:

“Chasing Rainbows is a layered portrait of an English family spanning a time period from the early eighteenth to the late twentieth century.  The author begins with her six time great grandfather  William Rainbow, born around 1710 in the village of  Cotesbach,  Leicestershire and traces his descendants to the present day.  This genealogical journey takes in the world of the Victorian actor, the Edwardian journalist, the Passive Resister and the gory details of a shocking crime.  We travel from farming in rural Leicestershire via silk weaving in Coventry to the USA and Australia.

This account of an ‘ordinary’ family peopled with extraordinary characters is based on primary research collected by the author during the last 25 years with the individual stories set solidly in historical context.  Written originally to organise and preserve her research Paula Jeffery’s genealogy stories took on a life of their own and her interest in history and detective work combined to produce a compelling account of family life during the past 300 years.

The journey was peppered with mysteries.  What was the motivation for a young man to run a razor across the neck of his girlfriend while she slept?  Why did a mother and daughter both die suddenly at the age of twenty-one?   (more…)