I have been so preoccupied with my treasure of family pictures that I have not posted in a few days. Well, not only were there pictures but I also received a few dozen tart pans. According to family history, the pans were made by an ancestor with the surname Hancock in Lincolnshire, England about 1810. My great great grandmother brought them over to the United States when the family immigrated. The tins must have been very special to pack them up to bring to a new life in America.
Hancock Family tart pans circa 1810 England
My uncle told me that these were used when he was growing up for mincemeat tarts at Christmas. I cannot wait to try making those and carrying on the family tradition this year for Christmas. And I need to do some more research into the Hancock name.
My great great grandmother Emily Shields was born in Bilton, Yorkshire, England on October 25, 1868 to William Shields and Fanny Clark. She worked as a nanny and then later a governess for a local estate. I have been trying to find its name and have had a hard time. Her father William was a gardener and family lore says the head gardener. I have been able to find the Shields family residing in Bilton from 1861-1901 in the English Census. Emily married Thomas Tyson Nixon in 1890 in Hull, East Riding Yorkshire. I think of the television program “Downton Abbey” whenever I imagine their daily life as servants who dared to dream of a better life than one of servitude. The courage to dream of a life different than the strict hierarchy of a noble house makes me think of how special my ancestors must have been to think things could be different.
Nixon Family in the US
I have letters from Emily’s son, Leonard Nixon, that were left to my mother that talk about their time in Yorkshire and the trip to the US in 1907. He explains that times were tough before they left as there was a recession in England. Thomas was a stone mason but work was scarce and he left the family for the United States first in 1902 get a job and make money to send back to the family for passage to America. He only returned once in 5 years to visit the family as he made money to better the lives of his family. It was on this return trip that Emily conceived their final child Leonard. Thomas Nixon came back for the whole family back in 1907. It was then that he met his son Leonard for the first time.
Leonard Nixon, Thomas Nixon, Emily Shields Nixon and Emily Nixon Schwarz 1951
Thomas and Emily did a wonderful thing by taking that leap of faith and immigrating to America to have a better life than what was to be had in Yorkshire. They lived the American dream to raise a happy and successful family.
A day late but I thought I would post this tidbit anyway.. Don’t want to wait another year.. On February 10, 1840 Queen Victoria married the love of her life, Prince Albert at St. James Palace. They went on to have nine children and were devoted to each other until Albert’s tragic death in 1861. Queen Victoria went into mourning until her death 40 years later in 1901.
Portrait of Queen Victoria Holding Portrait of Prince Albert, negative July 1854. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013
The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal, Princess Alice, the Queen, Prince Alfred, negative February 8,1854, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013
Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Portrait, July 1893, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013
Whenever I think of a real Toby jug, Royal Doulton is the maker who comes to mind. A few years ago I bought these 4 miniature jogs as I just love the British pottery style. I wrote about my grandpa’s mug in another post over the winter and my love of the style and memories it evokes.
I never really examined the bottom makers mark on the miniature jugs I had bought until recently. They are marked “Artone , Made in England. So I did a google search to see what I could find on the history of artone pottery. The company was formed on the Ellgreave Pottery site which had been in existence since 1921 which was located in Burslem, Staffordshire, England. Artone Pottery leased part of the facility in 1946 and continued until 1993 when Artone ceased to exist.
Miniature Toby Jugs
Old Lady with Goose
Artone Makers Mark