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Thursday, 17 March 2011


Thank you so much Lynn at Present Letters for giving me this lovely award

Now the rules are to list 4 truths and 1 lie. I will reveal which is the lie on Saturday.

So, some weird and wonderful things about my family ...

1) One of my ancestors, Katherine de Mattos was Robert Louis Stephenson's cousin (and rumoured lover). She was also an author writing under the pseudonym of Theodor Hertz-Garten. Robert Louis Stephenson dedicated Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde to her and included in the dedication a part of a longer poem he had written to her,

It's ill to loose the bands that God decreed to bind;
Still we will be the children of the heather and the wind.
Far away from home, O it's still for you and me
That the broom is blowing bonnie in the north countrie

2) My great great uncle was born in 1831 - the same year that Isambard Kingdom Brunel started building the Clifton Bridge (aged 24 unbelievably). Work stopped on the bridge in 1843 because of financial and political problems. Brunel went onto other projects and my GG Uncle started to work for him in 1852 When Brunel died in 1859, my GG uncle was appointed as project manager to complete the construction of the Clifton Suspension bridge as a memorial to Brunel. The bridge was opened in 1864. I guess the Civil Engineering genes came from somewhere!

3) I have already told you about my great great great great grand father who was a Portuguese count who left Portugal during the Peninsula War in the king's retinue to travel to South America (and given the number of de Mattos in Brazil, I'm guessing they went there!)

4) My first cousin was editor of the Financial Times, London for a time and was listed in the top 50 most influential people in the world

5) Another of my relatives Edward AFT de Mattos once owned the Great Eastern Steamship Company (not sure when exactly, but he died in 1835 according to the grave I found in a local cemetery). He bought the Eddison Steamroller company for his son Joseph Hilbert to run, although according to a book charting the history of the company, he was a little more interested in the horses!

So I am going to offer this lovely award to Jenn at You know .. that Blog because Jenn runs the awesome Sensational Haiku Wednesday which is just so much fun.


  1. Well I hope these are all truths because they are all fascinating! And would love to hear more esp about #1. So I hope it's the truth. And I hope you will expound!

  2. Oh crap, no idea which one isn't real!
    Congratulations on the award.

  3. I like the list of truths and lies. Looks like you're into genealogy. I'm guessing the lie is no 5 it's the AFT thing, you see. :O)

  4. Hmmm, I'm gonna say #2. There just aren't enough 'greats' to reach that time in history. But what a fantastic family you have!

  5. I love all your relatives! LOL!!! I especially hope no.1 is true cos that's just so romantic!!!

    Take care

  6. Thanks for visiting everyone.

    Kittie - my uncle was born in 1910 - my father was the youngest of a long line and I was a very late "surprise". So I can understand your scepticism.

  7. Oh, you're good....I have no idea which is the lie. I'll eenie-meenie-moe it and guess #1. That one seems the most obviously true because of the name, so maybe it's a fib!

  8. What an interesting family history you have! I can't tell which is the lie. Congrats on the award. You have another one waiting for you on my blog. You've received it before, but I wanted you to know that I've really enjoyed reading your blog.

  9. A very interesting family history, holy cow! I have no idea, but to be different, I'll guess #4. If I ever get up the courage, I'll start playing the Sensational Haiku Wednesday. But I need to get used to Book Blurb Friday first.

  10. congrats on the award! I have no idea which is the lie- LOL I want to believe them all.

  11. Holy Moly - that makes for an interesting family tree. #4 must be the lie as it is the least detailed. :D

  12. That's fascinating Dom. I'm jealous all my relatives are farmers, going way back.


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