Wednesday 12 October 2011

#TheGallery: An Inspirational Person

Tara has been inspired by hearing about inspirational mums to ask us who has inspired us. I haven't had a chance to really trawl through the family archives for this one but I'd like to show you all my 2x great grandmother Jane Kellett (nee Dewsbery):

Born in 1861 she was the youngest daughter of Theophilus Dewsbery who ran the Railway Hotel in Skelmersdale, Lancashire. She married at the age of 17 to Mark Kellett in 1879 (possibly due to the fact they had a child on the way!). He was an engine fitter in 1881 but at some point after her father's death in 1880 Jane and Mark took over the Railway Hotel.

In total they had 6 daughters and 1 son. Tragically their only son Mark died in an accident at home at the age of 10. Shortly after this Mark senior died at only 46 leaving Jane with 5 daughters still at home and a hotel to run. This was still an age when women's lib was a long way away and there was no state support.

The bar of the hotel was frequented by miners working in the coal mines nearby. Jane was very strict and would only let them buy a beer if they came in with clean hands and faces. This wasn't a hygiene issue but more a case of making sure they'd been home for a wash first and given their wives some of their pay!

Jane died in 1945 when my dad was too young to remember her. All I have is the memories of my Granny who told me the stories I have put in here. She sounds like an incredible woman doing well against the odds and was truly an inspiration. 


  1. How lovely that you Gran was able to pass on at least a few memories of your Great Gran. She sounds like a wonderful woman :)

  2. Definitely a story worth telling and not just on your blog. She has such character in that face and looks very stylish too.

  3. what a great story thank you for sharing, the generations of the past are o inpirational x

  4. Wow, what a fantastic ancestor to have. She sounds like a fantastic lady.
    I love hearing stories about the characters back in my families history. It all seems so exciting to think about where you came from.

  5. I love this post, great photo - amazing woman. Imagine doing all that.

  6. Such a great tribute to an amazing woman. My Nana was in a similar position - her husband died when her youngest child was only a newborn (and she had seven children). She had to bring up all her children on so little but they are all amazing people with their own families now and she did an incredible job!

    I love that she used to insist on clean hands and face so the wives would get some of the pay first - what a very wise woman!!

  7. What a fantastic tribute. Thanks so much for sharing


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