On finding Grandma

I recently sent an email to South Bristol Cemetery and Crematorium, the contents of which was:


I am hoping you may help me locate the grave of my grandmother which is hopefully in your cemetery.

Her name at the time of her death on 8 December 1985 was Elizabeth Purchase, however she was born as Eva Lichtenstein and this has been written Lichenstein on her death certificate.

Her family home at the time of her death was 15 Hastings Road, Bedminster, Bristol hence my enquiry to your cemetery.

I’d appreciate any help you can provide me.

Best Regards

Barrie Callender

I soon received an email asking me to confirm her name at the time of death and I responded that it was indeed Elizabeth Purchase. A week after I responded, I received another email which said:

Hi Barrie

Thank you for confirming.

Elizabeth Purchase lived in Clevedon aged 78 yrs, she was cremated at South Bristol Crematorium and her ashes were interred into our ‘ A Garden’ – exact reference is A54/9.

I have attached a map of our cemetery and also a grid reference of the A Garden.

I have never written to a cemetery before, and I am pleasantly surprised by not only how quickly they got back to me, but the care they showed in providing information about my Grandmother to help me clarify if indeed it was her. This is a cemetery in current use and I really wasn’t expecting this level of service. Thank you South Bristol Cemetery and Crematorium!

It appears their is nothing to mark where my Grandmother, Eva Lichtenstein, has been interned. Although I work about 100 miles from where I live, the cemetery is just over 7 miles away from where I work, so there is no excuse not to go there. Thanks to what my Mum has told me, what I have found out and also what I read in the book Tony Purchase wrote, I have discovered a lot more about my Grandmother, but there is still more to know. I have the major events but I want to know more about who she was.

Technically, I have found my Grandma, as I promised my Mum, and as satisfying as that should feel, there is more I want to know.

For now I have added reference A54/9 in the ‘A Ggarden’ of South Bristol Cemetery and Crematorium of places to visit before I die, or hopefully before next Sunday, which marks the anniversary of her death.

Some progress with Esther Solomons

I contacted Sue Harper and Eric Holdijk regarding the documents to share about Esther and actually found it easier to share all the documents I have in Google Docs. Erik’s manager is going to the British Columbia Archives in December and may be able to get hold of the probrate for Esther, which I am interested in reading.

Erik has already sent me the Coroner’s report, which I found both useful and interesting. Useful, because it told me Esther’s husband, Harry Killas, had pre-deceased her. I had assumed he was still alive when she was murdered. It was interesting because I have never seen a Coroner’s report report. All those times, one reads in a newspaper about what a Coroner’s report has said, and I never knew what they were like.

I have never seen a probate either so I hope I will be fortunate enough to get a copy of Esther’s.

Blog changes

I decided to just go ahead and put this journal section of ramblings out there and see what happens. After a burst of activity to produce two entries, there then followed a lull before the third entry you are reading appeared. I guess regular just isn’t something I do.

I have decided there really isn’t any point in implementing a google search on the site yet so will leave that until there are a few more posts. The categories and tags can wait for the same reason.

I need to write another post about a member of the family even if it is incomplete.