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Marysia’s Blog - Going into family history lock down

Updated: Jul 8

On 21 March I published my last blog about achieving my first reduction of two-colour lino printing. On 23rd March, our Prime Minister put the UK into lock down. Contrasting statements that highlight this surreal ‘wartime’ corona virus era. These are crucial times for us to understand, support our Front-line medical workers to the military, from our sheltered ‘black-out’ at-home environments. We constantly look to our parents, grandparents for education, guidance and to understand how they persevered through their lives to a positive future. Now is the time for your children to Face-time or Skype their parents and grandparents and record their conversations. They can listen to and question them. They can draw and write about early youth and experiences from old photographs their grandparents hold up to the Face-time screen. This is a way they can sustain a genuine 'live' connection with their families and in time, learn and develop their own positive future. They can create their own family history album that will be a keepsake - moments of social history recorded forever.

I keep remembering my father’s three philosophies which he drummed into me while growing up - “Your Number One in Life is your Health and well-being because when you are ill, you cannot look after your family and loved ones”, “Life is People” and “Travel is the Best Education in Life”. I’ve written articles on these titles over the last eight years.

Photo of my mother and father's wedding 23 June 1942 at St Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham. Mietek's brother Zbysz to Left of Dad, 304 Squadron Leader Dabrowski & great aunt Minnie Boden. Right of Mum, Fred & Lily Nelson, and ?? .

Below left: Ryszard Wysocki, my cousin, with my father late 1990s. Below right: My mother Sonia and brothers at her house in West Bridgford.

Mieczysław Zipser 1912 - 2001. His eulogy, written by his godson Krys Cietak, is on my LinkedIn profile should you wish to read it, detailing how he lived through his youth and battling wartime experiences in Poland to a new, healthy and positive life in England. https://www.linkedin.com/in/marysia-zipser-b4b89668/ See/read eulogy under Features.

In North America tracing your family roots is the number one hobby; in the UK it is number two, after Homes & Gardens. It was my own family ancestry on my father’s side that prompted my initial Zipser search way back in the early 1990s, after receiving a sort of ancestry.com letter from the USA. Knowing about my father’s visit in early 1960s to Zipserburg / Spis Castle / Spisskyhrad in Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) and to his home in Lwow Poland (now Ukraine), with my eldest brother John, then 18 years old, made me determined to unravel more about my ancestry.

Aleksander Kamil Zipser, my grandfather, as Sokol (Scout) in Polish Cavalry.

It has taken all those years up to my first and only visit to Lwow, now Lviv, Ukraine in 2013 with John and his wife Christine, courtesy of Slav Tsarynnyk of Lviv EcoTour https://lvivecotour.com/. It took me a year to research and prepare this historic trip with Slav, and it will take me more years into the future to complete our ancestral history from Ukraine through to Saxony, Germany, where the Zips originated in the 1300s. After the Black Death, peaking in Europe 1347-1351, the Zips colonised what we know now as Central Europe. Search and read about the Zips and the Zips/Spis region of Slovakia via the Internet.

Zipserburg / Spis Castle / Spisskyhrad, Slovakia
Central Europe c.1360. You will see SAXONY (left of Silesia) and ZIPS region (top of HUNGARY) are clearly marked. From Philips' New School Atlas of Universal History, edited by Ramsay Muir and George Philip. Published 1928 by George Philip & Son Ltd. This book was awarded to my mother in her West Bridgford, Nottingham, school days.

Earlier I had set up and operated European Ancestry Trails & Events (EATE) 2004 - 2008 with Chris Slade, now retired tourism ambassador & businessman (of the Nottingham Experience), and Jan Curd-Pelling (of Heritage Placements 1980s with Norman Hudson MBE, & later Teamworks) who sadly passed away March 2012. She said to me, "Marysia, always think global!" EATE is global tourism.


During 24-26 June, 2005, I helped organise with Sir Richard FitzHerbert Bt and Lord Stafford, the FITZHERBERT 880 Celebrations and Family Gatheringof 150 FitzH/herberts from around the world at their Derbyshire and Staffordshire family homes. This event was featured in Country Life magazine July 28, 2005. See part of the feature below and reference from Sir Richard FitzHerbert here detailing more about the event. The letter is also on my LinkedIn profile page.

European Ancestry Trails & Events has been dormant since 2008, so maybe it will rise again and have a new birth in future years. Maybe ancestry.com will become a future ACT & EATE investor and sponsor, who knows! Please check out your Libraries Inspire websites to get you started with your family heritage search which will take you back to 1840 when UK's first modern census was produced. From then on, census records were produced every ten years. In fact there are census records going back to 1801. https://www.inspireculture.org.uk/heritage/ . There are many family history search sites, the main one being https://www.ancestry.com/. Start investigating, you and your family members will be hooked! Please tell me how you get on and ask me any questions you like, or leave any Comments below.

While I continue to write my series of books “The Adventures of Tag and Miss Zippy”, blog and craft, as well as monthly podcasting with Art Culture Tourism / ACT (next one 28th April), I wish you all a creative and enlightened ‘Grand Tour’ search with your families during lock down. #Staysafe #stayhome #stayhappy Marysia Zipser Beeston, Nottingham, UK ​marysia@artculturetourism.co.uk Find me on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn