Harriet is my great-grandmother, on my mother’s side.
Harriet Ann Ibson was born in 1880 in Kirby Underdale, a village in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Her father, Thomas Welburn Ibson, was a farm labourer and her mother, Eleanor Blakelock, was the daughter of a shoemaker.
The couple had ten children, although sadly at least four of them died in childhood. Eleanor died at just 44, from tuberculosis, when Harriet was seven years old. By then, Harriet had already seen three of her siblings die.
From the age of five until thirteen, Harriet went to the local school and then appears to have gone into service, working as a housemaid for families in nearby Huttons Ambo, Pickering and Scarborough.
In 1909, when she was 28, Harriet married Alfred Farmery. Alfred was 24 and a goods shunter for the London and North Eastern Railway. He was one of 15 children born to Charles Farmery (a farm labourer, then railway signalman) and Elizabeth Lodge.
The couple lived in Norton, Malton. They had two daughters, Alice Irene (‘Rene’, my grandmother) and Freda May. Tragically, in 1919, Freda was killed in a road accident at the age of only four.
Harriet was widowed in 1948. She lived for another twenty years, before she died in 1968, aged 88. She outlived all of her brothers and sisters.
Harriet’s recipe book is the shortest of all three and starts in 1903.