Wednesday 22 April 2015

An update on the beautiful vintage journal and its owner Lilian Maxwell.

As you all may remember the other week I posted about a charming little poetry journal that I bought which had some wonderful little drawing inside as well.

The owner of the journal was a Lilian Maxwell, as she rather artistically wrote her name in the front.  She also must of invited others to draw sketches in there because these people put their names in and dates of their sketches.....

There was also a Ruth Maxwell who drew a rather impressive picture of a fairy like creature carrying a tulip aloft and I thought that this was either her mother or a sibling.... It turns out it was her sister and she was a very clever lady, she actually went to University ( which back in the early 1900's was something!

Well because of the dates in the dear little book I searched the 1901 Census for a Lilian Maxwell and particularly with a Ruth Maxwell in the house hold as well....There was only one!

On the night of the 1901 Census in the household of 153 Wormit Road in Forgan in Fife, Scotland there is:

Kate E Maxwell wife age 44
David K Maxwell son  age 5
Eric Maxwell son age 9
Lilian Maxwell daughter age 6
Ruth Maxwell daughter age 13
Georgina G Ross general servant age 18

There is no mention of Lilian's father who was not there that night, but he was still alive as Kate Maxwell is wife on the census not widow....

This all makes sense with the little drawing in the book of St Andrews and a poem as well that was drawn and written in there by a E R Burnett 1909.  The poem was by Andrew Lang... It is a stunning page in this little book.

I then went back to the 1891 Census and found this family ( Lilian was not born yet but her sister Ruth was 4 at this time.)
Her father was called David Chalmers Maxwell and he married her mother Kate Ellen Maxwell (nee Holmes in Hull in 1886!

I am now looking for Lilian's Birth and on the census the place of Birth states England not Scotland so I have some more digging to do. I believe by the time Lilian was born they had left Hull and Sulcoates where Ruth was registered born. The 1901 Census says she was born in 1895 but it does appear that she was so digging about was the order of the day and she was infact born a year earlier!.  I now know her mother and fathers names so when I get the right birth I will know it...... ( will keep you updated on this)

In the meantime there is this that I have found via Genes Re-United and put out a message to see if anyone had access to more than I did and could they help and a lovely lady came up trumps! (Being that their young life seems to have been lived in Scotland from 1901 at least)

Children's Bazaar.—A children's bazaar organised by four schoolgirls, Elaine Hopkins, Nellie Lawson, Rachaei Scroggie. and Lilian Maxwell, was held at Highfield, Wormit, the other afternoon. There were two stalls, one devoted to sweets and confections, and the other to general goods, mostly the work of the girls and their friends while afternoon tea was served to the visitors. The enterprise was entirely successful with the sum of about £4 being collected, which was forwarded to Comerton Home.
01 June 1905 - Dundee Evening Telegraph - Dundee, Angus, Scotland

Norman Bell Anderson, Dundee, with second-class honours in Philosophy. Ruth Maxwell. Wormit, with second-class honours in Mental Philosophy. Jessie Braid, Kirkcaldy, with honours in English. _ Alexander Hynd
15 October 1908 - Dundee Courier - Dundee, Angus, Scotland 

The Directors of Dundee High School have received a legacy of £500 from the trustees of the late Mrs Kate E. Holmes or Maxwell, Westmount, Wormit, in memory of her son, David Kenneth Maxwell. Tho legacy is " to be dealt with by the directors in the form of a bursary in whatever method they may determine.
01 May 1930 - Dundee Courier - Dundee, Angus, Scotland
(Kate E Maxwell nee Holmes is Lilian's mother!)

David C Maxwell.


David Chalmers Maxwell, merchant, Westmount, Wormit .... £1,775 15 s 7d
01 January 1930 - Dundee Courier - Dundee, Angus, Scotland

Did David marry again?

MAXWELL—DOWNlE.—At Dundee 11 October David C. Maxwell, Wormit to Louisa M G Downie, Carnoustie.
12 October 1922 - Dundee Courier - Dundee, Angus, Scotland

DEATH OF DUNDEE MERCHANT Many on both sides of the Tay will learn with deep regret of the death after.........
.... of the Dundee office. took up residence in Wormit, where, in the quietly helpful way characteristic of him, he identified himself with many of the interests of the place. He was one of the promoters of Wormit Bay Golf Club, in which for several years he
03 October 1929 - Dundee Courier - Dundee, Angus, Scotland

Obituary of David C with a photo. He was married twice and lost his younger son in the war. He was the head of DC Maxwell & Co Ltd, sack and twine merchants, Dundee. ( I have a copy of this now .. this is Lilian's father) He was a very clever man and well liked.  He had his own business and was the head of his own firm D C Maxwell & Co Ltd which was a twine merchants.
His father was an author and wrote 'Bygone Scotland'  David Maxwell had three other brothers called Alexander, Charles and George all with literary gifts too.

Kate Ellen Holmes
Birth 29 Mar 1857
Death 1 May 1921 (David did re marry but he himself died in 1929 just eight years later)

David Chalmers Maxwell
Birth 25 July 1858 in Gloucester St., Portsea
Death 2 Oct 1929

Ruth Maxwell
1887 –

Erick Maxwell
1891 – 1979

Lilian Maxwell
1894 –

David Kenneth Maxwell
1896 – 1917 ( He was killed in the 1st World War)

This little poetry/sketch journal is starting to gather provenience and I am so happy that I found it.  I really hope I can just get Lilian's Birth certificate... Then I will be one happy custodian of this rare little book!

Well I hope you have enjoyed this little update and now I am away to my Stitching room and have lots of hand stitchery to get on with....

Have a wonderful day yourself and Happy Stitching!

Picture of part of a drawing from the little journal.
Photo taken by Sally Calve.


  1. What a magical find and how wonderful to have fallen into your clever hands! I do hope you find the certificate. Have a happy Thursday xx

    1. I have the certificate now Jane it has now arrived! ... Found her Birth x

  2. Beautiful web of discovery... I am particularly charmed by the Children's bazaar !

  3. Beautiful, this book should be published :-)

    1. It is beautiful but there are a lot of blank pages so it would only be about 10 pages... Not sure a publisher would look at it. I am happy to be the custodian of this dear little book and want people to share it with me though....


  4. hello I am related to Lilian. Can I contact you privately for more information you might like?