Sunday, 24 February 2013

Great Grandma's crochet

Florence Olive Moore nee Holt was my Great Grandma and she was born in Aston, Warwickshire in 1879.  She immigrated to Australia in about 1911 and lived in Melbourne with her brother for a year or so before marrying my Great Grandfather Thomas Moore in Fremantle, Western Australia in 1913.  

Tom and Olive on their wedding day.

Before coming to Australia, Florence or as she like to be called Olive, worked as a domestic servant, a cook and a parlour maid.  The English Census records make for fascinating reading.  Life in Australia after she was married was very challenging for her and the Western Australian countryside with it's flies, heat, dry and harsh climate vastly different to that of her country of birth.

Here she is a photo of her with my Grandma in her arms.

Those whites look very white to me which would have been no mean feat to keep clean with all the dust and dirt around.

Great Grandma was a keen crocheter and from what I've seen, she mainly concentrated on fine crochet work, edging doilies and the like.  My Mum lived with Tom and Olive during the 2nd World War together with her Mother and Sister while my Grandfather was away overseas in New Guinea.  After the morning chores were done and lunch over, Olive would settle  down to spend some time crocheting.  

Years later when Olive found out that her Grandaughter (my Mum) was pregnant with her first child, she crocheted some little fine booties.  I can only imagine the blue touch was added after she found out the baby was a boy.

You can see the detail of the button hole in the bottom of the photo.  The booties were closed with a little pearl button but has since been lost from this booty.  The pair to this booty has been lost over time too.

The underside of the booty.

A little piece of fabric was sewn in the inside of the booty so the baby's toes wouldn't get caught in the fine work of the crochet.
You may have noticed the very interesting object I photographed the booty on.  It's one of Olive's shoe trees which she brought with her when she came out from England all those years ago.  I thought it was a lovely piece to use as a backdrop to her crochet work.


Here is a photo of Olive in her older age.

Mum tells stories how Olive would fall asleep and have a little doze while she was crocheting.  She would wake up and continue crocheting intricate lace work without missing a stitch.  My Grandfather or my Great Grandfather would tease her that she had been asleep which she hotly denied.

I'd loved to have known this amazing lady but unfortunately she died before I was born.  I feel privileged to have some of her work and personal items.  I have more of her crochet work to show you but I'll save that for another post.

Anne  xx


  1. So lovely to see my Grandma on the blog Anne.I have many happy memories of her both from my childhood and latter days. She was able to come to our wedding and also lived to hold her 1ST great grandchild who the booties were made for.

  2. I've often thought about early settlers to Australia and how they made it in such a landscape. It's wonderful for you to have such family history in your knowledge base. The photos of your grandmother's crochet are poignant.

  3. Delightful post. What a wonderful woman and interesting family history.
    What an adorable bootie - I love how Olive lined it.
    I have my grandmother's first shoes - tiny soft leather slippers.

  4. What a lovely post, it's a shame you never met her but what wonderful stories, photos and gifts that have been passed down the generations.

  5. How lovely to have those artefacts as well as the lovely photos of her. I can see a little resemblance!

  6. What a lovely story and how wonderful that you still have the little booties she made.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  7. What an absolute treasure to have items that your Great-grandmother made. And the stories and pictures are such a lovely addition also. Thanks for sharing Anne. :)

  8. She is still beautiful in her old age.
    Love from Mum

  9. Jenny- Ruby Slippers25 February 2013 at 09:53

    What a lovely post Anne, I'm fascinated by family history and miss my grandparents and their stories of older generations. What beautiful crochet work too! x

  10. A lovely post about a beautiful lady and such history from her! Those exquisite booties too! Puts anything I do to absolute beginners' class! I love to hear the stories of people, their beginnings in Australia,not knowing what they were going to find here AND leaving family and friends behind in the UK for ever. Thankyou for the interesting post
    Love Mrs A

  11. Beautiful post Anne. I love family history - its so interesting to know snippets of the ancestry we are born from. How sweet to have that fine crochet work too. I often wonder about how European ancestors coped well when arriving in a country such a constrast to where they'd left. I have a feeling some of them relied upon such delicate handwork to remind them of home and the finer things in life.

  12. I think these stories very beautiful family. I loved reading it. Congrats.
    KatiaVasques - Brasil

  13. How lovely that you still have these things from so long 'young'crocheters have so much to thank our grandparents for?
    Daisy J


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