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Frances (Cordingley) Hoffman's very skimpy bio:

Sparse Biographical Notes These sparse biographical notes may help to make sense of some aspects of my life and work. Included at the bottom of this page are a few relevant details in Norwegian. Since my Norwegian language skills leave much to be desired, I am grateful to Tone (Padderud) Dammen and her daughter Toril Dammen-Dahl for editing it for me. Happily, my early attempt, which swam with unforgiveable grammatical errors, is now a thing of the past.

My Family Background The Cordingley family roots lie in Yorkshire, but my branch migrated to industrial Manchester in the mid 19th century. Later generations moved westwards to the vicinity of Cadishead, where I was raised. Schooling, as indicated in some of the Cadishead school images found on this site, took place locally and at Manchester. Family history research takes me to Lancashire, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Ireland and Scotland. On the Hoffman side, to Germany, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, United States and Canada. Lots of fun!

 

To Norway

1963 took me to Norway, where I spent a wonderful year working and living in the splendid environs of Asker, and later at Slemdal, a suburb located on the outskirts of Oslo from where my bedroom window offered a brilliant view of the famous Holmenkollen Ski Jump.  In those days, the Fred Olsen Line provided relatively cheap and enjoyable crossings between Newcastle and Oslo on the sister ships “Blenheim” and “Braemar.” (There must be another research project here!)

Newcastle to Oslo, summer 1965
My last trip on the Fred Olsen Line between Newcastle and Oslo, stopping also at Kristiansand of course, took place around the end of June or, more likely, early to mid July 1965. I was returning for a brief holiday with Thor and Ingrid Padderud at Asker, parents of my deceased fiancé Per Erik, who had died in 1964. Unfortunately, I cannot recall on which of these two Fred Olsen vessels I made that particular crossing. However, I have very nice memories of wonderful times with young Norwegian companions, who disembarked at

Kristiansand, but who nevertheless ensured this be a truly unforgettable voyage. As with most young people, cost was a factor, so accommodation in the bowels of the ship was in order - not exactly steerage conditions of the 19th century, but far removed from the splendour of life on the higher deck. Still, my mouth waters yet at the thought of those sumptuous Norske Frokoster (Norwegian breakfasts), always an enjoyable feature of life on the Blenheim and the Braemar, albeit in their cramped 3rd-class dining rooms. Front and centre was always delicious Gjetost, cheese made from goat's milk that takes on a delicate sweetness with caramel overtones. This cheese remains one of my absolute favourite foods. I'm very pleased that my local Mennonite cheese shop will special order it just for me! YUM!

Passenger Lists As an aside, it seems most unfortunate that British ships' passenger lists ceased to be retained after 1960, hence there seems little I can do to confirm details of this particular crossing, nor to remind myself of the names of my companions - which is too bad! As British Genealogist Stephen Wright remarked, "As is so often the case these days, it is far easier to find records of events that took place a century or more ago than it is to access something which mentions your own name!" How very true! In any event, after a lovely holiday and delightful camping tour with the Padderud family, I returned to Manchester and to my work at Laski House, caring for children with disabilities.

Marriage was followed by family life in Canada, where my interest in local history led to the position of Oral Historian with the Kitchener Public Library. Over a number of years I recorded hundreds of interviews, each helping to document the history of Waterloo Region. My interest in 19th century social history led to research projects culminating in numerous publications, both genealogical reference materials and books portraying life in 19th century Ontario, Canada. (See publication list below.)

Latest Project Published in November 2011 by The American Mathematical Society and co-authored with Elaine McKinnon Riehm, Turbulent Times in Mathematics: The Life of J.C. Fields and the History of the Fields Medal - is a work that spanned several years, and that bridged many of my interests – and which led me back to Norway for research at the National Library and at the National Archives. Elaine, a brilliant writer and researcher, deserves a lot of credit for steering this project. Her farsightedness has resulted in a true understanding of J.C. Fields and his time.

A number of additional projects remain on the back-burner - simply waiting for time to work on them.

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Til Norge 1963 førte meg til Norge, hvor jeg tilbrakte et fantastisk år jobbet og bodde i fantastiske omgivelser i Asker, og senere på Slemdal, en forstad som ligger i utkanten av Oslo der utsikten fra soverommet mitt var den berømte Holmenkollen hoppbakke. På den tiden tilbød Fred Olsen Line relativt billige og hyggelige krysninger mellom Newcastle og Oslo på søsterskipene ”Blenheim” og ”Braemar”. (Det må bli et forskningsprosjekt her!)

Newcastle til Oslo, juli 1965, Fred Olsen Line
Min siste tur mellom Newcastle og Oslo på Fred Olsen Line fant sted i begynnelsen av juli 1965, muligens rundt den 8., selv om jeg kan være en uke eller så feil. Jeg var tilbake for en kort ferie med Thor og Ingrid Padderud i Asker, foreldrene til min avdøde forlovede Per Erik, som døde i 1964. Dessverre kan jeg ikke huske på hvilke av disse to Fred Olsen fartøy jeg gjorde den aktuelle overfarten. Men jeg har veldig gode minner fra en fin tid med unge norske passasjerer som gjorde dette til en virkelig uforglemmelig reise. Som med de fleste unge mennesker, var prisen avgjørende, så overnatting i nedre del av skipet – ikke akkurat som laveste klasse fra det 19. århundre, men fjernt fra det luksuriøse livet på høyere dekk. Likevel, jeg får fremdeles vann i munnen ved tanken på de overdådige Norske Frokoster, alltid et hyggelig innslag i livet på Blenheim og Braemar, selv i trange 3. klasses spisesal. Midtpunktet var alltid deilig Geitost, ost laget av geitemelk med en delikat sødme og en overtone av karamell. Denne osten er fortsatt en av mine absolutt mat favoritter.

Som en bibemerkning, det ser uheldigvis ut som at britiske skip sine passasjerlister ikke har blitt beholdt etter 1960, det synes derfor som det er lite jeg kan gjøre for å bekrefte detaljer fra min bestemte reise fra Newcastle til Oslo i juli 1965, eller for å finne igjen navnene på mine følgesvenner – hvilket er veldig synd! Som den britiske Genealogist Stephen Wright bemerket, ” Som så ofte er tilfelle i disse dager, det er langt enklere å finne registreringer av hendelser som fant sted for et århundre eller mer siden, enn å få tilgang til noe som nevner ditt eget navn!” Hvilket er veldig sant! Uansett, etter en deilig ferie og herlig camping tur med familien Padderud, reiste jeg tilbake til Manchester og til mitt arbeid ved Laski House, med omsorg for barn med nedsatte funksjonsevner.

Ekteskap ble fulgt av familieliv i Canada, der min interesse for lokal historie førte til stillingen som Oral Historiker ved Kitchener Public Library - Kitchener Offentlige Bibliotek. Over flere år spilte jeg inn hundrevis av intervjuer, hver med på å dokumentere historien om Waterloo Region. Min interesse for det 19. århundres sosiale historie førte til prosjekter som kuliminerte i en rekke publikasjoner, både materiale om slektsforskning og bøker som skildrer livet i det 19. århundre i Ontario, Canada. (Se publikasjonsliste nedenfor.)

Siste Prosjekt The American Mathematical Society vil publisere min siste prosjekt i slutten av 2011. Skrevet sammen med Elaine McKinnon Riehm, JC Fields og historie Fields-medaljen er et arbeid som har vart i flere år, og som krysset mange av mine interesser – og som, heldigvis, førte meg tilbake til Norge for forskning ved Nasjonalbiblioteket og Riksarkivet. Elaine, en briljant forfatter og forsker, fortjener mye av æren for å lede dette prosjektet. Hennes langsynthet har resultert i en sann forståelse av J.C. Fields og hans tid..

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School Photos

I am grateful to the individuals who helped to swell my meagre collection of school photographs by forwarding images and for kindly agreeing to have them placed on my website.

A huge round of thanks also goes to Vera (nee Cropley) Chamberlain of Cadishead, who has done an incredible amount of work in assigning names to faces in many of these old school images.  Others have also helped in this regard : John Slavin, Michael Teale, Dorothy Lockwood (nee Gater), Christine Helps (nee Dickinson), Carolyn Lucinski, Gillian Costello (nee Nelson), Janine Johnson, Ron Lynch,  Vivien Stubbs, Margaret Whitehouse, John Whitworth, Geoff Millar, Kenneth Williams, Maureen France (nee Davies), Ian Robinson and Eileen Williams. In addition, my cousin Keith Ogden kindly forwarded to me the image and pupil names of the Junior School form 4A (1950-51), a class that included my older brother David.

NEWPHOTO! Cadishead Junior School  (Form 4A - 1950-51) 

NEW PHOTO! Cadishead Infants School (class 2 1948)

Cadishead County Primary School (Nursery Class, 1948)

Cadishead Infants' School : 1951, Festival of Britain, Class 3

Cadishead Infants' School: 1951, Festival of Britain, Class 2

Cadishead Infants' School, Mrs Whitfield's Class 1950

St Teresa's School, Irlam, 1957

Cadishead and Irlam

Click on the following link to Alan J. Taylor's fabulous website for additional images and information about Cadishead and Irlam schools :


PUBLICATIONS

 Across the Waters

 Much to Be Done: Private Life in Ontario from Victorian Diaries 

 Steeped in Tradition: A Celebration of Tea 

 Hoffman Photo Index, Vol. 1 

Waterloo County Naturalization Register 1853-1872

 Chalmers Presbyterian Church, Winterbourne,Ontario.  
     Baptisms/ Marriages Covering the period 1838-1939 

 Genealogical Information Extracted from the "Elmira Signet" Relevant to the Counties of Waterloo-Wellington and Beyond, Vol. I. 1893-1894. Vol.II.1900-1902 

 Upper Canada Naturalization Records.  Wellington District 1842-1849 

 Births Marriages and Deaths from the Berlin Daily Telegraph 1856-1864 

Doon and Hespeler Presbyterian Churches: Record of Baptisms 1856-1944

ARTICLES

    "The Story of the Lamb," Culinary Historians of Ontario , Summer 2003, No. 37, pp 3-4.
    "Recipe Compilations and Collections," Culinary Chronicles: The Newsletter of the Culinary Historians of Ontario , Spring 2008, No. 56, pp. 8-11.

GENEALOGY LINKS

 FAMILY GENEALOGY (COMING SOON - well...one of these days)

     Hoffman 
     
     Milne
SEND ME EMAIL:  fhoffman@kw.igs.net


Site maintained by Dr. Sarah Hoffman
Last updated07 Aug 2012