I've been concentrating on researching Mark's family, rather than mine, as it is so much to find records that pertain to them. I did a little happy dance today when I discovered the family of John William Ashton, Mark's maternal grandfather (father of Constance Mary Ashton), in the 1911 Census of England and Wales!
I had previously found them in the 1901 Census of England and Wales and, following much jubilation then too, I had been able to really increase the number of branches in the Eden family tree: Mary's father had seven siblings! Many Branchings indeed, as the possibility of seven more branches of investigation were opened up to me. I didn't give this aspect of the family much further thought at this point, however I noted that I still didn't have a maiden name for John Ashton's mother, who was listen only as Rachel M Ashton, nor did I know her full name. However I ordered birth certificates for both Mark's grandparents - John William Ashton and Gertrude Constance Musk - from the General Register Office (GRO) on the 15th of May and I am hoping (much) more will be revealed when these arrive (ETA is first week in June!).
The 1911 Census revealed loads more information about the family, including that Rachel's middle name was Mary. This name was passed on to their first-born daughter, Ethel Mary Ashton, and subsequently by John to his daughter, Constance Mary Ashton (who in turn passed it on to Mark's sister). It's so wonderful to see that continuity, and the realisation made me pause for thought and really appreciate the history of this family and the people represented by these names on a piece of paper (or on my computer screen, as the case may be). Interestingly the name that is passed down on the male side of the family, even though it appears to have skipped a generation, is William: it is Mark's middle name, and it was the middle name of both his mother's father and grandfather. More continuity.
I decided to find out what was happening in the UK at the time this family was filling out their census form (and it was so special to see Thomas Ashton's handwriting, as the head of the household, on the form) and discovered that the suffragette movement was in full swing... and getting quite violent! I had already read that some women were refusing to fill out the 1911 Census form as a means of protest, choosing to be invisible in the population count as they were invisible in terms of their political choices and right to vote, but I had no idea how heated and dangerous it became. One article I found particularly fascinating I discovered on website of The Guardian newspaper, called 'When Suffragettes Were Out For The Count'.