Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Biography: Rosanna Shepherd



Rosanna Staines was sixth of seven children born, in 1892, to Edward (Ned) and Jessie Staines. Her siblings were Albert (father of Dolly), Edie (mother of Ethel), John (father of Jessie and Rosie), Jane (who died in a diptheria epedemic), Freddie (who died in the same epedemic), and her younger brother Ernest (father of Patricia, Maurice and Freddie). Her father, Ned, was a hotelier who developed typhoid fever and, as was the custom, spent his sick days on a ship moored out in the River Thames.

Rosanna's brother John was a police officer, Ernie was born when when Ned was released from hospital and Jessie was 49. Rosanna was taken out of school when she was 12 years old to care for Ernie while her mother helped in the family's bar. They didn't weigh babies in those days but ERnie was so small he could be put in a pint pot and sink out of sight! Ernie was deaf and a "little simple" all his life. But he was a good athlete and won a fair amount on the Irish Sweepstakes. His three children were all normal.

Rosanna married Captain George Shepherd and was mother to Rosanna, Eileen and Edward. She died October 16, 1980, out living her husband by nearly 30 years.