Family Names

Monday, 15 January 2018

Living through the generations - The Ring

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Week 3 (Jan 15-21): Longevity

Myrtle May Bassett married Lincoln James Todman on 21 Sep 1929 in Balaclava.[i]

Figure 1 Photographer Unknown, Wedding portrait of Lincoln and Myrtle Todman the day after their wedding. Location unknown possibly Caulfield or Balaclava, Victoria Australia, 22 September 1929, Myrtle Sharp's Private Photo Collection currently held by Sandra Williamson [B039]

The ring that Lincoln gave Myrtle on their wedding day had two round brilliant cut diamonds with a row on each shoulder of the setting of 3 small diamonds.[ii] Unfortunately Lincoln died in 1938 leaving his wife Myrtle with two young children.[iii] Although there is no clear picture of the ring an image does survive as part of a portrait of Myrtle in her wedding gown.

Figure 2 Photographer Unknown, Cropped depiction of Myrtle Todman’s hands to highlight her engagement ring, location unknown possibly Caulfield or Balaclava, Victoria Australia, 22 September 1929, Edited by Sandra Williamson [B049e-ring]

Next generation

When Myrtle’s daughter Judith married John Williamson in 1962 they did not have an engagement.[iv] Myrtle was upset to see that her daughter didn’t have an engagement ring, so she decided to give Judith the ring that her father had given to her when they were married. When Judith received the ring she had it reset as she explained, “I wanted something different and a bit more modern than my mother’s original ring design”.[v]
John had given Judy an industrial emerald-cut sapphire that had a small chip in one corner. Judy had two larger diamonds set either side of John’s sapphire, dispensing with the 6 smaller diamonds preferring a more streamlined design.

Figure 3 Photographer Lang Williamson, ring originally owned by Judith Williamson nee Todman, digital image, 2017, Sandra Williamson’s Personal Collection.[W148]

On learning that Judy had not incorporated all the diamonds in the ring she took the remaining diamonds and had an eternity ring designed on a thin band to sit beside Judy’s more modern engagement ring.
Figure 4 Photographer Jesse Page, Eternity ring, 14 January 2018 [w149]

Judy wore the engagement ring, the eternity ring and the wedding band as a set, even after John left her for his third wife in 1964.

The Third Generation

When Judy’s daughter Sandra turned 40 the ring was passed to her.

Sandra’s daughter is now impatiently waiting until she turns of age (40) so that she can be the wearer of the ring.

This post is part of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge hosted by Amy Johnson Crow

[i] Marriage Certificate of Lincoln Todman & Myrtle May Crump Bassett, married 21 September 1929, Registrar of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia, 9531/1929.
[ii] Judy Williamson conversation with Sandra Williamson(author), Regis Frankston, 13 January 2018.
[iii] Death Certificate Lincoln James Todman, 11 June 1938, Registrar of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 15005/1938
[iv] Certificate of Marriage for John Palmer Williamson & Judith May Todman, (23 November 1962, Presbyterian Church Mentone.
[v] Interview of Judith Williamson with Sandra Williamson, Frankston, 13 January 2018

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