Saturday, October 28, 2006

Faux Family Ancestor Project

This project was coordinated by the lovely Laura Duet.  Laura invited several of her art friends to create a faux family ancestor album.  She gave each of us a photo from her wonderful vintage collection, and an album page.  We each decorated the page and created a short bio for our "relative" on the back.  As you can see, my lovely lady had a forlorn look so I was hard pressed to create a believable background.  After contemplating her haunting disposition, I named her Margaret Alice Ratcliffe and began creating her story.


Margaret Alice Ratcliffe, daughter of Sir John Ratcliffe and the Lady Anne Harrison, was born and raised in Gloucester County.  At the age of 18 she left the familiar English countryside for France , where she trained for a nursing position with the Red Cross. While working in a military hospital in Lyon, she was approached by one of her patients, a widower by the name of Captain John G. Percy, and was persuaded by Captain Percy to accompany him back to America to work as governess and tutor to his three young daughters. After arriving in America, and overcoming a prolonged illness, Margaret found that she enjoyed spending time with the Percy girls…and their father.  After several months, the Captain proposed to Margaret and they were immediately married.  Unfortunately, their happiness was short-lived. While on a transatlantic voyage to meet Margaret's parents in England, the ship the Percy family was traveling on was mistakenly targeted by the German Navy and sank.  Margaret and the First Officer's wife were the only two survivors.  After a short rehabilitation she was able to safely return to England , but was never heard from again.