Sunday, May 16, 2010

Some Questions for a Sunday Morning in May...

Right now, my side project is working on researching the life and myriad of accomplishments of Col. Dudley Acland Mills [pictured, left, as a youth in the 1860s] and his family. In trying to gain insight into Col. Mills, I hope to find helpful connections to the family of his brother, Rev. Barton R. V. Mills. I can't even begin to tell you how exciting for me it would be to gather more information that would be useful in fleshing out the lives of Mills family members of our interest here!

Right now, I'm still creating a "Dudley Mills Time Line and Genealogy" that will enable me to order his life story and family, and help generate research questions for me to pursue. Meanwhile, here are some questions about the Mills family that remain unanswered. Perhaps we may soon be able to shed some light on them:

Arthur Mills, M.P.:

What happened to any letters, papers, family photgraphs, etc., of Arthur Mills after his death? Were they given to the British Library, a university, or are they somewhere?

What kind of man was he known to be? The only reference I can find to him personally is extremely scathing, but his friends included J. S. Mill and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Barton Reginald Vaughan Mills:

Under what circumstances did Barton's first wife, Lady Catherine Hobart-Hampden, pass away? Why did Barton leave his vicarage upon her death and live with his father for three years?

Why did he and his young family (children aged 14, 5, and 2) leave Cornwall and a secure rectory on Bude for London to become assistant chaplain of the Chapel Royal (Queen's Chapel) of the Savoy? And why did he leave there in 1908?

Is there any reason that Barton Mills would have been quickly and almost forgotten by the Ramsay side of the family, the kin of his wife, Elizabeth Edith Ramsay? Why was she forgotten as well?

When did Edith pass away, under what circumstances, and how did it impact the children?

How long did the family live at 7 Manson Place, London, after the 1920 death of Sir George Dalhousie Ramsay, with whom they resided? When did they move there?

What kind of man was Barton Mills? What was Edith like? What were they like as a couple and as parents?

How was Barton making a living after he left the Savoy in 1908?

Did he leave any letters, papers, research, or memorabilia behind? Are there any photographs of him or his family?

Arthur Frederick Hobart Mills [Barton's elder son];

Concerning Lady Catherine's death, how did his mother's passing affect young Arthur, as a youngster and as a man?

Was Arthur close to his family, as a youth, as a young man, and later in life?

What sort of fellow was Arthur? What was his relationship with his father? His stepmother?

What was Arthur's wedding to Lady Dorthy Walpole like? Was the wedding ring really made from the bullet that was removed from his ankle in the First World War?

What were the circumstances of Lady Dorothy's car accident returning from Ascot, and what was the reaction of the Mills family? Did they help care for her?

Did Arthur end up living in Hampshire because he had relatives there?

How did Arthur's marriage to Lady Dorothy affect him and the family? Was she close to the Mills family?

Did Arthur's profession—crime, adventure, and romance writer—bother his family at all?

At age 52, Arthur joined the war effort for 8 days in 1939, then relinquished his commission. Under what circumstances did he leave the military (health, age, etc.)?

Why did Arthur fail to write a book from 1940 to 1947 anfter writing at least one book per year from 1920 to 1940 (health, the war, etc.)?

I hate to ask, but what were the circumstances of his divorce in 1932-33?

To whom did the copyrights to his books go?

George Ramsay Acland Mills:

What sort of fellow was George? What was his relationship with Barton?

What was his relationship with his sisters?

Was there any special interest put into George's schooling?

Under what circumstances did George become a schoolmaster?

Is there any reason George moved from school to school—even to Switzerland to teach—during the late 1920s and early 1930s? Did Vera go with him to every locale?

Under what circumstances did he meet his wife, Vera Louise Beauclerk, who had been born in China?

How posh was his wedding and reception?

What were George and Vera like as a couple?

Was George involved in the General Strike in 1926?

What was George's reaction to his father's passing in 1932?

What was the family's reaction to the publication of his first book, Meredith and Co., in 1933?

What was George doing between 1933 and 1938, the years between his first and second books?

Why, suddenly, did George publish three books in two years (King Willow, Minor and Major, St. Thomas of Canterbury)? Why did he then never again publish a book?

What were the circumstances of him returning to the armed forces in 1940 as a paymaster?

What were the circumstances of Vera's death in 1942? What was George's reaction to it?

Under what circumstances did George leave the armed forces due to "ill health" in 1942? Did this have anything to do with the passing of Vera?

Where was George during the war, and where did he live and what did he do from 1943 through his arrival at "Grey Friars, Budleigh Salterton, Devon," where he presumably passed away?

How did he come to work at Ladycross Catholic Boys' Preparatory School in Seaford, Sussex, for a term in 1956? Did he live nearby?

Did he live with or near Agnes and Violet Mills in Devon?

What were the circumstances of his death in 1972?

To whom did the copyrights to his books go?

Agnes and Violet Mills:

What sort of girls were they? Were they devoted to their mother? Their father? Both?

Had they opportunities to marry? What was it like for young women, daughters of a clergyman, in London during the years between the World Wars?

Where were they schooled?

How were they involved in the Girl Guides?

In 1938, they were living in "Cadogen Gardens, S.W." London with "Barbara Mills". When did they relocate there? Who is Barbara Mills?

In 1947, they donate the papers of the late Sir George Dalhousie Ramsay, their grandfather, to the British Library. Under what circumstances was this made, and where were the girls living when they made the donation?

When did the girls move to Devon? Did they live with George or nearby? What was their relationship with him as youths and as they aged?

What were the circumstances of their passing in Devon in 1977?

What happened to any papers, letters, memorabilia, ephemera, and/or family photographs they may have been holding?

If they held any family copyrights (Barton, Arthur F. H., George) to whom did those rights go after the death of Agnes and Violet?

General Question:

How is Brig. Gen. Giles Hallam Mills related to this family?

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