For family history research census returns give an interesting view of successive generations of a family. An email received from a resident of Pamber Heath, Tadley, near the Hampshire village of Silchester, expressed interest in the census transcriptions for the Portsmouth family. He had in his possession a sketchbook of Clara Portsmouth and most generously offered to post this treasure to me. It was a delight to receive this lovely collection of drawings and watercolours.
To ensure it is preserved into the future, the Victorian sketchbook has been donated to the Hampshire Cultural Trust where it now has a new home (July 2016).
In the 1881 census Clara Portsmouth, aged 17, was living with her parents in Spencers Wood, in the parish of Shinfield, south of the town of Reading in Berkshire. Clara Portsmouth died on 29 September 1961, aged 97, at her home "Warbrook", Spencers Wood where it appears she had lived, unmarried, all her adult life (death information from the National Probate Calendar).
The small hardcover sketchbook (width 8.5 inches x height 5.5 inches) has an inside flyleaf signed ‘Clara Portsmouth, The Hill, Three Mile Cross’.
Selected sketches can be viewed: