Saturday 15 October 2016

Mary Louise HURST (1919-2016)

It is with sadness that I have a report the death of the founder of the Halsted Trust.

Usually known as Molly, Mary was born on 1 February 1919 at Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex and married Raymond in Maldon, Essex on 3 August 1944.She passed away on the evening of the 12th October 2016 with her family with her.

It was her husband Raymond (Ray) that the trust is named after and it was through his initial effort that the Trust came into being. His desire had always been to find an organisation that would be prepared to continue his research into the Halsted name and its variants. Unfortunately Ray died before the it could finally be resolved but it was by Molly's generosity and efforts that the Trust finally came into being. Ironically it is Molly's family that the trust is named after.

Her mother was Dorothea Mary ATKINSON, who was the daughter of John Todd ATKINSON and Harriet Ann EVERY-CLAYTON. It is the EVERY-CLAYTON's that eventually lead back to the Halsted name.

I had the pleasure of meeting her on many occasions in the early days at her house overlooking the open countryside. Then the research papers were still held with the family in Sussex and I used to visit with Jeanne Bunting, the then Research Director, to start the cataloguing of the collection and trying to work out what to do with it all. There was always coffee and biscuits and time for a chat.

After the collection was moved to London I still met her several times, usually at Halsted Sunday.

Possibly one of the better known people in her tree is Charles Bruce BAIRNSFATHER, yet I suspect that many today could not name him. However I suspect that many will be familiar with his creation - the character "Old Bill" from World War 1.

I have the details of the funeral if anyone is interested. Please contact me by email at