What do you get when you cross a genealogist with a classic car owner?

Photo by ‘TehJazzi Photography’.

You get this; I learned the name of the first owner of my car, back in 1966 from the Jaguar Heritage Trust. All that was recorded was a single initial, the surname and the town, abut 20 miles south of London. Let the sleuthing begin. I figured the first owner will not have been a youngster, and so with a wide margin for error I guessed at his or her age and then searched what is known as ‘The 1939 Register’ in the town named for a person matching this name and initial. Two possible entries caught my eye; one for a tobacconist, and one for a shipping manager. I was drawn to the latter because this was not a cheap car, and this register recorded his full name, his date of birth, and his wife’s name. From this I was able to search more and sadly learned he had passed away 3 years after I bought the car, however, I also managed to find he had two sons; the hunt was on.

Knowing the names of the sons and year of birth, I then searched electoral rolls, starting in the same town, and then the county and one entry stood out. A letter was written, enclosing a photo of the car and apologising if I was wrong, but enquiring of the car’s history if correct. Guess what happened? An email arrived…how fab is this?

Dear Mr. Cartlidge,

Very many thanks for your letter 4th October. I am indeed the son of xxxxx xxxxx and I am delighted to hear that you have my Father’s old car. I must say it looks in marvellous condition, did you do the restoration?

I have some not very good photographs, of the car, which I will have printed and I will be pleased to send them to you.

My Father, drove up to the age of ninety, he loved this car and how wonderful that it is still working. I remember well, that my parents always drove down to the South of France and Italy, not only on business, but also on holiday. It gave my Father so much pleasure, I don’t think he would mind the change in colour.

Before this car he had other Jaguars, a keen supporter of these great cars.

I will be in touch, as soon as I have the photos printed.

Very many thanks for getting in touch.

Kind regards,

xxxxxx xxxxx


Picture arrived; The original owner (deck chair right) with his family having a grand day out at a ‘point to point’ meeting in the summer of 1966.