Jenny Holden

Travel Tuesday – Luther Espley (1915-1989)

Travel Tuesday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

Do you have images, quotes or stories about trips your ancestors or family took during their lives? Or have to ventured out on travels to your ancestral homeland as part of your genealogy research?

Luther Espley is my wife’s 2nd cousin 1x removed. He was born on 20 April 1915 in Burnley, Lancashire, to parents John Espley and Sarah Booth.

Luther married Edna Adelaide Currin in Burnley on 11 May 1940 and they had one son, John in 1945.

The family decided to emigrate to Los Angeles, California, in 1947 – following in the footsteps of Luther’s step-sister Jenny Booth.

Luther passed away on 11 January 1989, and Edna on 1 August 1993, both in Los Angeles.

I have just come across the following article from the Burnley Express of 8 March 1947 about their impending departure.

Burnley Express - 8 March 1947.pngGoing Where The Sun Will Shine

To seek sunshine, a better standard of living and better prospects for the future, Mr Luther Espley, his wife, Mrs Edna Espley, and their 19-months-old son, John, will leave England in three weeks’ time for California, where they will live near Los Angeles.

Mrs Espley and the baby leave this week-end for Liverpool, and the family will sail from Southampton in ss America on March 28th. In America they will join Mr Espley’s sister, who went to live there 22 years ago. Now Mrs Jeny Holden, she was well known in Burnley as a tailoress in Briercliffe Road, where she took a shop after having been employed at Primrose Bank Institution. In Burnley she will be remembered as Jenny Booth. Mrs Holden, who came to Burnley on a visit 10 years ago, is connected with the Lancashire Society of Los Angeles.

Mr Espley is at present employed in the Water Department testing office. He joined the department on leaving school. Being a local Territorial he was called up with the 52nd LAA Regiment, RA, on the outbreak of war, and served in France, being evacuated at Dunkirk. Later he served with the Eighth Army throughout the desert campaign, and was released from the Forces in December, 1945.

“During my travels,” he says, “I was attached to the American Fifth Army in Italy for a long time, and their descriptions of life in America fitted in with what I am looking for. We are going because we think living conditions are better there, and there will be better opportunities and prospects, especially for the youngster. And there’s plenty of sunshine all the year round.”

I have lots of admiration for Luther, Edna and John, especially for their adventurous spirit. I hope that they enjoyed their new life in California.