General Chat

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Don't understand her.

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Sharron Report 14 Jan 2020 20:53

I recently watched a programme on YouTube that was about Hannah Hauxwell.

When she first turned up on the television in the late seventies she was shown leading a very basic and hard life on the Yorkshire moors. She kept several cows and most of her days were spent tending them with no modern amenities.Water was carried up to their pasture in buckets and she sold one calf a year which was her total income and had to be eaked out.
When she made some cash from the first programmes she had electricity connected to her home and bought some more cattle.

Call me cynical but I am left wondering what the woman was hoping to achieve. There was no profit in her cattle, she only sold a calf once a year. Other than that the cows just gave her a great deal of work for no return.


Caroline Report 14 Jan 2020 21:24

If I remember the show correctly didn't she just like her cows as much as anything? I think her family had always more cattle in the past maybe she thought she needed to get more...


maggiewinchester Report 14 Jan 2020 21:43

My gran used to work for a farmer, so she could keep a smallholding of 12 milking cows, about 6 breeding sows and chickens.
She lived in an old house (previously empty) owned by the farmer.
It had running water (downstairs to 1 sink only), and I think, electricity (again only downstairs). I used to take a candle to bed, and the doors upstairs were plywood with layers of wallpaper on them. It had an inglenook fireplace.
Looking back, it was one step up from a medieval hall.
Gran probably didn't make any profit after paying for food and bedding for the animals (both cows and pigs were brought in at night) - she also had a dog - but she loved her animals.


Rambling Report 14 Jan 2020 23:11

I don't understand? Genuinely. What is there to be cynical about? Some people don't want or need more than she had, yes very tough, a life not suited to most of us, but for a few it would be all and everything that made them happy, in a way that all the mod cons and comfort in the world could not make up for. What better achievement than to be content, happy even, close to the land and 'of it',not constantly dragging up how hard done by you are or feel because you haven't got this or that.


Sharron Report 14 Jan 2020 23:51

But she was slaving away, through the night sometimes, to look after cows she did not need to have Maybe she did love her cattle but it was still a very strange thing to do to buy some more to work even harder for.

I can understand keeping a couple of cows she had become attached to but I really can't see why she bought more. Cattle are not pets. She was not being close to the land, the land was untouched, she was just a slave to her cattle and then acquired some more which brought her nothing but more work.


Island Report 14 Jan 2020 23:56

I don't understand your need to understand Sharron


Sharron Report 15 Jan 2020 00:03

That's very true, Island, but the poor woman was slaving away , devoting her entire life to a group of cows. I can understand the simple life and the frugality, even holding on to a couple of beasts you are fond of but I just cannot understand bringing in a few more to do nothing but cost you money.


maggiewinchester Report 15 Jan 2020 09:48

Perhaps it was the only life she knew.


Island Report 15 Jan 2020 10:11

She lived to 91 so her lifestyle wasn't doing her much harm.


Rambling Report 15 Jan 2020 10:58

My definition of "Close to the land" doesn't mean working on it or changing it Sharron, sometimes it means leaving it alone, or just appreciating that it IS that way (as it had been all her life more or less I expect), working with the seasons not against them, (OR battling the elements and winning to some extent by getting the barn door shut lol) knowing when the clouds mean it's going to rain /snow etc.

Cattle are not pets to some people no, nor to her probably, but an animal doesn't have to be a "pet" to love it does it? Some people just like animals for what they are ,maybe the solidness of cattle appealed, maybe their predictability or lack of it, maybe the big brown eyes? Perhaps if she'd been brought up on a riding stables instead she would have favoured horses? Who knows :-)

For whatever reason Hannah found cattle to be her 'thing', and finding the thing that makes you content is what we all hope for isn't it? quite often that's not people or pets or even an 'easy' life.


JoyLouise Report 15 Jan 2020 11:11

I am by no means certain but I seem to recall that Hannah eventually moved into a community (a village?) where she lived with all mod cons.


Dermot Report 15 Jan 2020 11:42

Achievements of some people just like Hannah stand so tall, a statue in their honour can never match up.


Rambling Report 15 Jan 2020 12:02

She did JoyLouise.

Quote from :

"She said that she had never missed not being married as she had always been blessed with something to do from opening her eyes at the crack of dawn until she retired to bed with a book, around 9pm. She said that the animals and the land were her companions and these two aspects of her daily routine always made sure that she never got above herself."