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Messages - deejayEn

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I've solved the mystery of not finding a marriage for Mary Webb to Thomas Cove, it seems she previously married a William Ferguson who died and so she married Thomas Cove as Mary Ferguson.

Mary AM Cove can't be the Mabel who lived with Richard Holford because she was still married to Thomas Cove until 1930 when he died but a Mabel is listed as living with Richard Holford in Kentish Town as early as 1920. I suspect this is his sister.

Many thanks to both of you. It's much appreciated.

I found the son on the BDM and think I have found his marriage.

I couldn't find a marriage of Mary Ann Webb to Thomas Cove but did find them on the 1911 Census in Haggerston, he was 14 years older than her. He was a painter/decorator like her father so they may have worked together. It is odd that after she married Richard Holford she isn't on the voting register.

As Charlotte was an actress it is little surprise that she shaved a few years off her age (she played  a schoolgirl in 1902 at the age of 33).

I am still tying to locate what happened to the other daughter Dorothy and the origin of the other Holford family members on the 1930s voting register in Camden which is a mystery. I suspect that as he was a seaman maybe Richard Holford had a second common law wife and another family somewhere and his children came to live with him when the mother died.

Carole - many, many thanks, I think you've solved it. So her real name was Maybelle Constance Cynthia Holford. I had looked for the name Cynthia with various surnames but it never occurred to me that it wasn't her first name. And it fits because I know that her father Richard had a sister called Mabel so she was probably named after her, albeit with an American spelling, although she was clearly known as Cynthia.

I am doing this research on behalf of my friend and he said that his aunt, who was the same age as her cousin Cynthia, was always told that she was unofficially adopted by another family and went to live in America but it seems that this was a lie, probably told because when Charlotte died her family did not approve of her relationship with Richard as a married woman (her husband William Wills was still alive). It seems that they then wanted to adopt Cynthia and the migration story was told to them to shut them up. It's a shame because my friend's aunt always wanted to know what happened to her but never found out and she died aged 101 a few years ago.

To answer your questions Charlotte's other two children were elsewhere in 1911 - William was in the army stationed in Regents Park Barracks (although he ends up marrying and briefly living with Richard Holford and his family) while Dorothy's whereabouts are unknown. I was always intrigued by her second name Zillah which is pretty unusual but it didn't help me find her after 1901. Cynthia/Maybelle's father Richard was away at sea in 1911 and worked on-and-off as a ship's steward until 1939 when he retired.

I have looked though the voting registers from the 1920s-1960s and have traced where Richard P Holford lived until his death in 1962. But what is odd is that various other people with the surname Holford live with him including a woman called Mabel (who I assume to be his sister) but it is not clear who they are - their names are Frederick, Masie, Constance and Richard (Jnr). Also I know he married Charlotte's sister Mary Anne Cove in 1938 but for some reason she does not appear on the voting register. Any help would be gratefully received.

I'm looking for information on what happened to a girl called Cynthia Holford, AKA Cynthia Wills or possibly McArthur She was born circa 1908-09 in Liverpool, England. Her mother was Charlotte Wills (nee Webb) who was born in London in 1869. She married gardener/florist William Wills in 1886 and had two children William Robert b1887 and Dorothy Zillah b1894. She desired to be an actress/performer and around 1901-1902 found success on the stage under the name Mamie Stewart appearing in musicals by Leslie Stuart and later formed her own theatrical company appearing in revues and pantos. Because of her new profession she separated from her husband around 1902 but during a voyage overseas a few years later met Richard Pierce Holford who was a steward on the SS Carpathia and later other ships. Although she never married they had one child who was Cynthia. I have found her and her mother on the 1911 census living in West Ham in East London and bizarrely Charlotte is now using the name Mamie Holford (a combination of her stage name and common-law husband's name) and claims to be an American citizen. She seemingly spent some time touring in America but never became a US citizen. Her daughter Cynthia Holford is living with her and is listed as being born in Liverpool. This fits in with her father Richard as he came from Liverpool-Birkenhead but he is not in the Census and was presumably away at sea. Charlotte/Mamie and Cynthia are living with friends, this was not their family home, in fact I don't know where her home was at the time. I have manged to piece this together over many years but it's what happened next that is the real puzzle. Charlotte died in 1913,  we think possibly in childbirth. Her son was in the army by this point and we don't know what happened to Dorothy. But Cynthia was just 5 or 6 and we believe went to live with a family (possibly called McArthur) in the West Country and later was adopted by a family, possibly a branch of the same family, in America and was taken to live there. But we don't know where. Can anyone help me trace what happened to her?

Thanks once again to all who have helped with the research and links, especially Minniehaha who has given me loads to go on. My apologies for not replying sooner but I have been away.

What amazes me is the similar Christian names between some of these families and my grandmother's family in London which leads me to suspect that they were in contact with each other.
Lucy2 - I did receive the Caroline Alexander letter thank you.

Thanks once again to all who helped. I now have a lot to go on.

Lucy2 - I would be interested to see that letter from Carline Alexander, if you get a chance to look at it. Also it is interesting what you say about George Dommett owning land in NZ. In England his father owned a public house/inn in Axminster, Devon and I believe he died in 1862 so it's possible that George was left some money in his will.

I suppose there is a connection between butchery and being a shepherd and his father was a fellmonger (a dealer in animal skins.). And maybe he thought work in NZ would be easier to find if he said he was a shepherd, but I previously I found a listing on a family history site about the Dommetts which mentions a butchers shop in Marton, so I assumed that he carried on the same trade.

Thanks to all of you. This has already given me a lot of information including those wills and that v useful newspaper site and next time I sign in to Ancestry I will try and explore further. I'm hoping to find someone with some photographs.

What's odd is that I know George Dommett was a butcher when he worked in London but on the emigration listing he is down as a Shepherd and on his funeral notice and will he is described as a carrier.

I researched my Grant ancestors many years ago but I only recently found out that my grandmother's grandfather had a sister from a previous marriage. She was Ellen Mary Grant born 1836 in Winfrith Newburgh in Dorset. Her parents were Thomas and Ann Grant.

Her mother died in 1838 and she was bought up by her grandparents in East Stoke near Wareham in Dorset. She moved up to London in the 1850s and on the 1861 census is living with her aunt and uncle Caroline and Alex Alexander who ran a bakers shop in Islington (her father died in 1855). She later married George Dommett who worked as an assistant in the butchers shop next door. They had two children Emmanuel and Edith and in 1873 they emigrated to New Zealand.

My grandmother, who was very knowledgeable about her Grant ancestors and helped me enormously when I started my family history research, knew nothing of this branch of the family, at least she never mentioned them. I assume she didn't realise she had relatives in New Zealand. Sadly she is no longer alive but I would be interested to know what happened to George and Ellen Dommett after they moved to New Zealand if anyone knows anything and if any descendants are still living. I believe Ellen's cousin Caroline Alexander also emigrated with them at the same time.

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