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Topics - Black Adder

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The Common Room / Searching GRO Index
« on: Sunday 16 September 18 11:44 BST (UK)  »
Is there a quick way to search the GRO Index?  I have a marriage entry for a relative in 1911 and have the page and details.  I do not know whom he married.  Is there a way (short of paying for a certificate) to find the appropriate page in the same book to narrow down his spouse?

I have tried in vain to find out what happened to my grandfather who died sometime before 1935.  Here is the story. Rather long but necessarily detailed. Apologies in advance.

I was born and raised in Hastings as were my parents.  I have been researching my family tree for some time but recently made some new and intriguing discoveries.

My mother was born Gwendoline Mabel JONES in 1912.  Her parents were Arthur Lloyd JONES and Isabella Mabel JONES (nee RAYMOND).  Arthur was born in Rhyl in North Wales in 1876 and Mabel was born in London in 1886.  I do know that both of them were on the stage.  Not only is this shown as their profession on my mother's birth certificate but I also have some family photographs of them in their stage personae.

Arthur's stage name was Harry MAY and Mabel's was Isa MAY.  They went variously under the names of "The Two Mays" or  "Isa and Harry".  Isabel also went under a separate stage name of Isa BERNARD and sometimes Betty BERNARD.  Arthur was sometimes Harry MAY and also Eddie MAY. All these names appear on photos that they have signed for well-wishers. Until very recently that was the sum total of my knowledge about my maternal grandparents. My mother died in 1997 and my father in 2007.  (Why don't we ask them more while we still can?)

Very recently I decided to do some investigation on the archives of "The Stage" newspaper and was thrilled to be able to uncover about 150 separate references to their appearances in Music Halls up and down the country from 1903 to 1925.  They styled themselves as a Comedy Duo.  One of Isa's photos says "Comedienne".  In adverts from "The Stage" she was also termed a Soubrette.  The various appearances were in well known theatres all over England, Wales and Ireland. I have no records of them appearing in Scotland. Strangely in one cutting they appeared as Arthur Lloyd and Maida Raymond (using his christian names and her maiden surname).

Harry and Isa were married in Camberwell, London in 1908 but were appearing together as early as 1904. Before 1904 Harry seems to have started his acting career in North Wales where he was born.  I am not sure what took them to Hastings but there is a reference to them both appearing there in 1905. Hastings was, of course, one of the birthplaces of the seaside musical and variety show which may account for their presence.
I also recall my mother saying that they were also Pierrots and one photograph shows a Pierrot Troupe.  The Stage newspaper contains references to "The White Coons" (1908) and to "Uncle Tom's Eastbourne Minstrels" (1913). 

So far so good!  However, the plot thickens.  My mother later had a step-father called Thomas Edwards.  He was born in London and emigrated to Canada in 1914.  He enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and sailed back to Britain - en route for the Somme - in 1915.  At one stage he was evacuated to the UK and spent time in hospital in Seaford but returned to the Front in September 1918. Shortly thereafter he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field.  Thanks to friends and descendants of his Canadian Battalion I have a cutting detailing his award. He was finally discharged in April 1919.

I never knew how my mother came to have a step-father. Then, by chance, I found reference to the birth of Thomas Edwards' son James in March 1919.  Obtaining a copy of the birth certificate I was very surprised to find out that his mother was "Isabel Edwards formerly Raymond". The birth of his son to Isabel was registered in Hastings in May 1919 which will have been just after his discharge.

So why did Isa and Harry split up? The records from The Stage show them performing together right up to 1925.  More mysteriously, did Isabel and Thomas actually marry?  The reason I ask this is that, after further research, I uncovered Isabel's death certificate. This shows she died in Hastings in 1935 aged 47 and shown on it as:

"Isabel Mabel Jones, commonly known as Edwards.  Widow of Harry Jones an Actor (Stage)."  I am still trying to find a record of Arthur (Harry's) death.

Sussex Lookup Requests / Double Lodge Hastings
« on: Wednesday 16 December 15 10:38 GMT (UK)  »
The 1886 marriage of one of my relatives (Henrietta Pollard) to Edward Sinden shows their residence at the time of marriage as being St Helen's Double Lodge which is on the Ridge.
Does anyone know anything about this house and how it might be that both were apparently living there at the time of their marriage? Were they lodging there or was it the practice to name a temporary residence for the purposes of the marriage?

Henrietta is shown in the 1881 census as the Parlourmaid for George Griffin, a prosperous leather merchant who had a house in St Helen's Wood. Did he also own Double Lodge? It certainly doesn't look big enough to be his main house which the census shows as having 12 residents.

Incidentally, Henrietta was descended from a long line of Bootmakers from Woolpit in Suffolk. It is possible to conjecture that George Griffin was a leather supplier to the Pollard Bootmakers and that he provided Henrietta with a job.

Denbighshire / Pub History
« on: Saturday 12 December 15 17:28 GMT (UK)  »
I have posted here about my maternal Grandfather - Arthur Lloyd Jones - and my researches have lead me on to his brother (my Grand Uncle) Herbert Lloyd Jones (b1888).  It would seem that he was at one time a publican at the New Inn Bryneglwys near Corwen.  The cutting below from the Corwen & District Notes in 1916 gives some detail.
Does anyone know the history of this pub or its publicans (in particular Herbert) or any information about his brother in law and his mother.  His mother was Mary Lloyd Jones although I can't find any reference to her living at Bronderwen.

Denbighshire / Tracing Grandfather Arthur Lloyd Jones from Rhyl
« on: Friday 13 November 15 22:55 GMT (UK)  »
My maternal grandfather Arthur Lloyd Jones was born in Rhyl  16 Mar 1876. I believe he died in 1926 but can find no record.
His father was Joseph Jones who married Mary Lloyd Roberts from Llanwrst (hence Arthur's middle name).  Joseph was a travelling tobacco salesman and since Mary's father owned the Albion Pub in Llanwrst he probably met her on his travels.

My grandfather was on the stage in Edwardian Music Halls in a comedy duo act with his wife Mabel Isabel Raymond.  The story is complex. They called themselves variously The Two Mays, Bernard and May, Harry May, Eddie May, Harry Jones, Isa May, Isa Bernard etc.

Arthur started his acting life in Rhyl with Pierrots.  I have a family photo showing a Pierrot group outside what looks like an off-licence. I am not sure which of the Pierrots (if any) is my grandfather but the one on the left of the front row looks rather like a later stage photo (shown below also). The seated lady and gentleman could be his parents.

Can anyone throw any light on the picture? Does anyone recognise the Off Licence or any of the people?

Many thanks

Alan Pollard

Denbighshire / Llanrwst Family
« on: Saturday 21 January 12 18:31 GMT (UK)  »
I am trying to get to grips with some of my ancestors!  My Grandfather was Arthur Lloyd Jones born in 1876 in Rhyl.  His parents were Joseph Jones and Mary Lloyd Jones formerly Mary Lloyd Roberts.

Mary was born in Llanrwst in 1847 but I cannot find any details of her parents.  She turns up in the 1861 Census as part of the household of David Lewis Williams at the Albion Public House in Denbigh Street Llanrwst.  Here she is shown as the daughter with a range of siblings, some called Williams and some called Lloyd Roberts. (The census recorder variously showed the name as Lloyd, Ll, L or J). There is also a Robert Roberts aged 29 living in the house who might be an elder brother or just possibly her father (though he would have been 15 when she was born.)

I wonder if perhaps the Lloyd Roberts children were orphaned and taken in by David and Jane Lewis Williams.  The name Lloyd has passed down the family as a middle name right through to my late Uncle Arthur Glyn Lloyd Jones.

I have attached a picture of the relevant part of my family tree.  Any clues to any of this would be most appreciated.

Alan Pollard

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