Author Topic: Oscar Graffunder - Hackney hairdresser b 1879  (Read 1029 times)

Offline Hilaryldn

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Oscar Graffunder - Hackney hairdresser b 1879
« on: Thursday 05 May 22 11:56 BST (UK) »
I am trying to find out more about Oscar Wilhelm Graffunder (various spellings), who was born in Berlin in 1879, but seems to have moved to London as teenager and was running a hairdresser at 366 Mare Street, Hackney in the 1911 census.

He married Mary Ann Jones at St John's, Hackney in 1905. They had triplets - Eva, Cyril and May - who were born and died in August and September 1906. Their son, also Oscar Wilhelm, was born at Navarino Mansions, Dalston in April 1914. What happens to them then? Presumably, Oscar senior would have either had to go back to Germany or was interned. What happens to Mary Ann and baby Oscar? Were they considered German by marriage and also interned?

I would also love to find information about the hairdressing business on Mare Street, which has two other German and Austrian hairdressers working there. Was there a thriving German community in Hackney pre-WWI? What happened to that community when the war started?

I would be very grateful for any information or links to resources.

Offline Ashtone

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Re: Oscar Graffunder - Hackney hairdresser b 1879
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 05 May 22 16:15 BST (UK) »
Woman's Dreadnought
14 August 1915
"BRITISH ALIENS. Mary Ann Graffunder, 34, the English-born wife of a German, was bound over at North London yesterday on a charge of attempting suicide with coal gas. It was stated that she had become low-spirited, because of her husband's internment, and had an idea that relatives sneered her as the wife of a German".

The incident was reported in several other newspapers in August 1915. I wonder if Oscar's internment happened during one of the main waves of internment (May 1915).

The surviving records of internees for the First War period are unfortunately very sparse.
The Aliens Registration Act of 1914 required all aliens to register with the police, and obey local curfews.

I'm not an expert regarding Enemy Aliens in the UK during WW1, but I did see a separate 1915 newspaper report, mentioning the Irish-born wife of an interned German. The report stated that she was "therefore an enemy alien".
Other reports mentioned wives (of interned Germans) charged with "failing to notify their change of address" to the authorities. Also, it appears wives weren't allowed to travel distances greater than 5 miles from home. Sounds like the wives of interned Germans were under the cosh.

Offline Hilaryldn

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Re: Oscar Graffunder - Hackney hairdresser b 1879
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 05 May 22 17:02 BST (UK) »
Goodness, this is such a sad story.

Thank you very much for sending this information. I will try and find some of the other newspaper reports. Do you (or anyone else) know how I can track down internment records? I am just starting out with looking into family history and new to all this, so any advice would be gratefully received.

Thanks again.

Offline Ashtone

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Re: Oscar Graffunder - Hackney hairdresser b 1879
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 05 May 22 17:12 BST (UK) »
Alien Registration Cards: There is a sample 1,000 cards for the London area, dating from 1914, at TNA and available to download https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C10842

TNA guide to finding records of individual internees: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/internees/

Have you tried searching for the family in the 1921 census? I did a quick search, with no luck.
Perhaps the family changed their name after the war ended? Or possibly deported?



Offline jonw65

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Re: Oscar Graffunder - Hackney hairdresser b 1879
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 05 May 22 19:00 BST (UK) »
Deleted, info already given by Hillhurst!

Offline Ashtone

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Re: Oscar Graffunder - Hackney hairdresser b 1879
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 05 May 22 19:01 BST (UK) »
Hi Jon - I already posted that article above. Reply #1.

Offline jonw65

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Re: Oscar Graffunder - Hackney hairdresser b 1879
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 05 May 22 19:02 BST (UK) »
Hi, sorry
How did I miss it?
I will delete it immediately.
Jon

Offline Ashtone

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Re: Oscar Graffunder - Hackney hairdresser b 1879
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 05 May 22 19:05 BST (UK) »
No worries! I was beginning to think that RC folks don't see my posts. It's been happening a lot lately.  ::)
Good find on the online image! I had been wondering if there were any further details.

Offline Ashtone

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Re: Oscar Graffunder - Hackney hairdresser b 1879
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 05 May 22 19:10 BST (UK) »
For the OP: Here's an informative article on the Alexandria Palace internment camp.
https://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/life-alexandra-palace-internment-camp/

There were other camps in the UK during WW1. A couple on the Isle of Man; one near Wakefield, etc.