|Ray Jerrems, Our Genealogist, Historian||
Finding our Roots from Faraway
From: Alexa [in the UK]
Sent: Tuesday, 16 December 2008 6:05 AM
Good luck with your new arrival!
I am so glad the photo is being well received. Any idea who the bearded gentleman is yet? It is so intriguing to see photos of people we are related to but never knew. Sadly that is the only one we have so don't know what our side looked like. They are probably out there somewhere in the backs of cupboards and forgotten in attics.
I would love to join your list. I am working my way through past issues. Would you be interested in any UK information on the Jerrems that remained in England. I have some census info up to 1901 on the children of John, William and Robert though you may already have this (as i said I havn't read all your journals yet). I eventually found the family in 1851 under the name Jnems. Another branch later features as Jeraimes.
To: Alexa [in the UK]
|Ray Jerrems, Family Genealogist||
In Quest of Family Stories and the Photos Behind Them
The charming photo above was provided by new Jerrems Journal reader Alexa. On the back are the handwritten notes " (1) Donald Edwin Jerrems" and "(2) Annie Letitia Jerrems". Without these notes we would have had no idea whatsoever who the people in the photo were. At first glance one might ask why the photograph had been handed down to Alexa. Perhaps it had been found tucked in a book one of Alexa's forbears had bought at a book sale?
A more detailed examination of the Jerrems family annals reveals that Alexa and the two children are in fact distantly related. Alexa's great great great grandmother (Elizabeth Sophia Jerrems) was their aunt.
But who is the genial old gentleman in the photo? I am certain that he is Alexander Nicoll, who was born in London in 1821 and died in London in 1895.
How do I come to this conclusion? The photo was taken in about 1891 or 1892, based on estimates of the children's ages. Although there is not much difference in their heights, Annie was born in 1882 and Donald was born in 1885. Alexander (aka "Nicoll the Tailor"), frequently mentioned in prior issues of the Jerrems Journal, was their maternal grandfather, and was well known for his large beard. It is shown in a sketch in an advertisement and is referred to in newspaper articles. His age (about 70) looks right, and the way he is holding the children indicates that he is a close relative.
I have never seen his wife (nee Elizabeth Powell) mentioned anywhere, so she must have died a lot earlier (this also explains why his wife is not in the photo). They had about ten children, including about 7 daughters, most of whom probably stayed in England.
Alexander retired in 1885 and travelled the world, including 40 trips across the Atlantic, so he probably spent a lot of time in the UK, and could even have been based there.
The photo was taken by a professional photographer in Hampstead in London. When I queried with Alexa whether her relatives ever lived in Hampstead, thinking that Alexander and the children may have been visiting her relatives in Hampstead, Alexa promptly looked up the UK 1891 Censuses and found that it was in fact Alexander who lived in Hampstead. He is listed in the Census as being aged 69, a widower and retired tailor living at number 46 Fitzjohn Avenue, Hampstead (pictured). Alexa decided to look this address up on Google Earth on the off chance. She discovered that it is in an area of Camden and the house still exists and can clearly be seen (very large). It is also one street away from where Sigmund Freud lived some years later!
It was also illuminating that at the time of the Census Annie and her oldest sisters Helen (about 20) were staying at the house. Helen, in particular, shows up in shipping records and in Chicago newspaper social columns as travelling frequently to the UK and Europe.
As mentioned earlier, Alexa's great great great grandmother (Elizabeth Sophia) was the children's aunt. Readers will recall that one of the Gainsborough Jerrems families migrated to Australia in the 1850s. Two of the children in the family were Elizabeth Sophia (born in 1839) and the children's father William George (born in 1843). Soon after the family arrived in Melbourne Elizabeth and William's paths soon parted. She went back to England within little more than a year, and in due course about 15 years later he migrated from Australia to the US, returned to the UK for a while, then returned to the US. It is apparent that Elizabeth and William, who were fairly close in age, had kept in touch with each other.
How did Alexa's side of the family obtain the photo? We will of course never know exactly. Although Elizabeth and her family had lived for some time near London, they moved to Lancashire on the west coast in the 1870s so the photo may have been simply posted to her.
Turning to the photo itself, Alexander is no doubt wearing his favourite "Nicoll the Tailor" heavy suit, which he fills very adequately. The children are very smartly dressed, with Donald wearing breeches. Annie's summer dress shows that it was summer time. Come to think of it, would you want to visit London in the middle of winter?
The photo is particularly significant because it is the only photo of that period held by Alexa's family. It is also the only known childhood photo of Donald (our editor's grandfather) and Annie.
Editor's Note: The Jerrems Journal featured stories about Helen (Helen Jerrems: Socialite, Traveler, Scofflaw) and Annie (Miss Jerrems Graduates from the Ogontz School for Young Ladies) in 2008.
|Ray Jerrems, Webhost||
You have now heard a lot about how Alexa fits into the Jerrems family tree. Many readers whose forbears were in the family that migrated to Australia (ie all our Australian Jerrems readers and most of our US Jerrems readers) now understand how they are related to her. But how did she find us?
Quite simply, Alexa found our Jerrems Journal website, saw frequent references to me, and then found me on Facebook. So she emailed me using the Facebook contact system and I gave her my email address.
Alexa has given us our first foothold in the UK regarding the Gainsborough family (Ray Lloyd is a descendant of the Wappenham family), which is exciting in itself. But another exciting aspect is that she is an accomplished researcher, with over 400 people on her family tree. I am now looking forward to someone being able to help me solve some of the mysteries I have encountered in my UK research.
Welcome aboard Alexa!
Sandra has a Big Family Tree
If I was talking about Sandra's age, it is obvious that she would not reach 1000 for some time. But I am not talking about her age; I am talking about the number of people listed on her family tree. Having mentioned Alexa's family tree it seems like a good opportunity to tell you about Sandra's tree.
As you will probably remember, Sandra's ancestors come from the "Wappenham" family, and she has been concentrating on the families derived from her great great grandfather Joseph.
I recently noticed that her registered family tree showed a total of about 950 people, so I asked her when it would reach 1000. She said that she still has a few stray relatives to include in it, and plans to start work on the descendants of Joseph's brother James, who I have written about in the Journal with her help. (JJ Ed. #40, August 2008)
So she should reach 1000 comfortably this year.
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