24 June 2012

A CD of Gaspard Weiss' music

A new CD has just been released by Stradivarius of my great great great great grandfather Gaspard Weiss' music. This is the first CD ever dedicated solely to Weiss' music. I have ordered a number of copies from Tobias Bonz of Antichi Strumenti, the ensemble who performed on the CD. I can't wait to get my very own copy and play it!

Should you be interested, you can listen to excerpts of the tracks here. I didn't expect that I would like it so much! Not being hugely learned in music, I was envisaging something like Jane Rutter's flute music, which really does nothing for me. However, the German flute played in the pieces sounds, to my ear, a whole lot more like a recorder than today's flute. Plus, I do like that era of music. I recommend it wholeheartedly. Beautiful, beautiful.

The CD is available from Stradivarius, Antichi Strumenti and on iTunes.

21 June 2012

Sarah Horsey, greengrocer

Carole from Heritage Genealogy posted on council rates assessment books the other day, and I was totally unaware that they were available. Both the City of Sydney Council Rates Assessment books 1845-1948 (transcriptions and images) and the Newtown Rates and Assessments 1863-1892 (transcriptions) are available online.

Looking up some of my ancestors, I knew that Josiah Horsey worked as a corn and hay dealer in George Street, Sydney, and also owned a fruit shop in Hunter Street, so I started off with him. He and his wife Sarah are listed a number of times.

Year Name of ratepayer Name of building owner Address Building type Building description Annual Value
1855 Josiah Horsey Samuel Oakley 499 George St House Wood and shingle, 1 floor, 3 rooms £50
1856 Josiah Horsey Saml Oakley 499 George St House Wood and shingle, 1 floor, 3 rooms £50
1861 Josiah Horsey John Woods 46 Hunter St House and shop Brick and galvanised iron, 1 floor, 2 rooms £60
1867 Sarah Horsey John Woods 46 Hunter St House and shop Brick and shingle, 1 floor, 4 rooms, out of repair £76
1877 Sarah Horsey D Clarkson 183 Liverpool St House Brick and iron, 1 floor, 4 rooms £50
1880 Sarah Horsey Thomas Buckland 183 Liverpool St Shop Wood and iron, 2 floors, 6 rooms £72

Correlating this with entries in the Sands Directories I found the following:

Josiah was working as a fruiterer/greengrocer at 46 Hunter Street from around 1861 until (presumably) his death in 1863. His wife Sarah then took over the business and stayed at 46 Hunter Street until at least 1869, even though the conditions of the building were clearly deteriorating. We then have a gap of almost 10 years where Sarah apparently disappears and then she pops up again in 1877 at 183 Liverpool Street, once again as a fruiterer, though 1879's Sands Directory describes her as a dealer - presumably the shop had morphed into a "mixed business". By 1880 (the year Sarah died) the business was obviously doing well enough to have taken on quite a bit more of the building, with 2 floors and 6 rooms instead of 1 floor and 4 rooms. Or possibly extra space was taken up by Sarah and Josiah's youngest son, Josiah jnr, who was listed in 1880 at the same address as a hay, corn and produce dealer, the same occupation his father once had.

As for the missing years for Sarah, I've searched and searched and searched. I wondered if she might have ended up in the clink for some reason, though there's no evidence of that. There are a few clues in Trove though.

In December 1864 a Sarah Horsey, greengrocer, was convicted of having light weights in her barrow, which she used as a stall, and she was fined 20s plus costs. Although I am aware that there was another Sarah Horsey in Sydney at around the same time - the other was convicted of habitual drunkenness after my 3x great grandmother had died, there is nothing to suggest the other Sarah Horsey was a greengrocer like my relative was. So I think this probably was my Sarah Horsey. It would appear from the fact that she was using a barrow as a fruit stall that she had given up the shop in Hunter Street. Despite her inheritance from Josiah's estate, had she fallen on hard times?

In October 1873 a lost and found notice appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, for a missing milking cow, advising enquirers to apply to Mrs Horsey, fruit shop, Lyons Terrace. Lyons Terrace was a series of elegant terrace houses in Liverpool Street, opposite Hyde Park. Knowing that Sarah lived and worked at 183 Liverpool Street, a look at Google Maps showed that address was itself opposite Hyde Park. Other advertisements in the Sydney Morning Herald show that there was a fruit shop in Lyons Terrace as early as 1868, although there is no evidence that Sarah owned or managed it at that time. So I think she was probably still working as a greengrocer/fruiterer during the missing years, though where she actually lived, with her children, for some of that time is a mystery. (And as an aside, thinking of Hyde Park today, I do find it amusing to imagine a lost milking cow wandering around the park!)

There is one other reference in the Sydney Morning Herald to a Sarah Horsey that is notable: in November 1876 a Sarah Horsey was fined 20s by the Inspector of Nuisances for allowing unwholesome matter to remain on her premises. Although it does not give an address for this Sarah Horsey, it may have been that she was selling bad fruit or vegetables from her fruit shop, if it was her.

15 June 2012

An engraving of Charles Nicholas Weiss

I borrowed something precious from my great aunt on the weekend. She has in her possession an engraving of Charles Nicholas Weiss. I scanned it, and present it below.

The caption is "Charles N. Weiss. Engraved by F. McCabe from a Drawing by Charles Hayter. London"

Charles Hayter (1761-2 December 1835) was an English artist who specialised in portrait miniatures. He was appointed as a Professor of Perspective and Drawing to Princess Charlotte, daughter of King George IV.

There is very little information available on the engraver McCabe, however I believe he was also known as E.F. McCabe and worked in the 1820s. Two of his engravings are held by the British Museum.

If this engraving was done in the 1820s Weiss would have been about 30-something. The most obvious feature on his face is the hooked nose. Interestingly, my late great aunt, Weiss' great granddaughter, had the same shaped nose.

Edited on 16 June 2012 to add:
It suddenly occurred to me to ask my great aunt what she had known about the subject of the engraving. I rang her this morning and asked her. Her father had believed it was of his grandfather (correct). Family legend said that Charles Nicholas Weiss had gone through three fortunes in his lifetime (possibly correct - who knows?!), and her father was of the understanding that he was "pretty musical" (correct). So despite the family not really having any idea of the fame that Charles Nicholas Weiss had in his day for his flute playing, clearly a little information filtered through, down the generations. My great aunt said that they used to have it framed and hanging on the wall, and then it was put into an album. I'm glad she realised it was important enough to keep!

08 June 2012

William Baumgarten

Samuel Baumgarten (born c1729, died 1798), bassoonist, and his wife Mary (born and died ?) had at least 11 children. I previously have mentioned the three daughters, Marie, Charlotte and Lucinda, whom I have been able to trace further than their baptisms here. Marie was my great great great great grandmother, married to Gaspard Weiss. Although they married in England, Marie and Gaspard moved to Mulhouse, France in about 1783. Marie died in Mulhouse 16 April 1798.

I was looking at Lucinda again yesterday, as the marriage record of her daughter is available to view on FamilySearch. Lucinda Worrall Baumgarten, like her sister Marie, moved to Mulhouse. She married Paul Blech in Mulhouse on 12 November 1787. They had at least three children, one of whom was Lucinde. Lucinde Blech married Auguste Debaute on 9 April 1831 in an unknown French protestant church. I took some time to study the names signed under the marriage record entry, presumably the happy couple, the minister and some witnesses. The names included: Auguste Debaute (the groom), Lucinde Blech (the bride), H Glück, Z? Engel, Laure Glück, Marie Heilmann, Le Lieutenant Gen.al B? ??? (can't read it all, but very intriguing!), [squiggle] Baumgarten, ? Debautes, S. Baumgarten Dollfus, Julie Roederer, ? Roederer, David Roederer, J. Kohler and P. Heilmann.

It was the Baumgarten surnames that caught my eye. Although the mother of the bride's surname was Baumgarten (Lucinda) and also her aunt's (Marie), I didn't expect to see any Baumgartens there, unless a male member of the Baumgarten family had come across from England too.

Googling "Baumgarten" and "Mulhouse" revealed a number of Mulhouse-related genealogy websites, mostly the same ones that come up when searching for "Weiss" and "Mulhouse". And I found a William Baumgarten who married an Anne Catherine Schlumberger, but the most telling point was that William Baumgarten was "l'époux est originaire de Londres (Grande-Bretagne)" - he was originally from London, Great Britain, and was also born in approximately 1762. Marie, Lucinda and Charlotte Baumgarten had a brother William who was born around 1764 (at least, that's when he was baptised).

A search on Gallica revealed a couple of references to a William Baumgarten of London in a cartulary for the Schlumberger family, including one which noted that he had a personal fortune of 36000 livres (a lot of money). So where did his fortune come from? I have found no references to him back in England. Was it an inheritance, from his father? Could his father, a professional bassoonist and bassoon teacher have possibly earned enough to leave an inheritance like that to one of his children?

Looking for other Baumgartens on FamilySearch in the same collection as the marriage record for Auguste Debaute and Lucinde Blech (France, Protestant Church Records, 1612-1906), I came across an entry which referred to a Baumgarten and a Schlumberger - "Guillaume Baumgarten" and "Catherine Schlumberger." Guillaume is the French version of William, plus its definitely possible that an Anne Catherine might go by her second name... Looking at the actual record (a marriage record for Guillaume and Catherine's son Médard) it recorded the place of birth of Médard as Mulhouse. Bingo! So I think we can assume that William/Guillaume Baumgarten moved to Mulhouse from London, and was most likely the brother of Mulhouse residents Marie Weiss née Baumgarten and Lucinda Blech née Baumgarten.

The final two things I was curious about were (a) which of the Baumgarten siblings arrived in Mulhouse first, and (b) considering we don't know where Samuel Baumgarten was born, was it likely that they were returning to their father's birthplace?

Gaspard Weiss returned to Mulhouse with his wife Marie and their children in 1783. Both Lucinda and William were married in Mulhouse, France in 1787 - Lucinda on 12 Nov 1787, and William on 9 May 1787. It suggests to me that Marie arrived in Mulhouse first, William and Lucinda followed at some stage, met people, fell in love, married and stayed. As for whether Samuel Baumgarten originally came from Mulhouse, I can't find any records of Baumgartens in Mulhouse going back as far as his reputed dated of birth, so it's unlikely.

01 June 2012

Thomas Wickham, butcher of Margate, Kent

I was contacted by a descendant of Thomas and Rachel Wickham yesterday, seeking more information about the family, which got me searching a little further. It goes to show, send me an email and I might do some research you are interested in!

I have previously written about Thomas Wickham (1811-1897), the patriarch of the Australian branch of my Wickham family here and here. I was searching for information on him or his children on FamilySearch today and discovered three entries for the birth of his firstborn son Thomas (1836-1911). One entry, under "England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975" just gives his date of birth, the other two are from the "England and Wales, Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8)", one of which gives his birthplace as No 7 Market St, Margate, Kent, the other gives it as Cripplegate, London. I think the reason for the discrepancy here is because Cripplegate is where Dr William's Library is, which is where the records for some of the non-conformist churches (Baptist, Congregational and Presbyterian) were held (they are now held by the UK National Archives).

This is interesting on two points. The first is that the Wickhams clearly attended a non-conformist church, though of which variety I have no idea. Unfortunately I have not been able to find definite birth records for any of Thomas and Rachel's other children, which may or may not have helped me to narrow it down. I do know, however, that Thomas and Rachel's son Robert Wickham was married to Annie Jane Smith by the minister of the Waterloo Congregational Church (Sydney). So perhaps the Wickhams were Congregationalists.

The second reason why this is interesting is because it names the actual place Thomas Wickham jnr. was born (in 1836) - 7 Market St Margate. Google Street View shows that the building currently at that location houses a Chinese restaurant! A search of historical directories shows Thomas Wickham, butcher, at 6 Market St, Margate in the Pigots Directory of 1840. I have found no other references to the Wickham's place of work or residence in Margate anywhere else. I don't know if 6 and 7 Margate St were beside each other or roughly opposite, but looking at the buildings in the street now, it is my guess that the Wickhams lived in the same building as the butcher shop. Perhaps Thomas jnr was born in a neighbour's house (someone who could help first-time-mother Rachel through the labour?) or perhaps they moved within the same street. I think the former option is more likely.