26 July 2012

The siblings of Samuel Baumgarten

I like a challenge. Such as nobody knowing where Samuel Christian Frederick Baumgarten was born. The general consensus is that he was born in Germany around 1729, but was definitely in England by 1750, when he was admitted to the Royal Society of Musicians.

Nothing was known of his parents nor any siblings. Until yesterday. There were a few other Baumgartens in England at the same time as Samuel Baumgarten, including John Ernst Baumgarten, a book binder of some renown at the time. I don't believe that John Ernst Baumgarten was related, even though he also was believed to be German.

The National Archives has four wills for the surname of Baumgarten: Samuel Henry Baumgarten (for 1837) of Bognor, Sussex; Samuel Christopher Frederick otherwise Christian Baumgarten (for 1798 - my relative), Gentleman of Hampstead, Middlesex; John Ernst Baumgarten (for 1782), Book Guider (sic) of Saint Mary le Strand, Middlesex; and John Henry Baumgarten (for 1770), Gentleman of Holborn, Middlesex.

FindMyPast has a Probate and Wills Records Section which contained an extract of a will held by the Bank of England for John Henry Baumgarten. It contained a surprise: John Henry Baumgarten appointed his brother Samuel Baumgarten of Cursitor Street as his sole executor. The will also noted that John Henry Baumgarten was a Quartermaster for his Majesty's Horse Guards Blue.

So, I decided I didn't have much to lose by purchasing the will of John Henry Baumgarten from the National Archives. And it turned out that I gained quite a bit for my £3.50: along with Samuel his brother, John Henry Baumgarten left inheritances to six other siblings - Leopold Baumgarten, Frederick Baumgarten, Gertrud Schwein, Magdalen Schmied, Julia Haberkorn and Frances Baumgarten. The will noted Samuel was from Cursitor Street, but none of the other siblings had places of residence noted, and Samuel was directed to distribute their inheritances to them. It suggests to me that none of the other siblings were in England. And the overall impression I get from their names is one of German heritage.

So now I've got to see if I can find any of these siblings elsewhere, which might perhaps allow me to pinpoint a place of birth. Could take a while!

16 July 2012

Bernard (not Benigna) Weiss

I recently bought a subscription to findmypast, as I have so many English ancestors it seemed like it could be worth it. So far I've found an awful lot more information. Today I stumbled upon a record alluding to one of Charles Nicholas and Benigna Catharine Weiss' children: the second child, who we've always assumed was a girl called Benigna, born about 1831.

Why have we assumed she was called Benigna? Good question. We know that the second child's name started with "B" because Charles and Benigna followed the alphabet in naming their six children - A through to F. However there is nothing official stating that the second child's name was actually Benigna - perhaps this was an assumption because "her" mother's name was Benigna. And why do we think she was a girl? No idea!

The records in question on findmypast are the Armed Forces BMD Details. Charles Nicholas Weiss went to India with the British Army in 1840, in the 17th Foot Regiment. I have records for the two youngest children, Egmont and Frederick, being baptised in Aden (now in Yemen, then part of British India). I also have a baptism record for the eldest child, Adelaide, in England, before the family left for India. Which leaves three more - children B, C and D.

The Armed Forces BMD records show four baptisms for the surname of Weiss:

Name Place Year Regt.
Weiss, Bernard J. G. Poona 1831 17th
----- Caroline J. Poona 1833 17th
----- Egmont J.T. Aden 1837 17th
----- Frederic A. Aden 1839 17th

Caroline J, Egmont J.T. and Frederic A. are all definitely children of Charles and Benigna Weiss. The years given are the years they were born, not the years they were baptised. Considering the year of birth for Bernard Weiss matches the B child of Charles and Benigna's, and the father of Bernard Weiss was also in the 17th Foot Regiment (and Weiss was an extremely uncommon name at the time in England), the chances of there being a second British Army member with the surname of Weiss stationed in Poona (now known as Pune) and in the same regiment as Charles, is highly unlikely.

So now we have definite details of the B child of Charles and Benigna Weiss - the child was male, his name was Bernard J.G. Weiss, and he was born in 1831. We must assume he was born in England as the family was living in either Liverpool or Manchester in 1831. I wonder if the "J.G." stood for Jean Gaspard, after his paternal grandfather?

We still haven't much on the D child - "Derby" according to the 1841 English Census - which, incidentally, Bernard wasn't recorded in. Considering Derby was still alive in 1841, presumably close to the time the rest of the family followed Charles to India (who arrived there in 1840), he either died before they left for India, or whilst they were in India, but before he was baptised with the others. Still not sure why the kids baptised in British India were done in two lots, one lot in Poona, the other in Aden...

Edited to add: I received an email from the British Library India Office in reply to an enquiry I sent them which confirmed that Bernard James George Weiss was baptised in Poona on 27 December 1840, along with his sister Caroline Judith Weiss. This suggests that the family may well have travelled to India at the same time as Charles, not later after the 1841 Census, as I had originally thought. That Bernard is not in the 1841 Census suggests that he may have died by that stage. I still don't know when or where Derby was baptised, considering he was in the 1841 Census when Bernard wasn't...

13 July 2012

Henry Joynes

As established in a previous post, Henry Joynes (c1684-1754) was my great great great great great great grandfather.

Henry Joynes' death notice from the London Evening Post (July 2-4, 1754):

Last Tuesday died, at his house at Kensington, Henry Joynes Esq.; an eminent Architect, upwards of Seventy Years of Age. He was employed by John Duke of Malborough, as Comptroller and Conductor of the Building of Blenheim House, near Woodstock, and for upwards of thirty Years last past was Surveyor to the Commissioners of Sewers at Westminster.

Whilst I have not been able to establish his exact date of birth, it is likely that he may have been born in Westminster - his brother Clement Joynes was baptised in St Clement Danes, Westminster, in 1680.

In his lifetime Henry Joynes was apparently involved in the public works of a number of important buildings in England. There is no record available of an apprenticeship or other such education in terms of surveying or architecture, and one can only assume that this sort of thing happened (in those days) either on the job, or came about as a result of innate talent.

His work on Blenheim Palace is where first he comes to notice in the history books. At the age of 21 he was appointed from the Board of Works to the Blenheim Palace project, on the recommendation of the famous gardener Henry Wise. He was apparently a skilled draughtsman, and Nicholas Hawksmoor, with whom he worked at Blenheim, took him under his wing and helped develop his draughtsman and architectural skills. Henry Joynes worked at Blenheim Palace for ten years, apparently during which time he married Mary Peisley, daughter of Bartholomew Peisley, a mason from Oxford who also worked at Blenheim Palace.

Henry Joynes was working as the Clerk of Kensington Palace by 1715 - his first child, Bartholomew (probably named after Mary's father) was baptised at Kensington in May 1715. Apparently being the Clerk of the palace meant that he oversaw any work that was done on the buildings and the gardens. He worked at Kensington Palace until his death in 1754. He was also on the Board for the Sewers of Westminster for about 30 years before his death.

As well as those official roles, Henry Joynes took on a few private commissions for houses, including Linley Hall, Shropshire, the Water Pavillion at Carshalton House, London, a house at 57 and 58, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, plus he designed his own monument for his grave, details of which he set out in his will:

"... my Will is that I may be buryed in London Church Yard in the said County of Middlesex at the East End of the Chancell Building in a Grave of eight foot in Depth to lye next to the Coffin of my late dear and beloved Wife Mary Joynes who was buried there in the beginning of September 1746 and that a Monument of Portland Stone may be set up there according to a draught propos'd by me."
Henry Joynes was buried in a tomb in St Marys Churchyard, Hendon, which was indeed made of Portland Stone, and designed to his specifications.

08 July 2012

Illuminating Blogger Award

The lovely Pauleen from Family History Across the Seas has nominated me for an Illuminating Blogger Award, established by FoodStoriesBlog. Thanks Pauleen!

The rules for the award are as follows:

  1. The nominee should visit the award site and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom. (This step is important because it's the only way they can create a blogroll of award winners).
  2. The nominee should thank the person who nominated them by posting and including a link to their blog.
  3. The nominee should include a courtesy link back to the official award site in their blog post.
  4. Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.
  5. Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award. Many people indicate that they wish they could nominate more so please feel free to nominate all your favourites.
  6. Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site.

Apparently you all need to know a random thing about me so please let me oblige you by informing you that I love bruschetta - the rustic bread, the fresh tomato, the basil.... Mmmmm - YUM!

The bloggers - and I've only got three as I don't have time to trawl through lots of other blogs each day with a young family - I nominate for the award are:

  1. Pauleen from Family History Across the Seas - right back at you Pauleen! I've learnt so much about family history research from your blog, and you've always been so helpful. I think we can let you off doing the whole nomination rigmarole again though. : )
  2. Trevor Cairney from Literacy, Families and Learning. Written by an academic/educator/researcher, I find it a very helpful blog as a mother of young children. If I need an idea for a book for one of my kids to read I try Trevor's blog.
  3. Ruth from Ruth de Vos: Textile Artist. I love reading about Ruth's art processes as she makes her beautiful quilts.

05 July 2012

Tracking down the Joynes family

In researching Samuel Baumgarten I had never been able to locate any details regarding his wife Mary Joynes' family. Until the other day. Cassmob mentioned that the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes were available online, which I hadn't known, and I made a chance discovery in the London Gazette (27 July 1793):
Pursuant to a decree in the High Court of Chancery, made in a Cause Baumgarten against Caldecott, the unsatisfied Creditors (if any) of Samuel Joynes, formerly of Cursitors Street, Chancery-Lane, London, Gent. Deceased, are, on or before the 5th Day of October next, to come in and prove their debts before William Graves, Esq. one of the Masters of the said Court, at his chambers in Symond’s-inn, Chancery-Lane, London, or in Default thereof they will be peremptorily excluded the Benefit of the said Order. [Italics emphasis my own]

I know Samuel Baumgarten lived in Cursitors Street, according to his daughter Lucinda's baptism record. It seems too much of a coincidence that another Joynes might live in Cursitors Street and not be a relation.

Assuming that my assumption was correct, I then needed to work out how Samuel Joynes might have been related to Marie Joynes.

FamilySearch reveals that there was a Joynes family with both a Samuel and a Mary born to it. Henry and Mary Joynes had at least six children, all baptised at Kensington Parish. Mary Joynes was baptised in 1729, and assuming she was born sometime close to that - if it is the same Mary Joynes who married Samuel Baumgarten - she would have been about 22 years old when they married. Mary's brother Samuel was born about 1719. Other children in the family of Henry and Mary Joynes were Bartholomew, Frances, Thomas and Henry.

One way of establishing possible links between the families is to look at names. In those days it was reasonably common to carry on names from one generation to the next. In the family of Samuel and Mary Baumgarten we have Elizabeth Mary, Marie, Lucinda Worrall, Charlotte, Tully, Henry, Thomas, Frederick, William, Frances and Joynes Philip. Is it too much of a coincidence that there are four names in common with both families?

There is a bit of information about on Henry Joynes because he was a well known architect at the time, and Samuel Joynes was a prominent attorney. However, there was conflicting information on Samuel Joynes (two apparent dates of death - 1770 and 1794) which confused me a little. I spent quite some time searching for information on the Joynes in order to try to resolve the Samuel Joynes problem, and in the process discovered that the National Archives (UK) has a Documents Online search engine which allows you to download items for a small fee, including wills. And I found the wills of Henry Joynes, Samuel Joynes and Samuel Baumgarten there, all available to download as soon as I had paid £3.50 for each of them. A small price to pay for such a goldmine of information!

Henry Joynes' will confirmed for me that Samuel Joynes was his son, and Mary Baumgarten was his daughter, and therefore that he was my great great great great great great grandfather! He also had one other adult child, Henry. As an added bonus he mentioned his brothers Clement and John, and their respective daughters Susanna Downing and Mary Worsley. Interestingly, Henry Joynes expressly stipulated that none of his estate was to go to his son-in-law Samuel Baumgarten, though he provided generously for his own daughter Mary (Samuel Baumgarten's wife) and the grandchildren produced from the marriage. Was it just that Henry knew Samuel Baumgarten was well enough off on his own, and so he only needed to take care of his blood relatives, or was there some animosity between them?

Samuel Joynes' will confirmed for me his date of death as 1770, though I'm still not sure of the significance of the year 1794. Samuel Joynes was married, though his wife is not mentioned by name, and he mentions his daughter Marie Downes, his daughter-in-law Charlotte Downes and his son-in-law Tully Downes (who was actually apprenticed to him in 1761).

Samuel Baumgarten's will is most revealing. I have to assume his wife had died before him, as his will left everything - which was substantial - to his servant (mistress?) Elizabeth Cannon. He even appointed his daughter Charlotte Potter as Executor, but left nothing to any of his children. I'll bet that grated! I'll have to see if I can find out anything about Elizabeth Cannon.

01 July 2012

Completely disinherited

I was out at State Records the other day, looking at probate records. One of the families I looked into was the Macindoes, as a result of this post. I will write about the results of that investigation another time, however this current post deals with one of the biggest surprises of the day.

Ruth Bevan Macindoe (1899-1979), my first cousin twice removed, was the second child of Norman and Mary Macindoe. She studied medicine at the University of Sydney during the late 1910s, early 1920s. She travelled to England in 1922 with her sister Mary (and presumably back again because she died in Australia), and then the trail goes cold.

The family story goes that, with her medical training, she diagnosed herself with a severe mental illness and had herself committed. I've not been able to find any record of her residence in a mental institution, but that's unlikely anyway because health records are closed for 110 years. Certainly, she disappeared without a trace. All her siblings, male and female, voted in elections (voting in elections is compulsory in Australia), Ruth did not. If she was in a mental institution she may well have been exempt from voting.

Her father's will provided for all his children except her. In fact, the typed will has a handwritten addition to it where, in setting out the share for each of the daughters and sons, it says "except for my daughter Ruth Bevan Macindoe who is to be completely disinherited".

Was it because she had brought disgrace to the family by having a mental illness? One could expect that it might be a very good reason to actually provide for her and for her care, but apparently not. If you were worried that she wasn't of sound mind and therefore unable to look after any money she might inherit then surely you could provide for her care. One family member who I talked to about this said that there were certain things in the family that just weren't spoken of, and so she didn't really have much of an idea of what became of Ruth Bevan Macindoe.

Ruth died in 1979 at the age of 80. There was no death or funeral notice published. Unlike her unmarried sisters she was not buried with her parents.

I don't know that I will ever find out exactly why Ruth Bevan Macindoe was completely disinherited by her father. It is a very sad tale and I guess we can only hope that attitudes to mental illness continue to change for the better.