Green, Tapscott, von Lilienstein

We’ve just had a letter from Mrs Christine Estmond of Somerset, England. Her husband was descended from the Tapscotts, and one of his ancestors was the uncle of the George Arthur Montgomery Tapscott who married Ida Green, daughter of Henry Green and Ida von Lilienstein. That’s a rather remote relationship — related by marriage to someone who, several generations before, was related by marriage! A sort of cousin-in-law to a cousin-in-law!

What was most interesting, though, is she had information from Peggy Stokes (a Tapscott descendant) that Ida von Lilienstein’s mother’s name was Elese. That we didn’t know, and it was something Peggy Stokes never told us.

Peggy Stokes and her husband Jack visited us abour 25 years ago when we lived in Melmoth, Zululand. For years they had run a tourist boat on Lake Kariba on the Zambezi, but when they retired from that lived a gipsy life, travelling around Southern Africa in their caravan, pulled by an amazingly well-maintained 1957 Chevrolet. When they visited us in Melmoth they had just been in Swaziland with Harry Green, and we enjoyed swapping family history information, and most of what we knew about the Tapscott side of the family came from Peggy. Later we lost touch with her, but when we visited Cape Town in November 2003 we learnt drom other cousins that she had died at Clanwilliam two months previously, on 18 September 2003.

So now we don’t know where the “Elese” came from, but there is the same story, found in other branches of the family, that Bismarck was her godfather, and that she was a “Countess”. Witho0ut knowing her maiden surname, however, there is no real way of finding out what she was supposed to have been a Countess of!

Kenya as I knew it

Well, not as I knew it, but as Howell Evans knew it.

Yesterday the manuscript of Kenya as I knew it arrived from Ione Evans in New Zealand. It was written by her father-in-law, Howell Evans, and tells of his time in Kenya as an agricultural officer from 1949-1963. I’ve only just started reading it, so can’t comment much on the content yet.

Ione is descended from Henry Green, one of the Greens who came to South Africa from Canada in the 1840s, and her branch of the Green family was completely unknown to us until she made contact a few months ago. All we knew was that Henry Green’s daughter Edith Susanna married an Ernest BORWICK, and no trace of their descendants could be found, until Ione got in touch and told us about numerous descendants in Kenya, New Zealand and elsewhere.

One of the continuing mysteries is Henry Green’s second wife and her family. Most of the sources we had said she was the daughter of “Count von Lilienstein” who came to British Kaffraria with the German military settlers in 1858. But it seems that he was not a count, but a Captain (Hauptmann) and was a border guard on the Danish frontier before coming to the Cape.

Vause marriage discovered

For more than 30 years I’d been looking for a Vause marriage, and I think I’ve found it. It’s been staring me in the face for the last couple of years, when someone sent me an index of Vause births, marriages and deaths from Lincolnshire in England.

My great great grandfather Richard Vause (1822-1886), who came to South Africa in 1852, was the son of John Vause (1784-1863) and Eleanor Wyatt. John Vause was himself the son of John Vause (1747-1823) and Elizabeth, whose maiden name we did not know. The elder John Vause was the son of Richard Vause (1720-1751) and Elizabeth Hill, who remarried Francis Whitehead in 1756.

I was checking the index again, to see if there were any matches to things I had found in the Crowle church registers and censuses, and there it was, staring me in the face: John Vause married Elizabeth Brooks in Epworth on 7 January 1780

I’m pretty sure this is the right one, because they had four children born to them in the 1780s, Richard, John, Samuel and Sarah. Samuel and Sarah died young (and Elizabeth died shortly before Sarah, possibly as a result of complications following childbirth).

Richard married a Fanny, and apparently lived in Hull, and it seems that his nephew and namesake lived with his aunt in Hull before marrying Matilda Park in Bath and emigrating to Natal.

Anywway, the next step is to discover Elizabeth Brooks’s parents. Another one whose parents are still unknown is Elizabeth Hill, but she is said to have been the sister of a John Hill, Gent., of Hull. A Mary Vause married a John Hill in 1770, and this Mary was probably a niece of the Richard Vause who married Elizabeth Hill, so the Vause-Hill connection needs to be followed up.

More on the Vause family in Crowle

Yesterday I was again at the LDS Family History Centre in Johannesburg, trying to sort out information about the Vause family in Crowle, Lincolnshire. I had looked at the microfilm of the 1861 census serveral months ago, but had forgotten that I hadn’t looked to the end of the roll. So this time I started at the end and worked back to where I had got to last time.

This time, too, I made notes in the Genota genealogy note-taking program, in order to try it out, and see how well it works. It seems quite a useful program for that purpose, and i hope to be able to make suggestions to the authors on how to improve it.

Unfortunately the burial records for Crowle have a break between 1863-1873. In 1863 a new cemetery opened, and only those buried in vaults of brick graves were recorded in the parish burial registers. John Vause senior is supposed to have died in 1863, and his son the following year, so the gap makes it difficult. Also, I haven’t been able to find any other record of John Junior’s wife and children. did they die in the same period, or did they move away?