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!