Mystery cousins and royal legends

Our Green family, which we have traced back to Canada, has a family legend that William John Green, alias William Goodall Green, was the the son of Edward, Duke of Kent, and his mistress Julie de St Laurent. This legend has been fairly conclusively refuted by Mollie Gillen in her book The prince and his lady, so there is no need to go into that here.

William Goodall Green was in fact the son of Eliza Green, the daughter of James Green, a Quebec butcher, and William, Goodall, a London merchant. He was born in Quebec on 28 August 1790, before Edward Duke of Kent had set foot in Canada.

The legend did, however, become something of an obsession with some members of the family, and gave rise to some other minor mysteries.

William Goodall Green married Margaret Gray, the daughter of John Gray, the founder and first president of the Bank of Montreal. They had 15 children, born between 1815 and 1842, and Margaret died shortly after the last of them was born. William Goodall Green then went to the Cape Colony, in the Commissariat Department of the army, and two of his sons, Henry and Fred, remained in southern Africa. The eldest son, William, lived in Northumberland, England, and is son, also William, was the main propagator of the legend of royal descent.

It was William Goodall Green’s grandchildren who appeared to believe most firmly in the legend, and two of them changed their names as a result. Not only did they change their names, but they also seem to have disappeared, and therein lies the mystery.

Cecil Hollings Shipley Green was the youngest son of Major Edward Lister Green, and was born in Napier, New Zealand, in 1870. He became a bookkeeper at Alrig (wherever that may be), and in 1904 went to America. In 1917 his sister Florence Rutherfurd, then living in British Columbia, Canada, mentioned him in a letter to their eldest sister, Louie, in New Zealand:

I am writing to send you Christmas greetings and to tell you about Cecil, or Charles Stuart his name now is. Just the same initials, C.S. Green. He would like to hear from you. His address is

No 2503041 C.S. Green
No 10 Winnipeg Draft
Railway Construction Corps
Broadway Barracks,
Winnipeg, Canada

He seems happier than for years and has been travelling about a great deal. He may have left for England so put if left, please forward. He has given my name as next-of-kin.

And that was the last (as far as we know) his family ever heard of Cecil Hollings Shipley Green, or Charles Stuart Green, as he preferred to be known.

And then there is his first cousin, William Alfred Goodall Esdaile Green, who was almost his exact contermorary, having been born in New South Wales about 1869.

He joined the Brisbane Volunteer Rifles in July 1887, was appointed Staff Sergeant in Feb 1892 and resigned in 1897. He was then appointed Second Lieutenant in the Queensland Defence Force on 30 July 1897 (1st Queensland or Moreton Regiment). He was a Lieutenant in the 4th Queensland (1st Imperial) Bushmen for service in South Africa, in the Anglo-Boer War, where he served from 18 May 1900 to 12 August 1901.

In 1902 and 1903 he applied for posts in the civil service in Natal and the Orange River Colony, and worked as a temporary clerk in the Public Works Department in Natal from 16 Aug 1902 until 31 Oct 1903, and then in the Treasury until 31 Dec 1904. On 13 Feb 1909 he was staying at 166 West Street, Pietermaritzburg and again applied for temporary employment.

After World War I he changed his name to William d’Este-Stuart-Grey, and that seems to have been the last anyone in his family heard from him.  (Letter from Kathleen Schrader to her aunt Louisa Cowley, see Cowley 1996:194).

Did he change his name to emulate his cousin, or to go one up on him, or did both of them do it quite spontaneously without knowing about the other?

Both chose the name Stuart, which had royal connotations, though Edward Duke of Kent was a Hanoverian rather than a Stuart. Perhaps they both had a rush of royal blood to the head, but it would be nice to know what happened to them.

What are you looking for here?

What are people looking for when they visit this blog?

According to the statistics people used the following search engine terms to find their way here:

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Some of those are fairly general, and people may have found other sites through the search term that were more interesting or useful to them.

But there are some that I wish had left a message and introduced themselves, when their search term was the name of a specific person in our family tree.

Josephine Tsegaye, for example, is my fifth cousin, so it would be nice if anyone who was looking for her had left a comment to say if they were related or not, and if she was the person they were looking for.

Joseph Theodore Chelin was my wife’s grandmother’s first husband. It would be nice to know if he was the one they were looking for, or if it was someone else of the same name.

Edward Lister Green was my wife’s great great grandfather’s brother, and we are in touch with some of his descendants, and would like to make contact with more. If would have been nice if people left a comment to say if they had found what they were looking for or not — well in his case, perhaps some did, because we have had some comments from that side of the family.

But we have quite a bit more information on some families than is posted on the blog, and if people are related and genuinely want to make contact, we would gladly share it with them.

Mysterious family and place names

When you start doing family history, sooner or later you come across mysterious names that crop up among family members, and you wonder where they came from and what their significance is.

Barlow-Jones

I was reminded of this when someone asked on the South African genealogy mailing list about the name Barlow-Jones.

I’m researching a family JONES who lived in Ladysmith, Natal.

They lived in a very big, beautiful house named Barlow House/Lodge.

Can anyone help me with history of this house/lodge. ‘Barlow’ played an important part in the family as 4 of their 13 children had Barlow as a second name.

Well we have a Barlow-Jones in our family tree, a Kerry Barlow-Jones who married a third cousin once removed named Beattie, who is related on the Crighton side. The person who asked about Barlow also had a Kerry Barlow-Jones, born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) but on a different date. No known connection between them, but one can’t help thinking that we may discover one one day. But if anyone knows about this name and its connection with the house in Ladysmith, please let us know, and we’ll put you in touch with the enquirer.

Wynn

That reminded me of a couple of other mysterious names in our family.

My grandfather was Percy Hayes, and at some point he began calling himself Percy Wynn Hayes, and he gave all his children Wynn as a middle name, and I got it too, though none of my first cousins on my father’s side did. My father’s death certificate shows his surname as Wynn-Hayes. The mystery is where the Wynn came from.

I’ve found no relatives with that name. When I was 7 we stayed at the Valley Inn, Ingogo, for a month, and it was run by some distant cousins of my father the Bradburys. There were two children there, Gillian who was about my age, and her brother Michael who was a few years older. We knew we were cousins of some sort, but did not know how. The name of the father was Wynn Bradbury, so I thought, when I became interested in family history, that if I found more about him I’d solve the mystery of where the Wynn came from. I looked up his death notice but discovered that he was actually Harry Winston Churchill Bradbury, Win for short, and that it was his wife Sheila (born Cottam) who was the relation. So the mystery of the Wynn remained unsolved, as it does to this day.

An interesting sidelight on this is where Harry Winston Churchill Bradbury got his moniker. There was, of course, a famous British Prime Minister named Winston Spencer Churchhill, though he wasn’t famous when Win Bradbury was born, back in October 1899. But October 1899 was the month the Anglo-Boer War started, and Win Bradbury was born in Ladysmith, which was almost immediately besieged by Boer forces, and Winston S. Churchill was there as a war correspondent, so perhaps he was known to Win Bradbury’s parents. And that brings us back to Ladysmith, where Barlow House was situated.

Esdaile

When thinking of names associated with houses, another name comes to mind: Esdaile.

My wife Val’s maiden surname was Greene, and a couple of generations earlier it was Green. You will find her great great grandfather Fred Green in Pioneers of Rhodesia by Edward C. Tabler, though erroneously recorded as Frederick Joseph Green. He was actually Frederick Thomas Green, but one of his daughters, I think, told Lawrence G Green (no relation) that his name was Joseph. Lawrence G. Green wrote books about African travel, several of which mentioned the Green family, and Fred Green in particular, among them Thunder on the Blaauwberg and Lords of the last frontier.

The Green family came from Canada, and spread all over the world, and
carried with them the legend that Fred Green’s father, William John Green, alias William Goodall Green, was a son of Edward, Duke of Kent, Queen Victoria’s father. Not true, of course, but his mother, Eliza Green (Fred Green’s grandmother), had two illegitimate children, one by William Goodall, a London businessdman, and the other by Marc Pictet, a Swiss army officer.

Eliza Green later married another London businessman, Thomas Esdaile, by whom she had no children, but he became the stepfather to her children by her earlier liaisons. And ever since then, throughout the world, Green descendants have named their houses, farms, and sometimes their children, Esdaile. So in our family history research the name Esdaile is an indicator of a possible relationship, even though there is no blood relationship with Thomas Esdaile.

So sometimes one discovers the story behind mysterious names, and sometimes one doesn’t.

Death of Canadian author Mollie Gillen

Mollie Gillen, who died recently at the age of 100, was not a relative, as far as we know, but she made an enormous contribution to our family history research into the Green family.

As her obituary in the Toronto Globe & Mail puts it

Born and educated in Australia, married to a Canadian sergeant in wartime England, Mrs. Gillen lived and worked here for most of her very long life. No more than 5-foot-2, with bespectacled hazel eyes and curly brown hair – which eventually turned into a snowy crown – she was the author of several acclaimed biographies, including an early study of Lucy Maud Montgomery…

She published The Masseys: Founding Family in 1965; The Prince and His Lady, an intrepidly researched study of Queen Victoria’s father, Edward Duke of Kent, and his mistress, Madame de St. Laurent, in 1970; and in 1972, The Assassination of the Prime Minister, a biography of Spencer Perceval, who was shot through the heart in the lobby of the British House of Commons during the Luddite riots of 1812.

Ir was The prince and his lady that put us on the track of the history of the Green family.

Val went to see her great-aunt Gladys Clark, who lived in Ixopo, to ask about the Green family, and she said that her grandfather was “General Green”, who had lived in South West Africa (now Namibia). Reference to history books, such as Vedder’s South West Africa in early times showed that he was Fred Green, an elephant hunter.

A few years later, when we lived in Zululand, we visited Gladys Clark’s daughter, Dion Stewart, who lived in Empangeni, and she told us that Fred Green’s father or grandfather was the Duke of Kent. That sent us back to the library, looking for books on the Duke of Kent, one of which was Mollie Gillen’s The prince and his lady, which refuted the family legend of royal descent, but in the course of doing it showed the actual ancestry of Fred Green’s father, William John Green, alias William Goodall Green, who was the illegitimate son of William Goodall, a London merchant, and Eliza Green, the daughter of a Quebec butcher.

We wrote to Mollie Gillen, and she very kindly sent us copies of her research materials, including the baptism records of William Goodall Green and other members of the Green and related families, and his will, and that of Thomas Esdaile, his stepfather, who later married Eliza Green.

So thanks to Mollie Gillen’s research we were able to trace more of the early history of the Green family. She was a careful researcher who documented every one of the claims she made in her book, as the material she sent us showed.

See here for more on the early history of the Green family.

So we salute Mollie Gillen. She may not have had formal qualifications, but she was a careful and diligent historian, and we owe her a great deal.

Another contributor to the family wiki

At last we have another contributor to the family Wiki!

Today Julie Gould contributed to a page on Alfred William Green (1839-1886), which makes the family wiki what it is meant to be — a collaborative family project in which various family members contribute to build up our picture of the family. So today is a great day.

I’ve edited the page a bit — renamed it to fit the naming pattern of other pages and added links, and that is of course what happens with a wiki — various people will contribute.

As Julie has noted, Alfred William Green was the youngest surviving son of William John (Goodall) Green and Margaret Gray of Canada, who settled in Australia, and was a customs officer on the New South Wales Queensland border.

We know very little about his descendants, so I hope Julie can help us there, particularly with the more recent generations. We know a little about Alfred’s eldest son, W.A.G. Esdaile Green, who changed his name to William d’Este-Stuart-Grey, and that another son Frederick Arthur Walpole Green died unmarried, but not much more.

Green cousins meet

Ione Evans (nee Borwick) and Louise Palairet (nee Nation) met recently in New Zealand. Ione is descended from Henry Green, while Louise is descended from Henry’s younger brother Edward Lister Green.

Ione Evans and Louise Palairet in New Zealand

Ione Evans and Louise Palairet in New Zealand

I hope the chart showing how they are related is visible.

Relationship Chart
Ione Patricia Borwick-[12118] is the 3rd Cousin of Louisa Wynyard Nation-[766]
                                Common Ancestor
                          * William John Green-[140]
                                  (1790-1866)
                             * Margaret Gray-[141]
                                  (1795-1844)
                              Married 4 Jan 1815
                                      |
                   --------------------------------------
                   |                                    |
                   |                                    |
          * Henry Green-[480]            * Major Edward Lister Green-[697]
              (1818-1884)                           (1827-1887)
Ida Carolina Johanna Von Lilienstein-[507]      Emily Ogilvie-[700]
           (1835-          )                        (1827-1912)
          Married 6 Jan 1862                    Married 1 Jun 1854
                   |                                    |
                   |                                    |
         Ernest Borwick-[669]                Henry Innes Nation-[702]
              (1864-1931)                           (1847-1907)
      * Edith Susanna Green-[668]         * Louise Emily Mary Green-[701]
              (1875-1957)                           (1855-1925)
          Married 20 Jul 1900                   Married 2 Sep 1875
                   |                                    |
                   |                                    |
       * Arnold Borwick-[12102]            * Ralph Bamfylde Nation-[760]
              (1908-1979)                           (1899-1974)
Annette Grace Fetherstonhaugh Ryland-[12117]    Rhoda Wynyard-[761]
              (1908-1984)                        (          -1973)
          Married 21 Sep 1936                   Married 16 Dec 1942
                   |                                    |
                   |                                    |
    * Ione Patricia Borwick-[12118]        * Louisa Wynyard Nation-[766]
           (1937-          )                     (1946-          )

The Green brothers were born in Montreal, Quebec, and came to the Cape Colony in the 1840s with their father, William John Green. Henry was, like his father, in the Commissariat Department of the Army, and was at one time British Resident of the Orange River Sovereignty, and then lived in Colesberg until he joined the diamond rush to Kimberley. Edward Lister Green was an army officer who served in India, China and Ireland, and retired to New Zealand.

Surge of interest in Wiki pages

There’s been a sudden surge of interest in our family history Wiki pages, with over 70 visitors last Monday, according to the statistics., most of them from South Africa and the USA.

I’m not quite sure what brought that on, but so far there haven’t been been any contributions of information from anyone other than me. I wish a few other people would at least add a sentence or two here and there. It’s really quite easy to do, and there’s more information on how to do it here.

We recently got an e-mail from Caitlin Green, so I added a page of information about the Green family, which has spread to just about every continent from Quebec, which is the first place we’ve managed to trace it to, though it probably to there from somewhere else.

Found! Ida Carolina von Lilienstein, wife of Henry Green

One of the long-enduring mysteries of the GREEN family history has at last been solved, thanks to Ione Evans of New Zealand.

Henry Green, the British Resident of the Orange River Sovereignty in the early 1850s, came to South Africa some time in the 1840s, as did several of his siblings, including Fred (Val’s great great grandfather), Edward, Charles and Arthur.

It was known that Henry Green married Ida Carolina von Lilienstein, daughter of Count von Lilienstein, but little was known about her parents. Many of their descendants have tried to find out more, especially her mother’s name, but without success.

Ione Evans asked a researcher to check German records, and and finally found:

Congregation of Itzehoe, Christenings in the year 1836, daughters, page No 11, born on 4 December 1835, christened on 24 December 1835 Ida Caroline Johanna, legitimate daughter of local constable at the regiment of light dragoon, Carl Arthur Count zu LILIENSTEIN and Catharina Elise née STAEKER, christened by me at home. God parents: Carl von BARDENFLETH, colonel and head of the regiment, Martin von WILEMOOS SUHM, Premier Major, Johannes von EWALD, major (translation)

This will be especially good news for descendants of Henry and Ida, as Ida’s ancestors will be theirs as well, but for the rest of us too, the irritating gap waiting to be filled by “Spouse’s mother” can at last be filled.

In the course of our researches into the Green family we have met several descendants of Henry and Ida, and corresponded with many more. Some of them have been enthusiastic researchers into the family history, and many of them have helped us a great deal with our researches. We were in correspondence for a while with Hal Green in Swaziland. Jack and Peggy (nee Tapscott) Stokes visited us when we lived in Melmoth in Zululand, and stayed several days with their caravan in our back yard, and we spent many evening poring over family records, trying to sort out chronology and relationships.

One of the longest-standing mysteries (to us, at any rate) was what happened to Edith Susanna Green, daughter of Henry and Ida. She had married Ernest Borwick and then, apparently, disappeared off the face of the earth. Then we made contact with Ione Evans, a descendant of that branch, who filled in several generations. Ernest Borwick farmed in Kenya, and several of their seven children lived there, and some married and moved to other countries. Ione Evans is still following up some of the descendants, but has also been working backwards on the von (or zu) Lilienstein side as well, for which we are all grateful.

Ogilvie family and other news

Yesterday we had a letter from Andy Blum in the USA, asking about a David Ogilvie who was mentioned in a family history newsletter from Blue Earth, Minnesota, USA.

This David Ogilvie (1852-1943) had a fairly interesting life, and Andy wondered if he was related to the Ogilvie family of the Eastern Cape, from which Andy himself is descended.
We couldn’t trace any connection, however.

The Ogilvie connection is through Emily Ogilvie (1827-1912) who married Edward Lister Green (1827-1887), who was the brother of Val’s Great Great Grandfather Frederick Thomas Green (1829-1876). The Green brothers were born in Montreal, Canada, and came to South Africa with their widowed father in the 1840s.

Edward Lister Green was a soldier who served in India, China and Ireland, and eventually moved to New Zealand, where he died in 1887. Some of their children moved to the USA, and Emily died in California where she was living with her daughter Maud Ogilvie Jowett.

Emily was the daughter of William Ogilvie (1795-1850) who fought at Waterloo and came to the Cape Colony with Lord Charles Somerset, the Governor. He married Mary Maria Hollings, who was governess to Lord Charles Somerset’s family. They had four sons and four daughters, but none of them seem to have had Minnesota connections, other than some of Emily’s descendants. William Ogilvie had a hardware store, and sold Westley-Richards rifles, and two members of the Richards family came from Birmingham to Grahamstown and married two of the Ogilvie daughters. Andy Nation of New Zealand had Edward Lister Green’s diary and sent us a copy of it with some family history notes he had made. We have transcribed it on to computer, and can send copies to interested family members. There is more information about the Ogilvies in Some frontier families by I. Mitford-Barberton and Violet White (Cape Town, Human & Rousseau, 1968).

Edward and Emily Green had 6 children, and among their descendants are the Nation, Rutherfurd, Mocine, Lewis and Blum families.


In more immediate family news, our dog Ariel recently had puppies in her old age. For anyone interested, there is a report and pictures on my tribal blog.

Thwaites, Green families in Australia

I’ve just had some correspondence with Emma Hannah, who was married to Roger Thwaites, son of FJ Thwaites, the Australian novelist, who was the grandson of Margaret Agnes Ann Green and Walter Thwaites. This adds something to what we know of the Thwaites side of the family.

Margaret Agnes Ann Green (known as Agnes) and her younger brother Alfred both lived in Australia. We have been in contact with several of Agnes Green’s descendants, from all three of her husbands, some of whom returned to southern Africa in later generations, and some fought on opposite side in the First and Second World Wars.

There is a possibility that at least two of her husbands committed bigamy by marrying her.

We have not managed to make contact with any of Alfred’s descendants though. One of them William Alfred Goodall Esdaile Green lived in South Africa for several years, and changed his name to William d’Este Stuart-Grey. Another, Frederick, died young. A daughter, Henrietta Caroline married William Henry Browne.

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