Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Showing posts with label Christie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christie. Show all posts

Friday 24 May 2024

Joseph Kritzer and Sarah Sophia Tompson

St Wilfrid's, Chelsea

Joseph Kritzer (b. 30 Oct 1877 in Donaueschingen, Germany), son of Wilhelm Kritzer and Flora Gleichauf, married Sarah Sophia Tompson (b. 9 Oct 1876 in Mile End Old Town, Stepney), eldest surviving daughter of Dan Tompson and Sarah Jane Bakeron 24 May 1905 in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. 

Their daughter, Mary Amalie Kritzer was born on 21 Feb 1906, but she was not the couple's first child. On the census for the household of Sarah's parents, Dan and Sarah Jane Tompson, in 1911, there appeared a 'mystery' grandchild listed as William Charles Kritzer (7) (although his surname was originally mis-transcribed at Findmypast as Roizen, which added much to the confusion in tracking him down), who it says, was born in 1904 'At Sea'. 

The boy was born, actually in 1903, aboard the SS Kaiser Wilhelm II at Lat 40.45N/Long 56.52W, off the coast of North America. Launched at Stettin, Germany (now Szczecin, Poland), on 12 Aug 1902, the SS Kaiser Wilhelm II made regular trips between Germany and New York City. 

Baptised, William Karl Tompson, on 9 Dec 1903, at the church of St Matthew, Stepney, on the baptism record, his mother is listed just as Daisy (as she appears to have called herself), with their abode listed as 3 Monteagle Street, Stepney - the same address given by her half-sister (my great-grandmother), Eliza Louisa, at the time of her marriage some 10 years earlier. There are lots of crossings out on the original baptism record, as it would appear that Sarah / Daisy had initially tried to baptise the child with the surname Kritzer, listing his father's forename as William and occupation as Valet. The church officials must have figured out the real situation and hence this information was redacted/corrected. (Birth and baptism information was provided to me by Christine Miller of the wonderfully named, GIN AND GENEALOGY.)

In 1911, Joseph Kritzer (33), was butler to architect, Henry Louis Florence at 9 Prince's Gate, Knightsbridge, London. In that household also was a Rosina Christie, employed as a housemaid. She was listed as single, but her year of birth agrees with that of Sarah Sophia - 1876 - born in Whitechapel. (Sarah Sophia's birth was registered in Mile End Old Town, which is next door, both in Stepney; later, Sarah Sophia is referred to as Mrs J Christie in her father's obituary, and both of Joseph and Sarah's children later use Christie as an Anglicized version of Kritzer.) Therefore, I'm convinced that this is Sarah using this assumed name to hide the fact that she was married to Joseph, which was more than likely verboten for servants then. Sarah Sophia / Daisy Tompson / Kritzer / Christie isn't anywhere else in 1911. Mary Amalia Kritzer (5) was an 'Inmate' at St Wilfrid's Convent School in Cale Street, Chelsea.

On 18 Oct 1912, Willie Thompson (8), sailed to Montreal from Liverpool aboard SS Corsican with his grandmother, Sarah Jane, and his aunt Ivy. 

In 1915, Joseph Kritzer (37), was interned at Knockaloe Internment Camp Isle of Man as part of the mass internment of registered Enemy Alien men aged between 17 and 55 following the sinking of the Lusitania in May 1915. Joseph’s Prisoner of War Information Bureau (POWIB) Index Card (available from the ICRC website), shows that he was interned on 31 Jul 1915. We still don't know when he was released or what happened to him later, although, all the pointers are towards him being repatriated to Germany. "Former enemy aliens were to be deported, unless granted a licence to remain", however, hiding their marriage, in 1911 (albeit likely necessary for their employment), could have created the predicament that Joseph and Sarah will not have been able to demonstrate that they had lived together in a genuine relationship prior to the war, the result of which may have prevented Joseph from obtaining such permission to return to the UK upon his release.

As she had married a German, Sarah Sophia had become German and would also have been subject to the restrictions of the Aliens Restriction Act 1914: As the law was at this time, British-born women who had married foreign nationals (who had not naturalised) - unlike his brother Karl, Joseph did not become naturalised British - acquired their husband’s nationality. Many British born women therefore found themselves to be enemy aliens during the war. Except in a very few cases women were not interned. [Source]

In 1921, Joseph Kritzer was not listed in England. Nor was Sarah Sophia. There was a Daisy Christie (39) Servant, Laundress, born in Stepney, London at the Royal School For Deaf and Dumb Children, Margate, Kent, who I feel may be her. On the 1921 Census of Canada, Willie Christie (18) was living at 131 Morrison Avenue, Toronto, still with his grandparents. (At Ancestry, there's a note saying he should be Critzer, which is obviously not quite true, but the spelling they later adopted). [Mary Amalie] Molly Kritzer (15), was an Inmate at St Edwards Residential College, Totteridge, Middlesex (St Edward's School for Roman Catholic Girls), along with her cousin, Flora Kritzer (15). 

William Charles Critzer (28) Bachelor, Sheet Metal Worker, married Bertha Lilian Carter (27) Spinster, Saleslady, in Toronto, on 27 Dec 1930. William listed his parents as Joseph Critzer and Sarah Sophia Thompson, from which we can clearly determine that we have the right man, despite the spellings.

(Bertha Lilian Carter was born in 1903 D Quarter in GRIMSBY Volume 07A Page 587, mother's maiden name TINDALL, the daughter of Alfred Charles Carter and Alice Maud Tindall. Her parents had married at St James, Grimsby (now Grimsby Minster) on 28 Aug 1899, with Alice's father listed as William Major Tindall - this explains why Bertha's parents are listed on her marriage record as Alfred Charles Carter and Alice Maud Major. Following her father's death on 24 Feb 1922, Miss Bertha Lilian Carter (18) sailed for Canada on the RMS Empress of Britain (1905), accompanied by her mother.)

In 1931, William Critzer (sic) (28) Sheet metal worker and wife Bertha Lilian Critzer (27) were Lodgers at 98 Nairn [Avenue], Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

In 1939 'Daisy' S S Kritzer, Housekeeper, still listed as married, was living at 1 Pemry Villas, Elm Grove Road, Cobham, Surrey with her widowed sister, Mabel Grace Stedman; Mabel's daughter, Laura May Martin, and Gerald O Weston, a mechanic and lorry driver, who may have been a lodger. 

Sarah Sophia Kritzer, of 2 Ashford Cottages, Tilt Road, Cobham, Surrey, wife of Joseph Kritzer, died, aged 68, on 20 Feb 1945. She left £595 13s (worth £25,849 in 2020) to her daughter, Mary Amelia Melhuish, married woman. 

Other than those last records in 1939 and 1945 relating to Sarah - where she's described as married and as his wife - thereby alluding to Joseph Kritzer still being alive, there's no further sign of him in Britain, once again supporting the theory that Joseph was probably returned (deported) back to Germany.

There are many questions that still need to be answered.

Tuesday 12 January 2021

Mary Amalie Kritzer and Edward William Brown Todd

St Martin-in-the-Fields church, London
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Jeremy Bolwell -

Edward William Brown Todd (b. 4 Feb 1901 in Brentford, Middlesex), son of Charles Brown Todd and Mary Cole, married Mary Amalie Kritzer or Christie (the record says) (b. 21 Feb 1906 in the district of Peterborough, Northamptonshire), daughter of Joseph Kritzer and Sarah Sophia Tompson, at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, in Q3 1933. 

In 1939, Mary A Todd, hairdresser, and her husband, Edward Todd, were living at 2 Ashford Cottages, The Tilt, Cobham, Surrey. (Her mother, 'Daisy' S S Kritzer, was then living nearby at 1 Pemry Villas, Elm Grove Road, Cobham.) Although the couple must, presumably have subsequently divorced, because Mary A Todd or Christie (again, that's what the record says) then married Frederick Croydon Melhuish in Surrey North Eastern, in 1942. 

Edward Todd was, at that time still alive, because he died, aged 48, in 1949. Edward William Brown Todd of 25 Surbiton Hill Park, Surbiton, Surrey (the Todd family home) died on 27 Dec 1949 at 26 Wolverton Avenue, Kingston Hill, Surrey (then the address of Kingston Hospital). Probate was granted, on 9 Feb 1950, to Montague Charles Brown Todd (Edward's elder brother), manufacturer (C B Todd Magnesia Manufacturers). He left effects valued at £1051 17s 4d and was buried, on 2 Jan 1950, at Surbiton Cemetery.

Frederick Croydon Melhuish (b. 24 Dec 1897 in Rock, Worcestershire), in 1939 had been living in Mitcham, Surrey with his first wife, formerly Hilda Evelyn Martha Speller (b. 3 Jan 1902 in Eastleigh, Hampshire), who he had married, in Wandsworth, in 1927. His occupation in 1939 was Press Tool Setter. Frederick C Melhuish died, aged 53, also in 1949, in Birmingham (where he'd lived previously and still had family). He was interred at Yardley Cemetery. And again, we must assume he was divorced, because Hilda Evelyn Martha Melhuish died, at 90, on 15 Aug 1992, ironically, in Croydon.

On 6 Jan 1992, Mary Amelia Melhuish (formerly Todd, née Kritzer and sometimes Christie), died, aged 85, in Ganges, British Columbia, Canada. The record of her death confirms her husband as Frederick Croydon Melhuish and her parents as Joseph Kritzer and Sarah Tompson. Two things spring to mind: clearly someone was around who knew and could give these details and what was she doing at what appears to be the 'wrong end' of Canada for family?