Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Steeles

Frederic and Robert had a sister, Eliza who married Edward Steele who was in the drapery business. They produced quite a line of notables beginning with Francis Edward Steele 1863-1927 a man in banking who died in Nice, France within 12 months of his cousin Carlyle Greenwood Smythe, who died there also. Francis had two children I believe, Muriel Steele, who married Dr. John Rankin of Oxford, and Arnold Francis Steele MBE, CC, 1896-1981 who in turn had a son Francis Howard Steele, who has an alphabet soup after his name, to whit: F.H.Steele, A.C.G.I, B. Sc, F.R.T.S, F.C.G.I, C. Eng, F.I.E.E and F.I.E.R.E a man well accomplished in television's early explosive and exciting days who I think left two sons; Michael Steele and David Steele who are still, I hope, alive.

Where are the Steeles? Please email if you have found this page.

As for Arthur Frederic Steele of 90 Elmbourne Rd, Tooting who looked after his aged mother until her death in 1913, I have no idea if he married or left a line. He took care of Frederic and Robert's sister (sister also to the tragic and long since passed Edward Smith and the lost George Smith) and for that, I am, as I am sure, Smythe was, grateful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bookshop on the Strand

There is a family rumor among the Smiths that Frederic Smith and Robert Sparrow Smythe's Father owned a bookshop on the Strand. Given the passage of time there is probably a grain of truth in it, if not more than a grain and luckily, bookshop sellers on the Strand in the 19th and even 18th century are well documented and even include small biographies in many small compilatory publications. There are:

William Smith, map publisher who died Nov 10 1860 aged 54. The business was established in 1799 by HIS father Charles Smith who died just six years before aged 87. William's widow and the eldest son took over the business.

Francis Smith who died 1691, bookseller on the Strand. A Francis is also recorded as a son of Ralph Smith.

Richard Smith (son of the famous Ralph Smith) who had a shop at the Angel and Bible outside Temple Bar by 1698. In 1708 he moved to the Strand, then a few years later moved to Bishop Beveridge's Head in Paternoster Row. He died on April 18, 1732. His widow Mary took over the business, then her son Charles, and then Robert Smith.

Samuel Smith, who dealt in French and Latin books.

George Smith (1789-1846) who started a bookshop and continued by George Murray Smith (1824-1901)

Henry Walton Smith (1738-1792) whose son founded the dynasty of William Henry Smith (1792-1865) the largest bookselling and newspaper vending business. The grandson William Henry Smith Jnr. became a Member of Parliament.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Smiths a-go-go

R.S.Smythe, in his will, probated in 1917 left a sum of money to his nephew in South Australia, Lancelot Wellesley Smith. Now there's a name that history cannot sweep under the rug with the crumbs dropped by the last person to drop in for an afternoon tea.

So imagine my surprise quickly thickening to suspicion when I come across a Ralph Lancelot Wellesley Smith born in 1892 in South Australia. A few hundred tippity-taps on the old plastic clavier and I find he is the son of a Francis Stringer Smith (of the South Australian Telegraph department) and Maria Julia Blott, of Kooringa, now known as Burra) in South Australia. Now surely, this Ralph and by obvious connection his father and any other Smiths that might care to reveal themselves to me must be connect to Lancelot Wellesley Smith, Smythe's proven nephew.

So what is the connection? Obvious the families knew each other well enough to name a child after another family member. So, Francis Stringer Smith was born to Francis Smith and Eliza Stringer who married in Kooringa on the 14 of Dec 1880. Francis Smith I find was born in about 1815 according to a rootsweb entry. So, That makes Francis Smith an early pre-gold rush settler and probably Edward Smith of Crafer's, R.S.Smythe's and Frederick Thomas Smith's Uncle. Curiously there is a Francis Smith mentioned of Sydney of 1829 who had lately arrived on the "Henry Wellesley". I wonder if that is him?

But, I can find no verification of who Francis Smith was for although I think he died in 1866. I am not sure and an Andrew Mitchell, who has a tantalizing tree listed on Ancestry (which I cannot afford) doesn't seem to have broken that barrier either. South Australian certificates are among the most arid and scrooge-like in the world, bearing so little information that they are virtually a waste of money to purchase until they reach the 1880s.

Now where do I go? Who is Francis Smith? How is he related?

There are some volumes in our state library compiled by genealogists, who intent upon correcting the miserly record keeping of the 'governing' entity of the time, have left brilliant and proud volumes from which much may be gathered. I hope that they might give me some of the missing links, along with some 'Smiths' in England, doing the same.