Being Genealogical Detectives

BEING GENEALOGICAL DETECTIVES

Eileen and Mark von Dadelszen, January 2010

THE VOCATION

Why become interested in genealogical research? For Eileen it was marrying into a family with a distinctively recognisable name, and being asked if she was related to XXXXX von Dadelszen ? Getting the response “she/he’s a sort of cousin” from husband Mark was not an acceptable answer, hence the interest in the Mark von Dadelszen family tree! Mark’s father, John, was a master of the degrees of family relationships, but in the 21st century computer programmes will give answers that even JHvD could not have provided!

It is appropriate to record the family “Miss Marple” who has borne the primary burden of this research. The Story of a Family, written by John von Dadelszen in 1985, was dedicated “TO EILEEN HARRIET von DADELSZEN without whose research and enthusiasm this story would never have been written.”

PRE-INTERNET GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH

Eileen’s genealogical detective work commenced in the 1970’s, in the days when research was conducted by airmail letters to distant places. It certainly helped us keep going when we received replies, sometimes after some persistence and some lengthy lapses of time, as to which, read on.

What little we knew when our researches started is recorded in The Story of a Family, written by John von Dadelszen in 1985:

So far as oral tradition is concerned, my father, Herman, was not much help, probably because his parents separated when he was very young … My father had told me … that Edward (or Eduard) von Dadelszen and his elder brother, George (or Georg) Michael, both left Hamburg some time before 1835 to settle in England. It seems likely that they already had strong links with England for, according to my father, they had previously been engaged in a shipping business, trading between Hamburg, London and Liverpool.

We also learned from Astrid that George Michael’s family in England later changed their surname to Metcalf, (or, rather, Metcalfe, as we now know), and that yet another brother migrated to France. “The family lives”, she says, “near Bordeaux on a large vineyard”.

What prompted Edward on 27 January 1860 to emigrate to New Zealand with his large family is a mystery. Possibly business in Liverpool by that time had declined. I remember my father once showing me a letter written to Edward by his elder brother in London, in which George Michael said, in effect, “You’ve got no money and you know nothing about farming. You would be a fool to go”. What happened to that letter I have no idea.

…I had always been under the impression that Edward was a widower when he left England …

The joys of searching microfiche – who came to New Zealand and how?

Between 1981 and 1985 Mark was involved in several High Court proceedings in Auckland, visiting on numerous occasions, and often had hours to fill between meetings and flights, during which he searched microfilm records in the Auckland Public Library. We knew that Edward and Mary Jane were in Liverpool from 1841, and that Edward left in 1860. John von Dadelszen’s understanding had always been that Edward was a widower when he left England. However, two Auckland newspapers “The Southern Cross” of 18 May 1860 and “The New Zealander” of the following day both record the arrival in Auckland on 17 May of the ship “Red Jacket” from Liverpool, via Melbourne, and both papers included in the passenger list the names of Mr and Mrs von Dadelszen and their children, Christina, Minnie, Jane, Rose, Edith, Otto and John. However a copy of the “Red Jacket” passenger list on leaving Melbourne 5 May 1860, obtained in Melbourne in 1987, vindicates family tradition with the passengers including “Mr Van Dadelszan 46, Christina 22, Minnie 18, Jane 18, Otto 21, John 11, Rosa 10 and Ida 7.” Despite errors in this information as to ages, the list seems painstaking in recording who was or was not on board on departure. As noted in The Story of a Family, “We must now assume that Mary Jane was dead, at least by the time the “Red Jacket” left Melbourne, and almost certainly died in England, as otherwise family tradition would surely have recorded the poignant fact of a death at sea.”

We now know from the records available through the internet that Mary Jane died in Liverpool in 1858.

The joys of searching microfiche – whatever happened to Edward von Dadelszen?

As recorded in The Story of a Family:

Eileen has found no record in Auckland of the death of Edward. He is shown as a merchant in Grey Street in the Jury List for Auckland in February 1861, but his name does not appear in the Electoral Lists of 23 May 1863.

I had always understood that he went trading in the South Seas and that the ship in which he was travelling was lost in a storm, but I had no facts to support this story. However Mark has recently discovered, from searching mircrofilms of the two local newspapers of the time in the Auckland Public Library, that Edward was a passenger on the “Swan” (45 tons, no

less!) which sailed from Auckland to Ovalau (Fiji) on 7 November 1860 – less than six months after his arrival in New Zealand.

Edward sailed in the “Swan” with other passengers and cargo including “old tom”, gin, timber, tea, sugar, “slops” and other supplies. The “Swan” is recorded in M. N. Watt, “Index to the New Zealand Section of the Register of All British Ships 1840 – 1950 (inclusive),” Part I, at page 629, in this way, “vessel sailed from Fiji on 9/i/1861 for Auckland, and never heard of again. Presumed to have foundered at sea with all hands.”

Despite the Internet, we have found nothing more. Were it not for political instability in Fiji, more might be learned there, but probably not much more than is already recorded in The Story of a Family.

The benefits of cleaning gravestones

Mark, on a trip to Auckland, found through the Anglican Diocesan records that Rose McDonnell (née von Dadelszen) was buried in the cemetery of St. Stephen’s, Parnell. He located the grave itself, cleaned the accumulated moss from the gravestone, and then stood on the next gravestone to photograph Rose’s gravestone. On looking down, he found that he was standing on a grave in which were buried four of Rose’s nieces, the daughters of John and Ellen Jane (née von Dadelszen) Booker. One of them died as a nine month old baby in 1875 and the other three within a period of a single month in 1876. It is known that one of those three, Rosa Blanche, died of diphtheria on 10 March 1876 and was buried the same day and it is very likely that the other two were struck down by the same disease. (According to the certified copy of entry of death Rosa Blanche Booker died at the age of 77, but she was only seven years old….an example of how errors can occur!)

Discovering the “lost” Saunders family

Sydney Wiltshire – Saunders wedding, finding Stella

As noted in The Story of a Family, “…Edward William Saunders, Captain in Her Majesty’s 14th Regiment, and Eliza Marianne von Dadelszen were married on 20 August 1862. Until quite recently we knew nothing about Eliza Marianne(known as “Minnie” ’s descendants, except for two brief contacts in the 1940’s with some distant Saunders cousins in Farnham, Surrey, whose address had since been lost. On the strength of this sketchy information Eileen had intended, in 1983, to write to newspapers in the Farnham area in the hope of tracing these distant cousins who, she correctly assumed, must be descended from Eliza Marianne. However, at the same time, she was trying to research the Evans Family and had recently received a letter from a woman who was interested in the same surname. In fact there seemed to be no connection, but Mark, Eileen’s husband, noticed that the letter was written from Farnham, so Eileen wrote to her fellow genealogist, asking for the names of the local newspapers and explaining the reason for her request. A few weeks later she

received a reply from the lady in question. Instead of giving the names of the newspapers, as Eileen had requested, she sent details of the will of one Robert John Saunders and a press cutting about his daughter’s wedding in 1947. Best of all, she was able to provide the name and address of another daughter, whom she had telephoned on Eileen’s behalf. Eileen has since been in correspondence with Stella Saunders, who is my second cousin, and whom my wife, Michael, and I had the great pleasure of meeting on a recent visit to England. Thanks to Stella, we now have a fairly complete pedigree of the Saunders branch of the family from 1862 to the present day.”

We have met Stella on several occasions as have three of our children. She is sorry she cannot attend this Reunion but sends her best wishes. We have been particularly pleased that through Stella we now know Anthony Turner and Jane who are the great great grandchildren of Minnie

Discovering the “lost” German von Dadelsens

Astrid – Sheila’s friend and the advertisement about the Summer School Georg was to lecture at
As a result, Eileen wrote to Professor Georg von Dadelsen in 1983, and, having had no reply, she sent him a Christmas card in 1984 in response received a very friendly letter (in English) from the Herr Professor’s wife, Dr Dorothee von Dadelsen.

As a result we have met Georg, his sister, his wife, Dorothee, and their children and grandchildren . Georg’s son and daughter-in-law, Bernhard and Susanne have visited New Zealand several times and Mark is the Godfather of their second son, Leo.

Alan Posener/ Therese Bruvier (they are great great great great grandchildren of Johann Heinrich von D. the eldest brother of Edward von D). Alan lives in Berlin and Thérèse in Normandie. We have met Alan and spent some days with Thérèse and her family near Caen in Normandy

Discovering the von Dadelszens in Ceylon

Churchmen etc

Discovering the “lost” French de Dadelsens

The Story of a Family records that “In 1981, Eileen, following the clue given by Astrid Kranefuss-von Dadelszen that one of Edward’s brothers had settled near Bordeaux, wrote to the French Embassy in Wellington for the names of newspapers circulating in that area. The embassy duly replied, giving the information Eileen had asked for, and adding, by way of postscript, that one Guy Roger de Dadelsen was listed in a French directory as a Protestant pastor in Paris. … Having been given his address, Eileen wrote to Guy de Dadelsen in August 1981, in the hope that she might be able to establish some connection with the distant Bordeaux branch of the family. Nearly three years later she received from the reverend gentleman a long letter, in French, in which he apologizes for his delay in replying and encloses a large family tree, tracing his ancestry back to the sixteenth century.”

We have been fortunate in meeting Christian, his wife Marine and their son, Clément (all based near Paris) on a number of occasions. We have also met Christian’s cousin, Anne de Dadelsen (and her husband), who now live in Hereford and have had email contact with Anne’s sister Alice who lives in California

Jenny Bartlett

How found, what we learned

THE JOYS OF THE INTERNET

PATRICK FREKE EVANS

ZIP KRUGER GRAY

GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH AND THE INTERNET

Genealogical websites

Google “Dadelszen” or “Dadelsen” and look at the entries you will be referred to

Kruger

Bookers

Freke Evans

GATHERING INFORMATION FROM BRANCHES OF THE FAMILY

Uwe – family tree, prepared by Kruger, the ubiquitous Stoppel family,

“Dadelszen” or “Dadelsen” and “von” or “de”?

From our research prior to 1985 we knew that the family name was originally von Dalern or van Dalen, and was changed to either von Dadelszen or von Dadelsen. However, we were very puzzled by the different spellings. Speculation and discussion in New Zealand was followed by similar inconclusive discussions Mark had with our German and French cousins. We obtained a family tree from distant cousin Uwe Schwarze in 1985, but it was only in November 2009 as we were meticulously entering or checking details of various family members into our family tree programme on our computer that we came across the entry “” – Peter changing name.

John

Different Family Crests

John, writing The Story of a Family, included reference to the family crest and motto; “Ever since I was quite young I have been intrigued by the family crest, which is said to depict three ears of wheat growing from a rock. One immediately thinks of the parable of the sower and of the seeds which fell upon stony places, and this can be a little discouraging. However, we can be heartened by the accompanying motto, “Per Ardua Surgam”, which may be translated as, “Through trials I shall rise”. So far all efforts to trace the origin of the crest have failed. … According to my father, when “Uncle Johnny” was questioned on the subject, he said the crest was probably given to our forebears in token of their prowess as the most successful cattle thieves in Germany. “Uncle Johnny” was not without a sense of humour, so his tale about the cattle thieves may or may not be true. In a full coat

of arms the crest appears above the shield and the motto is written below. However, in the days when documents were commonly sealed, as well as signed, it was not unusual for a man of property, or in business, to adopt a crest and motto, without any formality, simply to use on a signet ring. This may well be the explanation of what we are pleased to call our family crest.”

German volume on the Stoppel family history from Uwe

Eliza Marianne’s ring now given to Hannah von Dadelszen

Patrick Freke Evans portrait and also painting on ivory

INTERESTING CO-INCIDENCES

Georg von Dadelsen and John von Dadelszen – love of tramping

The artistic gene – Georg, Bernhard, Hans-Christian, Jean-Paul, Christian, Anne, BernhardChristian, Clement

Connecting Cromwell and St Joan of Arc through the von Dadelszens!

REMAINING MYSTERIES

Mary Jane von Dadelszen – where and when did she die?

According to in The Story of a Family, “… we know almost nothing about Mary Jane, except that she was born in Devonshire about 1813. Her maiden surname, Evans, would seem to indicate that her family originally came from Wales. My youngest brother, Dick, who died in 1983, had a small engraving of the Reverend William Evans, wearing a wig and preacher’s bands. … The marriage register of St. Mark’s Church, Kennington, for 1835 shows that Edward von Dadelszen was at that time living in St. Matthew’s Parish, Brixton, which is also part of Greater London. His bride, of course, was Mary Jane Evans and it is notable that the name, Evans, appears three times amongst the nine witnesses to the marriage. First, there is John Evans (perhaps the father or brother of the bride), next we have Margaret Evans von Dadelszen (the wife of George Michael, Edward’s brother) and, finally, Charles Evans Lane, whoever he may have been. It is interesting that Edward’s sister-in-law should have been Margaret Evans von Dadelszen, for this raises the question whether she was in some way related to the bride. Perhaps her maiden name was Lane, in which case Charles Evans Lane may have been her brother. (We may note that Charlton Lane, M.A., was the officiating minister). Curiously enough, as we now know, the name “Evans” appears again as recently as 1921 when Probate of the Will of Gertrude Amy Augusta von Dadelszen, of Cambridge, (England), Spinster, was granted to Fisher Henry Freke Evans, retired major. … Until Eileen began her research I had always been under the impression that Edward was a widower when he left England, but then research seemed to indicate I might have been wrong. “The Southern Cross” of 18 May 1860 and

“The New Zealander” of the following day both record the arrival in Auckland on 17 May of the ship “Red Jacket” from Liverpool, via Melbourne, and both papers included in the passenger list the names of Mr and Mrs von Dadelszen and their children, Christina, Minnie, Jane, Rose, Edith, Otto and John. However a copy of the “Red Jacket” passenger list on leaving Melbourne 5 May 1860, obtained in Melbourne in 1987, vindicates family tradition with the passengers including Mr Van Dadelszan 46, Christina 22, Minnie 18, Jane 18, Otto 21, John 11, Rosa 10 and Ida 7. There are obvious errors in this information, especially as to ages, and Edward’s occupation is omitted … Nevertheless the list seems painstaking in recording who was or was not on board on departure. … We must now assume that Mary Jane was dead, at least by the time the “Red Jacket” left Melbourne, and almost certainly died in England, as otherwise family tradition would surely have recorded the poignant fact of a death at sea.”

Bookers

The Story of a Family records that “… “Jane Ellen, though younger than her sisters, Christine and Minnie, was the first of her generation to marry. According to the register she was married on 10 January 1861 to John Harrocks Booker, of Auckland, settler. The occupation, “settler”, is seldom seen nowadays, though it was still quite common in land titles when I was a young search clerk. It originally meant, simply, one who settles in a new country, i.e. a colonist. In more recent years it tended to be used in documents when the draftsman was not quite sure of a person’s real occupation! In later records John Brooker is described as a banker but, regrettably, we know very little about him or his descendants. However, we may note from the family Bible that two of the god-parents of Edward John von Dadelszen were Elizabeth and Josias Booker, both of Allerton, Liverpool. It is possible that John Booker belonged to the same family.”

There follows some speculation in The Story of a Family, “Possibly it was the tragedy of their young daughters’ deaths that prompted John and Jane Booker to return to their homeland, for we have five Booker photographs, all taken in England at a later date. The first of these, from a studio in Guildford, is of John Lancelot Booker (born 14 June 1882) as a young baby. Then there are four pictures from a Folkestone studio, apparently all taken about the same time (1895-96). These show John Lancelot at the age of 13 and two sisters, of somewhat similar age, whose second names were Jane and Violet respectively. (Their first names have been partly cut off). The fourth Folkestone portrait is interesting. It is simply marked, “A. B. Booker”, and shows a young woman, several years older than the other three, though obviously related to them. It seems likely that she was an elder sister, probably born in New Zealand. And that is all we know at present about the Booker family, although Stella Saunders has a faint recollection of her father mentioning the name of Violet Booker. We can only hope that further research will yield more information.”

Rev Evans

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Date published

2010

People

  • Eileen von Dadelszen
  • Mark von Dadelszen
  • John von Dadelszen

Accession number

736/1337/37649

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