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Old 15-08-12, 08:58
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Default Who Do You Think You Are - Samantha Womack 15th Aug

This evening on BBC1 at 9 pm.

Samantha Womack, formerly Samantha Janus, is best known for playing Ronnie in EastEnders and Mandy in Game On.
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Old 15-08-12, 16:03
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I'm looking forward to seeing this series, even if Samantha looked a bit giggly and hyperactive in the clip I just looked at!
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Old 15-08-12, 18:01
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I'm looking forward to the whole series
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Old 15-08-12, 21:15
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I missed the first 5 minutes... so Beatrice must have come back to the UK at some point and didn't talk about her history/travels with her decendents??
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Old 15-08-12, 21:21
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Rachel

Ha! Exactly what I thought too! Although Samantha did say that her family never really talked about the past but you would have thought that as she is an actress, someone would have said "oh, your grannie's mother was an actress too".

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, but as usual, more questions than answers. I was wondering why they weren't looking for Jessie as Jessie Garraud on the passenger lists, rather than Jessie Ryder, her maiden name.

OC
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Old 15-08-12, 21:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olde Crone View Post
I was wondering why they weren't looking for Jessie as Jessie Garraud on the passenger lists, rather than Jessie Ryder, her maiden name.
Me too! Also where and when and how did Jessie's first husband die?
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Old 15-08-12, 21:28
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Episode Synopsis

Samantha Womack nee Janus is married to Mark Womack and they have two children. She was born in Brighton. She is an only child and her parents separated when she was a child. Her mother Diana was an actress and model and her father Noel was a singer / songwriter who took his own life about two years ago.

Samantha went to visit her father's mother Dolly in Brighton. Dolly knew very little about her own parents and their backgrounds but she did know that her mother's name was Beatrice Garraud and her father's was Alexander Cunningham Ryan. They separated when Dolly was a child. She also said that Beatrice's mother's name was Jessie Ryder and that Alexander was gassed in WW1 when he was in the Scots Guards.

Samantha started by researching Alexander Cunningham Ryan's military career. She viewed his service record at Wellington Barracks in London, the home of the Scots Guards. The record showed that he attested on the 22nd Sep 1914 and was transferred to the 1st Battalion on the 27th Dec 1914. His pension document showed that he was discharged due to a gunshot wound which damaged his right lung. His service papers also showed that he was born in Glasgow and had previously served in the Highland Light Infantry for 14 years and 5 months.

Samantha then went to Glasgow to visit the Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum where she viewed a copy of his service record with the Highland Light Infantry. This showed that he joined on the 5th July 1895 at the age of 14 years and 6 months. His birthplace was shown as Maryhill in Glasgow. The museum had a picture of a J Ryan who was also a boy soldier and may have been related to Alexander, perhaps his brother.

Alexander's military records showed that he was a Bandsman and that he was discharged under Article 1142 (i.e. for personal reasons) with 8 years and 2 days' service, and then re-enlisted into the Royal Garrison Artillery stationed at Plymouth.

Samantha then visited the Royal Citadel in Plymouth where she saw yet another copy of his service records, which showed that he served as a musician in Plymouth and that he deserted in 1910 and was arrested 6 months later, and was tried and convicted by a civilian court, imprisoned, and discharged from the army.

The next place she visited was Plymouth Record Office to look at the prison records. She found that Alexander Cunningham Ryan was sentenced to 1 month imprisonent on the 19th Aug 1910 for stealing a cornet (worth £4 4s) but there was also a previous offence of stealing a euphonium (worth £12 12s) earlier the same year. A newspaper report showed that he was the storeman and store librarian in charge of musical instruments and that he had been in the habit of taking the instruments, pawning them, and later redeeming them when he had some money to spare. He received a dishonourable discharge from the army with a caution that if he attempted to rejoin the army without mentioning this, he would be liable to two years in prison. This would be why he didn't mention his service in the RGA when he joined up in WW1.



Samantha then turned her attentions to Dolly's mother Beatrice Garraud. She went to the Society of Genealogists to see Else Churchill, who showed her a marriage certificate dated 17th August 1892 - Pierre Francois Olidon Garraud age 27 married Jessie Ryder age 23. Fathers' names Antonin Garraud, a judge, and Alfred Ryder, an accountant. Else Churchill had birth certificates for two children of this couple - Anthony Leonard Garraud born 14 Dec 1892 and Berthe Marie Josephe Garraud born 26 Aug 1894 at the French Hospital, Shaftesbury Avenue. It was thought that Berthe was most likely the same person as Beatrice.

There was also a death certificate for Anthony. He died at the age of 6 years old in Hampstead Workhouse Infirmary, as the result of an accident where his nightdress caught fire in St Vincent's Orphanage. The death certificate gave the date of the inquest as 28th Feb 1899 so Samantha visited the Camden Archives Centre to look at copies of the Hampstead and Highgate Express and the Hampstead Record around that date for more information.

The newspapers reported the boy's name as Anthony Garrond and stated that his grandfather Alfred Wright appeared and said that he lived in Putney and that the boy's father was dead and his mother was abroad, in America, on the stage.

Samantha went to West Hampstead library and looked for Beatrice on the 1901 census where she appeared as Beattie Garrond living at Nazareth House in St Paul's, South Hammersmith, a convent for the aged and infirm and for destitute children.



Samantha visited Nazareth House and was shown the Children's Admission Register which showed that Beatrice's parents were Peter Garraud and Jessie Ryder and that she was received on the 29th July 1897 and taken away by her grandparents in May 1902.

The passenger lists show tht Jessie Ryder travelled from Liverpool to New York in March 1891 and returned in November of the same year so Samantha went to New York to see if she could find out more about Jessie's life in America. There was no information in New York but it turned out that Jessie had a daughter Annie Gertrude Finkle born 5 Aug 1899 at 36 1/2 Erie St, Jersey City. Annie Gertrude's father was Harry Philip Finkle. A theatrical historian helped Samantha to find a newspaper article about Jessie and Gertrude with photos, stating that they were appearing together in the Silver Slipper Company in 1904.

Samantha found the Finkle family on the 1910 US census with a son Harry jr age 5 and also Beatrice age 14. She also found a New York passenger list showing the Finkles travelling over in September 1907 - Mrs Jessie Finkle with Beatrice age 10, also Gertrude and Harry jr plus a Helen age 11.
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Old 15-08-12, 22:15
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The ancestry passenger lists show Jessie Finkle arriving at Plymouth from Washington in 1936, age 60, but there must be another arrival to find in 1907 before they went back with Beatrice.

Oh, and I want to find out who Helen was! They said she might be a cousin or something but I'm wondering if she is Jessie's stepdaughter.
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Old 15-08-12, 22:19
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This is the Finkles arriving at Southampton in June 1907:
Passenger List

Mrs Hy Finkle, wife, 37, with children Helen 11, Gertrude 7 and Harry 3.
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Old 15-08-12, 22:46
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Hmmm, looking at the 1910 census image, Jessie says she is the mother of 3 children, all 3 living. So that would be Beatrice, Gertrude and Harry jr, who are all with her, and she has forgotten Anthony.
On that same census, Jessie's husband Henry P Finkle is age 39, born New York, occupation theatrical.

In 1900 Henry P Finkle is 29 born New York, theatrical manager, living at 36 1/2 Erie Street, Jersey City, with his parents Peter and Gertrude, and he is married, for 1 year, but Jessie and Annie Gertrude aren't with the family. Wonder where they are?
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/iexec?h...=&pid=31715156
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