Henry Jacobs, Ellen Silverstone and Elizabeth Twine

Henry Jacobs, Ellen Silverstone and Elizabeth Twine

I asked Peter to fill me in on Henry and his wives/lovers and he kindly sent me this information.

Henry Jacobs born about 1832, son of Moses Jacobs of 101 Berwick Street, emigrated to the USA about 1850 and married Ellen Silverstone who was born in Paddington about 1835, who had a Polish father and a German mother.

They returned to live in North Street Brighton during the late 1850’s (possibly due to the American civil war).

Their children were:-
Hannah born Kentucky 1855,
Morris born Kentucky 1856,
Sarah born Brighton Sussex 1859,
Matilda born Brighton 1861,
David born Brighton 1863,
Kate born Brighton 1865,
Leah born Brighton 1866,
Jacob born Brighton 1869,
Lizzie born Brighton 1871 and
Lewis born London 1874.

The 1861, 1871 Brighton censuses and 1881 Lambeth census confirm their children’s names and ages. Ellen Jacobs appears in the 1881 census living in Lambeth now a dressmaker living with children:-

Leah Jacob,
Lizzie and

There is no sign of Henry even though her marriage status is given as married not widowed.

Ellen Jacobs also appears in the 1901 census living with her grandson and again her status is married not widowed and no sign of Henry.

Meanwhile Henry, and we believe it is the same Henry, appears in Holborn in the 1881 and 1891 census with a new partner:-

Elizabeth Jacobs nee Twine and children:-

Alice born Holborn 1874,
Clara born Holborn 1875,
Charles born Holborn 1877,
Minnie born Bermondsey 1880,
Annie born Soho London 1881,
John born Soho London 1882
Rachel born Soho London1883

Henry eventually died in Colney Hatch Asylum on 03/04/1911.

How on earth did Henry Jacobs manage to father all those children, 17 in total? It is not surprising he ended up in an asylum.

You will note that Lewis from the first marriage was born in 1874, as was Alice from his second relationship.

We believe that after moving back to London with his wife Ellen, sometime between 1871 and 1874, Henry met, and was having an affair with, Elizabeth Twine from Clapham and as a result Alice was born.

We do not know at what stage he left Ellen and moved in with Elizabeth Twine.We also have stories passed down through the family that Henry had run off with another woman.

The story passed down through the family about Henry was that he left his wife and family and ran off with a Spanish harpist. Which wife and family, we are not sure.

However Elizabeth’s family was very musical and her two brothers were professional musicians. We believe the Spanish harpist was Elizabeth Twine, obviously not Spanish but may have been appearing in one of the Spanish operas that were in London around that time.

We cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that this is the same Henry but on checking extensively the various census records, Henry is roughly the same age in each one, has the same occupation and was born in the same area i.e. St James, Soho, Westminster.

In his second relationship he has a child Annie which happens to be the name of his sister as mentioned in the Jewish Chronicle when she died.

I have looked at the possibility that it might not be the same Henry but cannot find any other Henry that fits the bill. I have been in touch with relatives of John Jacobs, Alice’s brother, who have also done extensive research and they have reached the same conclusions.

I have also been in contact with Roy Parker who is the Great Grandson of David Jacobs from the first marriage.

He lives in Canada and is researching the American connection. I have emailed him and asked him if he can prove that the Henrys are the same person.

I probably feel the same way about this as you do, that to include it in the database we need more proof, but under the circumstances of a broken marriage, a love affair and a new life with another partner, I am not sure that we are going to find the proof.

If I was not reasonably sure I would not have done the amount of research that I have done over the past year or so particularly with Moses, Henry, David and Jacob Jacobs.

My conclusion is that to prove 100% that this is same Henry Jacobs we would either have to find documents from both sets of families which have the same signature from Henry, find Henry’s will that might mention both wives and/or all children or lastly Roy Parker and me undergo Gene checks (drastic and costly) now that we have the technology.

I have had another hunch about proving the Holborn Henry is the same Henry as Moses’ son. One of Holborn Henry’s relatives checked the records at Colney Hatch Asylum and I believe she may have his birth date. If so I can compare it with the date I have for the possible birth of Berwick Street Henry from circumcision records. If those dates tie up, then taking into account all the other coincidences, we may have our proof.

I hope you will find it as interesting a story as we did and meanwhile whilst we await a reply from Roy in Canada I would appreciate my other Jacobs relatives thoughts on the subject, particularly any suggestions for finding the proof.