Solomon Jacobs (1861 – 1924)
“Last seen age 19 4/34 Duke Street, Aldgate London, living with his father Henry and sister Sarah Swaebe (nee Jacobs), working as a Butcher. Do you have a Solomon Jacobs in your family, he may have remained in the butchers trade, I have searched high and low for him. I believe he was alive in 1911 as he was left a sum of money in his uncle’s will. Do you have a kosher butcher in your family?”
And there he stayed until Anne Tong contacted me in May of this year.
Based on the work that Anne has done and documents provided by her and Hilary Soper we can now fill Solomon’s story out a bit.
We had him in the 1861, 71 and 81 censuses but then he vanishes, hence Debbie’s initial request.
Fast forward to may 2010 and Anne contacts the website to say that she has information on him.
The reason we can’t find him is because he changed his name to Alfred Edwards!
In the 1901 and 1911 censuses he is there with his wife and children. We still haven’t found him in the 1891 census, but more of that later.
From Anne we have a date for his marriage and dates of birth for his children, all of whom were born as Jacobs.
Anne has also provided documentary proof of his name change by sending a scan of the Deed Poll. The document is very useful as it confirms his name as Solomon Jacobs and his birth at 27 ½ Duke Street on 18th June 1861.
Despite him making the name change official in 1916, we have evidence of him using his new name in both the 1901 and 1911 censuses and possibly as early as 1908 as Anne has sight of a marriage certificate upon which she believes he appears as a witness using the name Alfred Edwards.
His occupation changes over the years between Butcher, Auctioneer, Licensed Victualler and Wine and Spirit Merchant.
We knew that he received some money from an uncle in a will but didn’t have a copy. Hilary Soper to the rescue with an article from the Jewish Chronicle of 1911 which lists the will of Daniel Myers which shows that Solomon Jacobs received £1,000. Daniel Myers was the brother-in-law of Solomon’s mother. (The will also throws light on other relationships to Daniel Myers.)
OK, so now we know what happened to Solomon, or do we?
There are a number of mysteries still to be solved:
1. He marries Mary Helena Flynn in Q4 1885 (calling himself Solomon Edward Jacobs, a name he also uses on the birth certificate of his daughter Phillis in 1898) but then they disappear and we can’t find them in the 1891 census. Have they gone abroad, is he in prison? And what name are they using?
2. Their first known child doesn’t get born for 9 years after they marry – a very long gap
3. In the 1911 census his wife is listed as Edith rather than Mary, but it apparently (I haven’t seen a copy) says that they’ve been married for 27 years which fits with the 1894 marriage.
4. There is also quite a large gap (6 years) before the last child (Violet Edith) was born.
Yes we’ve found him, and he’s off the ‘Most Wanted’ list, but I don’t think the search is over quite yet.
Dave Simpson (Sept 2010)