24 November 2009

Mary Snowden 1815-1888


So far I haven’t been able to ascertain Mary’s maiden name. The cemetery is unknown to me but possibly in Diddington or Cuckney where Mary was born, this is the information on her headstone:-

      • ILMO Mary the beloved wife of James Snowden who died April 5th
      • 1888 aged 72 years. Beloved in life, lamented in death.
      • Also of Alfred son of the above who died Oct 7th 1882 aged 30 years.
      • His end was peace. And interred at Laughton.
      • Also Harry son of Alfred & Sarah Ann Parker, who died Nov 30th
      • 1885 aged 13 years. Not lost but gone before.

Deaths Jun 1888
SNOWDEN  Mary  72  Worksop  7b 23

Deaths Dec 1882
Snowden  Alfred  30  Sheffield  9c 284

I’ve followed Mary & James through all the census from 1881 going back to 1841, they were living in Dinnington Yorkshire in all of them. I found the following children for them:-

Walter, Harriet, John, Sarah Ann, Henry, Alfred, James, Mary E & Maria.

Walter was 8 mths old in the 1841 census (taken 6 Jun) so that puts his birthdate sometime in Sep/Oct 1840.

Births Dec 1840
Snowden  Walter     Worksop  15 633

Mary was born in Cuckney, Nottinghamshire and the Worksop registration district includes Cuckney & Diddington. I then looked for a marriage for Mary & James and came up with this one, also in Worksop:-

Marriages Dec 1839
BLAND  Mary    Worksop  15 1215   
SNOWDEN  James     Worksop  15 1215   
WALTERS  Mary     Worksop  15 1215

Unfortunately there were two Marys getting married in that quarter so I can’t say which one might be her. I’m not even sure that this marriage is theirs although it fits the criteria perfectly ie marriage in the parish of the bride and one year before their eldest child is born.

Why I’m not sure is that I have found quite a few family trees on ancestry.com that all give Mary’s maiden name as TURNER, however, none of them give a source and I’ve been unable to find a marriage between a James Snowden and a Mary Turner.

The Cuckney parish record baptisms have been extracted to the IGI from 1813 only. There is a Mary Ann Turner bap in 1818 but Mary does not give her name as Mary Ann in any of the census, nor is the Ann on her headstone.

It now remains for someone to purchase the above marriage certificate to see if it’s the right one. If anyone does or can give me a source for the Snowden/Turner marriage please contact me.

James Snowden gives his birthplace variously as Haxey, Westwoodside or Isle of Axholme, all in Lincolnshire, this from Wikipedia:-

The village of Haxey lies between the villages of Westwoodside and Owston Ferry, forms part of the Isle of Axholme.

James was baptised on 25 Apr 1813 at Haxey, son of John Snowden and Sarah née Jennings. He died in the 4qtr of 1906 aged 93, his death is registered in the Eccleshall Bierlow RD.



If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the Snowden family please do contact me, I would love to pass this photo onto a family member. Contact by email is preferable but if you are going to leave a comment please don’t forget to include your email address.

All the information I’ve found on this family may also be seen on the next update at WorldConnect here.

Dawn Scotting

21 November 2009

Rex A Thomas of Bridgwater, Somerset, UK


rex-thomas rex-thomas-back

Today’s photograph-postcard came with an old telegram, the only thing that immediately connected them to each other was the address of Blacklands, Bridgwater.


Subtracting 25 from 1849 I looked for a marriage in 1924 and came up with this one:-

Marriages Jun 1924
GILES  Sidney R  Thomas  Bridgwater  5c 673  
Thomas  Ethel E  Giles  Bridgwater  5c 673

Births Sep 1898
Thomas  Ethel Ellen     Bridgwater  5c 335

Births Sep 1899
Giles  Sidney Raymond    Bridgwater  5c 321

Ethel Ellen Thomas was the daughter of Henry George (or George Henry) Thomas and Florence Ellen née Baker and there we have the connection with Rex Thomas:-

Births Mar 1914
THOMAS  Rex A  Baker  Bridgwater  5c 503

Sidney Raymond, the son of Sidney Giles and Effie née Hunt, was obviously known by his middle name, in 1911 we find him & Ethel at home with their respective parents:-

Reference RG14PN14286 RG78PN858 RD306 SD2 ED10 SN58
1911 Census
28 Blacklands St, Bridgwater, Somerset
Henry George Thomas head mar 35 14 yrs Brewers Head Caskwasher born Taunton Som
Florence Ellen wife 33 mar 2 children 2 alive housewife born Bridgwater
Clifford William son 13 school born Bridgwater
Ethel Ellen dau 12 school born Bridgwater
Frederick Thomas cousin 32 unm postman PO Govt Serv born Taunton

Reference RG14PN14281 RG78PN858 RD306 SD2 ED5 SN61
1911 Census
172 St John St, Bridgwater, Somerset
Sidney Giles head 39 mar 16 yrs painter Railway Co. born Bridgwater Som
Effie wife 37 3 children 2 alive born Bridgwater
Raymond son 11 school born Bridgwater
Frank son 7 born Bridgwater
May Pearham niece 5mths born Cardiff

Going back one more generation – Henry George Thomas was the son of William & Jane Thomas. Florence Ellen Baker the daughter of John & Harriet Baker.



If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the Thomas or Giles families please do contact me, I would love to pass this photo onto a family member. Contact by email is preferable but if you are going to leave a comment please don’t forget to include your email address.

All the information I’ve found on this family may also be seen on the next update at WorldConnect here.

Dawn Scotting

20 November 2009

Ethel May Rudkin 1894-?


This time we have four pretty postcards sent to Miss Ethel Rudkin on the occasion of her birthday. This one is dated 9 Apr 1920 and is sent from her nephew Leonard, son of her brother Walter.

Ethel May Rudkin was born on or near the 10 Apr 1894 in Witham, Essex, the daughter of Henry Rudkin and Ann née Dawson. Henry was the son of William Rootking and Harriet née Newcombe. William was the son of Isaac Rootking and Sarah née Cook. Isaac was born in Little Coggeshall, Essex but by 1841 was living in Witham where the Rootking/Rudkin family lived for at least the next century.


postcard17 postcard18

The last three postcards were all posted in 1913 & addressed to ‘The Parsonage’ which is a bit of a mystery as they were living at Power’s Hall End in 1911 which is the address on the 1920 postcard. Henry’s occupation was a Maltster so their home must have been an old parsonage.

Reference RG14PN10414 RG78PN553 RD201 SD4 ED3 SN42
1911 census
Powers Hall End, Witham, Essex
Henry Rudkin head 54 mar invalid (malster's lab) born Witham, Essex
Ann wife 56 mar born Gt Saling, Essex
Frank son 27 unm gen lab born Witham
Harry William son 24 unm plumber born Witham
Ethel May dau 16 unm daily serv born Witham

Apart from the three children living at home there were three other children.

Walter Charles 1879 who had married Edith Hicks in 1902, their son was Leonard born 1904.
Ernest George 1881 who married Annie Pawsey in 1910.
Eva Jane 1892, who was away from home working as a servant in Sussex, she married Bertie May in 1929.

Apparently there are a lot of other postcards from Ethel’s collection which were all bought at an auction in NZ many years ago, I purchased these four from TradeMe. I wasn’t able to find a marriage for Ethel although quite a few of the cards were valentines from an affectionate Albert. I wonder if she married him, perhaps they migrated to NZ, there must be a reason all the postcards turned up here. I had to laugh at one of her cards posted in Feb 1908, she would have been 15, “meet me Friday night outside just round the corner on the left, from one who loves you, Jim”. Did she make the rendezvous I wonder or did her parents lock her up when they saw the card? Silly Jim, didn’t he think her parents might see it, especially seeing he addressed it to Ethel c/o her mother!


If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the Rudkin family please do contact me, I would love to pass these postcards onto a family member. Contact by email is preferable but if you are going to leave a comment please don’t forget to include your email address.

All the information I’ve found on this family may also be seen on the next update at WorldConnect here.

Dawn Scotting

Fortescue William Harris 1821-1853

Today’s photograph is unusual in that it is a photo taken from a watercolour miniature painting. Most probably taken to commemorate Captain Fortescue William Harris after his disappearance at sea in 1853.

fortesque2 fortescue-back 

  • Subject: Fortescue William Harris
  • Date: Unknown
  • Photographer: Tayler & Sainsbury, 158 Strand, London
  • Found: UK

Royal Geographic Society of London
Vol 1, Sessions 1855-6 and 1856-7, Nos. I to XI.

Harris, Captain Fortescue William, was born in 1821, educated at the Royal Naval School, and afterwards entered the merchant service. After many voyages to China, the East and West Indies, he was appointed to the command of the ' Madagascar' in 1852; went to Calcutta and back, and sailed on the 6th of March, 1853, for Melbourne, Victoria. He left Melbourne homewardbound on the 12th of August the same year, since which time nothing has been heard of the crew or ship, which is supposed to have foundered while coming round Cape Horn.

madagascar_ship                                                          © www.maritime-connector.com

The Madagascar's Final Voyage

The Madagascar was a large British merchant ship built for the trade to India and China in 1837, which went missing on a voyage from Melbourne to London in 1853. The disappearance of the Madagascar was one of the great maritime mysteries of the 19th century and was probably the subject of more speculation than any other 19th century disappearance except for the Mary Celeste.

As a result of the Victorian Gold Rush the Madagascar was sent to Melbourne with emigrants under the command of Captain Fortescue William Harris. She left Plymouth on 11 March 1853 and, after an uneventful passage of 87 days, reached Melbourne on 10 June. Fourteen of her 60 crew jumped ship for the diggings, and it is believed only about three replacements were signed on. She then loaded a cargo that included wool, rice and about two tonnes of gold valued at £240,000, and took on board about 110 passengers for London.

On Wednesday 10 August, just as she was preparing to sail, police went on board and arrested a bushranger John Francis who was later found to have been one of those responsible for robbing the Melbourne Private Escort between the McIvor goldfield (Heathcote, Victoria) and Kyneton on 20 July. On the following day two others were arrested, one on board the ship and the other as he was preparing to board. As a result of these arrests the Madagascar did not leave Melbourne until Friday 12 August 1853 and after leaving Port Phillip Heads she was never seen again.

When the ship became overdue many theories were floated, including spontaneous combustion of the wool cargo, hitting an iceberg and, most controversially, being seized by criminal elements of the passengers and/or crew and scuttled after the gold was stolen and the remaining passengers and crew were murdered.

Apart from the small amount of information in the above articles nothing much seems to be known about Captain Fortescue William Harris, Google for a change is sadly lacking. I had no luck finding a baptism on the IGI but I did have a breakthrough with a marriage:-


27 May 1841 at the St Pancras Parish Church, Middlesex
Fortescue William Harris & Frances Margaret Sharpe Harvey, both full age, bach & spin, seaman. Fathers/Wm Clarke Harris, R.N. and W B B B Harvey, D..y?

Interesting to see the little note written on the side – No fees paid, poor & without money.

10 days later the 1841 census was taken – have you ever tried to find anyone with the name of Harris living in London in 1841? There was not one with the first name of Fortescue (or Fortesque) but 543 of them named William,  and that was just the ones born about 1820! So then I tried Frances, only 28 of them! After scrolling through all the ones living in London I found this entry that I think could be them.

Source Citation: Class: HO107; Piece 701; Book: 11; Civil Parish: St Anne Limehouse; County: Middlesex; Enumeration District: 20; Folio: 11; Page: 16; Line: 13; GSU roll: 438814.


William & Frances are living in the same house as a Master Mariner and at such a young age this could suggest it was when, or soon after, he was being educated at the Royal Naval School. He says he wasn’t born in Middlesex and Frances is from Scotland which is exactly where Frances Margaret Sharpe Harvey was born:-


Frances Margaret born 27 Sep 1818, daughter of William Harvey of Dublin and Margaret Sharpe spinster daughter of Francis Sharpe Comptroller of Leith. The births of four other children were noted on the same day in March 1819.


William Hervey Esqr of Dublin and Margaret Sharp resident in Leith and daughter of Francis Sharp Esqr Compt. of Customs there, after proclamation of banns were married 4 April 1810.

I’ve been unable to find anything further on either Fortescue or Frances after 1841, no sign of them in 1851, no further marriage for Frances or a death that I can say for sure is her.

I found a marriage for a William Clarke Harris, to Mary Legg on 13 Jan 1814 at St Martin in the Fields, Westminster, plus a son born in 1826 in Gillingham, Kent, but nothing for Fortescue or his sister:-


I also found a couple of little snippets about William Clarke Harris (the father) in the Royal Navy but that’s where it all came to a halt:-

"A list of the flag officers and other commissioned officers of His Majesty's fleet; with the dates of their respective commissions"
William Clarke Harris 18 April 1811

The Navy List, by Great Britain Admiralty
Officers on the Out-Pensions of Greenwich Hospital
William Clarke Harris 28 Sep 1816

Google Books
Medway CityArk


If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the Harris family please do contact me, I would love to pass this photo onto a family member. Contact by email is preferable but if you are going to leave a comment please don’t forget to include your email address.

All the information I’ve found on this family may also be seen on the next update at WorldConnect here.

Dawn Scotting

17 November 2009

Albert Patrick D’Alessio 1872-after 1955

A few days ago in another one of my rummages to find things to get rid of to make room for more I came across this little Birthday Book. The front cover has long fallen off so this is the front page.


I don’t really know why but I purchased this book from an old second hand bookshop many years ago, perhaps because I had just become interested in genealogy. I suppose I was fascinated that it was so old and apart from the cover was still in relatively good condition. I was thrilled to find it again because now I thought I might have a chance of finding out about the D’Alessio family and maybe even a descendant or two.

My research has been the most interesting I’ve done on any family so far and I hope I can do the story justice in the telling of it.

The book is of course the depository of birthdates of those near & dear to the owner and inside is a goldmine of birthdays, this is an example:-


All written in a very pleasant hand-writing style by the owner Albert P D’Alyssio. This is a list of all the names in this book, some with death dates written in next to them:-

Jan 04 Mary S D'Alessio. d 22 August 1933
Jan 06 Theodore G Weber
Jan 13 Kathleen Frances Rowley, 1910
Feb 02 Gladys Sinclair Thom
Feb 04 Anthony John Brickwood
Feb 11 I S John D'Alessio. d 12 July 1907
Feb 23 Bryan M Whitworth
Mar 11 Esther Joly
Mar 16 Albert P D'Alessio, Sat 1872.
Mar 16 Mabel Dorothea Rowley. d 1935
Mar 17 Mary S D'Alessio
Mar 24 George Sydney Herbert D'Alessio, 1877
Mar 26 Edward Hugh D'Alessio Rowley, 1902
Apr 02 Dorothy Gwendolin D'Alessio (Bunty)
Apr 14 Violet Vera D'Alessio, 1906
May 25 Dorothea Mary Rowley, 1905
Jun 18 Hildebrand S Barker, 1869
Jul 09 Margaret Wolters
Jul 16 Joan Brickwood
Jul 28 Winnifred Fanny Sabina D'Alessio, 1899
Jul 29 Edmond M Gibson, 1875
Aug 05 Emily Mortlock/85
Aug 09 A H Barker/63
Aug 09 John Geoffrey Rowe D'Alessio, 1908
Aug 22 Mary Sophia D'Alessio. died 1933
Aug 30 Blanche Winnifred F R D'Alessio. d 28 Aug 1952
Sep 01 David A D'Alessio, 1875
Sep 01 John T D'Alessio, 1875
Sep 07 1905 Wedding Day
Sep 12 John Vincent D'Alessio Rowley, 1907
Sep 29 Sophia D'Alessio
Oct 15 Graeme Charles Brickwood
Oct 18 Peter Alan Brickwood
Oct 27 Arthur F D'Alessio, 1880
Oct 30 Mabel D D'Alessio, 1873. Married June 1901
Nov 16 Edward Ronald D'Alessio, 1904
Nov 18 Elizabeth Madeline D'Alessio, 1943
Nov 21 Mrs Chasney
Nov 27 Edward S J D'Alessio, 1870. d 2 July 1947

At the end were a few pages titled ‘Autographs’ and on the first two was a list of dates & place names:-


Some of the names were illegible or unfamiliar to me but I did recognise some of them and it seems they are a list of the places Albert lived covering a span of 30 years.

So started the online research, the first place I headed for was the 1911 census on FindMyPast:-

1911 census
100 Cambridge Gardens, Notting Hill W. Kensington, London
Albert Patrick d'Alessio head 39 married 12 years 2 children 2 living Solicitor born Turkey (Smyrna)  resident Naturalised 1893
Winnifred wife 32 born At Sea resident British by Parentage
Winnifred Fanny dau 11 born London
John Geoffrey Rowe son 2 born London

2 Adelphi Tce, Paignton, Totnes, Devonshire
Edward S J D'Alessio visitor 40 married 7 yrs 2 children 2 living clerk in holy orders born Smyrna Italian naturalised 1892
Vera Maude visitor 28 born Cuttach India BSubj
Edward Ronald visitor 6 born Poona India do
Violet Vera visitor 4 born Gresford North Wales do

Dorset County Asylum, near Dorchester, Dorsetshire
John Theodore D'Alessio patient 36 single no occupation born Italy resident Italian

As D’Alessio is an unusual name in the UK I looked for others and there were three of them in 1911, they all turn out to be brothers. Back another ten years to the 1901 census on ancestry.com, apart from one other D’Alessio family who don’t seem to be connected, I only found Albert this time:-

1901 census - Source Citation: Class: RG13; Piece: 1177; Folio: 24; Page: 39.
74 Montague Rd, West Hillingdon, Middlesex
Albert P D'Alessio boarder unm 29 solicitor born Asia Minor (naturalised BSubj)

After that I searched all the census for England & Wales and only found these two entries:-

1891 census - Source Citation: Class: RG12; Piece: 979; Folio 95; Page 4; GSU roll: 6096089.
St Peter’s College, Radley, Berkshire
John Theodore D'Alessio 15 scholar unm born Constantinople (BSubj)
David Anthony D'Alessio 15 scholar unm born Constantinople (BSubj)

1891 census - Source Citation: Class: RG12; Piece: 616; Folio 113; Page 5; GSU roll: 6095726.
Hampton Court Palace, Hampton, Middlesex
Edward S J D'Alessio visitor unm 20 scholar born Smyrna, Asia Minor
Albert P D'Alessio visitor unm 19 scholar born Smyrna, Asia Minor

David & John, were at St Peter’s College in Radley, Berkshire in 1891 where both Edward & Albert had also been studying, this from the College’s Register of 1847-1904:-

D'Alessio, Albert Patrick; left 1889
B.A. Ch. Ch. Oxf. ; Solicitor
2g Essex Street, Strand, W.C,

D'Alessio, Edward Samuel John; left 1889
B.A. Trin. Hall Camb. ; H.O. 1897 ; m. 1903 Vera Maude, 2 d. of G. E.
Manisty, Esq., late I.C.S., of Gresford, Denbighshire ; Chap, at St. Paul's,
Poona, from 1903
The Rev. E. S. J. D'Alessio,
Poona India

D'Alessio, David Anthony; left 1892 Ob. April 1897
D'Alessio, John Theodore; left 1892
Kadikeui Constantinople

D'Alessio, George Sydney Herbert; left 1894
Kadikeui Constantinople

Australia was my next stop where I hit the jackpot in the National Archives:-



So far this is what I have on Albert Patrick D’Alessio:-

Albert was born of Italian parents in Smyrna, Turkey on 16 Mar 1872. His parents were Isaac Samuel John D’Alessio and Mary Sophia (maiden name unknown). About 1885 he went to England to further his schooling where he studied at St Peter’s College in Berkshire and then became a Bachelor of Arts at Oxford University and a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Justice.

He became a Naturalised British Subject in 1893, was Articled (period of training) in Law in Feb 1894 and was Admitted to the Bar in Dec 1897.

On the 7 Sep 1905 in St Peter’s Church in Bayswater he married Winnifred Burgess (née Rowe), daughter of John Rowe (Lieut RN) and Sabina née Hill.


There seems to be a little mystery here because on his 1911 census form he wrote that he’d been married for 12 years and had two children, Winnifred aged 11 and John aged 2, the maths don’t quite add up. Now that I’d found that Winnifred was a widow I searched once more and found that she wasn’t a widow but had been divorced from Robert Percy Howard Burgess in 1904 and that her full name was Blanche Winnifred Frances Roseare Rowe, this from the National Archives in Kew:-

Item details J 77/821/4945    
Context : quick reference  
Records of the Supreme Court of Judicature and related courts 
Record Summary
Scope and content Divorce Court File: 4945. Appellant: Blanche Winnifred Frances Roseare Burgess. Respondent: Robert Percy Howard Burgess. Type: Wife's petition [WX]. 
Covering dates 1904

So it seems daughter Winnifred was his step-daughter, full name Winnifred Fanny Sabina Burgess. Although he does list her as W F S D’Alessio in his birthday book in one of the other letters to the Australian Dept of External Affairs he mentions he has one son and one step-daughter.

Births Sep 1899
Burgess  Winnifred Fannie S    Brentford  3a 156

Births Sep 1908
D'Alessio  John Geoffrey R     Kensington  1a 118

Unfortunately the South Australian BMD Registration Office do not have online searchable indices so I thought that was that. Then, on relooking in the Australian Archives I came across these two applications for assisted passage by British migrants:-

D'ALESSIO John Geoffrey Rowe, Dorothy Gwendoline [nee CHASNEY], Elizabeth Madeline [Application by British migrants for assisted passage] 
Contents date range 1955 - 1955 Extent
Location: Perth
D'ALESSIO Albert Patrick [Application by British migrants for assisted passage]
Contents date range circa 1948 - circa 1956 Extent
Location: Perth

Then this passenger list:-

Date of departure: 5 December 1955   
Port of departure: Southampton  
Passenger destination port: Fremantle, Australia  
Passenger destination: Fremantle, Australia
Date of Birth: 3 March 1910 
Age: 45 (calculated from DOB) 
Marital status: Married
Sex: Male 
Occupation: Clerical 
Passenger recorded on: Page 26 of 33 
The following people with the same last name travelled on this voyage: - 
Mr A P DALLESSIO Page 26 of 33
Mrs D DALLESSIO Page 26 of 33 
Miss E DALLESSIO Page 26 of 33

So it seems they weren’t very happy in Australia and must have gone back to England probably sometime before 1915. In the birthday book he has listed ‘6 July 1915 – Druces & Atlee’. I wasn’t really able to decipher the second word but after doing a little Googling I found a firm of Solicitors in London called ‘Druces & Atlee’ who had been there for over 200 years, that was when I realised the second word was ‘Atlee’.

The only D’Alessio records I found in the New Zealand BMD records are these two deaths & one burial:-

1980/27860 D'Alessio  Dorothy Gwendoline  2 April 1910
1990/31840 D'Alessio  John Geoffrey Rowe  9 August 1908

Purewa Cemetery & Crematorium
Surname  D'ALESSIO
First Names  Dorothy Gwendoline
Age  69 Years
Date of Death  13 Jan 1980
Religion  Anglican
Ashes Disposal  Scattered

John & Dorothy had a daughter, Elizabeth Madeline, born in 1943 so I’m presuming she came to NZ with them.

While I was doing the research on this family I was struck with wondering why a family born in Turkey with Italian roots wrote (and probably spoke) such perfect English. Their names seem to have been English spellings right from birth not later Anglicized. So back to Google for a little research on Smyrna. This is a review on a book written by Giles Milton “Paradise lost: Smyrna 1922”:-

Gripping account of a half-forgotten 20th-century war that ended in gruesome ethnic cleansing.The Levantine city of Smyrna (today called Izmir) in 1914 was a vibrant commercial metropolis of 500,000 on Turkey's western coast. These coastal areas had formed part of ancient Greece, writes veteran historian Milton (White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam's One Million White Slaves, 2005, etc.), and even after the 11th-century Ottoman conquest Greeks remained the dominant minority. They constituted two-thirds of Smyrna's prosperous polyglot community of Christian Greeks, Armenians and Europeans mixing freely with Jews and Turks under a benign Ottoman governor. This apparent harmony deteriorated after Turkey entered World War I on Germany's side. Smyrna's Christians mostly supported the Entente Powers, but the governor ignored orders from his superiors to persecute Greeks and massacre Armenians. At the war's close, the Treaty of Versailles gave Smyrna to Greece. Arriving in 1919 to an enthusiastic reception from their countrymen, Greek troops proceeded to loot the Turkish quarter, killing hundreds and enraging Turkish nationalists. Then Greek forces advanced deep into Turkey during a bloody three-year war. Finally overreaching themselves, they were crushed by armies under the charismatic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Pursuing the fleeing Greeks, Atatürk's forces reached Smyrna in September 1922 and engaged in an orgy of murder, rape and looting. They burned the city, leaving more than 100,000 dead, and eventually expelled more than one million Greeks from Turkey.

I’ve never read the book but by all accounts a fairly gruesome account of what happened in Smyrna in 1922, and somewhat contentious. Part of this report on the book by Adam Kirsch gives a little insight into the Levantine Dynasties of Smyrna:-

His primary focus is on the "Levantines," the families of European descent who dominated the city's commercial life, using their terrific wealth to create a bubble of graceful living in a sea of poverty, violence, and ethnic tension. Though the rich, well-connected Levantines suffered much less in 1922 than the vast majority of Smyrniots, Mr. Milton dwells on their dispossession and exile as though it were the heart of the story. In part this is because he is following his sources — he makes good use of the unpublished memoirs of Levantine exiles — and in part it is because the contrast between their gilded lives and their sudden ruin is dramatically irresistible.

For the Whitalls, Girauds, Woods, and other Levantine clans, Smyrna — in particular, the rich suburb of Bournabat — was indeed a paradise. They traced their descent from English, French, and Italian merchant families, and were legally citizens of home countries many of them never saw. But by the time of World War I, they had created a virtually self-sufficient aristocratic world. Members of the leading Levantine dynasties did business together, raced yachts together, admired one another's mansions and gardens, and above all, intermarried. "We called everyone aunt or uncle to be on the safe side," one of the Whitalls remembered.

I found a few transcripts of the Smyrna/Izmir church registers deposited by Chaplains in 1995-8 to the London Guildhall library for safe keeping:-

Church of All Saints Budjah, Register of Baptisms, marriages and burials 1866-1943.
1867 Anna Margaret, Isaac Samuel John & Mary Sophia D'Alessio, Budjah (abode), perf by J T Wolters.
1869 Anna Margaret D'Alesio aged 1, Smyrna (abode), performed by W B Lewis. (Burial)
1872 Albert Patrick, Isaac Samuel John & Mary Sophia D'Alessio, Budjah (abode), perf by J T Wolters.
1874 Mabel Dorothea, Isaac Samuel John & Mary Sophia D'Alessio, Budjah (abode), perf by J T Wolters.

Here you will find wonderful information on the Levantine people in Smyrna.

D’Alessio Family Tree

Anthony John D'Alessio, 1801-1864 (buried in Buca Cemetery)
(possible) father of
Isaac Samuel John D'Alessio, died 12.7.1907
+Mary Sophia Unknown, died 22.8.1933
==Anna Margaret D'Alessio, 1867-1869
==John Anthony D'Alessio, 1869-1869
==Edward Samuel John D'Alessio {Reverend}, 1870-1947
    +Vera Maude Manisty, 1882-?
    ....Edward Ronald D'Alessio, 1904-?
    ....Violet Vera D'Alessio, 1906-?
    ....Josephine C D'Alessio, 1917-?
==Albert Patrick D'Alessio, 1872-? 
    +Blanche Winnifred Frances Roseare Rowe, 1874-1952 
    ....John (Jack) Geoffrey Rowe D'Alessio {Reverend}, 1908-1990 
        +Dorothy (Bunty) Gwendoline Chasney, 1910-1980
        ---Elizabeth Madeline D'Alessio, 1943-
==Mabel Dorothea D'Alessio, 1874-1935
    +Unknown Rowley
    ....Edward Hugh D'Alessio Rowley {Lieutenant-Colonel}, 1902-1994
    ....Dorothea Mary Rowley, 1905-?
    ....John Vincent D'Alessio Rowley {Governor of Darfur, Sudan},1907-1996 
    ....Kathleen Frances Rowley, 1910-? 
==John Theodore D'Alessio, 1875-?
==David Anthony D'Alessio, 1875-1897
==George Sydney Herbert D'Alessio, 1877-?
==Arthur F D'Alessio, 1880-?


If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the D’Alessio family please do contact me, I would love the birthday book to find a new home. Contact by email is preferable but if you are going to leave a comment please don’t forget to include your email address.

All the information I’ve found on this family may also be seen on the next update at WorldConnect here.

Dawn Scotting