Thursday, 12 November 2015

Charles Frank De Friez - "man of mystery"

Charles Frank de FRIEZ is not an easy man to know.  To me, he is behind a faded curtain; occasionally small holes appear where I get a brief glimpse of him as he passes by.  

He was my great-uncle.  The simple known facts are these:

Charles was born on Sunday 9 April 1905 to Charles and Florence (REED) de FRIEZ. 
Charles was married on Saturday 28 July 1928 to Elsie Marie PRYOR.
Charles died on Wednesday 14 July 1993.

Other facts are these:
  • Charles was the first child for Charles and Florence. 
  • The birth was registered by his mother, giving their address as 17 Farr Street, Shirehampton, Bristol.
  • At the time of his marriage in 1928, Charles gave his address as 12 Olveston Road, Horfield.
  • Charles, though baptised in the Anglican Church, was married in a Roman Catholic Church by licence to a woman who was 9 years older than he.
  • In 1939 when the UK undertook its Register, Charles' wife was living with her sister and brother-in-law, and reported her marital status as "separated".  There appears to be no children with her.
  • Charles left England in 1952 on the SS Tamaroa, bound for New Zealand.  He travelled with Mrs Dorothy de Friez and 2 children, Stuart and Jane Lowe.  The address given by all four people was Woodlands Cafe, Llandrindod Wells, Rads.
Clearly, there are a lot of questions raised by these facts:
  • Did Charles need to "convert" to Catholicism to marry Elsie?
  • What was the basis of their marriage?
  • Where did they live when first married?
  • When did they separate?  And where did Charles go after that?
  • Did he marry Dorothy, or is it a pretence to counter social disapproval?
  • What was the purpose of the trip to New Zealand - holiday or emigration?
  • How did Charles end up in Queensland, alone?
Plenty of avenues to pursue, which I'll write about in another post; this is getting way long :-)

Until then, enjoy your own gene-adventures :-)


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