Thursday, May 24, 2012

Did Theresa remarry leaving her first husband in Leavesden Asylum?

Alison reported that Louis Flatau was married Theresa Newstadt in 1881 but in 1892 Theresa remarried Albert Waddell but the only death found for anyone called Louis Flatau was in 1906 at Leavesden Asylum. I checked the 1891 and 1901 censuses and there was no sign of any Lewes/Louis Flatau or any likely mispelling of Flatau in the Asylum. In any case the death indexes contain many errors and the failure to find a death circa 1890 does not mean the he did not die then, and other records support the idea that he was dead. My first reaction was to suggest that the Louis Flatau whose death was recorded in 1906 could not be him. However a later rethink, suggested there is something of interest. As a result I have appended an expanded and tidied up version of my original rough notes to the detailed analysis of the Louis Flatau case.

Leavesden Lunatic Asylum circa 1915
Basically there was a patient in Leavesden  in 1901 who fits the general description of Louis Flatau (age, occupation, place of birth) but his name is recorded as Louis Woolf.  So what - there were hundreds of people in Leavesdon which came from exactly the same part of London - so it could just be a coincidence. But wait a moment. Louis Flatau's mother's maiden name was Woolf, so perhaps Louis's full name was Louis Woolf Flatau and the Flatau was dropped when her was admitted to Leavesden. The complication is that the Flatau and Woolf families seem to have been immigrants from Eastern Europe, living in a close-knit community and there are a number of genuine Louis Woolfs who could also have been the patient in Leavesden Asylum.

1 comment:

  1. There was still a Lewis Woolf at Leavesden in 1911 then aged 64. He is shown as a linotype machinist; his birthplace not clearly shown. If a Lewis Flatan/Flatau died there in 1906 he surely was not the Woolf of the 1901 census? Anthony


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