Monday, June 18, 2012

Ephemera - Mr Nettleton's Concert, St Albans, 1883

If you are going through boxes of old family papers you will sometimes find ephemera - i.e. documents which would normally have ended up in the waste paper basket. It is worth wondering why they have survived - as to be in the box one of your ancestors must have thought they were worth keeping.

In this case three names are mentioned, George Nettleton, George Gaffe, and William Cartmel. But who were the instrumentalists, and if the concert was reported in the local newspaper it might have listed the people involved, including some to the leading citizens who attended. Maybe one of your ancestors was involved.

So if you find a very old document that you don't understand I suggest that you try and work out why it was kept in the first place - and you might discover some new information for your family history.


  1. GEORGE GAFFE, F.R.C.0 1880

    Born at Cawston, Norfolk, July 27, 1849. Chorister in Norwich Cathedral, and pupil of and assistant to Dr. Z. Buck. Organist of Oswestry Parish Church, 1874, and afterwards appointed to St. Alban's. Founder and Principal of the St. Alban's School of Music ; Fellow and Member of the Council of the Royal College of Organists. Composer of an Evening Service, a set of Offertory Sentences, &c.

  2. I wonder if this was George John Nettleton, born 1853, a St Albans Schoolmaster? His sister Isabel had her own orchestra in St Albans a good few years later. My cousin remembers her!


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