Moderator Control Panel ]

East Indian Company Pensioner

A problem shared is a problem halved. Post your brick walls here and see whether you can offer advice to others

Re: East Indian Company Pensioner

Postby SDV » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:23 am

About one or two weeks ago, I thought I was beginning to get on top of this, but now I am all at sea again. Two weeks ago, I thought it was relatively straight forward. John Daniels was married to Gertrude Elizabeth. He had two step-daughters: Mary Caroline Grassman and Elizabeth Crossman. He also had two natural children: Sarah Daniels and George William Daniels.

Now I am having real doubts. The marriage certificates for Mary Caroline and Elizabeth Crossman reveal that their respective fathers were Joseph Grassman, french polisher and David Crossman, gardener. This would seem to imply that they were not sisters, or at least not full sisters. We know from previous discussion that both are in some way connected to John and Gertrude Elizabeth Daniels. Interestingly John is at different times described as a french polisher and a domestic gardener.

Then to further confuse matters there is the MMN PONT(E) of Gertrude Elizabeth on the birth certificates of Sarah and George. I can find no marriage for John DANIEL(S) to any Pont, Grassman or Crossman.

Clearly Sarah and George are the natural children of John DANIEL(S), as shown by their birth and death certificates. Their mother's former name was PONT or PONTE.

Mary and Elizabeth would seem to have been born to different fathers as Grassman and Crossman, the latter not appearing to be an anglicised version of the former.

So was PONT or PONTE the birth name of Gertrude Elizabeth? If so did she marry a GRASSMAN and/or CROSSMAN? And if she did where were the marriages? Indeed, where is the marriage to John DANIEL(S)?
Posts: 526
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:47 pm

Re: East Indian Company Pensioner

Postby ianbee » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:46 pm

Perhaps neither of the step daughters knew much about their father, as you say, the occupations they gave for him also seem to be those of John Daniels.
The key thing seems to be that Mary was apparently born in Germany, whereas Elizabeth was born in England. They may have different fathers. Unless we can find any evidence of Mr Grassman ever being in England. How did Gertrude come to be here though?
You could perhaps try a search on ancestry -
England, Alien Arrivals, 1810-1811, 1826-1869
Though information may be very limited
Posts: 2451
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:51 pm

Re: East Indian Company Pensioner

Postby SDV » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:09 am

A few developments.

There is a record of an Elizabeth PONTE (19) b Bavaria 1813 arriving at New York in 1832 on the Formosa. Other passengers were Frederick Ponte (29), Catherine Ponte (23) and Jacob (2). Could be her, as we know there is a New York connection - Mary Caroline's daughter was born there.

Perhaps more interestingly, I now have the birth certificate for their daughter Sarah (1859-1867). According to the certificate, Sarah's father was John DANIEL, a general labourer. Her mother was Gertrude DANIEL - late Crossman, formerly PONTE.

This seems to suggest that Gertrude Elizabeth's maiden name was PONTE, which is the maiden name she gave on the birth certificate of their son George William (1861-1932).

It would appear that her first marriage was to a GROSMANN or CROSSMAN. Mary Caroline GRASSMAN (1850-1938) names her father as Joseph GRASSMAN, a french polisher, on her marriage certificate in 1870. Whilst Elizabeth CROSSMAN (1854-?) names her father as Daniel CROSSMAN, a gardener, on her marriage certificate in 1877.

So it would appear that the sequence goes something like this:

Gertrude Elizabeth PONTE
b c1820 @ Bavaria
m Joseph GROSMAN/Daniel CROSSMAN c1840-50 @ Bavaria
m John DANIEL c1855-60 @ Hackney?
d 1903 @ Hackney

She would appear to have two children from her first marriage: Mary Caroline GROSMAN b c1850 @ Bavaria, and Elizabeth CROSSMAN b 1854 @ Hackney

And two children from her second marriage: Sarah DANIEL b 1859 @ Hackney and George William b 1861 @ Hackney.

This would also seem to suggest that Gertrude Elizabeth travelled to England sometime between the births of her first two daughters, i.e. between 1850 and 1854.

It would be nice to locate any of the marriages, especially the one between John DANIEL and Gertrude Elizabeth CROSSMAN. Or indeed the birth certificates of the first two daughters, especially Elizabeth's given that she was born in England.
Posts: 526
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:47 pm

Re: East Indian Company Pensioner

Postby SDV » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:10 pm

I like the look of that baptism. I know that she states that her father is Daniel rather than George Peter, but she might easily of thought of herself as having two fathers, her natural one George Peter GRASMAN and he step father John DANIEL. I will certainly try and follow this up.

Edit [Actually I already have a birth certificate that relates to this baptism. It is for a Elizabeth CROSSMAN born 22 Oct 1854 at two Buckle Street to Peter CROSSMAN and Elizabeth CROSSMAN formerly CROSSMAN!). I had dismissed it, partly because of the wrong name, but also because there is a death the same quarter in Whitechapel for an Elizabeth CROSSMAN aged 0 (Q4 1854 Whitechapel 1c 305). But perhaps, I was wrong to think it was the same child.]

On another matter, I have gone back and looked at the marriage to Elizabeth RHODES. I know we shouldn't trust Ancestry trees, but the consensus on their seems to think that this couple who married in Hackney were born in Cornwall and returned to live and die in Cornwall. For the moment I am inclined to accept this as true and discount this marriage.

The idea of John serving in India with the EIC between 1837 - 1855 and then returning to England, where he meets Gertrude Elizabeth is more enticing. He adopts her two existing daughters Mary Caroline and Elizabeth, and has two more children with her Sarah and George.

For me the fact revealed this morning by Sarah's birth certificate that Gertrude Elizabeth Daniels' name was late Crossman and formerly Ponte puts a lot in perspective.
Posts: 526
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:47 pm

Re: East Indian Company Pensioner

Postby SDV » Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:20 pm

This topic is still causing me major problems.I have asked for help on John's service in India on another board. Here I am still trying to track down a marriage or marriages, together with their offspring.

First the four children:

(1) Mary Caroline GRASSMAN, born c1850 in Bavaria. Married Gustav Richard MENTZEL on 05 Jun 1870. Died 1938 in Willesden. Father at her wedding was Joseph GRASSMAN, a French polisher.
(2) Elizabeth CROSSMAN, born 1854 in Kingsland/Hackney. Married George JAMES on 23 Dec 1877.Died 27 Feb 1935 in Hackney. Is this the same Elisabetha GROSSMANN born in Whitechapel in 1854 [Q4 1854 Whitechapel 1c 335)? And baptised on 22 Oct 1854 at St George, Lutheran Church in Whitechapel to George Peter GROSSMANN (barber?) and Elisabetha GROSSMANN of 2 Buckle Street, Whitechapel? Her father at her wedding was Daniel CROSSMAN, a gardener. The witnesses were Thomas John CROSSMAN and Sophie Catherine GROSSMANN.
(3) Sarah DANIELS, born 10 Mar 1859 in Hackney to John DANIEL (labourer) and Gertrude DANIEL (late CROSSMAN, MMN PONTE). Died in 1867 in Hackney of Smallpox.
(4) George William Daniels, born 1861 in Hackney to John Daniels (labourer, gardener) and Gertrude DANIELS (MMN POUT). Married Mary Ann WEBSTER in 1880 at Bethnal Green. Died in 1932 in Hackney. In line naming patterns, William was John's father's name.

With regard to Gertrude Elizabeth there is a possible record of her arriving in London on 05 Oct 1853 on the Batavier from Rotterdam. Her place of origin or residence is Hesse, Germany.

So as you can see everything is still as clear as mud.

PS Having looked at the baptism for Elizabeth it looks like her father was a baker rather than a barber. There is also a suggestion of a Battersea connection.
Posts: 526
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:47 pm


Return to General research queries

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest