I’m still slowly going through my grandmother’s autograph book, and someone who wrote in it twice is her friend Hilda Clare Hallam; Hilda wrote a verse by Charles Kingsley and a few lines of music by Johann Strauss.
Hilda was born in Marylebone in 1889, just a couple of years younger than grandma. Hilda first appears in a census in 1891 when she was just over a year old. She’s living in Lisson Grove in Marylebone with her widowed grandfather, her parents, and her brothers and sisters: Frederick, her seventy year-old grandfather was born in Ireland, and his occupation is ‘traveller’; I have the feeling traveller has a different connotation now, but I must investigate to see if in those days it meant an itinerant person… I’m guessing not.
Also in the Lisson Grove house were Hilda’s parents, Eliza aged forty-two, and Frederick forty-six – a dental instrument maker. There are also Hilda’s four brothers and sisters: Florence born in 1872, in the United States who’s a milliner aged nineteen, the third Frederick in the house, a fifteen year old apprentice born in 1876, eleven-year old Eliza born in 1880, and a grandson, Lottie Hallam born in 1874 and aged 17. Lottie? A boy? Yes, I’ve had a look at the original record and it says Lottie.
In the 1901 census the family have moved from Lissen Grove to Fordwych Road in Hampstead. At home now are Hilda, her sisters Florence and Lisa (aged 21, born in 1880, who wasn’t mentioned on the 1881 census) and the parents, Fred and Eliza. Both Florence and Lisa were born in the USA, in New York. By looking at the 1881 census we see that Frederick junior junior was also born in the USA. The family at that time in that census were living in Iverson Road, Hampstead, and Lottie is clearly identified as a girl! She too was born in the States so the family must have been there from 1874 when Lottie was born. Also staying in the house in 1881 were Eliza’s two sisters, Ada and Jesse Watts… which gives us Eliza’s maiden name.
Back to the autograph book which was signed by Hilda twice; four years later she was still living at home with her parents, Frederick and Eliza – no named as Annie Eliza, and her two sisters, Florence and Lisa/Lesa. As they were in the previous census, Frederick is still an instrument maker, Florence a milliner and Lisa/Lesa an artist. Hilda now is out at work, and she is a clerk. This is what she wrote in grandma’s book: