Brief update

Many, many searches have been done and many, many document sets have been trawled, all to little avail.

There is still not much to report after weeks of searching for the perennially elusive Philip Joseph Robinson or his wife Louisa Anderson, although there is a family of Andersons from Harrismith that look a promising match without as yet an explicit link back to Louisa.

Having said that, there has actually been some progress around the periphery. A lot more has been found about Ralph Victor Robinson, PJR’s eldest son and my great-uncle. For instance Ralph was married and divorced twice – first to Lauretta Twentyman-Jones and later to Patricia Campbell (née Mayer). Both marriages were short-lived and apparently produced only one child. None of which sheds much light on the main search for his father’s birth and death, except for perhaps the most interesting thing discovered about Ralph, and which I nearly missed.

The marriage register for the wedding of Ralph and Lauretta in Wynberg says that he was born in “East Africa”, which came as a bit of a curve-ball. It means that shortly after Philip and Louisa married in 1903 and before he was employed back at De Beers in Kimberley in 1905 the couple were in British East Africa, presumably taking a chance on what briefly looked like a new land of opportunity. Much more to be discovered and the final push I needed to get up to the archives.

I’m off to Kew on the 16th.

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