(113) 'An Unexpected Discovery'

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Ken
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(113) 'An Unexpected Discovery'

Ken
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On March 4, 2015, it will be the fiftieth anniversary of my fathers death and for that reason my thoughts have frequently been of him.  Until recently I had intended this, 'Cosy Story,' to tell more tales of his past but something happened that changed my mind.  A simple discovery changed much of what I knew of our family history and it altered my perception of my own heritage.  Strangely it excited me and so that is what I will write of today.  To tell my tale I must first go back to the birth of my Grandfather in the early spring of 1858.  I noticed that when the signature of the informant was signed on the birth certificate it was done so by just a cross.  Below this the registrar had written, 'The mark of Rebecca Tuffs,' for my grandfathers twenty three year old mother, like so many from her background, was unable to read or write.

The birth certificate named my grandfather, Walter, and not, Henry Walter, as I have always understood it to be.  For that reason that is what I will call him for the first part of this story.  Walter was  the first born son of, James and Rebecca Tuffs, and by the year 1881 they were to have eleven more children.  The Census of that year suggests that nine of them survived and their names were, Maria, Emily, Eliza, William, Mary Ann, Ellen, Hannah, Emma and John. These were the siblings that, Walter, now a twenty three year old would have grown up with in a home that was busy, noisy and, hopefully, happy.  We now move forward a year to Walter's marriage and details of this can be found in my nephew Peter's excellent book, 'Proud To Be A Tuffs.'  In it he tells, on page 3, of my grandfather marrying a, Caroline Pejel, in 1882, and he states that the marriage was recorded as being in Lewisham, Kent.  He wrote that he wondered why that was so, as the two were both Suffolk born and bred, but in the book he reached no conclusion on this mystery.  However, one word set my heart racing, Pejel, for it deviated from what I'd always known!

The story now moves to the, 10.4.1899, and the birth of my father, the fifth child of Walter and Caroline.   It was on his birth certificate that I saw information revealing a glaring discrepancy for it clearly stated the mothers name to be, Caroline Tuffs, formerly Pipe, which is what I have always thought it to be.  I asked myself where had the, Pejel, of the marriage certificate gone, and I realised that I'd never heard the word before Peter's book.  I discovered later that he'd found the information on line and the same information is in front of me as I write this interesting tale.  The first thing I checked on was the origins of the surname, Pejel, and I found out it was a Jewish name.  My intuition said that this was the likely reason for them getting married in Lewisham for that was where her family ties were.  I then conferred with Peter Tuffs, and we agreed it was highly likely that the Pejel family were part of a large Jewish immigration.  Those that had fled to the east end of London from the troubled eastern European countries in the mid-eighteen hundreds.

Over the next two days I pondered over the reasons for using the name of, Pipe, instead of, Pejel.  I recalled it was quite common to Anglicise ones name and, if my grandmother had suffered prejudice at its ethic sound, it would be sensible to do so.  Perhaps my grandparents didn't want the locals to know of any Jewish connection if such a thing even existed.  If it did, I would suggest that, Caroline, was at least a second generation immigrant, for she apparently had no recognisable accent.  It would be interesting to know if the name, Pipe, had appeared on the birth certificates of her earlier children, Christopher, Adeline, Rose and Leonard.  I realise that this whole 'Jewish' evaluation is one of my conjecture, but it's based on facts and circumstance.  I'd never heard my father or Aunt Rose speak of such a possibility, but it's something I couldn't ignore for the hypothesise has everything gelling together rather convincingly.

Whether you are a relative, a friend or just an occasional reader of, 'Kens Cosy,' let me know your opinion on this one. Its no big deal, but I quite like the fact that there may be a connection between Albert Einstein and myself.  Bob Dylan, Harrison Ford, David Beckham and the amazing Judy Sheindlin can all boast of having Jewish grandparents and now, so can I.  To me the facts coalesced to prove that my grandmother was, almost certainly, at least partly Jewish   Relatives, you have the right to disagree.
                           
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PS.  I used just the name of, Walter, when describing my grandfather in this story, for that's what his birth certificate said and accuracy demanded it of me.  I was pleased to find that on the later birth certificate of my own father, the document that triggered this story, that he described himself as, Henry Walter Tuffs, for that was clearly what he considered his name to be.  This pleased me and ties in with the descriptions throughout my nephews book, of both, Henry Walter senior and Henry Walter junior.


Ken
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Re: (113) 'An Unexpected Discovery'

Ken
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This post was updated on .
This unusual tale tells how I discovered, by accident, that all the descendent's of, Walt and Ruby, may be, partly, Jewish.   Read here of the series of events that leads me to believe this to be so!