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Marriage look up - Leonard Rolfe

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Manxade Report 5 Jan 2013 12:55

I posted the picture on the Antique Automobile Club and just received a reply that the car is a possibly a 1949 Studebaker Convertible which sadly tells me it is unlikely to be my Ggrandfather as he would have to be aged at least 64, very disappointing :( that is the end of my thread then!

Thanks all



Manxade Report 4 Jan 2013 21:30

Thank you, yes I think you're right on both counts


MarieCeleste Report 4 Jan 2013 21:06

While I was looking for records I came across the photo on Ancestry, I'd suggest getting someone who knows about cars (I do think it may be American, but not sure) to take a look and give you an idea of the era.

The chap in the photo doesn't look very old (30-ish?) so it may give some perspective if you identify the car.


MarieCeleste Report 4 Jan 2013 20:55

This must be the baptism of that chap so we can possibly eliminate him as the father's name is wrong:

London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906
Name: Leonard Rolfe
Record Type: Baptism
Baptism Date: 16 May 1886
Father's Name: Thomas Rolfe - labourer
Mother's Name: Emily Mary Rolfe
Parish or Poor Law Union: Poplar All Hallows
Borough: Tower Hamlets
Register Type: Parish Registers

born 12 April 1886


MarieCeleste Report 4 Jan 2013 20:46

Just posting stuff as I find it, we can perhaps eliminate what's not valid later.

This is the same chap as on the previous shipping lists and the 1930 US census:

Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935
Name: Leonard Rolfe
Gender: Male
Age: 43
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1886
Birth Country: England - London
Date of Arrival: 14 Sep 1929
Vessel: Montroyal
Port of Arrival: Montreal, Quebec
Port of Departure: Southampton, England
Roll: T-14759

Again stating he's an engineer.

He was returning home to wife Lilian Jane in Windsor Ontario. His nok in England is his mother Mrs Rolfe at 390 Park Place, Margate. He'd been in Canada previously from 29/10/1923 to 10/07/1929.

There's a few trips back and forth, perhaps work related or he was a very dutiful son.

Found his 1923 immigration. He was a steam engine driver, married and his mother lived in Ramsgate. States he was born Poplar.


Manxade Report 4 Jan 2013 19:33

Sorry, feeding time at the zoo!

The photo was also possibly taken in Canada but as Boston is a bit smaller than the whole of Canada I have gone with that, desperate measures!

The facts are as follows;

He married my Dad's grandmother Hilda Annie Kimbell at Christ Church, Eastbourne on November 11th 1914 the certificate states that he is Leonard Rolfe aged 29, a bachelor of 49 Firle Road, Eastbourne and works as an Insurance Superintendent and that his father is Michael Rolfe, a Ship Store Merchant.
Hilda has no rank or profession stated but her address is Princess Alice Hospital, perhaps she was training although I am not aware of her having been a nurse specifically. The only unidentified witness on the cert is a Margaret Fran(k or kl it is hard to read).

They had five children together before he moved on; two were born in Eastbourne in 1915 and 1918 and my grandfather and his two younger sisters were born in the Paddington North district of London.

My grandfather was born on September 19th 1919 (always an easy date to remember!) at home, 188 Shirland Road, his father Leonard was then a Commercial Traveller (Surgical Instruments).

Sadly, I am working on a shoesstring and so these are the only two relevant certificates I have at present.

The tale is consistently that he was American and I believe this could explain why he was not a soldier of some sort when my grandfather was born but I may be wrong?

I was told that Leonard was somehow involved with the singer Paul Robeson and that he came to the UK with him but the singer was at University in the states when my greatgrandparents were married, so I am not convinced.

His father was allegedly a German Jew and his mother Mexican, if so they may have adopted a more anglified surname which may also explain the brick wall effect.

Any ideas at all would be gratefully received. Thanks again.



MarieCeleste Report 4 Jan 2013 16:22

So what was the name and occupation of Leonard's father?

(might help us trace him)


Manxade Report 4 Jan 2013 16:16

I do have my greatgrandparents marriage certificate from 1914


MarieCeleste Report 4 Jan 2013 16:09

Adrienne - did you ever get the 1914 marriage certificate?


MarieCeleste Report 4 Jan 2013 16:06

This would be the 1930 census for the Leonard Rolfe arriving later that year, I think.

1930 United States Federal Census about Leonard Rolfe
Name: Leonard Rolfe
Gender: Male
Birth Year: abt 1887
Birthplace: England
Race: White
Home in 1930: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
View Map
Marital Status: Married
Immigration Year: 1929
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's Name: Lillian T Rolfe
Father's Birthplace: England
Mother's Birthplace: England

Occupation: Caretaker (apartment)

Military Service:
Rent/home value:
Age at first marriage: 32
Parents' birthplace:

Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Leonard Rolfe 43
Lillian T Rolfe 39 [38]

Parentage doesn't match details given.


MarieCeleste Report 4 Jan 2013 15:58

Just in case connected:


Manxade Report 12 Apr 2010 20:01


Thank you all so much, that is great and i am sure will keep me going for a good while.

I will get on and order certs.

Kindest regards



Ann Report 12 Apr 2010 19:26

southend on sea death sounds good as I notice he married hild annie kimbell in Eastbourne essex. Maybe he did not move far away?


Ann Report 12 Apr 2010 19:20

2 possible marriages most of the marriages Leonard Rolfe have second name but there are two that are possible

Leonard Rolfe oct nov dec 1936 southampton hampshire 2c page54 married to Florence B Cox

Leonard Rolfe apr may june 1922 basingstoke hampshire sc page 533 married to Lilian Owen

ther is another in 1922 manchester dont think likely next one is in 1945



Choccy Report 12 Apr 2010 19:16

the Thanet death is possibly this one (travelling with wife Lillian Jane) from Canada. He is said to be an Engineer.

Destination address - 30 Park Place, Margate, Kent (Thanet district)

UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960
Name: Leonard Rolfe
Birth Date: abt 1886
Age: 44
Port of Departure: New York, New York, United States
Arrival Date: 22 Dec 1930
Port of Arrival: Southampton, England
Ports of Voyage: Plymouth
Ship Name: Mauretania
Search Ship Database: View the 'Mauretania' in the 'Passenger Ships and Images' database
Shipping Line: Cunard Line
Official Number: 124093

Source Citation: Class: BT26; Piece: 948; Item: 38


Ann Report 12 Apr 2010 19:11

2 possible deaths for Leonard Rolfe

Leonard Rolfe died 1954 age 69 southend on sea Essex vol 4a page 657 april may june would make his birth 1885

also close 2nd

Leonard Rolfe age 59 died 1945 registration district Thanet Kent april may june vol 2a page 1350 would make his birth 1886



Manxade Report 12 Apr 2010 18:46

Thanks Tracey

Anything is possible, he was a travelling salesman, I believe and American from Boston, Ma his father a german jew and his mother mexican apparently . Hilda b. 1892 was from large farming family in Northants area, I am sure they were not in touch when he died, my Dad remembers visiting her in the Cotswolds I don't think he ever met Leonard - Hilda lived at 123 Finger Cottages, she died in 1973 I don't have a certificate though - I should get one really. I was really surprised they were divorced so you could be right - I have an ancestor on Dad's maternal side who i discovered had all of his children within a bigamous marriage much to everyones amusement!

Adrienne x


WayneTracey Report 12 Apr 2010 18:01

I have checked the national archives and cannot see a divorce, howevere the files are stated to be almost 100% complete to 1927, so there is a chance yours has slipped thru.

There is also a good chance it never actually happened and he just told people he was divorced? Maybe a bigamist (happened alot back then) ?

You would need to find his death to see the informant. What do you know about Hilda?

Tracey x


Manxade Report 12 Apr 2010 17:44

No I have had no luck with him apart from his first marriage, I have the certificate for that but nothing else. He was not a very forthcoming person in life I am told and seems that way in death too! No death certificate either I am 99% sure they divorced but I believe that is very costly to research. Any help would be very gratefully received.

Thank you



WayneTracey Report 12 Apr 2010 17:26

it might help to have the first marriage.

Marriages Dec 1914
Kimbell Hilda A Rolfe Eastbourne 2b 153
Rolfe Leonard Kimbell Eastbourne 2b 153

I'll look for the second now.

Hmmm, are you sure they divorced? Back then it was extremely difficult to divorce. he may have simpoly lived with another woman as if they were married, but not actually have been married.

His death cert might give you more info. Do you have that?

Tracey x