Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Mrs Gaddum of Didsbury


Today's intriguing old photo was this one ..

Mrs Gadoum, it was listed as. Arabian? African? Didn't look very that way inclined. And, of course, it wasn't. Mrs Gaddum was of Central European origins -- Germany, Austria -- and born in Manchester, England. As Miss Gaddum. 

Sophie Susannah GADDUM (b Manchester 19 November 1834; d Didsbury 1889) was the daughter of Trieste-born Friedrich Eduard (later Frederick Edward) Gaddum (b 1 December 1805; d Adria House, Didsbury 7 May 1866), who immigrated to Manchester in 1826 where he went into business as a 'merchant', in partnership with a Mr John Diethelm, from Bischoffzell in Switzerland. Switzerland was also the birthplace of mother Sophie BI(N)DERMANN (1812-1893).

The firm seemed to get on well enough. Well enought for John (25 December 1795-18 February 1851) to marry Caroline Wolstonecroft (1830) and begin to breed. Frederick married in 1833, and also fathered a number of children. Those children switched their names about, but there seems to have been just the one daughter, and four sons: Theodore Henry, Edward Charles, Charles Adolphus and Hermann Theodore. The boys all had an interest in the firm which became, from 1847, just Gaddum & Co, when Diethelm left to return to Switzerland.

I sha'n't follow up the four men, because they all have substantial stories and a descendant seems to have written a family history. But Sophie... Miss Gaddum became Mrs Gaddum. She apparently married one of her Trieste cousins. Frederick seems to have had a number of brothers, one of whom had a son named George Henry or Georg Heinrich. I hav'n't been able to discover which one, and neither have the family historians ...  Anyway this George Henry married our Sophie and they, in their turn, had issue. And while they were having issue, G H Gaddum became a decidedly rich man, a local worthy, president of the Chamber of Commerce, a frequent charitable donor, the sort who was on the welcoming committee for any visiting dignitary, involved in projects like the Manchester Ship Canal ... 

The couple (m 5 October 1854) had four surviving children. The eldest, William Henry Adolphus (1856-19 January 1945) followed father's firm and profession successfully, second son Frederick Ducange made his name as a cricketer at Cambridge University and in county matches before killing himself by falling off his bike, age 40.  Third son Roger Lewis Arthur (1868-1907) became a barrister but didn't even make 40. The one daughter Edith Sophia Henrietta (1858- Windermere 13 September 1930) remained unwed and leisured.

Sophie died 10 June 1889. The event was hardly chronicled in the press. Strange, for a family whose every birth, marriage and death had been noticed in the Manchester and even London papers. And a lady whose husband was a local personality ...  maybe I hav'n't searched hard enough.  PS I hadn't!  The Stockport press reported ...

As for G H's pedigree ....

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