Frequently at FWL, our minds turn to the eccentric – sometimes, we are driven there and on other occasions, we drive there of our own accord. Over the past few weeks, we have been collecting various musical instruments in our research and we will begin our orchestral dalliances with the woodwind section.
For those of you who are not au fait with this particular section of the orchestra, all reed instruments fall within the woodwind section – oboe and bassoon being the double reed family, the clarinet having a single reed and the flute …. well, that’s another story. Anyway, two oboes are present in the historical censuses of England – Oboe Oglesby of John and Ann in 1901 and Oboe Mary Myatt in 1911, the wife of Edward, living in Caverswall, Staffordshire [OK, so now you need to guess what they actually were before clicking on the hyperlinks.] Concerning though it may be, there is someone potentially walking the planet right now – born in 1979 – with Oboe as a middle name.
There are less clarinets in the world – in fact, just two impostors in the 1911 census. Clarinet M. Fraser, wife of John, was born in India and perhaps better known to her friends as Claribel? Another variation on the clarinet theme is Arthur Clarinet Brody Hick, or even Arthur Clement Boyd Hick. Hmm….
Having been a flute player from a young age, one particular 1911 census schedule tickled me – Flute Flora Wilch, aged 23 and living in Seaton, Devon. There is also a very young Flute born in 2005 roaming around (potentially) the South of England. Bassoon-wise, of the 18 hits on FindmyPast (at the time of writing), several were travelling out of England and Wales whereas others were definitely made abroad before importation.
Oh you know you want to! Go take a look – you’ll find some amazing/amusing stuff out there. Please let us know of any funny finds – we’d be delighted to from you.