The Percussion Section

18 July 2015

Over the past few weeks, we have delighted you with various references to members of the orchestra. Well, not really…. but some mighty crazy records of individuals who have existed in history and had instrumental names. Today, it is the turn of the percussion section….

The Timpani family find their way to Rochdale at some point prior to 1950 and all four Timpani children marry in quick succession between 1952 and 1957, producing offspring in the area in the ensuing decade/s. They sound – more than likely – to be of Italian origin with first names of Carmela, Dora, Guiseppina and Romolo….


A transcription for a gentleman called Tom Tom is listed in St George, Gloucestershire in 1891 but it’s complete cobblers – he’s Tom Venn and his wife is very clearly Venn. Hmm…. At Morton in Bourne, Lincolnshire, Tory Tom was listed as ‘Head – assistant’ and a grocer’s assistant. Was he a conservative? Or is it another one of those jolly fine mis-transcriptions?

In drumming terms, there are hundreds and thousands of them across the globe and none which stand out from the crowd. Cymbals are in a different class though, with plenty of births and marriages of cymbals in England and Wales right up to the late twentieth century. For some unapparent reason, my favourite one is Eveleen E E Cymbal (born 1890 and died September quarter 1960 Kensington Registration District), though Johannes Cymbal comes a close second, baptised in St Martin-in-the-Fields in 1667.

However, over and above all other percussion finds, the best (in my opinion) is Ruth Tambourine – a widowed servant, aged 72 in Leamington Priors, Warwickshire in 1861 for the 80-year-old head of household, Ellen Ricketts. Ellen has a grandson called Hungerford (first name) and a son-in-law called Chandos! What a family!!

Despite this being the last formal ‘section’ of the orchestra, we have quite a few more orchestral offerings to share with you, so watch this space for other musically linked finds!

Source image:

© 2024 Family Wise | Privacy Policy | Website created by: stellasoft