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I've come across another reference to Joseph Zeffertt of New York in 1894. This one shows he is the same as Jimmy the Swiper mentioned in The New York Times.
The World - New York
28 January 1894
"THREE BOLD YOUNG CRIMINALS
One A Highwayman at 12 - Two Others' Aged 12 and 13, Caught in the Act of Burglary.
Joseph Zeffertt wants to be a b-a-a-a-d boy, and he is travelling the high road towards success in that line. He is only 12 years old and lives with his parents at No. 227 east Seventy-fourth street. His first appearance in a police court was about two months ago, when he was taken before Justice Grady, at Yorkville, charged with holding up a blind man and robbing him of 54 cents. he was then allowed to go home on his promise to reform. He was fairly good until Friday afternoon.
At about 2 o'clock on that day he met Mambe McCarney, a twelve-year-old school girl, at sixty-seventh street and Third avenue. She held a pocketbook in her hand which contained a $5 bill that her teacher, Miss Foy, at the school, Sixty-eigth street and Madison avenue, had sent with Her to get changed. Joseph promptly seized the pocketbook, took out the $5 bill and threw the empty wallet in the child's face. He darted up the steps of the elevated railroad station, and, though Detective Weller, of the East Sixty-seventh street station, gave chase, he managed to get away. The lad was arrested in bed the following morning.
He was taken before Justice Koch, in Yorkville Court, yesterday, and was committed to the care of the Children's Society pending his trial."
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1887-???? Missing – but not in action.
Among our family mysteries perhaps the most puzzling is the disappearance of David Victor Zeffertt. David was the third child of Jacob Zeffertt and his wife Yetta Hyams.
This is his story as told to us by his nephew Jacob Myer ‘Sailor Jack’ Zeffert now of Fremantle, son of William Zeffertt and cousin Rosie Zeffertt. When David was a lad of about 16 he ran away from home and joined the army. His mother soon discovered where he was stationed (one of the advantages of our unusual name is that it is easy to trace), so she went to the camp and after a few words with his C.O., grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and dragged him home.
However the prospect of working in his father’s clothing business in Liverpool didn’t appeal because a few months later he again ran away and rejoined the army. This time he made sure there was no ignominious return to the quiet life, he enlisted under the name John Owen and joined the Welsh Guards.
Unfortunately there is no record of his activities during his period of service (he did not share his cousin Harry Mortimer Zeffertt’s talent for self publicity) but they must have satisfied David’s taste for adventure because he willingly returned to family life on completion of his tour of duty.
Step forward the Kaiser. One of the conditions of voluntary service was that you were placed in the reserves on demobilisation and David was drafted immediately on the outbreak of ‘The Great War’ and posted to France. After a few months he was wounded and lost the use of one arm, which led to his discharge.
Once again it seems he was content to lead the quiet life working in his father’s business and pursuing his hobby of photography until his father died the year after the end of the war.
During the 1920s there were great prospects for a new life in Australia (just as there were after the Second World War) and the whole family decided to emigrate, even the married ones with families of their own. In 1926 David had booked his passage, along with William, Rosie and the young Jack. As the time for departure approached and the cry of ‘All ashore that’s going ashore’ rang out, there was still no sign of David. The ship sailed without him.
The family in Australia made repeated enquiries to try to solve the mystery. The families in Liverpool tried every way they could without success – Jacob’s brother Simon Zeffertt and Rosie’s brother Reuben Zeffert had remained there.
So what happened to David Victor Zeffertt? Did he have a heart attack and die? Was he attacked by criminals? Did he meet the love of his life and decide to settle down with her? Who knows? If you know, please tell us!
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The last of the great romantics.
Harry Zeffert was born in Stoke Damerel (Plymouth), the fifth of thirteen children of Israel Zeffert and Amelia Morris (alias Malcha Schocken from a wealthy German family that owned department stores and a publishing house. He was registered as plain Harry Zeffert and if he was in any way outstanding as a child it was not recorded.
However, the family emigrated to Johannesburg, South Africa, when Harry was in his late teens, and there he came into his own. Somewhere along the way he added the Mortimer to his name. According to Professor David Zeffertt, his great-nephew:
‘My mother told me that the "Mortimer" came from the family name of someone who had fallen in love with him - Lady Mortimer, my mother called her - who said that she would leave him money if he took her name.’
It is equally likely that Harry invented the story and merely adopted the name because it sounded good, just as he gave his father’s name as Disraeli Zeffert in the South African ‘who’s Who’.
While still young, Harry transferred his activities to Rhodesia, where he got his first taste of action. David Zeffertt again:
‘Harry (at times Mortimer) Zeffert fought against the Zulus in the Bambata rebellion - a nasty little affair in which the white side displayed a barbarity matched only by the consummate cruelty of the home team who were given to skinning their prisoners alive a la the Romans. I believe that our Harry was put up for the Victoria Cross (source, family lore; confirmed orally by a military historian whose name escapes me.) It was said that he would have got it but for the fact that the Bambata war was characterized as civil strife.’
When not galloping around on horseback preserving the British Empire for her Imperial Majesty Victoria Regina, Harry worked as an auctioneer. Was he successful at it? He would certainly have had the gift of the gab. However, duty and adventure soon called him back to action.
Paul Kruger, President of the Boer Republic, realised the British were beginning to be a serious threat, so he imposed restrictions on them. The large Jewish population of Joburg attempted to improve relations by inviting Kruger to dedicate their newly built synagogue. Kruger accepted the invitation and dramatically struck the door with his cane and demanded it be opened ‘… in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!’ Perhaps as result the Boer War was inevitable.
Harry leapt once more into the saddle, first as a humble trooper, but soon gained rapid promotion to sergeant, lieutenant and then captain. He led his troop at the relief of Ladysmith – could we have won without him? Maybe, but his reputation grew and grew, so it was natural that he should be given the command of the guard of honour that greeted the funeral cortege of his great hero, Cecil Rhodes.
It was soon after the war that Harry married the love of his life, Rose Glaser. That was probably as difficult as any of his campaigns.
‘My mother told me that when Harry was about to get married, my grandfather, "no paragon himself but a handsome devil who turned women's heads", had found it necessary to warn the parents of the bride to be about his brother. He told them that Harry was "no good" and that the intended marriage should be called off. Well, it was not - an admonition like that would have been like cheese to a mouse for a young girl looking into Harry's sharp blue eyes- and the ensuing marriage ended up in the divorce courts at the instance of his injured wife, Rose.’
Harry’s granddaughter Elaine Goldberg said that it was Rose’s parents forced her to divorce him, though the two remained in love for the rest of their lives.
Nevertheless Harry did not have to wait too long for his next taste of action. WW1 took him to many fields of action as captain again.
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Ann Mary Thornton
Nottingham Evening Post 08 April 1935
Descendant of Rev. William Lee of Calverton
Mrs A. M. Thornton Dead.
Nottingham has lost another of its oldest citizens by the death in her 97th year of Mrs. Ann Mary Thornton.
She was born in 1838 at Blackhill House Farm, and delighted to tell of how she walked from Carlton to Stoney-street daily, to school. In those days there were no railways to Carlton and the township of Netherfield did not exist.
Her father, Mr. James Lee Dennis, had pastures in Netherfield where Dennis-street is now situated. He claimed descent from the Rev. William Lee, of Calverton, the inventor of the stocking-frame.
In her childhood she was sent for her health to stay with a relative named Oakland who owned windmills on the Forest on land now acquired by the Church Cemetery. The millhouse at which she used to stay was, in the early days of the cemetery, used as a mortuary chapel.
Mrs. Thornton had a good memory, and latterly delighted in recalling incidents of her early life, such as the opening of the Arboretum, to which she was taken as a girl in her early ,teens. She took a great interest in Nottingham street and housing improvements, and had recently been driven to see the new housing estates, also the Carter-gate improvements, a district in which, many years ago, her father had a small property.
WIDOW 58 YEARS.
Mrs Thornton had been a widow for 58 years. Her husband, Mr William Thornton, who was a hosiery manufacturer, took out patents, some of which are still in use. She had five sons and three daughters, and is survived by two of each.
The funeral took place in the Church Cemetery last Saturday, preceded by a private service at home, conducted by an old friend of the family, the Rev. Arthur Beilby, formerly minister of the New Church, Bluecoat-street. Those present at the service at the house included Mrs Brunt (daughter), Mr albert Dennis Thornton and Mr. Charles Thornton (sons), Mrs. Charles Thornton, Mr. James R. Thornton (grandson), Mr. R. Hawksley, Mr. A. Beilby, Dr. Stafford, Mrs. Musson, Mr. E. Musson, Mr. W. W. Weldon, and Mr. J. Collin. Numerous other friends assembled at the graveside.
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From the Dundee Evening Telegraph 12 June 1893
I had been puzzling myself to recall the last time I saw Miss Jeanie Burgoyne on the stage, and could find no solution of the difficulty until I obtained an introduction the other evening, and had a chat with the young lady.
"Oh," she said, in reply to my question, "it was in 'Mazeppa' I was last here, when I played the title role. It can't be more than two years ago," she went on in her pleasant way. "You see I've only been eight years on the stage. My debut was made in North Shields, when I played the part of the boy Hamish in 'Rob Roy.' Since then I've played Helen Wyngate in the 'Diver's Luck,' the juvenile leading part in Walter Reynolds' 'Mother's Sin' company, then 'Mazeppa' and now the leading parts with Mr Lawson. I've only been with four managers in all my time on the stage. Yes, I've played both in London and the provinces."
"How did you think of Mazeppa?"
"Well, they told me my figure would suit the part."
I may here insert parenthetically that Miss Burgoyne has, in addition to a charming manner, a very handsome figure, and of course Mazeppa gives every advantage for the display of physical attractions.
"But it's a part that requires some nerve, doesn't it?"
"Well one musn't be afraid of a horse, and must endure for a considerable length of time the discomfort of being tied to its back in a very awkward position. That requires both strength and endurance. By the way," she continued, I am glad you have spoken to me about Mazeppa, because I am forming a company my own to open in London with a Mazeppa sketch, on Bank Holiday week.
"Where do you play?"
"In the new Olympian Music Hall."
"Isn't that risking a good deal?"
"It will cost a lot of money to open with, if that's what you mean by risk. But I think the sketch should succeed. It's strong enough."
"Who have been the leading Mazeppas?"
"Ada Marker was the first, then Maud Forrester, whom you have had here as Lady Godiva. I followed Miss Forrester."
"I saw you very busy collecting for the Victoria Disaster Fund on the Royal wedding day. Did you enjoy your labours?"
Oh very much," and the lady's eyes sparkledwith pleasure. It was hard work, but the people gave so willingly, and I'm glad so much was collected."
This practically concluded the interview. Miss Burgoyne has a wealth of flattering press notices, which she values very highly. But the one she likes best of all is that in which she appears as one of Sloper's girls in the famous Half-Holiday. Therein the Dook Snook observes :- "It is my fondest wish to call her mine." "My life would be blank without her," sighs Lord Bob; while the Hom. Billy adds - "I cannot rest until I have told my passion."
So the charming Jeanie has evidently a way of reaching the susceptible male heart.