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James Richardson - Anglo and EC


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Just wondering if anyone is familiar with Arthur James Richardson and his brother Harry (Edward Willian Henry Richardson) who both played concertina around 1900-1920 or so?

 

I stumbled across a newspaper article from 1905 mentioning a performance in Honolulu by James on "the Anglo-Chromatic and English concertinas" accompanied by his daughter, Miss Elsie Richardson. His set list included: Selection from Il Trovatore, "In Happy Moments" (Maritana), "Scenes that are Brightest" (Maritana), "Cherry Ripe" (and old English ballad), Patriotic airs, Selection from Les Cloches des Corneville, and Scotch airs.

 

He was born in England in 1879, the family emigrated in 1883 to NSW, Australia, and later to Hobart, Tasmania. He became a bricklayer and at age 18 went to Cape Town and Johannesburg "and had a good time on the boat with my consertina". He later moved to London, then Canada and Florida, and ended up in Baltimore and lived until 1967. The newspaper account said he was passing through Honolulu on his way to London.

 

I did an internet search and found these two photos (James with jazz band, and Harry with concertina) on a genealogy website.

 

Gary

 

 

James-Richardson-Jazz-Band-concertina.jpg

Edward-William-Henry-Richardson-concertina.jpg

Edited by gcoover
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Hmmm...

 

Fascinating, but I’m having trouble with the timeline. If he was born in 1879, then he was 26 in 1905. So how old was his daughter, Elsie, his accompanist?

 

That could well be him at age 41 in the foreground of the picture labeled “1920,” but the young lady next to him looks too young to have been accompanying anybody 15 years earlier. Must not be Elsie.

 

And where would you have to be traveling from for Hawaii to be on the way to London?

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On 1/14/2021 at 11:39 PM, David Barnert said:

And where would you have to be traveling from for Hawaii to be on the way to London?

Maybe he was taking the long route for a little extra sightseeing?

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1920 seems too early for a 'Jazz' Band as the term only came to public prominence with recordings in 1918. So I suspect the photo caption using 'Jazz' is later. The 1905 repertoire is pretty standard fare for the time. Most people married around the age of 20, so having a ~5 year old child in 1905 is quite possible, and the girl in the photo looks mid-late teens, which could also fit. Thanks Gary!

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On 1/15/2021 at 4:39 AM, David Barnert said:

And where would you have to be traveling from for Hawaii to be on the way to London?

My uncle from New Zealand visited us in England about 1960. The boat stopped in Fiji and other islands on the way. So maybe Australasia going via USA?

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6 hours ago, wes williams said:

Most people married around the age of 20, so having a ~5 year old child in 1905 is quite possible

 

Are you suggesting that a 5-year old girl accompanied him as in “she was also there” or that she accompanied him as in “she participated in the performance by playing an accompaniment on a musical instrument”?

Edited by David Barnert
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Harry was born in 1869, according to this snippet accompanying that photo from Jody Kruskal's site; I remembered seeing that photo before.

Harry (Edward William Henry) Richardson 19 March 1869 ~ 9 September 1933 on concertina with the Richardson Family Jazz band, 1920 from Edna Barney's family pages, http://www.flickr.com/photos/neddy/92276930/

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Harry seems to be the fellow with the concertina in the Jazz era photo that David Wes commented about, if we take Jody's source (an Edna Barney photo blog) over Gary's source (a William Barney genealogy site). Not unusual to have family histories disagreeing! If Elsie was Harry's daughter (or James's niece), and James is one of the other figures in the photo) then all is right in the world, because a potential age of about 14 or so fits the picture. But who knows? :)

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Here's the Family Search page on Arthur J. Richardson, complete with a photo with concertina and a photo of his mason's hammer: https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/L8QX-GS2/arthur-james-richardson-1879-1967.

He was married in London in 1900. His older daughter, Myrtle Martha, apparently a twin, was born in 1906. There's no mention of an Elsie. When he died, he lived in Catonsville, a Baltimore suburb.

 

 

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