Alfred George Astridge

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The records of Emma Violet Smith (1876-1929) provided a lot of information for further exploration. One of the interesting leads was her father, Alfred George Astridge. Confirmation that this was Emma Violet’s father via her baptism and marriage records, led to a search for additional information about Alfred. A few records have been discovered and are detailed below.

The first record located was the marriage of Alfred to Jane Sofia D’Rufsett (Emma Violet’s mother) on 5 January 1876:

astridge_a-and-rufsett_j_marriage-1876_c

This marriage record further stated: 

  1. Marriage location: Simla, Bengal, India
  2. Marriage date: 5 January 1876
  3. Ages: Alfred George: 27, Jane Sophia: 18
  4. Condition: Alfred George, Bachelor; Jane Sophia, Spinster
  5. Profession: Orderly Room Sergeant
  6. Residence: Alfred George: Simla, Jane Sophia: Simla
  7. Father’s names: John Astridge and Charles William D’Russett
  8. Witnesses: A. S. Davis; Margaret McRae; Elias Pierce
  9. Ceremony performed by: E.H. Gulliver, Off. Chaplain

Confirmation of the marriage in Simla on 5 January 1876 between 27 year old Alfred George Astridge of Simla and 18 year old Jane Sophia D’Rufsett of Simla. This record also states Alfred’s profession as Orderly Room Sergant, and his father’s name as John Astridge (as discussed in a previous post, John seemed to be a popular name in 19th century India). Jane’s father is recorded as Charles William D’Russett. Note the possible mistake in the spelling ‘D’Russett’ rather than ‘D’Rufsett’, as Jane’s name appears to be written. Looking at Jane’s signature (assuming she signed this record herself), it’s safe to assume a spelling error on the part of the person writing the father’s name (most likely the chaplain – E.H. Gulliver). D’Rufsett appears to be a Portuguese name – although no confirmation of this yet – the use of the D’ preceding the name suggests this is the case (especially given the occupancy of the Portuguese in India). 

As with previous marriage records presented, the witness signatures – recorded here as A. S. Davis, Margaret McRae, and Elias Pierce – may provide some additional insight into the lives of Alfred and Jane (were the witnesses friends? colleagues? neighbours? or just the nearest people they could drag in to sign the paperwork?) It may be difficult to find out, but could prove insightful.

No baptism record has yet been found for Alfred, but we can reasonably assume his birth year to be 1848/9 and Jane Sophia’s to be 1857/8 (i.e. year of marriage-age). In addition, no burial record has been located yet for Alfred.

A record of interest found whilst searching the many resources available, was a possible (second) marriage of Alfred to Theresa Josephine Dorffer on 15 February 1909:

astridge_a_marriage-poss-1909_c

This marriage record further stated: 

  1. Marriage location: Christ Church, Byculla, India
  2. Marriage date: 15 February 1909
  3. Ages: Alfred George: Full, Theresa Josephine: Full
  4. Condition: Alfred George: Widower, Theresa Josephine: Widow
  5. Profession: Military Pensioner
  6. Residence: Alfred George: Byculla, Theresa Josephine: Byculla
  7. Father’s names: John Astridge and Samuel Grant
  8. Witnesses: Amy Whelan and Percy Murray
  9. Ceremony performed by: W. Kennelly, Chaplain

Not 100% confirmed, but the information here seems to all but confirm this to be the same Alfred George Astridge. Assuming Jane Sophia Astridge had died, he would be a widower as recorded here. Father’s name is John (although as in a previous post, this seemed common). His profession stated as military pensioner also makes sense, given his previous work as orderly room sergeant.

There are interesting points of interest here: the location, Byculla, matches the majority of information located so far about the Hassett-Wharton lineage, and we know that eventually the Astridge line meets the Smiths, which meets the Hassett/Wharton line. So this is intriguing that Alfred was married and resided in Byculla, Bombay. Could this have been the trigger for the future meeting of Edith Hassett and Clifford Smith?

The second point of interest are the witnesses. Witnesses to marriages are usually close friends / family of the married couple. Here is an interesting one: Percy Murray. Murray was likely a common name, but there may be some direct links here to the recent discovery of Murray’s in the Anglo-Indian Project families. Again, this may provide further insight into the connections/relationships between the Hassett and Wharton families – an apparent tense relationship, but fascinating nonetheless.

A third point of interest is the chaplain performing the ceremony. W. Kennelly has appeared on many of the records of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials at Christ Church, Byculla, Bombay. The church was visited during the trip to Bombay (Mumbai) in 2016, and will be covered in more detail soon. W. Kennelly may be an important link for additional detail to the family history .

If this second marriage record proves to be correct (and it appears to be), Theresa Josephine’s records may be of interest. Her father is recorded here as Samuel Grant – another potential line of inquiry.

What has been discovered, is Alfred George and Jane Sophia Astridge had (at least) 11 children. The official records need to be copied (and there may be more children), but there is plenty more information being gathered on the Astridge-Smith links to the Hassett-Wharton families.

Cover picture image: Shimla, The Guardian


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Interact with the Anglo-Indian Project

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6 thoughts on “Alfred George Astridge

  1. Alfy married Jane Sophia de Rufsett….here is a record that might be of interest…it seems Jane’s mum was a “native woman” – there’s some anglo Indian blood in us SMITHs after all !!! yay (is that correct).

    Liked by 1 person

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