I need help to locate lost great-uncle who may have lived in Loch in 1927 and 1928.
Here is the mysterious situation as best I know it.
My great-grandmother Edna Josephine Anderson, born in Mauritius on January 11, 1875 into the Scottish expatriate community, came to Tasmania with her whole family in 1883.
In her first marriage to Joseph Stearnes, on December 18, 1900, she had two daughters, the youngest was my grandmother.
She was widowed, but remarried in 1911 to Emanuel Weitnauer (born in Basel, nat 1906).
All our formal records show my great-grandmother Edna did not have any further children with her second husband despite persistent family rumours that suggest they had a son together. But the family historians say there is no evidence.
However, I uncovered a letter in my grandmother’s papers, dated 1939 and sent to my great grandmother from a cousin who remained in Mauritius.
The letter was a cover letter for the return of a photograph of a small child with the same name as my great-grandmother’s second husband.
The letter references a photograph and states: “What a darling your little Mannie is! What a tragedy to have lost him now! Who knows, someday he will return to his parents you don’t mention your husband, if he is still alive. Cheer up Dearie; we must suffer in this world, as we have a better one in store…. We return to you sweet little Mannie.”
The last statement probably means “We return to you the photograph of sweet little Mannie”.
On the front of the photograph is written “Mannie”. On the back of the photo is written “Emanuel Armadale WEITNAUER, aged 1 yr + 6 months, he was 21 years of age on the 2nd May ’38”.
The photograph has been taken in a professional portrait studio.
The cover letter, along with the caption on the back of the photo, seem to imply he was not deceased in 1939, but was “lost”!
Here is the problem: if ‘Mannie’ was 21 on May 2, 1938, then he must have been born on May 2, 1917. But there is no birth certificate on file in Victoria for ‘Emanuel Armadale Weitnauer’, nor for any permutations or combinations of the name or date as best as I can tell.
What has this got to do with Loch?
Well, the electoral rolls show that in 1927 and 1928 little Mannie’s family was living in Loch! His father is listed in the rolls as “orchardist” and the name of the property where they were living was called ‘Bassby’. By then little Mannie would have been 10 years old and at school in Loch.
Does anyone have any recollection of the Weitnauer family with two daughters and one son who lived in Loch 1927 and 1928?
Are there school records from these years? Does anyone know where the property Bassby is located?
Any help finding my lost great uncle would be gratefully received!
David Jamieson, davidnj@ozemail.com.au