I become side-tracked by the Edleman family

In addition to the 1911 Scotland Census information, Saul Marks had some other important news for me.

Anna Edleman & children to NYC 1911 pg 1


It appears that Reuben Edleman had almost sailed from Glasgow for New York in both October and November 1911, according to his listings on the New York Passenger lists on Ancestry’s immigration and travel section.  On both occasions, his entry is crossed out, meaning that he did not sail.

The October listing places him with a woman named Anna Edleman (aged 25) and her children Grace (5) and John (2), all born in Cairo, Egypt.  Their address in Britain is the same as that on the 1911 Census for Sarah and Harris Edleman, with Anna naming H. Edleman of that address as her father-in-law.

Anna Edleman & children to NYC 1911 pg 2


Anna Edleman and her children are destined to meet her husband, John Albert Edleman, who is cited as living at the Grand Union Hotel in New York.

John Albert is therefore another son of Harris and Sarah Edleman, the fifth child to emerge to date.

Mention of Grace Edelman – she would later spell her surname this way – triggered a particular memory for me.

As their older children matured to an age where a taste for music could be cultivated, my parents acquired a baby grand piano.  If my siblings had spent any time learning how to play this instrument, I was too young to remember.  But I wasn’t going to escape that easily.

I took lessons with three successive teachers over the better part of ten years, sat for exams and was entered in competitions.

During the late 1960’s my then teacher encouraged me to enter the Cape Town eisteddfod.

My early performances met with lukewarm results, no doubt reflecting my deeper interest in swimming.

I was encouraged to try again the following year.  When I mentioned to my parents that the adjudicator was a woman named Grace Edelman, my father announced that we were “related”.  Whether this was intended to make me play better, I shall never know.

When I appeared before Grace Edelman, she was in her early 60’s.  She judged me generously on two of my performances and a little less so – most likely with good reason – on the other two.  The two favourable grades earned me a spot in the annual prize winner’s concert at the City Hall.  I would like to think that “blood” had not entered into the equation when it came to the judging.  Indeed, if Grace had tumbled to the family connection, then she certainly wasn’t acknowledging it.

My career as an apprentice concert pianist, however, was destined to be short-lived.  Tepid grades reappeared the following year and shortly after that I lost interest in both practising and performing.

IMG_6535As for the piano, in 1983 it left Cape Town for Sydney along with my parents.  For the last ten or so years it has occupied a corner of my dining room.

I almost never touch it.

If Grace Edelman were alive today, I’m sure she’d have something to say about that.


3 thoughts on “I become side-tracked by the Edleman family

  1. Oh, my goodness… look at that beautiful piano and what a fascinating story. To find Grace Edelman, on the Passenger List, and then to be able to relate her to the same Grace Edelman you knew is absolutely brilliant!!!
    Great research and thanks for the sharing 🙂

  2. Pingback: Reuben | In search of Harris

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s