I had now added John Albert – or JA as I shall call him for convenience – to my database of Edleman offspring.
JA’s quarters at the Grand Union Hotel in 1911 do not appear to have been those of a pauper.
This brick hotel with its mansard roof and quoin corner blocks, plus the trademark New York fire escapes to the front facade – a relatively new feature of fire safety at the time – presents an imposing figure and, dare I say, one that would likely have attracted well-to-do patrons.
Built in 1872, the Grand Union Hotel was situated at Park Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets. The recently completed Grand Central Terminal is partly visible on the left.
The photo of the hotel was taken in 1914, shortly before it was demolished to make way for the Lexington Avenue subway line. By then, of course, JA and his family would have moved on.
Saul Marks had suggested that I could trace JA’s line in the US further through reference to a range of sources.
Interesting as I imagined this would have been, the Edlemans’ American pathway after 1911 seemed less important to my central aim of giving some context to the missing years of my grandfather’s life, than trying to find out more about JA’s earlier existence and, by association, my grandfather’s circumstances.
A logical starting point was to establish JA’s date and place of birth.
That wasn’t going to be quite as easy as I would have liked. There is no record of his birth in England nor of any having been registered at a British Consulate abroad.
I was reasonably confident that JA had been born sometime between 1881 and 1889. He was younger than his brother Joseph who – at the 1881 Census had only my grandfather as a sibling – and most likely older than another brother, Reuben, who was born circa 1889.
Something about the birthplace of Anna, Grace and John Edleman Junior had aroused my curiosity: all three had been born in Cairo, Egypt. This presupposed that JA had, prior to 1911, spent time in Egypt.
Registration of their marriage at the British Consul in Cairo confirmed a link to Egypt back to 1906.
I would soon discover that JA and his family had a far closer relationship with this country than with the US.
And that by pursuing this particular relationship further, it would lead me to what I was looking for.
 Calculated from the age of their daughter, Grace, who was five years old in 1911.