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Looking for information on John (Johnnie) Osborne of Auckland, New Zealand

I am seeking information on John Osborne of Auckland, New Zealand, known to friends as Johnnie.

He was likely born between 1920-1925. The family resided in the area of the bays along the south shore of Auckland Harbour - so Okahu Bay , Mission Bay, St Heliers, Howick etc. One snippet I was able to find out is that while he was in his late teens to early twenties, his father, apparently a GP,died suddenly.

He attended art school at Elam around 1943-1945 or possibly as late as 1947 and was friends with some well-known commercial artists such as Linwood "Lin" Lipanovic who created some of the iconic TEAL airways posters. He was very active in the Arts community attending many Arts Balls and other events in Auckland in the 1940s and 1950s.
Johnnie founded a commercial art service named JO-EB Studios in the mid-late 1940s. Obviously, the JO part is his initials, but who EB is I do not know. There were a few people in his years at Elam with surname B: Baker, Brightwell, and Bailey. Auction house Art + Object sold a large lot of his commercial illustrations in July 2009.
He never married and was living in Glendowie, Auckland in the early 1990s.

I've found so little information on him that I strongly suspect that John was not his government name. I'm hoping someone will recognise him from my description and add to the information for a story.

Waitemata Ale, Johnnie Osbourne

2 comment(s), latest 3 years, 11 months ago

Looking for Broughton family of Newtown, Sydney, Australia

I'm looking for descendants of the Broughton family in Sydney, Australia to see if they can shed any light on the life of my first cousin, his wife and their child.

The Broughtons were in the Newtown, Marrickville, Petersham and Ashfield areas clustered in west (now classed as inner-city) Sydney. They came from Argyle, NSW and spent some time in Crookwell before moving closer to the city.
Marjorie M Broughton was a granddaughter of Richard and Sarah Ann J Broughton (nee Wright). She married my first cousin Nat Morris in 1931.

Marjorie was a machinist in the garment trade and prior to marriage she was living with her mother in Palmer Street, Darlinghurst. Seemingly there was no father present and none is listed on the birth record leading me to believe that Marjorie's mother, Amy Clara/Clair Broughton (1883-1934) bore Marjorie out of wedlock. Amy continued living at Palmer Street until her death three years after Marjorie and Nat married.

Nat was from a Russian-Jewish family of Glasgow where he started out life as Larten Slatopolsky. He took Nathan as his gentile name, a common practice to seem more Western. The story goes that he absconded from Scotland without telling anyone, leaving the family "heartbroken" as it's relayed, and came to Australia. Here he shortened his first name to Nat and took his father's first name as his new surname, thus becoming "Nat Morris" (and more or less untraceable). The family eventually tracked him down somehow but he refused to have any contact with them in his new life.

Marjorie and Nat settled in Newtown where Nat worked as a presser in the garment trade. They had one known child, Frank Nathan Morris, who died at a few years old in 1937 (I'm guessing he was five or six at the time). Presumably the line then died out.

I'm hoping there may be descendants of Amy's six siblings (including her twin, Ethel Virginia Broughton, known as "Virgie") who may have some information on the couple.

Below advertisements from The Sydney Morning Herald,Tuesday 23 May 1922, for Sarah Ann J Broughton's death lists most of her children, their spouses and grandchildren.

Looking for Descendants of Freddie Earlle

Update: This has now been solved. Thanks.


I am seeking descendants of my first cousin Frederick Medvidoff aka actor Freddie Earlle. He was born 1924 Prestwick, Scotland to my great-aunt Mannia (Mannie) and her husband David Medvidoff. They later changed their name to Taylor,and Freddie had two brothers Maurice and Albert who both used the hyphenated version Medvidoff-Taylor.
Unlike his brothers Albert and Maurice, who went into the wholesale garment trade like so many of the family, Frederick wanted instead to be on the stage. His early career was in vaudeville as a comedian in the late 1940s, and soon progressed to actor/writer/director in the music halls.

His first wife was Freda M Pearlman, who took the stage name Freda Mundy,in 1950. He, now as Freddie Earl, and Freda had a successful act as "Mundy and Earl", sharing the bill at times with Laurel and Hardy, Frank Sinatra and Gypsy Rose Lee, amongst other superstars of that era. He divorced Freda and married Naomi Mendel in 1958 subsequently having three children, a son and two daughters, from this second marriage. I do not know any of their names. At some point in the 1950s they moved to England and stayed here for the next few decades.

In the early 1960s he changed the spelling of his last name to Earlle and it was then he had television success between the late 1960s and early 1990s as a character actor. Amongst some of the well-known shows he appeared on were Doctor Who, The Bill, Hi De Hi! (ironically a comedy about the very place he used to perform as a comedian), Robin's Nest, Dad's Army, Yes Minister, Bergerac, Coronation Street - as well as children's TV show Rainbow.

His career seemed to wind down in the late 1990s, and he retired to live in Spain in 1998. and died in Estepona, Malaga, Andalucia in 2007.

1 comment(s), latest 4 years, 2 months ago

Seeking Information on the Hind Family of Glasgow

Update: This has now been solved. Thanks.


I am attempting to get in touch with the Hind family of Glasgow. My great-aunt Sonia Slane(nee Zam)had a daughter Eleanor who married Archie Hind. Archie, who passed away in 2008, was primarily famous for his novel "The Dear Green Place" which has come to be considered a Scottish literary modern classic of sorts. Apparently Eleanor is still alive and living in Scotland.

1 comment(s), latest 4 years, 2 months ago

Seeking Information on Robert Frank (Bob) Godfrey, of New Zealand

Update: This has now been solved. Thanks.


I am seeking information on Bob Godfrey who was a sign writer and artist living and working mostly in the Manawatu-Wanganui region of NZ.

I am currently writing a story on Peter Pan Frozen Foods and the Denne family, hopefully to be published as a small book for the upcoming reunion. Bob worked for the company during the 1960s for a number of years and did many of their posters and wrappers in quite a unique style. I have been on this story for a couple of years now and have found a lot of his work, but very little information on him and the rest of his career.

Recently just a small amount of further information came to light, but I have now come to a dead end again.
This is what I now know: He was living in Waipukurau married to Maureen between 1969-1978. Previous to that the couple had been living in Hastings around the early-mid 1960s. In 1978 the couple moved to Rotorua where he continued to work in the same industry until at least 1981. It's unknown whether they had any children, but unlikely.

Bob Godfrey does not appear in the records earlier than 1963 excepting one reference to a Robert Frank Godfrey at Nelson Creek in 1957 working as a bushman (unlikely to be him - and yet, there was nobody else by the same name in any records).

BDM had no results for birth, marriage, or death of Bob or Maureen, or children of the couple. The government has no records whatsoever. It is hard to say whether he was an immigrant but I am speculating he was born in New Zealand, and maybe born between 1939-1945. It is quite possible he is still alive.

I have previously sent letters out to Godfreys living in the region, and have had no results.

1 comment(s), latest 4 years, 7 months ago

Seeking Information on the Fyfe family of Auckland

I'm particularly interested in finding information on Alison Bruce Fyfe,who had at least a brief career as an illustrator in the 1940s-1950s. Alison was born in 1927, in the Takapuna, Auckland area but the Fyfes were originally from the Dunedin area. Seemingly she vanished after 1954 and likely married, changing her name, or moved overseas. There's an article here:

Flights Of Fancy : Alison Fyfe

Seeking Information on Jesners in Melbourne, Australia

I am seeking connections between my family and Jesners of Melbourne.

My great-aunt was Bella Jesner (nee Zam). She married Robert Isaac Jesner in Glasgow. The Jesner family, which had a very successful history in dealing metal and vehicles, as well as heavy involvement with the synagogue there, is a large family still present in Glasgow today.
The Jesner family already had some history in Australia; Robert's brother Isador came to New Zealand for a short time, arriving and leaving in 1911, and presumably went straight to Australia.
He settled in Carlton North, Melbourne, where joined by his sister Lena they launched a Stocking manufacturing enterprise named P&J Hosiery. They retired from the business in 1934, and the mill, now owned by Albert and Clara Bernadou, became the Vogue Hosiery factory.

Lena Jesner was investigated by the Commonwealth Police Force and Investigation Service, Victoria in 1930 for reasons unknown. I don't know if some kind of persecution or harassment had bearing on their decision to leave Australia and return to Scotland, but it's possible. I have turned up a number of investigations conducted by the government on my family in the 1930s and 1940s both in Australia and New Zealand. Likely they were targeted during "The Red Bogie" because they happened to be foreign and Jewish. Isador and Lena returned to Scotland and lived in Glasgow until they died. I am not sure if either ever married.
My great-aunt Bella visited Australia for the first time in 1956 to see one of her daughters. (Family memory is that Bella also went to live in Germany for a time before Australia, but did not really like it. As you can see, the photo seems to have been taken in Berlin so this makes sense).

All three of her children with Robert Isaac Jesner eventually moved to Australia one by one; Gertrude (known as Trudie) and Serra (known as Sybil) both settled in the Melbourne area. George arrived with his wife Dorothy to Canberra, ACT in 1964, bringing Bella with them to live. Bella died that same year and was interred in Victoria.

George and Dorothy visited a Jesner relation in Melbourne apparently named Nancy - but are now not sure exactly how Nancy was related. Doing some further digging around in the records, I found remnants of Jesners in the Melbourne area but I am not sure how they fit in to our tree.
They were Nathan Stone, and Julia Williams nee Stone, who passed away around 1970, as well as siblings Ada, Dora and Rebecca Stone - their mother was Esther Rose Jesner. These were her children with Abraham Stone. Esther's father was Selim Jesner, who would probably would have been born circa 1840s. Esther Jesner also had a marriage to a Solomon Cohen and had at least one child, Minnie Cohen. All are buried in Jewish sections/cemeteries of Melbourne.
There are also apparently Yesner relations of the Jesners in Australia - the Yesner branch were settled in South Africa, again I am not sure how they are related.

Looking for Entrican family of Auckland

Seeking information for a story on the Entrican family of Auckland, New Zealand.

A.J. Entrican & Sims was a coffee and spice / wholesale provision merchant based in Customs Street East, Auckland, New Zealand - now named Australis House the building constructed circa 1904 still stands today and was recently refurbished as part of the Britomart Precinct project. The company went on to be one of the most successful of its kind in the country.

A respected and powerful member of the community, A.J. (Andrew James, 1859-1936) Entrican served as a city councillor and was for a great many years deputy mayor and a trustee of Auckland Savings Bank, amongst other titles of significance he held. He married Elizabeth Mary McKay and they produced about ten offspring.

His brother was apparently R.J. Entrican (Robert James,1868-1928 ) also an Auckland-based merchant who married Annie Lamb. They had four or so children including Alexander Robert (Pat) Entrican who was a well-known civil engineer and forestry administrator (featured bio on Dictionary of New Zealand) who played an important part in the history of his particular industry.

Robert William Gallaugher went into business with another of Andrew's brothers J.C (James Cuthbertson, 1864-1951) Entrican for a time - Their business was named Gallaugher & Entrican. Like Entrican & Sims they were also dealing as wholesale provision merchants. J.C. Entrican also served on the council and after a few years parted ways with Gallaugher and joined his brother at A.J. Entrican & Sims to form A.J. Entrican & Co.

I ran across this photo (below) and have discussed it with a descendant who thinks that "Missy" may be Ellen Isobel Entrican was born in 1906. This photo was taken in 1909 and the child looks to be around 3 years old or so. Ellen was Pat Entrican's sister.

Any titbits on family history appreciated. You can see the type of stories I do here, this one on a similar firm named Brown Barrett & Co (which were, incidentally, just two doors away from Entrican on Customs Street East):


Portrait of Missie Entrican, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 31-57972

5 comment(s), latest 5 years ago

Looking for McClymont family of Auckland

Seeking information for a further story on the McClymont family who owned McClymont Confectionery Ltd. One of their brands was "Tinkerbell", which was jelly crystals. However they were more famous for their self-named brand of toffees apparently - sold through grocery chains like Four Square and Self Help. They may have been in business from the 1930s - but they definitely built a factory around 1953 in Point Chevalier, Auckland. It seems by the early 1960s the business may have been sold to Tucker of the Sunshine brand and subsumed. The building was demolished some time in the 1990s to build a shopping complex. Potential fragments of information I have are that the company may have been owned by Thomas Allen "Scotty" McClymont, who was a noted Kiwi sportsman - a New Zealand rugby league player and coach who represented his country. The family were living in Mount Albert in the early 1960s. Descendants may be living in West Auckland - in the Te Atatu area. Possibly a daughter and son-in-law with surname Little or possibly Liddle were involved with a Christian newspaper The Challenge Weekly and may have done some missionary work. I also found reference to a Barry McClymmont having worked for them. That can't be a coincidence. I have contacted this newspaper which is still going today and they weren't able to help with any information. I'm interested in any information, even if it's just as insignificant as consuming a McClymont/Tinkerbell product - and when that was.