Emily (or Emelia) Victor Kahn was the daughter of Victor and Mathilde Kahnn. She is believed to have been born in Liverpool in 1863, give or take a year. We’ve found no trace of a record of her birth, although like her siblings she appears to have started life with a double ‘n’ to her name – Kahnn.
The 1871 census shows her living with the rest of the family at 15 Crown Street, West Derby, Liverpool. Then she was described as 9 years old and a scholar. We never rely on ages in census reports to define year of birth. For some reason the head of household consistently had a mental blank when asked for the ages of family members – the result was he or she grasped a figure out of the air.
As Emilie Victor Kahn, she married Moses Marks Samuels in Liverpool during the first quarter of 1889. The 1901 census (the next report) shows the family as living at 40 Kinmel Street, Rhuddlan (Rhyl) in north Wales. Moses was described as an optician shopkeeper, working on his own account from home. Also listed on the 1901 census are: Amelia Samuels (age 80 and born in Liverpool. although an earlier census states her birth as Germany); Bertha (age 7); Edward (age 8); Florence (age 21 – born in Buckinghamshire); Hilda (age 3); Jacob (age 77); Madeline (age 11) and Pauline (age 10). The house still stands and I’ve seen it – it must have been very crowded.
As far as we can make out, Emily and Moses had seven children: Madeline (born 1890); Pauline (born 1891); Edward (born 1893); Bertha (born 1894) – these four were born in Dublin. The last three were born in Rhyl: Hilda Diana (1897); Victor (1904) and Lena (1896 – died 1897).
At some stage, therefore, the family must have moved from Liverpool to Dublin – we don’t know why.
Two of the daughters, Bertha and Hilda, became famous as music hall entertainers, calling themselves ‘Beatie & Babs.’ More can be found about them on their dedicated page under biographies. Emily probably managed the duo, especially during the early days. We know she had a couple of appearances in court being sued, once by her own brother Arthur claiming royalties for a successful skit he wrote entitled “A Pavement Rehearsal.”
Emily went back and forth to the USA, perhaps to accompany her dancing daughters on professional engagements,
In 1911 (census), the family is living at 3 Rylett Road, Fulham, London.
Little more is known about Emily. We think she could have died in 1952 (age 92) in Barnet but this has yet to be verified. Moses probably died in Barnet in 1937, age 84. Official records reveal that probate was granted to his son, Edward Israel.
We’d like to know more.