Gaston Victor, or Alexander Gaston as cited in his birth certificate, was born on 2nd October 1858 at 13 Moon Street, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool. He was the third son of Victor and Mathilde Kahn – and brother to Arthur, Charles, Pauline, Elmelia, Lucy and Phillipe.
We know little about this great-great-grandfather to our youngest generation. The 1861 census records him as age 3, the 1871 shows him as a scholar and the 1881 census reveals his occupation as an upholsterer, still living with the family at 15 Crown Street, West Derby.
A photograph suggests he was a member of the Royal Artillery for a while, but we have no dates or details of his army service. During the period 1889 to 1895, he’s listed on various passenger liners sailing to and fro across the Atlantic – in 1889 he’s on the crew list as a ‘workaway steward’ but by 1892 he’s become an optician.
Family legend hints that he and his brother Arthur participated in the Gold Rush of 1896, but this is purely hearsay.
Gaston joined the 2132 Egerton Masonic Lodge in 1898. At that time he showed his occupation as oculist and his address as New Brighton at Wallasey (near Liverpool). He resigned the lodge in 1901 and joined the 1668 Samson Lodge in London in 1904, showing his address as 57 Oxford Street and occupation as optician. He was also a member of Joppa Chapter. Gaston had left Liverpool, as had his two surviving brothers, Arthur and Charles.
Sometime between 1901 and 1903 he met with Amy Dubber (an upholsterer – b. 1874 London) and they had two children together, Philip Brown Kahn (b. December 1903) and Gaston Bernard Kahn (b. November 1911). So far we’ve traced no marriage certificate for Gaston and Amy.
In the 1911 census, Gaston was shown as head of household, married to Amy for nine years. He was an optician, almost certainly having taken a business partner and trading in the Oxford Street business under the name of Vickers & Kahn. The family lived in Hammersmith Grove, London.
Gaston Victor died 6 days after the census date. His death certificate records his name as Gaston Alexander. His second son, Gaston Bernard, was born 7 months later. His widow, Amy Kahn, moved the family to Weymouth early in 1914.