Those trying to trace Liverpool (England) connections might find useful information on the Cemetery Scribes website which provides a list of all interments in the Green Lane Cemetery, now defunct, bricked-up and vastly overgrown. I provided the basic listed information some years ago, but since then researchers have added biographical details so even if you’ve been to the website before you could find what you’re seeking.

The website address:






Gaston Bernard Kahn (or Dad as I knew him) with his second wife, Bridie (I don’t know how to spell Bridgit)  outside a distinctively named pub which I’ve since found out is in the Peak District not far from Ashbourne. Year unknown, but probably middle to late 1970s.  AGK

hanson jpeg

I’ve asked before: how far do we take reporting on family tree researches? I mean width-wise rather than back in time. For example, I’ve recently had contact with a mislaid Welsh cousin whom I’ve not sure I’ve ever met. He’s researched his paternal line of Hansons and has given me new information. I’m as much a Hanson through my mother’s bloodline as a Kahn through my father’s, yet I’ve tended to focus on paternal archaeology. This means I’m lopsided, having one arm shorter than the other; worse I find myself incomplete and therefore perpetually in a state of becoming without arriving. It’s a long journey which (I hope) has years yet to run.

Being 50% Kahn and 50% Hanson I have the sense that I should pay more attention to my mother’s forebears. As she married my father, she should be in this family tree – and aren’t her parents of equal status to my Kahn grandparents? So should they not be included? My Handson grandparents 3x removed are as mysterious to me as the Kahn equivalent, so should I not be thirsting to know more and to record the findings here? And so back in time, if not ad finitum at least to the early 1800s.

Creationists look away: by the way, has it ever occurred to you that but for the dark ages prior to records being kept (and with the technical know-how) we could trace our ancestors back to when they were amphibians, or before to the days when they swam in the sea, or were simply amoeba dividing into tiny cells? The genetic line must be unbroken otherwise we wouldn’t be here now. Darwin understood that centuries ago; I’ve only recently realised it. But that’s not strictly relevant.

What to do about the Hansons? If I include them here, the family tree will start to become unwieldy and anyway to start an entirely new branch would actually be counter to the objective of Kahngenealogy. Another website perhaps, but then I already struggle to keep this one moving forwards (UK) forward (USA), without starting an entirely new venture.

In the interests of brevity, for the moment I’ll simply retain the data in my files and if anyone would like to have more information about the Kahn-Hanson relationship he or she can email me and, eventually, I’m likely to respond. Thank you.

Alan Kahn

postscript: since posting the photograph I’ve heard from cousin Gareth with likely identification of the subjects: (Left to Right) Fred age c. 47; Walter age c. 19; Arthur age c. 21; Richard age c. 17. Then Rebecca age c. 50 and Maggie age c. 12.  The photograph was probably taken about 1918 and could be a celebration of the end of war. Gareth adds: “Arthur lost an arm in the war, so that may be why the photo is arranged to cover his missing right arm. If it is them, their eldest child, Mabel, is missing from the photo. She would have been aged 23 in 1918. Maybe she had married by then or moved on.”

Great Uncle Charles Kahn was initially an optician but later in his life became interested in hearing, and we believe he bought the company of F. C. Rein, a pioneer of technology in the developing hearing aids’ industry. His son, Leslie Kahn, eventually changed his name to Rein-Kahn, presumably in response to this business acquisition.

Enderby Parish Church in Leicestershire, England, has one of the few remaining acoustic listening devices installed by F. C. Rein and Company. Our Cousin Julie Banton went along to take a look and writes as follows:

“I went to have a look at the listening device in Enderby Parish church today.

It was pretty much as described, but what was particularly interesting was that there were some near intact stickers describing the F. Charles Rein business.

Photos attached – the first three show where the reader would stand, on the left hand side as you look to the front of the church. It look like a normal reading desk, but on the top there is a sliding wooden panel and when you slide it to open it, there is a big hole to the tube, so the reader’s voice would carry into the tube.

The tubes then go under the floor to the other side of the church where the hard of hearing people would sit on a pew at the front right of the church (pew no longer there). The fourth picture shows the panel where the four listening devices come out (not five as mentioned in one of the weblinks). There used to be flexible tubes coming out from these that people would presumably put to their ears, but they are no longer there.

There was also previously tubing from the pulpit to the listening end but there is no evidence of that in the pulpit now.

The other photos show the stickers next to where the tubes come out – most in poor condition but a couple readable – all the same I think. The circular one on the left and the rectangular one on the right actually say the same thing. Not sure how readable the photos are, so what the stickers say is below. Quite a range of products they did and I’m not quite sure what some of them mean! The list is consistent with the sorts of things Stiles mentions though. The left hand sticker also refers to His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, presumably a patron.

“F. Charles Rein: Patentees, Inventors and Sole Manufacturers of the New Acoustic Instrument. 108 Strand, London. F. C Rein and Sons newly invented Cork Respirators, 2s 5d each. Flora’s Auricles, worn as a Lady’s Head-dress, – Acoustic Auricles, worn under the Hair, – Acoustic Chairs, Pulpits, Vases, Flexible Whispering Tubes for extreme deafness, – Improved Double-action Fountains which do not admit Air, – Vases and Enemas, Railway Conversation Tubes, – Railway Conveniences, Elastic Stockings with or without Lacing,- and every other kind of Mechanical Assistance. Instruments made and fitted to every degree of deafness. Patentees, Inventors and makers of the Ant:- Acoustic Protector.”

Thanks very much to Julie for taking the time to visit the church and sending in this information. I wish I’d been as prompt in posting the results. (It’s take me over a year – no excuses, as usual… I plead age, senescence, infirmity, stupidity and laziness).

Many apologies to Julie for not getting this up on the page earlier.

The relevant images can be found under the norfolkkahns Blogroll heading to the right of the screen.

b&b snippets

Inbound emails have been buried beneath a vast heap of junk mail and problems with our email hosting platform have now been resolved, I say with hope, prompting me to buy the new broom which sweeps clean. A couple of pearls emerged, both on the subject of our cousins, Beatie & Babs.

Dave Crump is writing a biography of the famous showman, Fred Karno (he of army fame) and he tells us that Beatie & Babs starred in a Karno revue titled “All Women” (sometimes “All Ladies” or “All Eves”). The revue was first performed on 27 September 1915  at Colchester Hippodrome. Apart from a small masculine presence, the cast were all female, as David tells us: “a first for the time and responding to the challenges of women entering the workplace due to the war.” The revue ran for about two years and Beatie & Babs were the headliners for the first six months or so. Dave’s website can be found at: www.fredkarno.com.

Lesley Wright from New Zealand writes: “Just came across my great uncle’s autograph book. He worked on the stage door of the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. Beatie & Babs are on the first page, dated 1916.”

Were B&B there with Fred Karno, I wonder.

Thanks to both Dave and Lesley for these snippets of information.

babsbeatie-approx-1919During an idle turning of web-pages yesterday, I came across extracts from a book by Alison Orme. Here is an extraction from the extracts, for which I have no permissions but I dare to take liberties in the interests of family research and the hope that I will be forgiven:


In mass entertainment, male impersonation remained in demand in the variety theatre, providing variations on the same male types – the swell, the aspiring clerk and the man in uniform – as Ella Shield’s and Hetty King’s continuing high profile shows. The new double act of the singing and dancing sisters Beatie & Babs in 1919 offered old and new trends in male impersonation. Beatie’s part of the act was the style of the flirtatious pretty girl playing a boyish man: ‘Beatie dances beautifully, and is a dapper little knight of the pigskin in her jockey’s jacket, breeches and saucy cap.’ Babs on the other hand was half-scolded for her success.

‘Babs is really a very good-looking young lady, but she has contrived, deliberately and with malice aforethought, to make herself the ugliest and most villainous-looking toreador… the disfiguring transformation from the dainty drawing-room artist is simply staggering.’

Her more assertive presentation of masculinity – ‘she struts and stumps… and bellows’ – disquiets the reviewer, though he notes the ‘overwhelming reception’ for both young woman. ‘It is laughter all the way for the people.’


From: “Her Husband was a Woman! Women’s Gender-crossing in Modern British Popular Culture” by Alison Orme, for sale on Google E-books.

The image of B&B above was taken about 1919.

Alan Kahn

Courtesy of Google, this map shows how close Schweich is to Aach and Trier. I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now.