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Searching for lost chords of piano-making family

Ancestor's musical background revealed

An Addiscombe man who is related to the famous piano and harpsichord-making Kirckman family, is this week appealing to Heritage readers for help in tracing his Croydon ancestors.

Stephen Kirkman, who spells his name slightly differently, is urging anyone with information about the Scholey family, who resided in the borough between late 1800's and mid 1900's to come forward.

Stephen started exploring his family history in 1988 when he hired a team of researchers to trace his ancestors.

But after months of exhaustive searches they could not find any records of his grandfather or his family.

It was then that Stephen decided to make his own inquiries. He said : "The reasons why I started this journey are threefold."

"My primary reason was that I had never really known any of my grandparents and, having a son of my own, I wanted to have some sense of his ancestry."

"There were no reliable family stories and my parents, uncles and aunts were, of course, getting older."

"My father had always been a little reticent about the families past. This only encouraged me as I thought there was a mystery to be solved and this was the second reason for embarking on this journey."

"The third reason was that it would create an opportunity to make contact with relatives with whom I had lost touch over the years."

After years of meticulously scrutinising birth, death and marriage certificates, Stephen discovered his great-grandfather's music-making history and is now in the process of writing a book titled, Search of the Lost Chord.

Stephen is now hoping Heritage readers may be able to shed some light on the family history of his great-grand-mother whose maiden name was Scholey.

He added : "Percy Octavius Scholey was born in 1866 at 2 Acle Villas in Gladstone Road in Croydon. He married Julia Emily Smith on April 3, 1890 at The Congregational Chapel, Newbury, Berks. Percy died on March 19, 1950 at 681 London Road, Thornton Heath."

"From the various reference books I have studied at Croydon library I have ascertained that in 1905 he was living at 46 Parchmore Road, Thornton Heath."

"In 1911 he was living at 47 Parchmore Road and in 1921 he was living at 295 London Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey."

From records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission he was at this address between 1915 and 1917.

"In 1937 he seemed to have settled down and was living at 681 London Road, Thornton Heath, until his death in 1950. His daughter Dulcie remained at this address four years later."

"Percy and Julia had six children. Percy Gerald Scholey died while serving in World War 1 in 1917 aged just 25 years old."

"Norman Victor Scholey was also killed while serving in World War 1 in 1915, aged 22 years old."

"Gladys Irene Scoley died unmarried in 1911. Dulcie Gwendoline Julie Emily Scholey died a spinster in 1954 at the address in London Road, Thornton Heath."

"Dudley Rybo Scholey died in 1967 and Vyvyan Arthur Lacy Scholey was living in Cheston Avenue, Shirley, before his death in 1956. If anyone has any information they wish to share I would be pleased to hear from them."

If you have any information about the Scholey family, contact Stephen, c/o the Heritage Page, Croydon Guardian, Ekman Cleave House, 854 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8.2UX.


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