Saturday, September 23, 2006

Matching references

Thanks to a comment by another Guild member, John Dods, I spent some time yesterday extracting references to Parrys from the National Archives of South Africa. There were 828 occurrences of the name so I have a lot of work to do in identifying exactly what is there but, whilst looking through them, I just happened to notice some references to “Leon Parry and Hayhoe Ltd”. It stuck out to me because Leon is not a name I have come across for a Parry.

Later, I happened to be looking at the new British Phone Books database on Ancestry – and what should I find but entries for “Parry Leon & Hayhoe, Travel Agnts (South Africa) Ltd, 219 Regent st W.1”

I then checked that address in a 1934 Trade Directory, but they weren’t there. However, they were listed under the Commercial section - “PARRY, LEON & HAYHOE (SOUTH AFRICA) LIMITED (Representing Parry, Leon & Hayhoe Ltd. The South African steamship, shipping, forwarding & insurance agents, bonded warehousemen &c.; marine surveyors & adjustors; agents for brokers at Lloyds), 19 & 20 Northumberland avenue WC2- Telegrams, “Parlehay, London”; Phone, Whitehall 3387 & 3388.

I wasn’t sure where to find them within the Trade section but a look under Shipping revealed that “Agents-Shipping” was the most likely grouping and, yes, there they were, as well as under the Northumberland Avenue address in the street directory.

Repeating the process with a 1938 directory, I found from the Commercial listing that the company was now at 2 Conduit St. And again, they appeared under that address in the Street Index and also under the Agents-Shipping group in the trade directory.

Of course, “Leon” wasn’t the first name of a Parry, it was the surname of someone else in the company, as indicated by a message now found on one of the mailing lists.

But, if I had realised that at the time, I might not have remembered the name later so would not have spotting the matching references!

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