The life and times of my great grand-aunt Fanny Dinnis (5)

My previous post (The life and times of my great grand-aunt Fanny (4) concluded in 1894 with the death of Fanny’s father, John Dinnis, following on from the deaths of her two youngest children in 1889.

In the England Census of 1891 Edith Beatrice, Fanny’s remaining daughter, was aged 13. On 30 December 1895 Edith married Alexander Saunders. I actually have yet to find any proof of this event. She was 18. Alexander Saunders has an interesting history. The following are copies of his Certificate of Naturalisation, showing he was born aroung 1864 in Berlin, Germany. His parents were Edward and Irma Seligmann. The Naturalisation took place in 1899, when Alexander was a resident in Newland, Surrey.

Alexander Seligmann

Alexander Seligmann 2

However, I also found an entry in the 1891 Scotland Census, listing ‘Alexander Seligmann’ born about 1863 in Berlin, Germany. A commercial traveller, he was married to Katherina Seligmann. At some point he changed his surname from Seligmann to Saunders.

Fanny and her husband, John William Forbes immigrated in 1900. I have definite information about this, which I will show in a moment. It would appear from both the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Federal Census documents that Edith Beatrice and her husband also immigrated in either 1899 or 1900 but I can’t find them listed.

What I have found is the list of Alien Immigrants, listing Fanny and John’s arrival in the United States.

List of Alien Immigrants 1900

List of Alien Immigrants 1900

This shows they were intending to join their son in law in Atlanta, Georgia. The only son in law they had was Alexander Saunders.

It is strange to think of my ancestors being immigrants and heading off on a ship for a new and better start. I am imagining they felt it was the right time, as a family to begin again, after the death of two of their children and Fanny’s father. It certainly must have been a huge adventure for them.

From the above document we can see they travelled on the S.S. ‘New York’, sailing from Southampton on 29 September 1900 and arriving at the Port of New York on 9 October 1900. John and Fanny were both aged 54, John still lists his occupation as a Compositor.

They were landing in New York, although their final destination was Atlanta, Georgia. Their tickets to Atlanta were bought by themselves. They had not been to the U.S before.

I found this image of the S.S. New York, although the dates don’t fit to be the one they sailed on I imagine it looked similar.

S.S. 'New York' 1893 - 1898 from

S.S. ‘New York’ 1893 – 1898 from

Some information in the 1910 United States Federal Census holds information which confirms certain things. It lists Fanny Forbes as having born 3 children, and having only one child living.

1910 U.S. Federal Census

1910 U.S. Federal Census

In 1910 Fanny was widowed, aged 63 and living with her daughter Edith Beatrice Saunders, her husband Alexander Saunders, and their three children. They had previously lived in Georgia, where Alexander Hamilton Saunders and Irma Saunders were born (now aged 8 and 3), little Louis is now 8 months old and was born in New York. Alexander Saunders worked in Life Insurance.

About Jackie Dinnis

Welcome to my blog where I am enjoying meeting my family - past and present - one at a time. Join me as I learn who my ancestors were, where they lived, what their occupations were and what everyday life was like for them.
This entry was posted in Edith Beatrice Forbes, Fanny Dinnis, John Dinnis senior, John William Forbes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s