The Lockwood-Edler-Wood Family

The Edlers History



The Elder Family has been the most difficult to trace since little is known of their origins, other than that Edward Edler was a Jewish-German immigrant born about 1853. His wife, Carrie - for whom there is as yet no established surname - was possibly born in the Lambeth area, since that is the district in which her birth was registered in 1864.

Edward and Carrie are known to have had three daughters, Charlotte Edler, Mary Ann Edler and Agnes Margaret Edler, and a son, Rudolph Edler. There is also an unconfirmed report of a second son named Alfred Edler. It is also very likely that there were more children as there was a 10-year gap between first-born Charlotte, born 1880, and Mary Ann born 1890, with Rudolph arriving in 1892 and Agnes Margaret a year later in 1893. Despite four confirmed children, there do not appear to be details of an official registration for any of their births, nor are there details of a marriage between Edward Edler and Carrie ~~~, and nor are there any Census records for any members of the family until that of April 1901.

The 1901 Census is not without its inaccuracies, mainly attributable to the pronunciation of the family name. The German letter "e" carries an "a" sound, as in the word "may", "day" or "way". By contrast, the German "a" corresponds to the English "a" sound as in "pass", "last" or "ah". Many Census returns were completed by an officially appointed representative asking householders questions, and entering the responses on a ledger. It appears likely that when asked to spell his name, Edward Edler's use of the German letter "e" caused his Census entry to appear as Edward Adler.

Thus, the only Census entries for his family are those for 1901 in which all are listed with the name "Adler". Adding a further complication is that Agnes Margaret is listed in less formal style as Aggie Adler, and Mary Ann appears as Pollie Adler. The name Pollie Adler, in fact, remained with Mary Ann Edler for the rest of her life. Although subsequently marrying Augustus Hobbs and  being known officially as Mary Ann Hobbs, to the family she was known as "Aunt Polly" (note different spelling!) and "Polly Adler". Somewhat bizarrely, one line of the family remained aware that the original name was Edler, while another had never been advised otherwise.

At the time of the 1901 Census, Charlotte Edler was not living at the family home in Planet Street, Wapping, and it is possible that by then she had married Thomas Charles Wood. Their union produced seven children that survived to adulthood - Alfred Wood (b. cir 1904), Thomas Wood (1905), Katherine Wood (1907), Ann Norah Wood (1918), Charles Wood (1921), Edward Wood (cir 1923), Margaret Hannah Wood (1924). It is known that there were several that either died in infancy or were possibly stillborn - probably accounting for the 11 years between Katherine and Ann. Alfred died childless and the newly-married Edward was killed in World War II. Thomas Charles Wood's other five children ensured continuation of the family line into subsequent generations.

Mary Ann [Pollie] Edler had been married seven years when husband Augustus Hobbs was killed in action in the First World War. Their children Alfred G Hobbs and Hannah Elizabeth Hobbs were just five years and three years of age at the time. Each married and had children, who in turn have extended the family line. Hannah helped strengthen the bond between the Wood and Elder families by marrying first cousin Thomas Wood, son of her mother's sister Charlotte.

The third of  Edward and Carrie Edler's daughters, Agnes Margaret, was also the longest-living, surviving to her 80th year. She and husband William Henry Fitt also helped continuation of the family line by producing seven children, who between them gave her 14 grandchildren!

Nothing is known of Rudolph Edler, who was nine at the time of the 1901 Census. Owing to the 100-year rule, it will not be before the year 2011 that checks may be carried out on any possible inclusion in the 1911 Census.