Up until now, most of my historical research has been based on the Renaissance, so I haven’t had any great need to look at the kind of databases and tools people use for genealogy (which tends, unsurprisingly, to focus on the last couple of centuries before the pervasive haze of history obscures all practical vision). So, I thought I’d have a go at seeing what I could find from online newspapers about our mysterious Mr. H. C. Reynolds, though doubtless experienced genealogists would be 100x more effective than me…
I quickly found one particular “H. C. Reynolds” doing his thing in Melbourne. Trove (digitized Australian newspapers online) throws up a birth announcement from 24 April 1920 from the Argus in Melbourne:
REYNOLDS (nee Evelyn Ivory). –On the 12th April, at Sister Wain’s private hopital, Hoddle street, Elsternwick, to Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Reynolds, of 80 Tennyson street, St Kilda–a daughter (Norma Mavis).
The Argus similarly reported that (presumably the same) H. C. Reynolds was made a fellow member of the Australasian Institute of Secretaries (Inc.) on 25th May 1939. But its entry for Wednesday 30 August 1950 would seem to rule him out:-
Mr. H. C. Reynolds, secretary of Smith Mitchell & Co. Ltd., is retiring at the end of this week, after 28 years’ service. He will be succeeded by Mr. H. N. Martin, who has been an accountant for many years.
Alternatively, Trove also throws up a quite different “H. C. Reynolds” whose 1940 Chrysler Imperial Sedan (number plate BU-054) was stolen in late 1947: he was the proprietor of the Phoenix Hotel, 82 Flinders Street, Melbourne (which is due to be demolished next year and rebuilt as apartments 29 storeys high). However, this was presumably also the same H. C. Reynolds who transferred a hotel licence for Phoenix Hotel Co not long before 27th April 1950, so we can almost certainly rule him out too. We can also rule out the eminent visiting American zoologist Dr H. C. Reynolds who specialized in the reproduction of marsupials (no, I’m not making this up) and who visited Tasmania in 1954. 🙁
Finally, our mysterious man might possibly be the “H. C. Reynolds” who was a member of Murray Bridge Golf Club (SE of Adelaide), and who qualified for the club championship in July 1939. Curiously, “Harry Reynolds” (presumably the same man) is mentioned on the website as one of the club’s “chief planners” when it moved locations in 1945, so the club may still have records or some collective memory of what happened to him. Perhaps someone could contact the club and ask them if a club historian or archivist happens to know what happened to Harry Reynolds? Just a thought!