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!

8 thoughts on “H. C. Reynolds’ family…?

  1. cjbearden on December 15, 2011 at 11:02 pm said:

    Hey Nick, welcome to the frustrating world of ancestral research : ) In the past, even the most unusual names were often passed down for 3 or 4 generations…bah!
    Thanks for the kudos on the earlier posts : )

    Now down to business : ) Yesterday, I watched the three segments of the 1978 documentary regarding the Somerton Man. While Stuart Littlemore was interviewing Alf Boxall, I realized Jestyn’s signature was covered. No surprise there, however I also realized that Alf Boxall’s copy of the Rubaiyet was written by Justin Huntly McCarthy…Justin=Jestyn? I’m not suggesting Jestyn’s real name was Justine, I just think it’s interesting trivia.

    Secondly, it struck me as odd that everyone who examined SM’s body spoke in detail of it’s near perfection. Athletic, broad shoulders, strong arms, perfect wedge shape, youthful, muscled legs, etc. Even after 30 years, these men spoke of SM’s body as if it was a rare and unique specimen. Well, maybe SM was genetically blessed. Then again, maybe he was using an anabolic steroid, specifically Testosterone. Testosterone was chemically synthesized in 1935, but in order to be effective orally, it had to be chemically converted to methyltestosterone.
    SM’s copy of the Rubaiyat was found by a chemist, and, perhaps, this was no accident.
    Could the code be a recipe?

  2. cj: frustrated, confused, uncertain… I feel right at home already. 🙂

  3. Hi Nick! I have an Aussie friend who’s into genealogy, and she’s agreed to discuss this with you, so I’ll send both of you an e-mail introducing you; please check your e-mail! 🙂

  4. Jestyn on July 7, 2012 at 4:29 am said:

    Hey, I’m just attacking this board all over now that I’ve read (most of) it. (Not to over share, but I don’t have internet at home but am housesitting this week w/internet access, and we’re having 100+ F degree weather — UNGODLY HOT for you C people who probably know the conversion unlike this ignorant American — so I’ve holed up in the air conditioning and have been cramming to catch myself up — soon I will know EVERYTHING, HA HA HAAA).

    Anyway, I have a question for Nick or anyone who’s read Feltus’ book or basically everything available on the internet (as I think I’ve just about done — except for the original source newspaper articles, which I’m excited to attack): I’ve been thinking of the nurse lady as Jestyn/Teresa Powell, later Johnson, since my earlier research last year. To explain, I read and then make lots of notes in Word docs as I go, adding my own theories and questions — and I have about 50-60 pages of single-spaced whatnot to date. And now I’m not sure where Teresa Powell came from as her name — does anyone recognize this and know: is it her suspected real name? An alias given to cover her real identity? Or the result of me on another research/caffeine binge that sent me astray?? Ugh, I’m realizing I need to go back and really make citations.

    I ask because if she’s not Teresa Powell as I have in my head somehow (Johnson being her married name to the divorced guy/nominal baby daddy, don’t remember if he has a first name — oh, and the baby, who died in 2009, I have noted as Leslie???), is it possible she is that baby, Norma Mavis Reynolds? I actually think someone suggested that the Somerton Man could be Jestyn’s father, and this birth record may back that up? I haven’t (in this case or ever) done any genealogical research, but I’m going to see if I can find anything.

    But my internet access becomes limited again soon, so if anyone else wants to take the reins, I only have about 24 hours to figure it out myself 🙂

  5. CJ wrote: “While Stuart Littlemore was interviewing Alf Boxall, I realized Jestyn’s signature was covered. No surprise there, however I also realized that Alf Boxall’s copy of the Rubaiyet was written by Justin Huntly McCarthy …”

    If that book was “Quatrains of Omar Khayyam: In English Prose”, it can be found here:

    The added handwritten Fitzgerald quotation is not in that book. I suppose none of Fitzgerald’s quatrains are.

    I have read elsewhere that Fitzgerald’s books were very popular and many were printed (I have five). Unless someone else can make something of it, this shred says no more than that Jestyn knew the verse, as many did.

  6. Jestynn on August 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm said:

    JESTYN: Jessica Ellen Harkness
    m. Prosper McTaggart Thomson 1950.
    Known issue, Robin Thomson d.2007

  7. Michael Hetherington Johnson on October 25, 2014 at 7:09 pm said:

    To clarify your search for an elusive Mr H C Reynolds, the Hubert Cyril Reynolds referred to in the Argus birth notices of 24th April 1920, was my grandfather, and the birth of Norma Mavis Reynolds, on 12th April 1920, was that of my mother’s.
    Yes, Hubert Cyril was indeed Secretary of Smith Mitchell & Co, and I have a letter from him to my father, on company letterhead.
    But he also owned the Phoenix Hotel in Flinders Street, and entertained me in my boyhood days with Raspberry Vinegars on many Saturdays after “The Blood Stained Niggers” won (or lost) at Windy Hill, the mighty John Coleman usually precipitating the former. The raspberries were my drink of choice; Bert Gramps had severeal beers with the grey adult crowd of men.
    He was estranged from my grandmother, Evelyn Alice, and lived at another of his ventures, Deans Court, a boarding house in Jolimont, directly opposite The G, and kept company with a Mrs Powers, whose granddaughter Cathie Powers has recently passed away and is thus traceable. Cathie was a noted society caterer.
    Though not revealing any info on your search for the seafaring HCR, this note may fill in a few gaps for you.
    Kind wishes,
    Michael Johnson. Born 24th April 1942 to Norma Mavis Johnson (nee Reynolds) and Meyric Edwin Hetherington Johnson of Ranfurlie Crescent Glen Iris, and later at a Toorak address, street name temporarily forgotten.

  8. This is the HC Reyolnds of Murray Bridge

    He is buried in Centenial Park SA

    the one born 1902 in Victoria.
    Name: Harry Campbell Reynolds
    Father’s name: Jno Alfd Reynolds
    Mother’s name: Flor Evelyn Tarrant
    Birth Place: Ballarat East, Victoria
    Registration Year: 1902
    Registration Place: Victoria
    Registration Number: 23392

    nterment Location
    Interment Type Interment Date Interment Status Interment Right Interment Right Status Interment Right Expiry
    Cremated Remains 14/11/1980 Interred 249489 Expired 03/02/2001
    Location: Tranquility, Wall 70, Niche F017

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