View Full Version : John William Metcalfe - Switzerland
27-09-2011, 3:23 PM
John was born in Canterbury in 1818.
On the 1881 census he is listed as living in Jersey, Channel Islands And his occupation is Medical Profession (Not practicing).
His 5 children were all born in Geneva in Switzerland between 1861 and 1872. One of his daughters died in Switzerland in 1951, although it would seem she had some connection with Kenya. She was unmarried.
Are there census returns for Switzerland? Or does anyone know of any way I can find out what John was doing there in the 1860's
The address I have is 5 Quai du Mont Blanc, Geneva
27-09-2011, 3:56 PM
Or does anyone know of any way I can find out what John was doing there in the 1860's
I'm afraid the answer may be that he was hiding.:(
There is a great deal in the newspapers in 1858 about a John William Metcalfe, surgeon, who was proprietor of Acomb House, a private lunatic asylum near York. He had his licence revoked in September 1858. At the Northern Circuit Assizes 'the grand jury . . . returned a true bill for misdemeanour against Mr. Metcalfe, the recent proprietor of Acomb House Retreat, near York, for an assault upon Mrs. Turner, who was alleged to be a lunatic, and who was under his treatment for some time as an insane person. . .' There is a reference to 'a bench warrant to apprehend Mr. Metcalfe, who was now abroad . . .'
(Daily News, 13 Dec 1858)
Edit: the licence that was revoked was the licence for the asylum.
27-09-2011, 3:59 PM
Have you obtained the children's birth certificates and do they contain any clues about the father's occupation (eg "fugitive" etc)?
27-09-2011, 5:51 PM
There are many documents online on the Geneva State Archives site:
I found some digital images of birth registers for Geneva for the 1860s there, with semi-alphabetical indexes in each. To find them, change 'Tous les documents en ligne' in the dropdown menu to 'Registres de l'état civil' and click 'Rechercher'. It may well be worth exploring the various other subject categories, in case censuses are included. My French isn't good enough to do this easily.
27-09-2011, 6:25 PM
It may well be worth exploring the various other subject categories, in case censuses are included. The French for census is recensement, so keep your eyes peeled for that. :smile5:
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