A friend of mine noted the appearance of some information on the internet relating to Mrs. Fred Reynolds, poet and author of crime and romance novels in the late 19th and early 20th century. According to something called Public Domain Works, Mrs Fred Reynolds was nee Torckler, which led me on a merry chase as it's not true.
But that's maybe not surprising as Mrs Fred Reynolds wasn't actually married to anyone called Fred. Nor was she born with the name she married under.
Amy Dora Reynolds appears in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 census returns and it's a relatively easy task to discover that Amy D. P. Reynolds (as she is listed in 1891) is an authoress, supposedly born in Wimbledon in c. 1860/61. Her death, on 11 June 1957 at the age of 96, was registered in Ulverston, Lancashire.
She was married to Richard Freshfield Reynolds on 15 September 1886 at St Michael and All Angels Church, Bedford Park, Chiswick. Richard, the son of Richard Reynolds, followed in his father's footsteps and worked as a pharmaceutical chemist. They lived in Headingley, Yorkshire, and had three children, Richard Frederic Reynolds (b. 1887), Dora Eldrid Reynolds (b. 1889) and Kenneth (b. 1892). Richard, born in 1860, died in 1907.
Amy was listed as Amy Dora Percy on her marriage certificate, the daughter of Sidney Richard Percy, a painter. But a search for her birth turns up nothing. However, a little research into her father explains why: Sidney Richard Percy was the working name of Sidney Richard Percy Williams, the son of painter Edward Williams. Edward and his wife Ann (nee Hildebrant) had six sons, all of whom became landscape painters, and to differentiate their work, three of the children adopted pen-names under which to work: two of them worked under their last Christian names (S. R. Percy, Arthur Gilbert) and Henry John Boddington adopted his wife's surname.
So Amy Dora Percy was actually born Amy Dora Percy Williams, and her birth registered in Wandsworth can be found under that name can be found in 4Q 1860.
But that leaves one question unanswered... where does the information that Mrs Fred was born Amy Dora Torckler comes from? Well, here's my theory. Someone has done a search and discovered a woman called Louisa Lydia Amy Dora Torckler. Louisa, the daughter of William Toney Torckler and his wife Susannah, was baptized in 1863 at St. Jude, Chelsea, but was born on 4 August 1860, which ties in with the known information that Amy Dora Reynolds was born in London.
However, Louisa Lydia was married in 1877 in Bath, Somerset, to John Arthur Brookman, an agent for Prudential Assurance. They lived in Twerton, Somerset, and had two children, William Stephen A. Brookman (b. Bath, 1878; married 1900) and Frances Dora M. Brookman (born Bath, 1891). In the 1901 census, John Brookman's occupation was given as inspector for SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and his wife's as "Missionary for Friendless girls".
John Arthur Brookman died Wells, Somerset, 1905 aged 57 and his wife died in Bath in 1942 aged 81.
Amy Dora Reynolds and Louisa L. A. D. Brookman (nee Torckler) are definitely two different people.
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