The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Villa Douglas and Douglas House - two very different places in focus this week

Much of my research is in response to questions raised by researchers seeking information about their ancestors.  But from time to time I find myself assisting with background research for a book.

Douglas House School

Last week, I was asked about Mrs Owen-Williams, owner and head teacher of the Douglas House School, also known as the Old Vicarage, in Malvern, Worcestershire.  My interest was immediately aroused, because earlier in the week I had resumed my search for William Douglas of Worcester whose wife and daughter married into the family of Sir William Douglas of Castle Douglas, and was, I suspect a merchant who provided goods for the Douglas American trade.

I had already noted that Simon Douglas-Pennant, of the Welsh family, was a resident of Malvern, and further discovered that his wife had also been a school director.

Surely there was a connection.

My new enquirer thought that the Mrs Owen-Williams was a sister of the 17th Earl of Morton.  

After much digging, i found that Madeline Clemence Ogilvie Douglas, born 21 Mar 1907 and sister of John Sholto Douglas, 17th of Tilquhillie had married LLewellyn Owen-Williams, a wartime padre in the Canadian airforce.

The mystery remains, however, as to why the Douglas-Pennants appear to have come into possession of the Old Vicarage. Is there a yet to be discovered link between the Owen-Williams family and the Douglas-Pennants?

Villa Douglas

Whilst researching the school in Malvern, I found myself in Aschersleben, a town in the Salzlandkreis district, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. The Douglas family of Tilquhillie had made their money in Germany, so Mr Google had put 2+2 together to make 3.

I had 'found' Villa Douglas some time ago, and included details in my research into the Douglas families in that country.  However, more information was now at hand. Graf Hugo Douglas had been a mine owner and built himself a fine house befitting his status.  Aschersleben boasts a street named after him - Douglas Strasse.

Mr Google has yet to drive in his car fitted with street view cameras through Aschersleben, so I was unable to find photographic coverage, but did discover a sad image of the deteriorating villa.

Now, there's a restoration project for a family member with deep pockets.

As always, if you can add light to theses articles, please do contribute.

Douglas House School

•  Villa Douglas

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Comment by William Douglas on October 24, 2020 at 15:20

Interesting developments as I discover the Douglas School may have been funded by the Chermside Trust.

Lieutenant General Sir Herbert Charles Chermside GCMG CB, Governor of Queensland 1902-04, married Clementina Maria Stenbock (whose maiden name was de Reuter) at Knaresborough, Yorkshire West Riding on 24th September 1925. She was the second daughter of Paul Julius de Reuter, who founded Reuters Agency and had been previously married to Count Otto Stenbock. Madeline's mother was Baroness Olga Edith Reuter, Clementina's neice.

Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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