v 7.00.00
23 Jan 2024
updated 23 Jan 2024

The Findlay and Gueritz Connections

As per the links below to the hand-drawn family tree meticulously draughted by my late Uncle Alexander (Sandy) Waddell, and the various biographies (for which I'm extremely grateful to my brother Simon) that Sandy put together from various sources. Happily, a great deal more information has subsequently come to light, particularly from Angus Findlay and William Gueritz, and will now be incorporated as appropriate.

Please note, as regards familiar names as used in this tabulation:

  • A subsidiary forename used in preference to the leading forename is italicised.
  • A regularly-used diminutive or nickname (ekename) used in preference to the given forenames is italicised and parenthesised.

eg My grandmother Jessie Frances Hannah seems always to have been known as Hannah and never even admitted to her first forename until later life when she had to distinguish between herself and my Aunt Frances Hannah, as they by that time both had the surname Waddell and both banked at the same branch of Lloyds in Chichester.

eg My aunt Margaret Jane Valentine was always known as Jane, both within her own family and in the outside world.

eg My uncle Robert Erskine was always known as Robin (as am I), and my uncle Alexander Wingate as Sandy, both within the family and in the outside world.

eg My father, whose preferred forenames or ekenames evolved steadily throughout his life!

Note however that diminutive names such as Annie, Jessie, Minnie etc were often used as given names in Victorian times, just as Harry, Sally etc nowadays often are.

#IndividualSpouse / PartnerFamily
‑3Charles Farquharson Findlay
(14 Aug 1853 –
15 Sep 1883)


Annie Charlotte Cosby
(7 Sep 1853 –
17 May 1920)

"Charlotte" was an afterthought

Eleanor Dixon Valentine (Val) Findlay
(14 Feb 1881
12 Apr 1960)


Jessie Frances Hannah Findlay
(3 Jun 1882
12 Jan 1974)


Joint portraits
‑2Eleanor Dixon Valentine (Val) Findlay
(14 Feb 1881
12 Apr 1960)
Elton Lawrence Gueritz
(17 Jul 1884 –
11 Jul 1931)
(m 30 Jun 19101,  2)

John Elton Fortescue Gueritz
(8 May 1911 –
24 Oct 1975)

Lucy Valentine Gueritz
(12 Aug 1915 –

Eleanor Elton Gueritz
(7 Nov 1916 –

Edward (Teddy) Findlay Gueritz
(8 Sep 1919 –
21 Dec 2008)
‑2Jessie Frances Hannah Findlay
(3 Jun 1882
12 Jan 1974)
Robert Waddell
(4 Jul 1883 –
19 Jan 1952)
(m 20 Apr 1912, Seattle)
Walter Wardlaw (Bill, William) Waddell
(16 Feb 1913 –
11 Sep 1979)

Robert (Robin) Erskine Waddell
(23 Sep 1916 –
21 Sep 1938)

Alexander (Sandy) Wingate Waddell
(23 Mar 1919 –
6 May 2001)

Frances Hannah (Waddell) Maskell
(1 Apr 1920 –
27 Jul 2002)

Margaret Jane Valentine (Waddell) Renaud
(3 Oct 1921 –
11/12 Jul 2013)
‑2Olive Nelson
(11 Aug 1898 –
25 Oct 1964)
Thomas Emil Bjerre
(b 26 Jun 1898)

Scot of Danish origins
Mary Elyse (née Bjerre) Gardiner
(8 Dec 1922 –

Avril (née Bjerre) Gardiner

William Thomas Gardiner
(10 Sep 1935 –
2 Feb 1996)

plus one other
William Gardiner
(19 Dec 1891 –
‑1Lt Col John Elton Fortescue Gueritz
(8 May 1911 –
24 Oct 1975)


Mary Elyse Bjerre Gardiner
(8 Dec 1922 –
(m 25 Oct 1945)

Elyse Caroline Elton Gueritz
(b 1947)

Antonia Mary Lucy Gueritz
(b Oct 1950, Teheran)

Joanna Olivia Valentine Gueritz
(b 1955)

Andrew William John Gueritz
(b 1958)
‑1Lucy Valentine Gueritz
(12 Aug 1915 –
Lt Col Henry Gerard Burton
(b 17 Apr 1909)
(m 9 Oct 1937)
Clare Mary Rose Burton
(b 16 Sep 1938)

Eleanor Lucy Burton
(b 20 Jul 1942)

Edmund Fortescue Gerard Burton
(b 20 Oct 1943)

Felicia Jane Burton
(b 8 Nov 1947)
‑1Eleanor Elton Gueritz
(7 Nov 1916 –
Richard (Dick) Feaver
(b 17 May 1916)
Richard Feaver
(b 2 Jul 1950)
‑1Rear Admiral Edward (Teddy) Findlay Gueritz
(8 Sep 1919 –
21 Dec 2008)

Pamela Amanda Bernhardina (née Jeans) Britton
(22 Dec 1920 –
4 Feb 2023)
(m 10 Sep 1947)

widow of Lt Cdr Edwin Britton, HMS Falcon
Amanda Louise Gueritz
(b 20 Mar 1949)

Guy Elton Lawrence Gueritz
(b 4 Jan 1952, Singapore)
0Elyse Caroline Elton Gueritz
(b 3 Aug 1947)
0Antonia Gueritz
(b 20 Oct 1950)
0Joanna Olivia Valentine Gueritz
(b 2 Jun 1955)
(m 21 Mar 1987)  
0Andrew William John Gueritz
(b 19 May 1958)
(m 26 May 1984)  
0Clare Mary Rose Burton
(b 16 Sep 1938)
Stephen Pallis
(b 11 Mar 1919)
Timothy Mark Pallis
(b 5 Nov 1962)

Alexander John Pallis
(b 7 May 1964)

Lucinda Marie Clare Pallis
(b 7 Nov 1965)
0Eleanor Lucy Burton
(b 20 Jul 1942)
John Hawse (?) James Hawse

Sarah Hawse
0Lt Gen Sir Edmund Fortescue Gerard Burton KBE
(b 20 Oct 1943)
Angela Partington
(b 25 Feb 1943)
(m 29 Jun 1968)
Edward Terence Gerard Burton
(b 29 Jul 1970)
0Amanda Louise Gueritz
(b 20 Mar 1949)
Richard Ingpen Shayle Hawkins
(20 Jan 1944 –
5 Jan 2022)
(m 26 Jul 1969)
William Hawkins

George Hawkins
0Guy Elton Lawrence Gueritz
(b 4 Jan 1952)
Deborah Linwood
(m 19 Oct 1992)

The Charlie Findlay Mystery

At some point in their early childhood, Val and Hannah Findlay were put into the care of their Aunt Jessie, known in the family as Dannie.

Whether this was before or after their father Charles Findlay's death in 1883 I don't yet know. But it was around that time that he was written-out of the family script, and ceased even to be mentioned within the Findlay family. He was treated as though he had never existed.

His wife Annie (Cosby) Findlay effectively dropped out of the story too. It is possible that she too may have died, in 1886, as public records suggest, but it was also averred by my Aunt Jane that my father Walter was taken to visit Annie in his early childhood some thirty years later. In fact it is now known that she lived on until 1920.

What dreadful thing had Charles Findlay committed, and why were his children so swiftly removed from Annie's care (despite the fact that she had at least three brothers and a sister who could have come to her support)?

These issues were first aired by my grandfather Robert, with the possibly reluctant acquiescence of Hannah, on learning about this dreadful conspiracy of silence, and thereby incurring the bitter hostility of Hannah's elder sister Val. But there the trail goes cold for another four generations. I only heard of it quite by chance a few months ago (mid 2012), and was immediately intrigued.

Maybe Charles Findlay was a bad 'un, but maybe he was the victim of character assassination, a not infrequent pastime within the families concerned.

Empowered by the internet, I've already let some daylight and fresh air into this entire scenario, but further progress remains to be made...

This was probably Jessie Smith Findlay, a natural aunt, or might possibly have been Jessie (Black) Findlay, married to Daniel Smith Findlay – hence perhaps the familiar Dannie – had these latter not emigrated instead to Australia (where Daniel went bankrupt) and thence hastily to Canada.

Highgate Cemetery


This account of Findlay's removal to the cemetery was clearly written at some point between his death on 15 Sep 1883 and his interment on 20 Sep 1883 as per the letter reproduced below.


This (in addition to telling us where we can go to pay our respects) also implies that Annie Findlay was still in "in the frame" at the time of her husband's death, as she was making the arrangements for his inhumation. She was also planning ahead so that in the fullness of time she would be buried with him (as per the box below, no pun intended) – although, strictly speaking, the grave is dug "double depth" anyway, so that somebody else completely unrelated could be buried above the lower coffin when the original 100 year lease has expired.


Graves have to be dug to a sufficient depth to allow for future burials to take place. Therefore the grave needs to be deep enough to allow not only for the depth of coffins/caskets that will be buried but also to accommodate the legal requirements of undisturbed earth to be between each coffin and the amount of earth that must cover the last interment. In some older parts of our cemeteries graves used to be dug to 9 foot and even to 12 foot depth. Nowadays the deepest graves are dug to 6-7 foot depth to allow a second burial at a later date at the 4-5 foot depth. The actual plot size of a full size grave is 8-foot by 4-foot although this is not the size of the grave that is dug. The standard grave size that is actually excavated is 7' 2" by 32" in a coffin shape. This size will always be dug unless it is a child's grave which will be 4' by 24" by 4 foot deep or we are made aware of any dimensions that exceed the standard size.

Anyway, she did want to be buried with him, and she was – so much for all the stuff about her having deserted him. BTW, the dates given in the letter are of burial rather than death.

Some time in the new year (2015), if anno domini doesn't get me first, I shall go and visit Chas. and Annie and hopefully return with a nice photograph of their plot.

Section separator

But our own (purely geographical) removal intervened in early 2015, and that plan was shelved. However, a very capable researcher has now (Aug 2018) completed the mission on my behalf.


Highgate Cemetery East main entrance driveway

Findlay plot long view (beyond headstones between the trees).

Findlay burial plot beneath ivy

Justin Bickersteth advises that the cemetery registers give no indication that there was ever a headstone, or ledger stone, to memorialise the occupants of the grave. Indeed, Annie would probably not have had sufficient funds on Charles' behalf, and following decades of counter-briefing and character-assassination it's unlikely that his family stepped in to pay for a joint memorial to them both, or even just to him, after her death 37 years later.

The Rude Forefathers (Part 1)

Please note that links from OrnaVerum to pages within the ancestry.co.uk website require you to have logged-on to that website in advance of clicking the links in question. Click here for advice about membership.

The earlier Gueritz lineage is very intriguing, and equally distinguished. I'm indebted to the website www.thepeerage.com for the details of Sir Charles Elton's numerous family displayed in this next table:

I've also found the family tree of Joanna Gueritz very helpful as regards the even more numerous progeny of the fecund Rev William Tierney Elton.

One must always remember, however, that no source, even from within the family, can ever be regarded as unquestionably authoritative. And neither can I.

#IndividualSpouse / PartnerFamily
‑5Sir Charles Abraham Elton, 6th Bt
(31 Oct 1778 –
1 Jun 1853)

son of Rev. Sir Abraham Elton, 5th Bt. and Elizabeth Durbin
Sarah Smith
(m 27 Feb 1804)
Julia Elizabeth Elton
(d 27 Apr 1881)

Lucy Caroline Elton
(1810 –
30 Apr 1885)

Mary Elizabeth Elton
(d 26 Sep 1840)

Abraham Elton
(d 20 Sep 1819)

Charles Elton
(twin? d 20 Sep 1819)

Caroline Lucy Elton
(d 16 Apr 1882)

Laura Mary Elton
(d 24 Mar 1848)

Katherine Maria Elton
(d 3 Jul 1876)

Maria Katherine Elton
(d 24 Dec 1899)

Jane Octavia Elton
(d 27 Nov 1896)

Sir Arthur Hallam Elton, 7th Bt.
(19 Apr 1818 –
14 Oct 1883)

Edmond William Elton
(14 Dec 1822 –
2 Dec 1859)

Rev Henry George Tierney Elton
(6 May 1825 –
12 Oct 1905)
‑4Lucy Caroline Elton
(1810 –
30 Apr 1885)

Rev William Tierney Elton
(1803 –
30 Aug 1874)
(m 2 Jan 1828)

son of Isaac Elton and Catherine Bayard

Julia Catherine Elton
(ca 1830 –
7 Nov 1871)

Lt Col Frederick Cockayne Elton VC
(23 Apr 1832 –
24 Mar 1888)

Frances Matilda Elton
(ca 1834 –
May 1908)

Georgina M Elton
(ca 1835 –
23 Mar 1893)

Commander William Hallam Elton
(1837 –
25 Nov 1910)

Louisa Caroline Elton
(Jul 1838 –
21 Mar 1924)

Agnes J Elton
(ca 1840 –
25 Nov 1932)

Maj Gen Henry Strachan Elton
(30 Dec 1841 –
25 Aug 1934)

Henry L Elton
(ca 1842 –
25 Aug 1934)

Edward Parr Elton
(Jul 1845 –
Oct 1882)

Edward R Elton
(b 1846)

Lucy Octavia Elton
(1847 –
13 Sep 1915)

Henrietta Sophia Elton
(ca 1849 –
10 Dec 1922)

Charles Tierney Elton
(1852 –
11 May 1919)
‑3Lucy Octavia Elton
(1847 –
13 Sep 1915)
Rev José Fortescue Lawrence Gueritz
(Oct 1851 –
18 Oct 1945)
(m 20 Jun 1882)


Elton Lawrence Gueritz
(17 Jul 1884 –
11 Jul 1931)

Charles Mamerto Gueritz
(15 May 1887 –
6 Dec 1892)
‑2Elton Lawrence Gueritz
(17 Jul 1884 –
11 Jul 1931)
Eleanor Dixon Valentine Findlay
(14 Feb 1881 –
12 Apr 1960)
(m 17 Jul 1910)
John Elton Fortescue Gueritz
(8 May 1911 –
24 Oct 1975)

Lucy Valentine Gueritz
(12 Aug 1915 –

Eleanor Elton Gueritz
(7 Nov 1916 –

Edward Findlay Gueritz
(8 Sep 1919 –
21 Dec 2008)

The Rude Forefathers (Part 2)

But where did the family name originate? Rather like that of Michael Portillo, the best Prime Minister Britain never had, it was Spanish in origin. I'm indebted to the websites www.familylink.com and www.ancestry.co.uk for most of the details of the Gueritz family displayed in this final table. The family tree of Andrew Gueritz was very helpful as regards the many offspring of Mary Louisa Gueritz and the Rev Reginald Arthur Mortimer.

See also an invaluable two-page typescript, found in the Normandy archive. And also this brief but compelling testimony of Rev Mamerto Gueritz himself:


My paternal grandfather Juan Gueritz (or Guerich) was a native of Louvain. (I have no record of his early life, but from my mother I learnt that) he was a legal advocate and that having engaged in a duel in which his adversary was killed, he fled to Spain and enlisted in the Royal Walloon Guards in which corps there were many of his own countrymen. Here he rose through all the ranks to Brigade Serjeant with the rank of Captain in the army.

He married a Spanish lady Doña Antonia Fabre and had two sons, my father, Jose Francisco and Manuel. The latter died in his youth. Of my grandfather's history I know nothing more than that he served in the War of Independence against the French and was killed in the celebrated Battle of Baylen in 1808 leaving his son José affiliated to the Regiment of Walloon Guards (see Certificate No. 1)

(written by Rev Mamerto Gueritz)

#IndividualSpouse / PartnerFamily
‑6Jean / Juan Gueritz (or Guerick)
(b ca 1770, Louvain –
k Jul 1808, Battle of Bailén)

killed opponent in duel, fled to Spain, enlisted Royal Walloon Guards
Antonia Fabre Manuel Gueritz
(d in infancy or childhood)

José Francisco Gueritz
(Dec 1798 –
Dec 1832)
‑5Capt. José Francisco Gueritz
(Dec 1798 –
Dec 1832)

born in San Felipé, Valencia (or, as per cousin Edward Gueritz, in San Roque, Cadiz, Andalusia).

political refugee, fled to England 1824,
buried in Plymouth
Antonia Josepha Hermogenes Moxica Iparagheri
(1797 –
Mamerto Gueritz
(31 Jan 1823, Játiva, Valencia –
8 Feb 1912)

Adelina Valentina Gueritz
(1827/ 28 –
25 Apr 1916)
= Samuel Bartlett (1810–1882)

Edward Anselm Gueritz
(1831 –
‑4Rev Mamerto Gueritz
(31 Jan 1823 –
8 Feb 1912)

born in Spain, naturalised British.

Ann Derby Lawrence
(bap 11 Jul 1819 –
14 Aug 1902)
(m 29 May 1849)

born in Devon, youngest daughter of Cdr George Lawrence RN

and Mary Spettigue Fortescue

Mamerto George Gueritz
(16 Mar 1850
23 Dec 1884)


José Fortescue Lawrence Gueritz
(Oct 1851 –
18 Oct 1945)

Mary Louisa Gueritz
(27 Jun 1853
10 Jun 1956)

Edward Peregrine Gueritz
(18 Mar 1855
3 Aug 1938)

Henry Francis Gueritz
(1856 –
30 Nov 1929)


Antonia Anne Gueritz
(26 Apr 1859 –
24 May 1884)
‑3Rev José Fortescue Lawrence Gueritz
(Oct 1851 –
18 Oct 1945)



much-admired cricketer and lawn tennis player
Lucy Octavia Elton
(1847 –
13 Sep 1915)
(m 20 Jun 1882)
Elton Lawrence Gueritz
(17 Jul 1884 –
11 Jul 1931)

Charles Mamerto Gueritz
(15 May 1887
6 Dec 1892)
‑3Mary Louisa (Min) Gueritz
(27 Jun 1853
10 Jun 1956)
Rev Reginald Arthur Mortimer (né Snook)
(1851 –
2 Jul 1904)
(m 21 May 1878)
Edith Mary Mortimer
(1879 –
14 Jan 1942)

John Lawrence Mortimer
(28 Aug 1880 –
23 Mar 1920)

Aimée Winifred Mortimer
(1882 –
2 May 1965)

Reginald Mamerto Lawrence Mortimer
(1883 –

Antonia Dorothy Mortimer
(30 Mar 1885 –
Jun 1985, sic)

George Mortimer
(1887 –

Ernest Clement Mortimer
(15 May 1888 –
5 May 1975)

Arthur Fortescue Mortimer
(1889 –

William Lionel Gueritz Mortimer
(1895 –
10 Aug 1915, Gallipoli)
‑3Edward Peregrine Gueritz
(18 Mar 1855
3 Aug 1938)


Governor of British N Borneo
Annie Maria Cole
(2 Jan 1859 –
8 Aug 1930)
(m 14 Aug 1886)



daughter of Maurice Cole
and Mary McNair
Annie Laura Violet Gueritz
(8 Apr 1889 –
Q1 1989)
Louisa Finch (née Raymond)
(d 21 Oct 1968)
(m 23 May 1932)

probably housekeeper and carer, the usual story
‑2Rev John Lawrence Mortimer
(28 Aug 1880 –
23 Mar 1920, Christchurch NZ)
Helen Ida Burton
(b 1892)
(m 31 Dec 1913)
‑2Annie Laura Violet Gueritz
(8 Apr 1889 –
Q1 1989 sic)
Aylmer Cavendish Pearson
(5 Aug 1876 –
15 Mar 1926, Sabah)
(m Q3 1907)


twice Governor of British N Borneo
Constance Betty Pearson
(b ca 1910)

Ruder Still and Ruder

This section is admittedly transitory, a WIP.

The historical DNA of every family of any consequence, and that means almost all of us, is revealed in the recurrence of their given names – the present-day surname is of course a reflection of current circumstances: women generally take their husband's name on marriage, gay couples often conjoin their surnames, as do the offspring of unmarried Caribbean parents. But to dig down deeper, the back-history is to be found in the first and middle names of the offspring.

As I and my brother Simon were christened (or baptised, if you prefer) with the middle names of Erskine and Findlay respectively, which originate from long ago in Scotland, the Gueritz family perpetuated the surnames of their west-country English forebears – Lawrence and Fortescue, though the name of Spettigue was a vital link (but not quite such a euphonious one).

And likewise as my wife and I have afflicted our offspring with the forenames or middle names, John and Henry, of her father's Lunenburg ancestors.

And this is therefore, as evolutionary biologists or particle physicists would put it, the Grand Synthesis, the Unified Theory – the furthest back I can take my account of the fascinatingly convoluted English origins of the Gueritz family. Their equally intriguing Spanish origins have of course already been chronicled.

I'm deeply grateful to my latterday cousin William Gueritz for sharing so much helpful information and pointing me in the right direction in these regards.