Need sleuth-hounds help for death-dates
#11  BobC 10-08-2019, 06:23 AM

Family History research is one of my hobbies - I treat it like a jigsaw puzzle and as an intellectual exercise to keep the brain working. As a result I have paid access to some of the necessary database services.

I was lucky here with the spelling of the name Andrewes which is relatively uncommon.

It's interesting to see that all the authors in the family used the Browne surname for their published works. Margaret would have been only 19 when her first work was published in 1884. It must have been easier to get published at that age with a father who was a publisher and a mother an established author.

A minor point - Margaret was born in Q2 of 1864 not 1865 - this is what comes from using age at census rather than going back and checking.

As far as I can see Margaret stopped showing an occupation on censuses after she had married, possibly because it was not thought seemly for a wife of a stockbroker to be earning money. This may also be the reason her books stopped around 1910 though that may also have been the fact that she was no longer in a literary environment.

She died on 11 January 1936 at 8 North Grove, Highgate, London. Probate shows her effects were worth £7,250 6s 8d.

When her husband died in 1950 he was worth £41,106 15s 8d

Pleased to be able to help and to look at the lives of folk other than weavers, council roadmen, nightsoil workers etc.

Without a bit more info about your other artists I doubt if I would have a decent starting point to research them.


#12  BobC 10-15-2019, 12:52 PM
A few more book related items about "Maggie Brown" that have surfaced.

Her father, John Hamer, a Yorkshireman, who at one time owned a bookselling business in Leeds, joined the staff of Cassell's in the 'sixties. He was publishing manager from 1867 till 1900.

His son,Sam Hield Hamer also became an editor at Cassells; he is credited with "discovering" Arthur Rackham as an illustrator. He wrote under the name of Sam Browne.

Her mother Sarah Sharp Heaton was also an author of children's books using the name Phyllis (or Phiillis) Browne and Sarah's father John Heaton was another Yorkshireman who had been a bookseller in Leeds.

Though not book-related also of note is Margaret's oldest brother William Heaton Hamer a medical man who was Medical Officer of Health for London and was Knighted for his work in 1923.


#13  GrannyGrump 10-15-2019, 10:39 PM
Hey BobC, you have accumulated enough information to write a Wikipedia article!
(have you considered doing that?)

Considering you started with only a name and a partial bibliography, this is astounding!
Thanks so very much for the information.

#14  BobC 10-16-2019, 12:59 PM
I hadn't considered it but have now set up an account and will see about starting an entry for Maggie once I am allowed to do so on Wikipedia.

I have sufficient data but I also need to identify the entries that I need to link to and other "housekeeping".

Thanks for the idea.

To answer you previous question about a paid service - definitely not. An old adage is that if you get paid for your hobby you no longer have a hobby, just a job. This concept was explained to me many years ago by a friend whose hobby was photography. He started doing Wedding Photos and made quite a good income from it. He said he had lost the enthusiasm that being able to chose what pictures he wanted to take and when gave him.


#15  BobC 10-18-2019, 04:59 AM
Well, I tried - I put together an article for Wikipedia, however it has been rejected. It appears that the subject (Maggie Browne) does not have sufficient "notability". Unless I can find articles or newspaper cuttings that already discuss her or speak about her, other than in a "passing" fashion she would not qualify for an article.

If anyone knows of sources of such information (I've searched but can't find any that meet Wikipedia's criteria) let me know and I'll see if I can adapt the article.

I'll probably just do a section for the Hamer and Andrewes families and load them on my own family history based website.

In the meantime I have passed on her dates of birth and death to the owner of the "General Catalog of Old Books and Authors" site that was mentioned earlier. He says "I've added it to my master database already, but it will be a while before it makes its way to the online webpages, as I've currently got a lot on."


#16  GrannyGrump 10-21-2019, 09:46 PM
Well, I am disgusted. I have seen quite a number of Wikipedia articles treating of persons I would consider to be quite un-noteworthy.
"Jimmie-Joe-Bob, minor politician, did little, and that poorly."
I wonder what their criteria might be.

I had run across several reference books (google books) that briefly discussed Maggie's contributions to children's literature, but I did not note down or bookmark the URLs for any of those. (I think search term at that point was simply Maggie Browne plus the Book Title.) If you think citing those might be worthy of the wiki-wizards, I'll go spelunking again.

#17  BobC 10-22-2019, 05:03 AM
When I posted that the rejection was based on my first draft where I didn't understand the need to establish "notability". I did some research into newspaper articles where her work was reviewed and added three references.

You can see my latest attempt at

However this has been rejected as having not sufficient coverage (apparently you can't refer to other Wikipedia articles to establish notability)

If you can come up with any reference books that discuss her contribution to children's literature I would happily work them in and give it another shot. I've found a few Google Books but they are pretty well all books authored by her or references to characters in other books named "Maggie Browne" such as the one in Elizabeth Gaskell's "the Moorland Cottage"


#18  doubleshuffle 10-22-2019, 06:37 AM
Wikipedia is notorious for finding women un-noteworthy. I dimly remember the female scientist who was refused an entry again and again for not being noteworthy - and then she won the Nobel Prize. Was a year or two ago, don't have the time to google the affair right now.

#19  doubleshuffle 10-22-2019, 06:55 AM
Now I looked her up anyway. It was physicist Donna Strickland last year. Now she does have a Wikipedia entry:

Wikipedia itself has a pretty good article about its own gender bias:

Donna Strickland had been rejected for precisely the same reason as Margaret Hamer:

In October 2018, when Donna Strickland won a Nobel Prize in Physics, numerous write-ups mentioned that she did not previously have a Wikipedia page. A draft had been submitted, but was rejected for not demonstrating "significant coverage (not just passing mentions) about the subject".
My favourite nugget from the article is this:

Another critique of Wikipedia's approach, from a 2014 Guardian editorial, is that it has difficulty making judgments about "what matters". To illustrate this point they noted that the page listing pornographic actresses was better organized than the page listing women writers.
Now I'm going to check if this is still the case...

EDIT: The porn actress list is still better organised, but in the spirit of equality they have now added male porn actors. I kid you not.

#20  BobC 12-15-2019, 06:12 AM
After a lot of help from an experienced Wikipedia editor Maggie Browne now has her own Wikipedia page : .

When I compare the finished article with my original attempt there is a world of difference in the presentation.


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