Search billions of records on

Table of Contents
The Surveyors
JTR'sColorful Families:GENN
Joanne's Genn ResearchNotes

The Genn Family
of Canada
A family history researched and compiled by David Genn and his cousins




1 Origins

2 Anjou, France

3 Yorkshire, England

4 Virginia, British America

5 Maryland, British America

6 Falmouth, Cornwall, England

7 Pernambuco, Brazil

8 Liverpool, Lancashire, England

9 Canada

Chapter 8 - Liverpool, Lancashire, England

A family history researched and compiled by David Genn and his cousins. If you wish to contact us regarding this story or any other family connection that we may be heir to, please write to:
David Genn, 7894 East Glen Place, Sooke, BC, Canada V9Z 0J8
Phone:  250-642-3750
Email: davgenn(at)


Diogo Maddison Genn, son of James Maddison Genn and Maria Lins, married Eliza MacGregor on 29 June 1864. The marriage took place at the Registrar's office, District of Liverpool, in the presence of Eliza's parents, William and Jane MacGregor. Diogo's address at the time of the marriage was 63 Oxford Street and Eliza's was also given as Oxford Street. Oxford Street passes Abercromby Square, which was considered a wealthy district at the time.

Eliza MacGregor was born at 23 Hill Side Terrace, Everton, in West Derby, near Liverpool on 21 March 1843. She had a brother, Leopold (Hoffman) MacGregor, born 18 June 1844, at the same address, and a sister, Jane Eveline MacGregor, born 11 November 1850, at 5 Claire Terrace, West Derby. Their father was William MacGregor, born 1813 or 1814 in Liverpool, and their mother was Jane Peat, born 1814 or 1815 in Scotland. This information was taken from the 1851 Census which records their address as Duke Street North, Liverpool. Also at this residence for the Census were Jane Peat's younger brothers, James Locke Peat, born 1827 or 1828 and John Peat born 1832 or 1833.

William MacGregor was a cotton broker by profession with an office at 18 Union Street (Gore's Directory 1859). The birth and parentage of William MacGregor has not yet been established with complete certainty. An exhaustive records search of the Liverpool area produced one likely candidate, A William MacGregor, born 8 November 1813, to John MacGregor and Judith Shaw of St. John's Parish, Lancashire. This date would be compatible with the one reported in the 1851 census. John MacGregor was a brewer and victualler, address 5 Edmund Street, Liverpool (Gore's Directory 1827). John MacGregor and Judith Shaw were married in Liverpool 9 September 1803. A daughter, Jane MacGregor, sister to William MacGregor, was born 2 April 1808.

Family legend holds that Jane Peat (and now her two brothers) are from the Rosyth area of Fifeshire, Scotland, and that they are descendants of Admiral Peat of the Royal Navy. Admiral David Peat was born in Kirkaldy, Fifeshire, Scotland June 21, 1795 and died in Edinburgh June 20, 1879, leaving an estate valued at 90,000 pounds. Chronologically and geographically, the story is plausible; however, David Peat's will makes no reference to children of his own, his estate being shared by a sister, cousins and nieces, none of whom identify with Jane Peat and her brothers, James Locke Peat and John Peat.

Commander John Green Peat, Royal Navy, was born, 1 November 1789, in Stamford, Lincolnshire, England, the son of Christopher and Mary Peat. He married Mary Wright 7 September 1817, retired from the navy 1863/64 and died 1864/65.

William H. Knowles (son of Edith Madison Genn) referred to Admiral Peat as a great-uncle. Anthony Genn referred to Admiral John Peat as his great grandfather. A photograph from the Emily Lewis collection shows a man in what appears to be a naval officers uniform. The photo is labelled, "John Peat, Grandmama McGregor's father", i.e., the father of Jane Peat.

The age difference of 13 and 18 years between Jane Peat and James Locke and John Peat could suggest that they were cousins, not brother and sister. Admiral David Peat may somehow be related to Commander John Green Peat.

One may be the great-uncle and the other the great-grandfather. The will of Commander John Green Peat may provide some clarity.

Eliza MacGregor became an accomplished pianist and reportedly won a gold medal at Leipzig, Germany, about 1862. She was well educated and competent in several languages.

The marriage of Diogo Maddison Genn and Eliza produced six children, of record. (Names shown in parenthesis are not shown on birth certificates but do appear elsewhere.)

  • Emily Maddison Genn, born 13 August 1864, at New Ferry,
  • Lower Bebington, Wirral, Eastham, Chester (Cheshire).
  • Edith (Madison) Genn, born 6 March 1866, 16 Newstead Rd., Toxteth Park, Lancaster (now Liverpool, Merseyside).
  • Father's address is given as: Fountain Street, Tranmere, Birkenhead, Chester (Cheshire).
  • Bertha de Miranda Genn, born 24 June 1868, at South Bank, Oxton, Tranmere, Birkenhead, Chester (Cheshire).
  • Hubert Tasso Genn, born 30 December 1869, at 11 Chestnut Grove, Tranmere, Birkenhead, Chester (Cheshire), and died 2 January 1870 (age, 3 days). His death was attributed to him being born prematurely. He was named after Jose Tasso of our Brazilian story.
  • Reginald (Hawke) Genn, born 15 March 1871, at 11 Chesnut Grove, Tranmere, Birkenhead, Chester (Cheshire).
  • Anthony Genn, born 14 October 1875, at Grove House, 23 Balmoral Road, West Derby, Lancaster (now Liverpool, Merseyside).
  • Diogo Maddison Genn became established in Liverpool as an importer of Brazilian produce, including coffee, sugar and cigars and his business took him back to Brazil and to the countries of Europe.

He was also involved with a firm of marine insurance underwriters, with offices in Paris and other cities. The records show that he died at Gray House, Lodge Lane, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, on 23 October 1877, age 32, of "intermittent fever, cerebral effusion". Emily, his daughter, noted in the 1874 diary of her father that he had died at Grove House. We take Grove House, 23 Balmoral Road, to be his final residence, but that his death took place, for whatever reason, at Gray House, Lodge Lane.

Diogo Maddison Genn was buried in the Toxteth Park Cemetery (grave: section F-left, No. 345), 27 October 1877, age 32 years, final residence recorded as Grove House, Toxteth Park Parish, Liverpool. The grave, which was owned in the name of John Hawke Genn, Diogo's uncle, is unmarked The grave also holds the remains of William Hugh Tilly Green, Master, RN, age 47 years, of 9 Sugnall Street, Mount Pleasant, buried, 5 March 1862 (15 years before Diogo). William Hugh Tilly Green would likely be brother-in-law to John Hawke Genn. On the death of John Hawke Genn, 12 January 1900, the ownership of the grave would have been included in his estate, which was transferred to his son, John Hawke Genn Jr., Financial Agent, 31 Wool Exchange Building, Coleman Street, London.

Eliza, a widow of five years, remarried on 4 April 1883, to John Jarman, age 48, gentleman, retired excise officer, son of John Jarman, bookkeeper. Their address is recorded as 105 Tiber Street, Toxteth Park, Lancaster. This marriage produced one child, Dora, born 9 November 1884. The family address at the time of Dora's birth was 32 Greenleaf Street, Toxteth Park. Dora died about 1890, at about the age of six. Eliza died May 31, 1891 at the infirmary at Mill Road. Her final address is given as 2 Sutherland Street, West Derby. A letter survives, written by Eliza to her daughter Emily (Genn) Lewis, which well expresses some of her last feelings and thoughts about her family. A transcript of this letter is included as Appendix III.

Documentation for this period includes a complete set of birth, marriage and death certificates and a detailed entry in the 1871 Census in which Diogo Maddison Genn, for reasons not apparent, now identified himself as "James M. Genn". This Census also records at the same address, a Joseph J. de Miranda, cousin to Diogo Genn, age 18, student, born in Pernambuco, Brazil. This is strongly suggestive that Diogo's mother, Maria Severina da Rocha Lins, had a sister married to a de Miranda and a nephew Joseph J. de Miranda, now being educated in England. The address recorded on the Census is 11 Chesnut Grove, Tranmere, Birkenhead, Cheshire.

We note among our resource documents a variety in the spelling of Diogo Maddison Genn's name. The name Diogo is a recognized given name in Portuguese, probably a variation of the Spanish name Diego. Diego in Spanish is an equivalent to the English name James. The name Maddison, we noted earlier, first appeared as Diogo's father's middle name, probably after President James Madison, but spelled, according to the transcript of the Falmouth Registry, as "Maddison". Emily's middle name was also spelled "Maddison".

Diogo's birth certificate and marriage certificate identify him as Diogo Maddison Genn. His passport states Diogo M. Genn on the cover and Diogo Madison Genn on the document. His death records identify him as Diogo Madison Genn. The birth records of Reginald Genn, Anthony Genn, Bertha de Miranda Genn and Emily Maddison Genn identify the father as Diogo Maddison Genn. The birth records of Edith Genn name the father as Diogo Madison Genn. Anthony refers several times in his writing that his father's name is Deogo Madison Genn. In the 1871 census for Liverpool, Diogo has anglicized his name to James M. Genn. In his will he identifies himself as Diogo Madison Genn.

The evidence weighs heavily toward Diogo Maddison Genn, birth certificates being somewhat absolute. This is also compatible with the spelling used by his father, the obvious source of the name. We might suggest, however, that by 1866 Diogo had shortened his second name to Madison.

The following is a chronology of the Genn family addresses in and around Liverpool from 1843 to 1891.

23 Hill Side Terrace, Everton, 1843
5 Claire Terrace, W. Derby, 1850
Duke Street North, 1851

DIOGO &63 Oxford Street, 1864

New Ferry, Lower Bebington, 1864
16 Newstead Rd., Toxteth Park, 1866
Fountain Street, Tranmere, 1866
South Bank, Oxton, Tranmere, 1868
11 Chestnut Grove, Tranmere, 1869-71
Grove House, 23 Balmoral Rd., W. Derby, 1875-77

69 Norwoodgrove, West Derby, 1878
105 Tiber Street, Toxteth Park, 1883
32 Greenleaf, Toxteth Park, 1884
2 Sutherland Street, 1891
Mill Road, 1891

Most of these addresses were located and photographed as part of the research for this paper. Of particular interest was the dwelling called Grove House, at 23 Balmoral Road, West Derby. It is a three story house of many rooms and rather elegantly appointed, with fire places, staircase and stained glass. It is well suggestive of the affluence of Diogo Genn and family during his later years, his late twenties! Seemingly abandoned, and in a state of dereliction, the house has suffered the abuse of squatters and vandals. We recovered a broken panel of stained glass for the Genn collection of artifacts.

John Hawke Genn, son of James Genn and Peggy, had moved from Falmouth, Cornwall to Liverpool and held a position as an Officer in the Customs Service and Landinghailer for the port of Liverpool. He married Nanny Filly Green, daughter of William Green, on 9 August 1842. The various directories for Liverpool record their sequence of addresses as follows:

  • 13 Church Terrace (or Road), Higher Tranmere, 1849-51
  • 141 Upper Stanhope Street, 1853
  • 3 Orient Street, Everton, 1859
  • 37 Elizabeth Street, East Birkenhead, 1865
  • 26 Sander Street, Liverpool, 1876
  • 3 Jermyn Street, Liverpool 8, 1882
  • 14 Sydenham Ave., Liverpool 15, 1885-89
  • Rutland House, Nicholas Road,
  • Blundell Sands, North Liverpool, 1890-92
  • 9 Alexander Drive, Liverpool, 1900

John Hawke Genn died at 9 Alexandra Drive, Liverpool, a widower, on 12 January 1900.

The descendants of John Hawke Genn have been documented in a most delightful letter from Pamela Hawke Genn, Great-granddaughter of John Hawke Genn. The following paragraphs are taken directly from Cousin Pamela’s letter:

John Hawke Genn had four children as follows:

John Anthony Hawke Genn, Uncle Jack, married to Aunt Ada in 1921 and was living at:

The Fernery
Windsor Rd.
Denmark Hill, London SE

I don't know if he had retired then, but soon after, he left London and he and Aunt Ada went to live in a hotel in Hastings on the South Coast, He died in 1925 and Aunt Ada died just before him. He left us some very nice furniture and Aunt Ada left me all her rings. They had one child, I believe, who dies very young.

Katherine Marion Genn, his sister, married Ambrose de Calluwe who imported marble from Belgium, one of the many foreign merchants attracted to Liverpool when it was a really booming city. He apparently wasn’t very prosperous and Marion continued to ply her trade as a potter and eventually they sold the marble business and put all their money into the Della Robbia pottery in Birkenhead, prominent in the Arts and Crafts movement. The company unfortunately went bust in 1907 and though poor Marion struggled to keep going, she died in very poor health and circumstance in 1925. Ambrose died some time before her. They had a number of children who died in infancy and one son, Sebastian, who disappeared as suddenly and completely as cousin Godfrey. Marion was a remarkable potter and some of her work is in the St. Margo Museum in Glasgow.

Ellen Mary Lins Genn, John Hawke Genn's second daughter, married Theodore Stalbrecht from the Leman Merchant community in Liverpool and had three children. They first lived at 3 St Paul's Villas, Tranmore, and Cheshire where the children were born and were very comfortably off. When father was about nine they moved to a large country house (semi detached) near Hooton Station, in the Wirral where they had a large garden and lived a healthy open air life. Father learned to ride a bicycle - a penny-farthing. He fell off once and broke one of his front teeth, which remained obvious for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, my grandfather evidently dabbled in stocks and shares and lost a great deal of money when my father was about eleven, so they relocated to 12 Park Road, West Kirby, Wirral. It was a Victorian family house, also semi detached and still stand but has been made into flats. The house at Hooton has been demolished and a large modern block of flats erected. Grandmother was upset at the loss of income and decided neither of her sons should go into the city but should join a respectable profession. She needn't have worried about my father who had decided he was going to be a sailor when he was about six. St. Paul's Villas was near the docks at Tranmore and from the bottom of the garden he could watch the square-rigged ocean going ships coming in and going out. He never changed his mind about the sea and was devastated when he had to retire from the Royal Navy aged forty-eight. Theodore Stalbrecht died in 1916, having suffered form a very weak heart for many years. Grandmother continued to live in West Kirby until the end of the Great War and then went to live in a flat in Liverpool. She died in 1929 of bronchitis. My father was extremely fond of her and it took him ages to get over it.

Cary Tilly Genn, my grandmother's youngest sister, was a very small person, but bright and bonny. I met her quite often during the First World War. She lived with her sister, Marion. After Marion died, she stayed with grandmother Genn for a time, but eventually departed for India and became a schoolteacher or governess. When she retired, she went back to Falmouth and lived with her cousin, Julia Genn, in Florence cottage. Though reputedly very delicate as a child, she became the toughest of the three girls and died in 1939, well over eighty.

After Florence Cottage was sold, she retired to a local nursing home where she died. My mother and father used to have a holiday each spring in Falmouth, where they visited Great Aunt Cary and took her out to lunch. She remained mentally bright and determinedly cheerful until the end of her life.

My Great Aunt Marian, Grandmother (Ellen Mary Lins) and Great Aunt Carey were all educated at Blackburn House, a very good girls’ school in Liverpool and were more educated than most middle class women of their times as John Hawke Genn believed in female education and paid extra for them to learn foreign languages. It must have been rather sad for him, a strict Unitarian and teetotaler, his eldest daughter married Ambrose de Calluwe and became a Roman Catholic. She did repay him by becoming quite a well known artist. Ellen Mary, his second daughter, never had a career, as she married early and her husband was a respectable and successful merchant, so she was quite contented to be a respectable wife and mother. She produced three children, Annis Maud, Bernard and Otto Herman, my father.

Annis Maud was a bright and happy child and very intelligent. She attended Blackburn House and then Hirton College, Cambridge, where she read English and History and the Classics, Latin and Greek. She was awarded a first class certificate in English and History, I believe – women were not awarded degrees at that time. She came home to teach at Blackburn House and was all set for a brilliant teaching career, being appointed second in command at the age of twenty-eight. She died in 1957.

Bernard, the eldest son, was also very intelligent. He was almost six feet tall, nice looking and very good at games. He became a doctor and took a practice at Great Harwood in Lancashire. It was a poor mining town but was surrounded by small hill farms. The longer Uncle Bernard lived, the poorer Great Harwood and the farms became and the harder Uncle Bernard had to work. As most of his patients were poor, Uncle Bernard became poor too. But he was a most conscientious doctor and developed a great admiration for the trade unions the miners and the local farmers who worked hard for much less than they deserved. He served in the army for a time during the Great War.

Uncle Bernard had three children, Theodore, Godfrey and Annis. Theodore, we know died in 1975 and his wife must be dead by now. They had no children. Godfrey only got married when over fifty to someone of his own age and they had no children. Annis, Uncle Bernard's daughter by his second wife, was much younger, only born in 1928. She was very pretty and married an Australian airman who was stationed near Great Harwood where Uncle Bernard lived. When her airman was demobilized in 1946, they departed to Australia. Uncle Bernard died about 1950. He never saw Annis again as she never came back in time. She had three boys eventually and, of course, might have had more children. I realize, on thinking it over, that she might have kept in touch with some childhood friends and even may have sometimes returned to England but we never heard. She had kept in touch with Theo until he died and he had kept us up with news of her.

Annis, I presume, inherits the grave of Diogo Genn and John Hawke Genn.

Otto Herman, my father, the youngest son, was not tall like uncle Bernard but slim and spare and extremely good looking. He was a charming person and lovely to have as a father. He joined the Royal Navy when he was thirteen and thereafter was away from home most of the time. In fact, I always thought it was surprising he managed to get to know my mother and got married to her. It was a very successful partnership, I am glad to say. Father served in both World Wars. During the first, he was sent to Russia in 1916 and became involved in the fire which swept Murmansk and caused chaos and much loss of life. He was commander of H.M.S. Vindictive and served under a French Admiral in a mixed force. They were warned of an approaching storm and ordered to head for the open sea. But father knew the French had left an ammunition ship unmanned and anchored in the harbour. He observed she had dragged her anchor and was drifting toward the shore so he stayed behind to try and stop the disaster. The ship hit the jetty, blew up and set the town on fire. The houses were built of wood and heated with paraffin stoves and there was a gale blowing, so the fire spread very rapidly and the result was very tragic. The Vindictive company and the doctor went ashore with blankets and aid and, after doing their best to put out the fire, they helped the sick and dying. The Russian people were very grateful and, before the Vindictive left, they presented him with a specially painted icon which we still have and are very proud of. The French were grateful too and enrolled him in the Legion de Honeur.

He was recalled to England in 1917, promoted to Commodore and was the first to sail in a camouflaged convoy from Liverpool to New York. He made many successful voyages, never losing a single ship to the U-boats. The English people were, like the Russians, grateful and awarded him the C.B.E. By that time, however, he had developed a duodenal ulcer and, although he continued to serve in the Navy until 1922, it was then deemed wise to retire, as he was hardly fit to go to sea. He had an operation and recovered enough to join the Royal Liverpool Golf Club to enjoy a contented retirement. In 1940, then sixty-five, he was called up again and sent to Arclglass (?) in Northern Ireland with an office job, a very small job but an essential cog in a complicated intelligence network. The job ended in 1942, the office closed down, and, although offered promotion, he felt very tired and decided to retire. He came back to West Kirby and spent the rest of his life looking after the family. He was a splendid person. I am sorry you could meet him as he had such an interesting life, was a wonderful story teller and loved telling people about his adventures. My father died in 1956.

I was educated at Weston School in Gloucester School and, though I worked on the land during World War II, spent much of my life helping to manage the house in West Kirby where we lived until my father died. It was then we moved to our present address. My elder brother, Humphrey, was educated at Haileyburgh public school and worked in insurance until World War II where he joined up in the Royal Artillery. He died of wounds in 1942 shortly before the main battle Alamein in Egypt. He served as Lieutenant and was much respected as a soldier. We have a photograph of his grave.

My younger brother, John, was educated at Shrewsbury School and the Queen’s College, Oxford where he became MR with a wartime degree in Modern History. He taught in London for five years. He retired from the Lord Chancellor’s department in 1984. His wartime service was as Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, mainly in Italy, a country of which he became very fond.

I am sorry I have not provided a neater family tree and must apologize for making a rather large blunder. I read the notes and studied your charts. When I found Margaret Hawke Japp in my father’s birthday book I jumped to the conclusion she must be Margaret Hawke Genn, sister of Ellen, Julia and their family as the dates fitted and father sometimes talked of the Japp cousins. But when I started reading the notes I found Margaret had apparently married a Wilkins. I could not puzzle it out as I had never heard of any cousin Wilkins. My father knew and was fond of Russell Japp, who died in 1923 but never mentioned any of the others except Darsie Napier Japp who was the youngest son. He was an artist and had a studio in Chelsea for many years. Not one of the famous, but he must have been good enough to be able to enjoy a comfortable and interesting life. I have left the Japps in the chart as you might be interested in learning of a family of cousins you had probably never heard of. I only knew about Darsie who was an artist and nothing about any of the others.

Revised: 10 March 2002

The Gene Pool
You are the [an error occurred while processing this directive] visitor to this page since 5/29/00

This site was created by Joanne Todd

The Gene Pool | Quaker Corner | Oregon Genealogy | NJ Founders | Ball Room
AmeriSlang | Ye Olde English Sayings | What's the Meaning of This? | Surnames
Research Aids | Gifts from Forefathers | Favorite Websites | What's New | Guide