The Rochester Measdays


Linda Cottrell

Notes and photos assembled using the collection
made by my grandmother

Edited by

David F. Measday

An ongoing labour of love
Version of July 2009
(File: Desktop/mydocuments/MeasdayNotesRev2009-7-27.doc)


The Measday Name

The Rochester Measdays

Newspaper Clippings



a) The Rochester Measdays

The Rochester Measdays were the last of three separate families who migrated from their home in Kent, England, to the United States of America. George Frederick Measday (1872-1948) came first with his elder son John (Jack) in 1911, making their new home in Rochester, New York State. George returned to England, and fought in the First World War in the 4th Buffs, East Kent Regiment. Jack married in Rochester and also returned to England with his wife Katherine and baby George; their second child May was born in 1916 in Maidstone, England during this stay. Both George and Florence as well as Jack and Katherine returned to Rochester, and settled there, taking up American citizenship.

George and Florence had 9 children altogether before they migrated; 3 died as infants, 3 stayed in England and 3 took up their residence in New York State. Jack, the eldest, and only boy to move to the U.S.A. has many descendants living in New State and some now in Florida and Nevada. Jack's sister Dorothy married George Schaffer and Blossom married John Hoose, but we do not know if they had children.

b) The Texas-New Mexico Measdays

The first family of Measdays to arrive in the U.S.A. were George Measday (1840-1889), his wife Esther, née Madams (1842-1938) and their 9 children who arrived in 1881, going first to Texas. They had first migrated to Australia to join George's brother Henry in Adelaide, reaching there on 20th June, 1864. Their eldest child Clara died on that voyage. Esther did not like it there so they returned to England in 1878, and were there long enough to be recorded in the 1881 census, but continued their wanderings by sailing for Texas late in 1881 with their 9 children. George died in 1889, but the rest of the family prospered in Texas and some moved to New Mexico several years later.

This branch of the Measday family has been well researched by Sue Sterling, née Measday, who now lives in Gallup, N.M.

c) The East Coast Measdays

The second Measday branch was founded by Walter Measday (1866-1959); Walter was born in London, England and sailed to New York in 1892. Two years later he married for the second time to Mary Cooney; they had a son and a daughter, but their son had two sons and each of those had several sons, so the family name stays on in New Jersey and New York state. Walter Measday became quite famous because he was the private secretary to Woodrow Wilson during the 1910 presidential campaign. Later Walter married a third time and around 1920 moved to the Los Angeles area in California, but seemingly never really retired, becoming a director for the Commerce Department in California and later dabbled in Real Estate developments, dying in 1959 at the ripe old age of 93.

This branch of the family has an excellent web page organized by C. Alex Measday:-


The Measday Name

It is unclear what is the derivation of the Measday family name. It is found in the Kent records back to the 16th century, so if it is related to the similar Dutch name Maestag, it goes back a long way.

The Australian branch of the family prefers the derivation "David the Leper" and the booklet written by Frank Measday is so named. The logic is that measles (meas) is often equated to leprosy, whilst "day" is a shortened form of David.

Other suggestions are Mestier, a bishop's servant, or a marsh dweller. A more prosaic but probable derivation comes from the fact that the common name Day is a shortened version of dairyman, thus Measday could simply be May's or Mease dairyman. Mease is a Norman name which arrived in England in 1066 after the Battle of Hastings.


The Rochester Measdays

[Florence Measday]

Florence Measday (nee Dove) b. 1873 m. 1892

[The above] photo was digitally reworked from original damaged sepia print taken about 1893. Colours are the artist's impression and not based on fact.

[Violet, Dorothy, and Blossom]

Photo (taken in the 1920’s?) Believed to be Violet, Dorothy and Blossom

Florence Dove was born in 1873 and she married George Frederick Measday in 1892 in Maidstone, Kent.

They had six children who survived to adulthood:-

John Charles born in 1893
Daisy Florence born in 1894
George William born in 1897
Violet Elizabeth born in 1902
Dorothy May born in 1905
Blossom born in 1910

In addition three children died very young, twins Maurice and William, born in 1901 who died in the same quarter, plus Leonard, born in 1907 who died at about 18 months old.

A passenger list shows George Frederick Measday and his eldest son John Charles boarded the SS Adriatic on the 5th April, 1911 in Southampton and arrived at the port of New York in America on the 14th April, 1911.

Additional information in the list shows George as 38 years old, with a height of 5 foot 8½ inches and for John as aged 18 years old and 5 foot 8 inches; both have black hair and grey eyes. They had $28 (dollars) between them and gave the name and address of a friend J. Freeman of 199 Troupe Street, Rochester, NY who they where visiting. George gives his father as Morris Measday of Duskin Farm, Kingstone, Kent.

[S.S. Adriatic]

The Steam Ship Adriatic

John C Measday married Katie Filarowicz in Rochester, New York in 1913.
License # 13708

The 1920 census for Rochester, New York shows:

John C Measday born in 1894 in England as head of household
Catherine Measday born in 1891 in Austria as his wife
George C Measday born in 1915 in New York as son
May E Measday born in 1916 in England as daughter

A passenger list shows John Measday arriving at Liverpool on 11th July 1915 having departed New York in the Philadelphia.

Another passenger list shows Kate Measday and George (infant) arriving at Liverpool on 15th August 1915 having departed New York on the St Louis.

Both passenger lists give their intended destination as 56 Perryfield Street Maidstone and length of stay undecided.

This BMD index confirms that May was born in England on this visit.
Births Sep q 1916 Mesday May E - mother Feslcoeec - Maidstone Vol 2a Page 1590

A Passenger list shows John Charles Measday with Catherine, George Charles and May sailing from Liverpool on 11th July 1919 on the SS Melita with the port of arrival as Quebec, Canada but destination as Rochester, NY.

A passenger list shows George Measday and Dorothy boarded the SS Adriatic on the 23rd July 1923 in Liverpool and arrived at the port of New York on the 1st August 1923. Additional information gives occupations as Carpenter for George and Factory worker for Dorothy. Next of kin in England is given as brother-in-law, Mr (Ernest) Evernden of 65 King Edward Road, Maidstone, Kent and son, Jack Measday of 587 Tremont Street, Rochester, NY. Also stated that George had previously been in America for 2 years but intended to stay in America. Descriptions given for George are aged 48 (he was actually 53) and as fresh complexion, brown hair and grey eyes and 5 foot 8 inches and for Dorothy as fresh complexion, brown hair and blue eyes and 5 foot 4 inches.

A passenger list shows Florence Measday together with Violet Eliza and Blossom boarded the SS Olympic on the 30th July 1925 in the port of Southampton and arrived at the port of New York on 5th August 1925. Additional information lists next of kin in England as Jasper Dove of 56 Perryfield Street, Maidstone, Kent. Occupations given for Florence as Wife, Violet as Factory worker and Blossom as shop assistant and stated that they where going to join George Measday of 462 Columbia Avenue, Rochester, NY., with the intention of staying in America and that this was their first visit. Descriptions given for Florence as fair complexion, black hair and blue eyes and 5 foot 6 inches, Violet as fair complexion, black hair and blue eyes and 5 foot 4 inches, and Blossom as fair complexion, black hair and grey eyes and 5 foot 2 inches.

[S.S. Olympic]

The Steam Ship Olympic

A passenger list shows Florence Measday together with Dorothy boarded the SS Homeric on the 28th August 1929, in the port of Southampton and arrived at the port of New York on 4th September 1929. Next of kin in England given as Mrs J. Cheeseman of 175 Southlands Road, Dickley, Kent, and that they were joining George Measday of 1179 Genesee Street, Rochester, NY., also that they had previously visited America from 1925 to 1926. From a story passed down in the family they had returned to England with Violet who was home sick for England and her boyfriend and that Violet married in Kent in 1926.

[S.S. Homeric]

The Steam Ship Homeric

In 1930, George and Florence Measday landed in London on 24th September, off the Cunard liner Carmania from New York; both are listed as alien passengers of US nationality, going to stay at 4 Borden Cottages, Farleigh, Maidstone.

[S.S. Carmania]

The Cunard Liner Carmania

A passenger list shows George F Measday returning to New York alone, having boarded the SS Mauretania on the 25th February, 1931, in the port of Southampton and arriving at the port of New York on 3rd March. George is listed as an American citizen and that he was Naturalized in the Supreme Court, Rochester, NY 1st Oct 1929. His address in USA listed as Jack Measday of 153 Wooden Street, Rochester, NY.

[S.S. Mauretania]

The Steam Ship Mauretania

A passenger list shows Florence Measday boarded the SS Aquitania on the 5th November 1931 in the port of Southampton on the 5th November 1931 and arriving at the port of New York on 12th November 1931. Additional information gives next of kin in England as Mrs Pettitt (Violet), 77 Bonn Street, Maidstone and that Florence was joining George F. Measday of 153 Wooden Street, Rochester, NY., and that she was Naturalised in the Court of Common Pleas, Canton, Ohio, 25th July 1930.

[S.S. Aquitania]

The Steam Ship Aquitania

[Daisy, Blossom, Dorothy, and Violet]

A newspaper article of 6th July 1956
Daisy, Blossom, Dorothy and Violet.
[Original newspaper proof copy available.]

A passenger list shows Blossom M Hoose together with Dorothy M Schaffer boarded an airplane of the Trans World Airlines in London on the 3rd August 1956 bound for New York.

[TWA Passenger Manifest]

[Blossom, Florence, and Dorothy]

Blossom, Florence and Dorothy at Hilton Beach holiday home.

[Blossom and Dorothy]

Blossom and Dorothy.

Other records-

Dorothy Schaffer
Birth Date: 29 Jun 1905
Death Date: May 1971
Social Security Number: 050-03-1606
State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: New York
Death Residence Localities
ZIP Code: 14613
Localities: Rochester, Monroe, New York
(Names on an old photo suggest that her husband may have been Gordon Schaffer but name is given as George in wedding announcement ??)
Blossom Hoose
Birth Date: 12 Jul 1910
Death Date: Apr 1986
Social Security Number: 073-07-2262
State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: New York
Death Residence Localities
ZIP Code: 14513
Localities: Newark, Wayne, New York
John Hoose, probably husband of Blossom,
Birth Date: 25 June 1912
Death Date: Apr 1985
Social Security Number: 163-03-3458
State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: Pennsylvania
Death Residence Localities
ZIP Code: 14513
Localities: Newark, Wayne, New York
Jack Measday, i.e. John Charles Measday
Name: John Measday
SSN: 128-07-2761
Last Residence: New York
Born: 24 Jan 1893
Died: Jan 1963
The son of John Charles Measday and Catherine
George Measday
Birth Date: 6 Feb 1915
Death Date: Jul 1986
SSN: 073-05-9723
Issued: New York
Localities: Bulls Head, Monroe, New York
The wife of George Measday
Irene M. Measday
Born: 7 Nov 1915
Died: Feb 1994
SSN: 064-14-3359
Last Residence: 14611 Rochester, Monroe, New York, USA.

Newspaper Clippings

[Governor Wilson and Party]

This newspaper cutting from about 1911 mentions Walter Measday who was a cousin of George Frederick Measday. Walter Measday (1866-1959) was the son of Thomas Measday (1831-1912), the brother of George's father Maurice Measday (1836-1914).
[Alex Measday: Another copy of the clipping and the original, higher quality photograph can be found at Andrew K. Dart's Other Old Pictures from KRLD Radio (scroll down). Wilson visited the fairgrounds in Texas on October 28th, 1911 and the newspaper clipping is from the October 29th issue of the Dallas Morning News.]

Other Newspaper reports-
The Washington Post, 13 October 1959
Walter Measday, Aide to Wilson
Montrose, Calif., Oct. 12 (AP).
Walter Measday, who was Woodrow Wilson's secretary during the 1912 presidential campaign, died Saturday at his home after a brief illness. He was 91.
Mr. Measday was a feature and political writer for the old New York World before joining Mr. Wilson, and subsequently was secretary to the late Senator William Gibbs McAdoo of California. In later years he was Los Angeles regional director for the United States Commerce Department. He leaves a wife, son and daughter.
Rochester NY Democrat and Chronicle 16 February 1914 (PDF)
Soldier in British Army Is Recruited by Company A.
John Charles Measday, who served six years in the Queen's Own Regiment in the British army, was collated in Company A Friday night. He is said to be a crack shot.
[Article continues but text is very difficult to read.]
[I have not been able to verify if this is correct- If he had left the Queen's Own Regiment immediately prior to going to the U.S.A. in 1911 then he would have only been about 12 when he first joined. However I did find that George Frederick Measday did serve in the 4th Buffs, East Kent Regiment, in the 1914-1918 war and I have a copy of his army record.]
Rochester NY Democrat and Chronicle 28 November 1920 (PDF)
Jolly Sixteen and Gabby Sixteen Meet, Among Others.
[Describes various club activities not transcribed]
The Gabby Sixteen Club met at the home of Mrs. Jack Measday, No 1 Shaw Place. Prizes were won my Mrs. Jack Measday, Mrs. William Spall. Mrs. Ray Cooper, George B. Carey, Jack Keeley and L. J. Travis. The next hostess will be Mrs. William Spell, of No. 253 Tremont Street.
[Note. Pedro is possibly a reference to the card game of that name.]
Rochester NY Democrat and Chronicle 5 July 1924 (PDF)
Eight Injured, Two Badly, in Auto Accidents; Driver Held
Eight persons were injured, two seriously, in automobile accidents in the city yesterday. One motorist was arrested on a charge of reckless driving following a collision with another car.
[Report of one accident which I did not bother to transcribe.]
John Measday, 31 years old, of No. 97 Silver Street, was arrested last night on a charge of reckless driving following a crash in Chili Avenue between the car driven by Measday, and one operated by Harry Wagner, of 68 Orange Street.
Wagner placed Measday under arrest and turned him over to Motorcycle [unreadable name], of the Bronson Avenue station.
Measday was taken to the General Hospital, where he was treated for lacerations of the Face.
[Report of several other accidents also not transcribed.]
Rochester NY Democrat and Chronicle 24 September 1928 (PDF)
[List of various announcements.]
Miss Dorothy Measday of Genesee Street and Miss Mildred Stanton of Magee Avenue spent the week-end in New York City.
Rochester NY Democratic Chronicle 3 May 1931 (PDF)
Sponsored Candidates for Queen Sought as Rochester Plans for Annual Celebration: Hospital Patients Will Receive Blooms Exhibited at Chamber.
Eight organisations including business and professional groups, industrial firms, clubs, and schools already have signified their intention to enter candidates in the Lilac Queen contest.
[Long list of names not transcribed]
The Rochester Telephone Corporation has chosen a young woman from each of its exchanges and later will conduct an elimination contest to represent the firm.
The following have been chosen by the Rochester Telephone Corporation:
[List of names including-]
Miss Blossom Measday, 455 Emerson Street;
Rochester NY Democrat and Chronicle 1 October 1931 (PDF)
Schaffer - Measday
The marriage of Miss Dorothy Mae Measday daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Measday and George W. Schaffer son of Mr. and Mrs. V. Schaffer of Emerson Street took place Saturday afternoon at 3 o'clock in the North Presbyterian Church. Rev. Robert Findlay officiating. The church was decorated with fall flowers and palms, Mrs. D. H. Bruneau sang "O Promise Me" and Miss Florence Rapp "At Dawning" Miss M. Kuywaski played the organ.
The bride, who was given in marriage by her father, wore white satin with a train and a lace trimmed veil caught with orange blossoms. She carried Easter Lilies.
Miss Blossom Measday, the maid of honor, wore pink taffeta and carried an arm bouquet of pink roses. Miss Emra Crone, bridesmaid, was in peach colourer lace and carried an arm bouquet of talisman roses.
Russell Stark was best man and Charles B. Crone usher.
The bridegroom's mother wore blue satin with a shoulder bouquet of tea roses.
A wedding dinner for 60 guests was served at Wautoma Beach.
Parties were given for the bride before her marriage by Mrs. C. B. Crone, Mrs. W. Kuhman, Miss Blossom Measday and Mrs. D. H. Bruneau.
Mr. and Mrs. Schaffer will make their home in New York City.
Fair Haven Register, 15 June 1933, at:- (PDF)
Mr and Mrs Fay Stark and son Russell and Miss Blossom Measday spent the week-end with Mr. Stark's parents, Mr and Mrs W. J. Stark.
[Isn't it remarkable that even one's week-end liaisons are noticed 70 years later; note that Russell Stark was best man at Dorothy's wedding]
[Alex Measday: Search for "measday" and get 125 matches - some fascinating reading through old newspapers! The June 15th date (a Thursday) is from the "Bible Thought for Today" and another item mentions that the Philathea class would be serving ice cream and cake on Saturday the 17th.]
Rochester NY Democrat and Chronicle 31 January 1937 (PDF)
First annual entertainment and ball of the Eagles Bowling League will be given in the Eagle auditorium, 22 North Washington Street, Wednesday evening.
[Follows an account of the League and organisers not transcribed.]
Assisting Chairman Holley will be the following: Tickets Marie Popp, M. Ort, Blossom Measday, Jean Rowan ...
[The list continues but text gets difficult to read.]
Rochester NY Democrat and Chronicle 19 July 1937 (PDF)
A Rochester motorist was held for the grand jury on criminal negligence charges yesterday as weekend automobile accidents in this area took a toll of one life and many injured.
Edward Naughton, 23, of 214 Brannann Avenue was charged with criminal negligence as an aftermath of a collision at Long Pond and Spencerport Roads when Henry Huggler, 28, of 9 Morgan Street was killed almost instantly.
Deputies brought Naughton to Monroe County jail for examination by Dr. James C. Davies, who found him intoxicated, according to the deputies. He was arraigned before Peace Justice Jewall Bebenk in Gates, waived examination and was held for the grand jury.
Five Others Injured.
Five others were injured in the same accident caused, sheriff’s men said, when the machine driven by Naughton collided head-on with one driven by George K. Glover, 42, of 45 Montrose Street.
In serious condition at Rochester General Hospital is Arthur Ennis, 21, of 1 Caffery Place, suffering head injuries. Others treated at hospital were Naughton, cut left leg; George Measday, 30, of 427 Columbia Avenue; Glover and Mrs. Lane Martin, 47, of 50 Marshall Street, a passenger in the Glover car, according to deputies, Mrs. Martin received head abrasions and possibly rib fractures.
Coroner David H. Atwater, after an autopsy at the morgue, said Huggler died from a broken neck, and announced he will hold an inquest. Deputies Orrin Tuttle and Robert Malley said Naughton told them he picked up his three companions in Jefferson Avenue earlier in the evening.
Rochester NY Democrat and Chronicle 13 October 1938 (PDF)
Motorists Fail to Appear In Mix-up on Court Holiday.
Next year, attaches of City Court, criminal branch will tell you, there'll be an understanding about this business of Columbus Day.
Because yesterday was Columbus Day and because 24 hours preceding it both police and motorists appeared to be at odds over whether there would be a court session, nearly half of the 14 motorists arrested for varied infractions failed to show up in court. While the usual bench warrants were issued for them, it was recognised that in all probability the motorists believed there was no sessions of court until today.
As a matter of fact some of them had been told that by police.
Accordingly, when the case of Alois Dallar, 20, of 2047 Maiden Lane Rd., Greece, first motorist to be arrested on a third degree assault charge resulting from an accident involving personal injuries was called no one connected with it was in court. It was set over to tomorrow, Daller, meantime, is free on $50 bail.
Missing revocation of his operator's licence by a narrow margin, George Measday, 23, of 427 Columbus Ave., pleaded guilty to his third speeding offence. The 18-month period during which the third offence would have meant revocation expired for Measday only 25 days ago. As it was he was fined $20, with the alternative of spending two days in the penitentiary. He paid.
Complete record of traffic cases in City Court follow:
[List of names and offences not transcribed.]
George Measday, 23, of 427 Columbus Ave., 50 mph Luke Ave., $20 fine, or two days in penitentiary.
[Other names and offences.]
Rochester NY Democrat and Chronicle 13 December 1948 (PDF)
MEASDAY - George Frederick Measday, 76, of Newark, New York, formerly of Rochester, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 1948. Funeral at Parker Funeral Parlor, Newark, Dec. 10.
Widow, Florence Measday: sons, Jack and George; daughters, Daisy, Violet, Dorothy and Blossom; one sister of Kent, England, Mrs. J. Evernden.
Newark NY Union Gazette, May 25, 1961
In Memoriam
In loving memory of our dear mother who passed away May 30th 1963. Always in our hearts, Daughters Dorothy Schaffer, Blossom Hoose, Daisy Cheeseman; also sons Jack and George.
[NB; the year of death must be a typographical error; maybe should have been 1953?? Note also that Violet did NOT sign it; had she died in the meantime??]
End of notes



George Frederick Measday
George Measday
Walter Measday
Percy Measday Soderberg
Stephen John Cleveland Measday


Linda Cottrell

Born in Kent, and living near Maidstone, Linda has researched the Dove family for many years. Her grandmother Maggie Dove (1890-1981) was the daughter of Thomas Dove (1866-1939), whose sister Florence was the matriarch of the Rochester Measdays. Maggie Dove was an inveterate collector of memorabilia and was the source of much of the material selected for this family album.

David Measday

Born in Wimbledon, but now living in Vancouver, Canada, David has been researching the Measday family for 40 years. He had a full time job at the University of British Columbia, but since his retirement, has spent a fair amount of time searching for hidden twigs in the family tree. He has helped Frank Measday with the Australian booklet, "David the Leper", and has two databases of family trees, available on RootsWeb, as database measday ("Measdays in England, USA, and Australia"), this family, and another trevormeasday ("The John Measday branch which includes Trevor Measday") of another branch, mainly living in Kent, for whom we cannot find a link to the other line.


George Frederick Measday (1872-1948)

Born in Kent, but migrating to the United States, George Measday was the patriarch of the Rochester Measday branch. His parents were Maurice Measday (1836-1914) and Susannah Fox (1833-1911). At first Maurice was a farm servant, but later became a gamekeeper, and in 1891 was living at Calverly Cottage in Preston Hall Woods in Aylesford, Kent. Thus George, born in Brabourne, was brought up in the quiet countryside of Kent. George was the youngest of their 5 children, and his siblings stayed in that region of Kent. By 1891, when he was 18, George was already a carpenter.

He married Florence Dove in Maidstone in 1892 and they made their home in Maidstone, first at 33 Waterlow Rd., and a few years later they moved to 56 Perryfield Rd. George and Florence had 9 children, the youngest, Blossom, being born in 1910. Three boys died in infancy, 3 children went to the USA, and 3 stayed in Kent.

In 1911, George sailed to the USA with his eldest son Jack. George returned after a couple of years and served in the First World War, joining up on Oct. 26th 1914, and was promoted to Sergeant in February 1915. Then he was transferred to the RDC 59th Protection Company in April, 1916, finally leaving the Army in May, 1919. The RDC or Royal Defence Corps was composed of about 27,000 men who were responsible for guarding POW camps, and sensitive establishments, mostly in the British Isles, including a detachment in Ireland.

In 1923 George and his daughter Dorothy, sailed from Liverpool for New York, followed two years later by his wife and two other daughters, Violet and Blossom. Violet was homesick and returned to marry Albert Pettitt in about August of 1926. Thus George and Dorothy and three children remained in the Rochester area; Jack, his wife Katherine and 2 children; Dorothy who married George Schaffer in 1931, and Blossom who married John Hoose in about 1935.


George Measday (1840-1889)

Born in Sandwich, Kent, George Measday went first to Australia in 1864, following his brother Henry (1835-1890), who went in 1854. George, his wife Esther and large family returned to Kent in 1878, staying long enough to be recorded in the 1881 census as a market gardener in Sholden, near Deal Kent, near his brother Charles. Then George and family were off again, this time to Texas, where his large family finally put down their roots.

George was born in Great Stonar, a village to the north of Sandwich on the East Coast of Kent. He was one of the five children of Henry Measday (1806 - 1853) and Harriet Sutton (1814-1879); they lived in Sandwich. Of the five children, two (Henry and Ruth) went to Adelaide, South Australia, and George finally stayed in Texas; quite an adventurous family.

In 1861, George is recorded as a shipwright, single, and lodging with the Madams family in Luddenham, near Whitstable, on the North Coast of Kent. He married Esther Madams (1842-1938) later in 1861, and they were off to Australia in 1864. They lost their eldest child, Clara, during that voyage, but their baby Henry (1863-1926) survived, and they had 6 more children in Adelaide: Frederick, Clara; Emma, Ida,; Walter, and Flora. Returning to England in 1878 they had two more children, Reginald and Rosa, born in Sholden, Kent. Later in 1881 George, Esther, and their 9 children, ranging in age from 1 to 18, sailed for Texas.


Walter Measday (1866-1959)

Born in London, England, Walter Measday went to New York, and founded the East Coast branch of the Measday family. He was a newspaper reporter and became well known when he managed the press relations for Woodrow Wilson, then governor of New Jersey, who went on to be president of the United States. Walter then became the secretary of Senator William Gibbs McAdoo of California, and in the 1920s was Los Angeles regional director for the United States Commerce Department. He continued to live in the Glendale region of Los Angeles and was involved in real estate developments nearly up to his death at the ripe old age of 91.

His parents were Thomas Measday (1831-1912) and Ann Oakes (1837-1880). His father Thomas was born in Nonington, a village in Kent, but in his late teens he moved to London, and in the 1851 census was in St Martin in the Fields as a servant. Thomas married Ann Grey in 1851, but he left her and had 7 children with Ann Oakes. Thus Walter was brought up in Westminster in the centre of London. In 1881, at the age of 14, he was already a clerk. He married Charlotte Binks in 1887 and had three sons. Two were killed in the First World War but Frank (1889-1962) survived and was the grandfather of Roy Measday who has done a lot of research on the Measday family, going through the parish records in Kent in the days when the rector would allow you to see the original.

Walter sailed for New York, arriving on Aug. 17th, 1892. Two years later he married his second wife Mary Cooney in New York city on Dec 5th, 1894, and they had two children, Walter Jr. and Edith. Walter Jr. had a daughter Marion and two sons, Walter III and James, who both had several sons, so the Measday name flourishes; the descendants include C. Alex Measday, a computer specialist who tends a superb web-site on the Measday family:-

Walter Sr. was a feature and political reporter for the New York World and in 1911 was appointed by Woodrow Wilson to handle press relations during his campaign to become the Democratic Candidate, and then for the campaign to become President of the United States. Woodrow Wilson had been President of Princeton University and then Governor of New Jersey. He won the campaign and went on to be the 28th President of the United States, serving from 1913-1921. He was quite influential in the Paris Conference which set the boundaries between countries in the Middle East, and is still causing difficulty today! He is still the only US president to have held a Ph.D. degree.

Walter Measday moved out West about 1920, and became regional director in the Los Angeles area for the US Department of Commerce. He married his third wife Eleanor and lived in Los Angeles for the rest of his life. For his third wife it was also her third marriage. Born in 1881 in New York State, she married Le Roy Matthews in 1898 and had a daughter Grace, but he died within a few years; she later married a Mr. Harnett who died around 1918, and then met Walter Measday. He adopted her daughter who was then known as Grace Measday. Eleanor Measday died in 1959, two months after Walter. Her daughter Grace lived on at 2540 Prospect Ave., La Crescenta until her death in 1976. The next owner of the property sent family papers to Alex Measday recently.

The obituary of Walter Measday is:-

The Washington Post, 13 October 1959

Walter Measday, Aide to Wilson
Montrose, Calif., Oct. 12 (AP).

Walter Measday, who was Woodrow Wilson's secretary during the 1912 presidential campaign, died Saturday at his home after a brief illness. He was 91.

Mr. Measday was a feature and political writer for the old New York World before joining Mr. Wilson, and subsequently was secretary to the late Senator William Gibbs McAdoo of California. In later years he was Los Angeles regional director for the United States Commerce Department. He leaves a wife, son and daughter.

[Walter, Harry, and Maurice]

Measday brothers Walter (left), Harry (middle), and Maurice (right) taken in London about 1890.


Percy Measday Soderberg (1901-1969)

Percy used to be the most prolific writer of the Measday family, although Stephen Measday of Australia has recently caught up with him. Percy Soderberg wrote about 10 books on cats, birds, and butterflies, yet he was really a school teacher, head of a preparatory school in Caterham, Kent.

Percy's grandfather was John Soderberg (1846-1917) and his grandmother Esther Measday (1844-1908), from whom he received his middle name. She was the daughter of George Measday (1823-1899) and Esther Hogbin (1824-1901), both born in Wickhambreaux, a small village in Kent, east of Canterbury. George and Esther moved to London to become missionaries in the East End, and there, their daughter married a sailor, John Soderberg, born in Gothenborg, Sweden, who was often at sea, so the children of John and Esther were strongly influenced by the Measday missionaries. The three children were Efface (Effie) who later ran a school in Whitstable, Edward Percy also a schoolteacher and father of Percy Measday Soderberg, and finally Oscar who died quite young in 1914, aged 28.

Edward Percy Soderberg (1878), Percy's father, married Louisa Corbin in 1899; she was the daughter of a Coast Guard officer and had been born in St Helier, Jersey, in 1879, but in 1881 they were in Southwold, Suffolk, where her sister Ellen was born, then on to Seasalter, near Whitstable by 1891. Their mother died at age 42 in 1897, and their father married again to someone not much older than his daughters; this seems to have strongly disrupted the lives of the two girls, and Louisa married soon thereafter and Ellen moved out to be a servant nearby. Edward and Louisa Soderberg had two children, Percy Measday Soderberg (1901-1969) and Gwen Soderberg (1911).

Percy also became a schoolteacher, and married Mabel Hancox in Bromley in 1925. He became a head master of a Preparatory School in Caterham and seems to have been quite a character. A former pupil, Geoff Kemp, now living in Washington, DC., wrote as follows in the Whitstable Chat Room on July 8th, 2009:-

Sorry to have been an absentee participant for so long but I have been following the site carefully and am delighted to see such a diverse number of subjects being discussed, from Bing to Prep Schools. I was at Caterham School from 1949-57 having had my early education at Westmeads and the Oxford St Boys School. (Bravo especially to Len Hake who was a terrific teacher).
I entered the Caterham Prep School in Sept 1949. PM Soderberg was the Headmaster of the Prep School and was affectionately known as "Sod". He taught Latin and was a figure of great charisma. His cat books had resulted in several BBC broadcasts and he kept many of the cats at the school. One particular cat, an old huge blue Persian called Pooey, was allowed to wander the dorms and would frequently plop himself on one of the boys beds. Getting Pooey off the bed was a delicate task since he was so heavy and no one wanted to use strong arm methods against the Headmaster's pride.
Mr Soderberg kept a malacca cane in his room and would use it occasionally for gross transgressions. In his youth, he spent summers in Whitstable with his aunt. He was friendly with my mother, then Gwen Reeves. But it did not help me secure any favors with him; he had no favorites and was a strict chain smoking disciplinarian. But he was a good teacher and expert debater.
When I left the Prep School for the Main School, I kept in touch and he helped me with University applications. In my day schoolmasters fell into two categories: those who were a source of ridicule and those who commanded respect. Sod was a man we all respected.

Some of Percy's publications:

Many of these books are still available at Sometimes his Christian name is spelt Pearcy, which is hard to understand. What is amazing is that the last two books were published many years after his death which was in 1969! Percy Measday Soderberg died July 6th, 1969, and was then living at 9 Varndean Gardens in Brighton. His sister Gwen Thornton notified the Register Office.


Stephen John Cleveland Measday (1950)

Stephen Measday is a prolific writer of children's books. He has also appeared on television and written scripts. Born Dec. 28th, 1950 in Adelaide, Australia, he was the second child of John Measday (1922-1973) and Rene James (1923).

He started writing while a student at Port Pirie High School. At sixteen he was appointed the Australian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent for Crystal Brook in South Australia, and soon after joined the national broadcaster full-time and worked for eight years as a reporter who sometimes conducted doorstop interviews with Prime Ministers.

He then turned to writing for theatre, film and television. His scriptwriting has included "The Ferals", "Ship to Shore", "Mirror Mirror 2", and "Sky Trackers", an original children's feature film, as well as episodes of "A Country Practice" and "Blue Heelers".

Stephen Measday lives in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, and he says that he enjoys reading, watching the news, dogs, going to the movies and food. His greatest wish is to join a dog-sled expedition and cross the Antarctic continent.

Books and short stories written so far:-

Junior Fiction

The Time Game (1993)
Tomb It May Concern (1995)
Giant Spiders (1996)
A Pig Called Francis Bacon (1996)
The Hermes Experiment (1997)
The Fang Mystery (1997)
The Gift (1998)
My Friend Roger Bacon (1998)
Roger Bacon Reporting

Young Adult Fiction

The News They Did Not Use (1995)
The News on Aliens (1997)

Illustrated and Short Stories

Frogs on the Run (1993)
The Fungus Among Us (Freaks of Nature Collection)

Alex Measday  /  E-mail