There is momentous news to report soon, but in the meantime I will share a small bit of information that has become available on the Web. It is known that Genevieve Stebbins retired in 1907 from the New York School of Expression. She and her husband Norman Astley had previously owned property in the North Carolina mountains, but by 1913 were living in a small English town, Slindon in West Sussex. Their return to the US was recorded in 1917 when they moved to California.
A brief notice was posted by Astley in 1903 in volume 18 of Recreation, indicating his interests as a naturalist, which were later shared by Elbert Benjamine:
In December 1907, Astley wrote a letter to The Country-Side, the monthly journal of the B.E.N.A., the British Empire Naturalist Association, indicating that he had been residing in Devon since at least April of that year. The letter was published in 1908:
This is the first new information about the Astleys’ move to England that has emerged in several years. It turns out that between their arrival in Devon and their move to Slindon they were recorded as boarders in the 1911 Channel Islands Survey, living in St. Peter’s Port, Guernsey.
Several new books have taken notice of Genevieve Stebbins in the past three years, which I will report in coming months. Although nothing new has come to light about Thomas H. Burgoyne’s reputed demise in 1894, a wealth of new information will soon be published about Burgoyne’s first few years in America. My next blog entry will share the story of an unexpected documentary find and the book that resulted. One brand new find is a record of Burgoyne’s 1887 naturalization– either declaration of intent or actual application for citizenship– in Shawnee County, Kansas. The circumstances of this event are explained in said forthcoming book.
ps– another piece of evidence turned up recently about the Astleys in England. In 1914 they had acquired a lifelong lease in their rented home in Slindon, yet only three years later and before the end of the war the returned to the US.