Ancestors of Lizzie Perfect?

+3 votes
My gg-uncle Virgil Nagy (1859-1921) married Lizzie Perfect (about 1853-1936), presumably in Britain. Unfortunately I cannot find any sign of this marriage in the Hungarian marriage records and I am not sure where to look in Britain. She had sisters Clair (married Cair) and Theresa (married Smith). Any ideas?
WikiTree profile: Lizzie Perfect
in Genealogy Help by László Kóczy G2G6 Mach 1 (13.7k points)
retagged by László Kóczy

2 Answers

+2 votes

There is a potential candidate family in London.  Among the children are an Elizabeth Perfect, a Clara Perfect who married Frederick George Louis Cair, and a Harriet Thurza Perfect who went by Thurza as an adult and who married Harry Walter Smith.

Do you have an Ancestry subscription?  Here's a link to the sketch i'm building on this family.

The various census and marriage sources are attached in that sandbox tree.

by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Pilot (295k points)
The key in with this is the names of the siblings.  There could be other marriages of a Claire/Klara/Clara Perfect and a Mr. Cair.  And there could be other instances of a Theresa Perfect marrying a Mr. Smith.  And they could even be in the same family as a sister Elizabeth who doesn't seem to have married anyone else, at least not obviously yet.
It might help to know when Virgil was in London and what he was doing there.  What religion would he have been?  They might not have been able to marry in the Anglican church, so might have dispensed with the formality, or found somewhere in Europe to get married.  Or Elizabeth/Lizzy might have been already married, possibly widowed, and the marriage with Virgil is extra hard to find because it referenced Lizzie's married name.
What does the inscription on the memorial stone say?  There are a lot of words, but i can't make them out.  Are there any clues there?
Dear Shirlea, Thanks a lot, this family sounds right. Unfortunately, I do not have an Ancestry subscription but I try to find the same records elsewhere!
The memorial is about Virgil Nagy, for Lizzie, only the name is mentioned. I am now trying to trace records of Lizzie in Hungary to see when have they moved.
Hi Laszlo!  I've made profiles for some of Lizzie's relatives and i have linked some of the sources.  Still a puzzle as to how Lizzie and Virgil met, but now that i've seen a Nagy namesake among Lizzie's sister's descendants, i'm pretty sure we have the right family in England.
Wow, thanks a lot!
+2 votes

I totally concur with Shirlea. I can find no record of a British marriage for Elizabeth/Lizzie. In 1881 she is a dress-maker living with her sister Louisa in 71, Bolsover Street Marylebone. I have not been able to find her in the 1891 census. Her husband Virgil Nagy (known as Virgil the Great) was the architect of amongst other things the Elizabeth Bridge in Budapest. He had been made a corresponding member of the British RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) which does not necessarily imply that he spent time in London.

The 1881 census has the Perfect family living at no 11 Harleyford Street in Lambeth. Amongst the family is a grandson John Care(sic) aged 3. His grandfather, John, is described in this census (I have looked at the original) as a Stone Mother, previous censuses he was a Stone Mason. I have no idea what a Stone Mother is, or whether it has been incorrectly written.

by Steve Bartlett G2G6 Mach 8 (80.7k points)
edited by Steve Bartlett
The Elisabeth Bridge in Budapest was named after Queen Elisabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empirs
Are those bullet hole marks on the tombstone?
Looks like it.
I have read the funeral notice for Lizzie. It mentions two sisters, Clara and Terezia and a brother-in-law, and that she would be buried with her husband having a service according to the Anglican tradition. No children are mentioned, she was 83. She would have been 6 years older than Virgil and I cannot put together an hypothesis of how a 40 year old dressmaker from a meagre background could have got herself hitched to an Hungarian architect. I have seen something that suggest he was in London at an architect's meeting in 1906. Baffling, but fascinating.
Maybe Lizzie's dad was an exceptional stonemason (he is Perfect, after all), and somehow came to the attention of Virgil the Great that way.  

There is a story in my family that my great grandmother's half-brother was a stone mason who worked on some important public building in Britain and ended up with a life peerage.  I don't know how to verify that, but it begins to appear that in Britain, stone masons could be very much appreciated.  I was also told once that the occupation wasn't so much being like a bricklayer as being what now is known in my part of the world as the general contractor who is responsible overall for the project, including contracting with the subtrades such as the actual joes who carried the stones around..  In that general contractor role, John Perfect (and my distant uncle) might be in contact with important people such as architects...
little Jack Nagy Cair was baptised in 1907, so his gramma Clara (Perfect) Cair knew Virgil Nagy during or before 1907.  Interesting timing considering the 1907 membership in the RIBA and a possible visit to England in 1906.  How would Hungarians travel to London?  Would he have left any trace on passenger lists?
This is totally plausible. At you can read the following story about Virgil Nagy:

``According to the anecdote, it was still dawn when a figure in black tie was climbing upwards on the scaffolding of the Eastern Railway Station under construction. Around seven o'clock, the ``ironminister'', Gábor Baross, also arrived to inspect the construction. He was also surprised to see the fragile figure in black tie in whom he recognized his ministry colleague.

-What are you doing here? - asked.

- Your Excellency, I have come to check the construction.

-Very well! But why in a black tie?

- The technician's ball ended at dawn, and I came straight from there,- the young engineer replied.''

There are a couple reasons, why the anecdote cannot be true in this format, but the article notes that this highlights how scrupulous he was, and, I would add, he would still not miss a ball.

Very interesting anecdote!  I see from the same article that: The ministry sent him on a number of study trips abroad, incorporating their lessons into his works.

I wonder if one of those trips abroad were to England.  Would there be anything in England that would particularly interest him professionally?  

Was John Perfect, Lizzie's dad, particularly good at making those crests and things that Virgil decorated his works with?

regarding Stone Mother, i also took a look.  I wonder if the enumerator meant "Stone M[abbrev for Mason -- that might explain the circle] -- other."

That would only make sense if for some reason the enumerator felt he should categorize types of stone masons, and John fell outside the usual categories and thus was 'other'.

Does that trigger anything for you?
Good call again. They lived in Regent Street which was not the posh shopping street of today but nevertheless you would need to be more well off than the average stone mason. Also they were married at St Martins in the Field, the church in Trafalgar Square, again not the place one would expect such people to frequent.

So I think your suggestion that he was a cut above his fellow tradesmen is well founded. Well done!
Do you think there is any chance of finding him advertising his services, so that we could get some idea of what he was offering?  Directories?  Newspapers?

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