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Edith MURGATROYD

Edith MURGATROYD

Female 1867 - 1934  (66 years)

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  • Name Edith MURGATROYD  [1
    Born 23 Dec 1867  Derby, Derbyshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Female 
    Emigration 1902 
    Census 1910  Wilkeson, Pierce, Washington, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Census 1920  Assembly District 64 Los Angeles, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Occupation 1929  [1
    Actress under name Edith Yorke Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA 
    Census 1930  South Gate, Los Angeles, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Reference Number 13 XX4135 
    Reference Number XX4135 
    Died 28 Jul 1934  Southgate, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 6
    Person ID I4026  Byard Families
    Last Modified 19 Jan 2017 

    Family Robert BYARD,   b. 9 Mar 1869, Markeaton, Derbyshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1931, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Married Abt May 1894  Croydon, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 7
    • Christ Church
    Children 
     1. Robert Frank BYARD,   b. 13 May 1895, Kilburn, Derbyshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Apr 1954, Los Angeles, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years)
     2. Freda Grace Margaret BYARD,   b. Jun 1898, Kilbourne, Derbyshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jan 1980, Seattle, King, Washington, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years)
     3. Freda Grace M. BYARD,   b. Abt May 1898, Kilburn, Derbyshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1902, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 4 years)
    Last Modified 16 Dec 2016 
    Family ID F352  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 23 Dec 1867 - Derby, Derbyshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Abt May 1894 - Croydon, Surrey, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 28 Jul 1934 - Southgate, California, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photographs
    Edith MURGATROYD_000.jpg
    Edith MURGATROYD_000.jpg

  • Notes 
    • From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Edith Yorke (23 December 1867 - 28 July 1934) was an English actress of the silent era. She appeared in 65 films between 1919 and 1933.

      She was born in Derby, Derbyshire, England under the name Edith Murgatroyd and the family later moved to Croydon, Surrey (near London) but Edith left a more comfortable life behind to return to Derby, where she taught destitute children in a local workhouse. She married Robert Byard and emigrated with him and their children to the US in 1902, becoming a film actress in her 50s, mainly in supporting roles. Her daughter also worked for a time as an actress in films, and her son became a violinist with a symphony orchestra. She developed curvature of the spine as a result of working under the excessively hot studio lights and died in Southgate, California.

      Edith Yorke, my grandmother's cousin, made over 60 films, beginning around 1919, and in 1920 she worked in at least 5 films released that year. By this time, she would have been about 53 years old and had been in America for 18 years. As far as we can tell, she had no acting experience before she left England, although it's possible she may have been in an amateur group for which there are no records. She seems to have gone first to Montreal, then travelled to Washington State,where the family appear in Wilkeson, Pierce Co., Washington on the 1910 US census. But by the 1920 census, Edith and her daughter Freda Byard are living in California, and both are recorded as movie actresses. I've not found any films in which Freda worked, but of course, like Edith, she may have used a different name. Edith's father's family seem to have come from Yorkshire, so perhaps that's why she chose the name Yorke. According to the IMDB, Edith acted in The Doctor and the Bricklayer(1919), followed by The False Road, Below the Surface, Homespun Folks, The Jailbird, and Love(all released 1920). These would probably have been shorts. In 1923, she played the character of Mrs Seddon, in Souls for Sale, a movie about Hollywood itself, which guest-starred Charlie Chaplin among others. Confusingly, in 1925, she made a film with a similar title, called Souls for Sables. She also made a film with Chaplin's brother, Sidney, called Oh, What a Nurse!, which sounds suspiciously like a proto-ptype Carry On movie. That same year she starred in the very first silent version of Phantom of the Opera, with Lon Chaney, in which she played Mama Valerius, the wife of the heroine, Christine's, teacher and mentor. Sometimes her name appears on the credits for this, sometimes not, but although I have seen it on video, a great deal of the footage has been lost due to film deterioration, and it's hard to establish which character is her. Her most important role seems to have been in Belle of Broadway(1926) in which she plays a fading Parisian stage star who has once been great but is now in decline, playing bit parts on Broadway. Her life becomes entangled with that of a young drama student who resembles her in her glory days, and it gets very melodramatic, but seems to end happily. In The Valiant(1929)another highly dramatic role, she plays the mother of the up and coming Paul Muni, in the story of a man accused of murder. All in all, Edith played a lot of mothers, and I believe she did it very well! The only film anyone of my family could remember seeing was Seven keys to Baldpate, a creepy old house movie which was filmed several times and had also been a popular stage play. In this version, made in 1925, she played eccentric housekeeper, Mrs Quimby. In 1930, she played yet another mother in City Girl, directed by great European director FW Murnau. This film was also known as Our Daily Bread. Her last known performance was in Luxury Liner in 1933, a year before she died, for which she seems to have been uncredited. Sometimes she used different spellings of her name, and also acted under her married name, Edith Byard. I don't know if Freda continued in acting, but it seems probable that she may have been just a young hopeful waiting outside the studio gates in hopes of being spotted. Possibly, she may have been chaperoned by her mother, Edith, as often happened in those days.(There's a certain irony in the fact that it was her fifty-plus mum who became the movie actress, but then, I've been upstaged for a TV interview by my own cat!) Freda married Kenneth A.Chryst (who we believe was also trying, at the time, to get into movies) in 1923, for a while remaining in California, and they moved eventually to Seattle, where they had a family, and their descendants may well still be in the area today. Her son, Robert Frank Byard, became a violinist in a symphony orchestra, after serving in the Canadian Army in World War One. Kenneth Chryst was also a violinist, but in 1930 is recorded as being a clerk in a movie studio. Edith's husband, Robert, seems to have had fluctuating fortunes, and they obviously didn't live together all the time, but he was in California for Freda's wedding in 1923. Edith died in 1934, I was told many years ago, of curvature of the spine, brought on by constant working under the dangerously hot studio lights they used then. She visited my grandmother's home in Derby in the 1920s or early 1930s on one of several trips to England, and my mother and her younger brother(today aged over 90) remembered meeting her. He remembered her telling him that if she was required to cry in a role, the director made a point of being really nasty to her that day - she was highly sensitive and it never failed. Mean, but an example of early Method acting presumably! I've only recently had Edith's Derby origins positively confirmed, as the IMDB stated she was born in Croydon, Surrey,under the name of Byard, and I had found an Edith Byard who was there at the right time. However, this turned out to be a completely different person, who coincidentally,like Edith, had been a schoolmistress, and also lived in different parts of London. The only minor family connection with Croydon was myself, since my third stage play Dressing Up was premiered at Croydon Warehouse Theatre in 1986. I attended rehearsals and performances there, not knowing then of Edith's connection, but at least the connection for both of us was a theatrical one. Another member of our family is also in television. I hope Edith would have been pleased! She seems to have been an interesting and enterprising lady and I'm sorry I never knew her. Brenda Ray, 2009.

      Edith Yorke was a relative of my grandmother, Lilian Maude Neal(nee Shotton) and was born in Derby, England, in 1867. I have still been unable to establish the exact relationship with my grandmother. The IMDB quotes her birthplace as Croydon, but this is incorrect. Edith was born in Derby, as Edith Murgatroyd, where her parents lived at 98, Oxford Street. Oxford Street is still there(January 2009)but the older houses have gone and much of it is now a carpark for the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary. It's a street not far from Derby Station, in the(then heavily industrial) area of Litchurch. Edith was christened at St Andrews Church, Litchurch, Derby, in 1868, a massive Victorian church known as the Railway Church, on London Road, which was demolished in 1970. Her parents had previously lived at Nelson Terrace, between London Road and Midland Road, at the bottom of Nelson Street, which like the site of st Andrews,is now mostly occupied by the Postal Sorting Office, and though it is still marked on maps,is actually mostly private roadway belonging to the Post Office. A bit of Nelson Terrace does remain, according to the man on the gate there, and is attached to the back of the Midland Hotel. Edith's family moved to South Hackney(1871 census) and then to Croydon(1881 census). Her father James Murgatroyd was a coal merchant of some kind(described rather quaintly as "traveller for colliery")and Edith had moved back to Derby by 1891, where she is described as "teacher in Workhouse" on the census, aged 23. This would be the Rowditch, Uttoxeter Rd. workhouse which later became the Manor Hospital, and was demolished in the 1990s. (Curiously, I've recently learned that the Royal Crown Derby Porcelain factory which faces exactly down Oxford St. was originally a workhouse, which it would have been when Edith was a child. Could this have influenced Edith's decision to work in such a place, as she must have grown up within sight of workhouse children?) An Aldi supermarket, a pub and hotel(The Mallard & Travelodge) now stand on the site of the Rowditch workhouse,with some modern flats behind them. In 1894, she married Robert Byard at Christ Church in Croydon, although Robert was also from Derby (Mackworth)and was described as a wheelwright, but perhaps Edith's parents were still living in Croydon, as her brother James Oswald Murgatroyd was also married there some time later. James Oswald Murgatroyd is later described as Captain Murgatroyd, and lived in Beckenham, Kent, and he and Edith seem to have exchanged visits friom one side of the Atlantic to the other several times. By 1901, Edith and Robert have 2 children and are living back in Derby at 183 Parliament St. Parliament Street is also still there, under the shadow of another massive Victorian Church, St Lukes, whose curious saddle-back tower still looms over the Uttoxeter Road-Stockbrook St area of Derby.(see photo) However, some of Parliament St has been demolished, as was much of Stockbrook St., not now a very nice area. Some of the land has been grassed over. All the older houses where Edith lived have gone. Edith's mother, Marian(Mary Ann)Murgatroyd is living with them, so perhaps her father had died. Interestingly, Edith's children were born in Kilburn(Derbyshire, not London)Robert Frank Byard in 1896 and Freda Grace Margaret Byard in 1899, so there may be a family connection with Kilburn, which is near Belper. However, in 1902, Edith and Robert and children arrive the USA and a whole new chapter opens up....

      Nb It seems they went first to Montreal,as often happened with emigrants from England, where they arrived in 1901, so presumably this was later in the year, as the UK census would have been taken in the Spring. They were in Washington State by 1902.

  • Sources 
    1. [S124] Ancestry, brendaray14 (Reliability: 0).

    2. [S120] Census, 1901 (Reliability: 0).

    3. [S120] Census, Ancestry 1910 (Reliability: 0).

    4. [S120] Census, Ancestry 1920 (Reliability: 0).

    5. [S120] Census, Ancestry 1930 (Reliability: 0).

    6. [S124] Ancestry.

    7. [S6] FRC Index, 1894 Jun - 2a - 362 (Reliability: 0).
      Croydon