Yorkshire Chess History
Alfred Sussmann was born in 1817 (on the basis of his age in census returns and at death), in Hanover, Germany.
His surname was originally “Sussmann”, though once in England it tended to be rendered “Sussman”, which spelling may have been condoned or even promoted by Alfred himself, as directories and census reports almost always used a single “n”; occasionally there is only one “s”, which has to be regarded as a error. After his death, “Sussmann” was used on his gravestone, and his wife and children seemed to use the doubled “n”. One gets the feeling that for his wife and children the question ‘One “n” or two?’ had no definitive answer, but Alfred probably preferred the more-English single “n” to go with his naturalised-Britishness.
Quite when he settled in England is unclear. On 15/01/1839, Alfred “Susman”, merchant, native of Germany, arrived in England from Hamburg on the Neptune. This is very likely to be our man’s arrival, to settle in England.
The 1841 census listed “Sussman” as a foreigner, aged 25, in Bradford, but details of that census record are difficult to locate.
On 11/10/1844, Alfred Sussman, merchant, arrived at Hull from Hamburg on the “Leeds”, on his way to Bradford. This was presumably his return from a business trip, or a visit to his relatives in Germany.
Ibbetson’s directory of Bradford, 1850, listed Alfred Sussman, [dealer in] paper and packing materials, Court Street, Leeds Road, Bradford.
1851 census, listed him as in lodgings, but again the details of that census record are difficult to locate.
Lund’s directory of Bradford, 1856, listed Alfred Sussman, paper merchant, Drake Street, Bradford.
The 1861 census listed him as a 43-year-old merchant, born in Hanover but now a naturalised British subject, lodging at 7 Marlborough Road, Bradford, with Hannah Dutton, lodging-house keeper.
Jones’s Bradford directory of 1863 listed Alfred Sussman, paper merchant, 19 Leeds Road, Bradford.
At some time from 1861 to 1865 he got married to Anne aka Annie (née Wood?). Annie Sussmann was born 1833/34. Her place of birth was Chesterfield, if the earlier census records are to be believed, yet after Alfred’s death her place of birth was recorded in censuses as Oakham, in Rutland! The couple had at least four children:
On 05/08/1866, Marion Wood Sussmann, daughter of Alfred Sussmann, merchant, and Ann Sussman, was baptised at St. Margaret’s, Ilkley. As the parents abode was recorded in the baptismal register as Ilkley, we have to infer that Alfred had moved from Bradford to Ilkley at some stage from 1861 to 1866, while working in Bradford. Whatever those circumstances may have been, he was back on Bradford by 1867, it seems.
The death of Marion Wood Sussman was registered at Bradford in the third quarter of 1867.
Annie Wood Sussman was born 1867/68 in Bradford.
On 26/12/1869, Alfred Wood Sussman, son of Alfred and Ann Sussman, was baptised at St. Paul’s, Manningham. (Born March 1869 or before on basis of age when sailing for US.)
The 1871 census listed him living with wife Annie at 7 Spring Bank Manningham, Bradford, and two servants. The was no sign of Marion Wood Sussman or of Alfred Wood Sussman, though latter was still alive.
Smith’s Bradford directory of 1872, listed Alfred Sussman, paper merchant, 19 Leeds Road, Bradford, with his home at 7 Spring Bank, Bradford.
On 29/01/1873, William Tom Wood Sussman, son of Alfred and Anne, was baptised at St. Paul’s, Manningham.
The Post Office Bradford Directory, 1879-80, listed Alfred Sussman simply as a “merchant” (though he was still primarily a paper merchant, it seems) at 17 (rather than 19) Leeds Road, living at 7 “Spring Bank Place”, Manningham, Bradford. (“Place” seems wrong.)
The 1881 census found Alfred living with 46-year-old Chesterfield-born Annie, and 9-year-old William W. Sussman, at 7 Spring Bank, Manningham, Bradford, with 4 servants. 12-year-old son, Alfred Wood Sussman, was at boarding school at 2 Sanatorium, Clifton, Gloucestershire. Alfred was described as a “merchant” and as a British subject.
Kelly’s Bradford directory for 1881 lists Alfred “Susmann” resident at 7 Spring Bank Place, Manningham, Bradford.
The :Post Office Bradford Directory, 1883-84, listed Alfred Sussman,paper merchant, &c, 17 Leeds Road, and 1 Mildred Court, with his home at 7 Spring Bank, Bradford.
Alfred Sussman, merchant, of Bradford, died 05/05/1884 at his home, 7 Spring Bank, Bradford. This was reported in The Bradford Observer of Tuesday, 6th May, 1884, page 8, under “Deaths”, as follows:
SUSSMAN.- On 5th of May, at 7, Spring Bank, Alfred Sussman, Esq., aged 66 years.
He was buried in plot 19 of consecrated section D of Bradford’s Undercliffe Cemetery, by Edward Wynne. The funeral expenses, paid by Annie Sussman, amounted to £18 2s 3d according to the job sheet for the burial.
Although the plot was freehold, no further family members are recorded as being buried in the same grave, the inscription on the headstone of which reads:
WHO DIED MAY 5TH 1884,
AGED 66 YEARS
Administration of his estate, with will and codicil, was granted on 10/06/1884 to Annie Sussman of 7 Spring Bank, Bradford, widow and “residuary legatee for life if she remain a widow”. His personal estate amounted to £15,748 3s 2d.
It appears the paper-merchanting business continued after his death, possibly under the ownership of Annie Sussman, perhaps with son Alfred Wood Sussman in charge of operations, as White’s 1887 Bradford directory listed A. Sussman, paper merchant, and wholesale merchant in paper, canvas and tillots, at 17 Leeds Road. It also listed Annie Sussman, 7 Springbank Place, Manningham, Bradford.
The 1891 census found 22-year-old Alfred W. Sussman, paper merchant, as a boarder at 18 Apsley Crescent, Manningham, Bradford. This rather suggests he was continuing the running of his father’s business. “Mrs. Alfred Susmann” (one “s” and doubled “n”), on the other hand, seems to have moved to London, as she is recorded as living with the two remaining children, Annie W. Sussmann and William W. Sussmann, at 48 Cranley Gardens, Kensington, with three servants. She is described as a widow living on her own means. More enigmatically, she was described as having been born in Rutland rather than Chesterfield.
Annie Wood Sussmann, spinster of 48 Cranley Gardens, South Kensington, daughter of Alfred Sussmann, merchant (not stated as deceased in the marriage register), married Benjamin Currer Rowson, widowed solicitor of 7 Alfred Place, South Kensington, son of Thomas William Rowson, on 18th July 1891, at St. Peter’s, Cranley Gardens. “A. W. Sussmann” (i.e. brother, Alfred Wood Sussmann) was one of the witnesses signing the marriage register.
On 19/03/1896, 27-year-old Alfred W. Sussmann of Bradford (clearly our man’s son) arrived at New York on the Teutonic. This would appear to have been a business or pleasure trip, rather than emigration, as he reappears as a resident of Bradford.
The 1901 census found 68-year-old Annie Sussmann and her 32-year-old son Alfred W. Sussman, paper merchant, living at the familiar 7 Spring Bank, Bradford, along with three servants. Annie had her final “n” doubled, and sported her “new” place of birth, Oakham, Rutland. Curiously, the enumerator didn’t put the customary “do.” for ditto under Annie’s surname, but instead gave son Alfred his own surname which looked like “Somers”.
The 1911 census saw 78-year-old widowed Annie Sussman (single final “n”), still born at Oakham, with no occupation, now lodging with the widowed Jane Barker, lodging house keeper, at 18 Queensberry Place, London S.W. She had perhaps moved south again to be near her daughter.
There was an Annie Sussman whose death was recorded in the fourth quarter of 1926 in the Isle of Wight.
He represented Bradford in its match against Huddersfield in November 1864. He attended the West Yorkshire Chess Association meeting of 1871.
Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann
Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information