Find your actor ancestor’s stage name
Your ancestor might be elusive because he used a different name professionally. How do you find out what it was?
1You may strike lucky when you find a press mention of your ancestor – especially if he or she appeared in court. In this case, from the Aberdeen Press and Journal of 1903, a report is made about actor John W Webster’s bankruptcy case – and it records his stage name of George Sheldon.
2Actors may have been known by a stage name, but their children would have taken their birth name. Some actors chose to record their professional identity in their children’s first or middle names – such as Eva Lytton Grey Morgan, named after her father’s full stage name (see Step-by-Step boxout on page 23).
DIVORCES3If your ancestors got divorced, you may find reference to their professional names either in the divorce papers themselves, or in press coverage of such. It wasn’t only famous actors who saw their relationship breakdowns make the news, and the papers frequently detailed stage names.