In 2005 I inherited (saved from being burnt on a bonfire) an old trunk full of photos and other memorabilia from a relative. A postcard caught my attention—on the front was the photo of a pretty young lady and on the back was written:
‘Your Cousin—Aimee Crean, with love’. And some wonderful person had added in biro ‘Nellie Dunn’s sister was an actress’.
I had never heard of either of these people and so began the task of finding out who they were, especially the lady on the front of the postcard. I entered ‘Aimee Crean’ on the TROVE Newspaper site but after many hours of searching had no luck. It was only by chance that upon researching my maternal Grandfather’s parents on the Ancestry site that I discovered his aunt had married a ‘Crean’. Upon further investigation into this branch of the family tree I was led to Eleanor Josephine Constance Crean (Nellie Dunn) and Aimee Florence Geraldine Crean. I still had nothing to tell me that Aimee was an actress. I conducted yet another search on TROVE using Aimee’s full name and I hit upon a legal advertisement for the will of a ‘John Alosius Crean’ (Aimee’s father) who died in Sydney in 1935. Incredibly, Aimee’s name appears as the sole beneficiary of the will but she is now known as Aimee Florence Geraldine ‘Daniels’!
So now I start looking at NSW BDM records for a marriage but nothing can be found. I enter ‘Aimee Florence Geraldine Daniels’ into TROVE and find Aimee as a beneficiary of her aunt’s and another uncle’s deceased estates, and now I have a name for her husband—Thomas Daniels. A search of Thomas Daniels leads me to a Thomas Henry Daniels who is filing for bankruptcy in Coogee (where Aimee was listed as living when a beneficiary for her father’s estate in 1935), Sydney in 1927—and he is listed as ‘Dan Thomas, a comedian’.
And so now with all these names I soon discover—Aimee Florence Geraldine Crean born 8 March 1897 in Margate Street Botany NSW, and who died 17 November 1973 in Bankstown Hospital and is buried in an unmarked grave in Field of Mars cemetery in Ryde, NSW was known as ‘Mae Crean’ a Vaudeville star known in Australia, South Africa and a few other countries where she performed. I wonder if those that were with her in her final hour knew of her past ? I was two years old when she left this place, and I never heard anything of her from my parents or my grandfather—her cousin!
This is a work in progress. I hope to find out more about her.
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