Mater's Day Book


Mater's Day Book covers mostly family financial transactions between 4 November 1893, when Charles Christian Gottfried Russ died, and May 1906 after the family home at 27 Clifton Hill had been sold. The original has spent many years in Canada, most recently in the care of John Reginald Russ [son of Sidney Russ and grandson of CCGR] and has now arrived in England into the care of Carolyn Findell. A full copy has been made and preliminary analysis of this can be read here - be patient as the document is 15 pages long and is still only a first shot!

The book is a foolscap account book of 146 pages, bound in dark blue leather and with the spine almost entirely worn away. It begins with a report of the death of Mater's husband - as if written by her: but the hand writing does not tally with examples known to be hers. Entries over the years are in several distinct hands - and more work is needed to see if any can be identified for certain - but the flavour of many of the entries suggests clerks in Mr Muhlberg's office could be responsible.

I have made some 250 extracts from the book - particularly those relating to the financial affairs of the family and of their education and apprenticeship; there is also much material on the financial affairs of Emily's husband Otto Muller, whose bankruptcy took up a lot of time for the Trustees of CCGR's estate and I have included a few other items that appealed to me such as the use made of Trust funds for the purchase of bicycles - for all the boys apart from Ernest (who got 10 for a boat). Text has been entered as it is in the Book - words between [...] are my interpolations or comments; I have inserted a £ sign in many instances for clarity - for those too young to remember £.s.d and for 'foreigners'!

The book also contains a lot of material on the investments in merchant shipping, made by CCGR before his death - only a brief mention has been extracted so far. There is also a lot of detail on the investments made by the Trustees - again only a few notes have been extracted here; but the range of international stocks is impressive - South America, North America, Egypt, Australia, Central and East Europe all feature strongly.

Follow up is needed on many items: in particular on the various apprenticeships which have been picked out.

With the extracts on a data base, it is reasonably straighforward to produce reports in different formats - if there is any interest out there!