Ethel OLSON [c.1899-????]

Submitted by jill on Sun, 07/21/2019 - 23:02
(Day, Month, & Year are approximate.)
Birthplace (town, state)
Birthplace (country)

Ethel Olson appears in photographs with my 14 year old father, Reggie Warren, both in Singapore and in Hong Kong. She was married to my father's uncle, Charles Olson, and seems to have taken him under her wing to some extent after his own father, Charles Warren died. Although the family myth is of a complete rift between the Warrens and Olsons after the death of Charles Warren in 1923, a note from Ethel still exists congratulating Cicely Warren, wife of my uncle, Leslie Warren, on the birth of their daughter in 1927. It seems that Charles Olson left Ethel behind when he left Hong Kong at around that date. Ethel also kept an eye on her husband's nieces, Iris and Marjorie Warnes, who, after losing their parents, finished their education at the Canossian Convent.  It would be interesting to know if there is any trace of Ethel after 1927 and whether she went back to England or perhaps remarried in Hong Kong. She seems to have been a sociable, generous and popular person who enjoyed giving others hospitality at the family house, 13 Broadwood Road. She was probably born around the turn of the century.

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Canada Ocean Arrivals April 1922

Ethel Olson married age 23 born Bridgend South Wales in transit to Hong Kong. Fare paid by husband Charles William Olson

Passenger list June 1928 shows Mrs Ethel Olson housewife age 29 travelling alone  from London to Hong Kong. Address in UK 4 Pendle Crescent Llanharan Glamorganshire Wales

Passenger list January 1929 shows Mrs Ethel Olson 29 housewife  arriving in Southampton Address in UK 100 Camlachie Street Llanharan Glamorganshire Wales


Many thanks annpake for finding these interesting travel details. Following on from previous posts about the Olsons, they show that Ethel, despite having been deserted by her husband and left to fend off his creditors when he left for Canada in about 1927, had the means to support herself for two years after he had left. It is also interesting to find out that Ethel was from Wales, but decided to return to Hong Kong probably after visiting her family. Perhaps she did remarry. Family photos around 1924 show her surrounded by handsome young men at her house parties. The passenger lists show that the age difference between Charles Olson and her was eleven years. It's possible that they got married in England in 1922, as prior photos of the Olsons in Hong Kong don't show her.  It would be interesting to know if Ethel made a new life for herself in Hong Kong after 1929.

I double checked the dates and have edited my orginal entry

Interestingly an Ethel Olson aged 44 applied for naturalisation in the USA  28 December 1943

Also the only Ethel that I could fnd born Bridgend Glamorgan was an Ethel Davies born third quarter 1899 Bridgend and on 1901 census Ethel Davies born Bridgend is living with her mother Elizabeth Davies Possiby your Ethel.

Not found as Ethel Olson on 1939 UK census records

Thanks for double checking the passenger lists entries for Ethel Olson. It makes more sense that she should have ultimately returned to England. Nevertheless interesting that she came back to Hong Kong for a six month stay in 1928. It's also good to know that her maiden name was probably Davies and that someone of her name and of the right age applied for naturalisation in the US in 1943. That all fills several gaps.