The faces of history – Norah Alice Brown

Norah Alice Brown was born in Cannock, Staffordshire on 14 December 1879.
Norah and Marie
Norah and Marie

Norah was my great aunt and her sister Marie my grandmother. They are pictured above about 1903.

It was a conversation between Norah and Marie in 1961 that was an early inspiration for both me and my father to look into family history more. Dad began straight away, my research had to wait a few decades.

At this point, at the age of eighteen, I was fascinated by sound recording and had just built my second tape recorder. My family provided the material for testing its capabilities.

This is one short excerpt that I am particularly glad I captured.

Norah talks about ‘mother’s father’s father’ being a ‘wonderful violinist’ and ‘coming over with a German band’

Listen here to forty seconds of history

She was almost right, Francis George Sternberg was actually a generation further back and was a trumpeter with the Royal Horse Guards. He settled in Northampton, married Frances Furnivall and established himself and his family in a music retail and education business.

At the time of this recording in 1961, it was two hundred years since Francis’s birth.

It is an interesting example of how family information can be passed down the generations.


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