IN 1996, I wrote a letter to The Press asking for anyone with knowledge of a Florence E Tate to contact me.

I received two or three responses from readers who had known Florence working in York in the 1950 and 1960s. However, she had left for Cornwall. Many years later I traced her to St.Austell, but, unfortunately, she was then deceased.

During my research, I discovered Florence Elsie was born with the surname Harland in 1907. She was the first child of Thomas Henry Harland and Mary Hannah (nee McFarlane), both then of York. But by 1911 she had been adopted by the age of three by Eleanor Frances Tate of Lower Priory Street, York. Eleanor was the spinster sister of Edwin Ridsdale Tate, the York artist.

Recently I have been contacted by someone else from the Harland family of York, now living in France, who is researching her family tree. Together we realised Florence had two younger siblings, Peter Harland, born 1912, and Dorothy Harland, born 1913.

Both may also have been adopted as children here in York, maybe by other family members. There is a mention of a location in Stonegate in family folklore.

If any readers are descendants of Peter Harland (who may have died in 1960 here in York) or Dorothy Harland (who may have changed her name by adoption or marriage) could they please phone me on 01904 760467 or email

P J Stanhope, Cyprus Grove, Haxby, York.