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Home: Surnames: Playford Family Genealogy Forum

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Playfords,early 1800s.(+some adventure!)
Posted by: Chris W. Playford Reynolds Date: June 03, 2000 at 02:40:20
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I'm trying to find out where the Playfords come from. With such an unusual name, I suspect that there's probably just a single source. I wonder, also, if there is a lot of adventurous spirit in the family that brought my father into the world.
My father, Arthur Owen Playford Reynolds, was born in 1880 (Reigate, Surrey, England)--Yes, no mistake, 1880: I was born when he was 60, my mother, 30; and my daughter is 2, my wife, 27... family tradition, you see!--His father was Playford Reynolds (no other name known, but another tradition was to christen children with family surnames; I have 1 from each lineage).
Playford Reynolds, who married a Campbell, went to India as a civil engineer, leaving my then teenage father in England with two spinster cousins, whom he detested. He ran away (from them) to sea at 16, and spent 3 years going round the world, with "stop-overs" in Newfoundland and Panama, and then in Oregon during the second Klondyke Gold Rush. As he told it, he was first a lumberjack, next a sparring partner of Bob Fitzimmons (world heavyweight champion), and then a "chucker out" (bouncer) in one of the biggest bars in the western States. Visited Japan and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) on the way back to the UK. Became a medical doctor (Edinburgh Univ.) in 1905, and promptly left for what then really was "darkest Africa"--the Belgian Congo, and then South Africa. He was called up to fight, and earned a Military Cross in the First World War for his work as a medic in the trenches. Returned to Africa, and settled in Southern Rhodesia, where I was born. He never left, but devoted himself to treating members of both white and black races in mining and farming communities, and to furthering his knowledge of Ancient Greek and Latin and finding errors in English dictionaries--against that then wild background! Died 1968, at 88.
I'd very much like to find out more about the Playfords and their doings in the world. (I write this from Japan, where I've lived for 26 years.)


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