A Snelson DataBase & Armory

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Greer ("Eileen Evelyn Greer") Garson1

F, #1613, Deceased, b. 29 September 1904, d. 6 April 1996

Person Exhibits

Eileen Evelyn Greer Snelson
(Greer Garson)
  • Consanguinity: Partner of Sir Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, K.B.E.M.A. (2nd cousin 2 times removed of Adrian John Snelson)


Family: Sir Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, K.B.E.M.A., (b. 31 October 1904, d. 8 December 1992)

Main Events

  • Name: Greer ("Eileen Evelyn Greer") Garson was also known as Greer Garson.
  • Name: She was also known as Eileen Evelyn Greer Snelson.
  • Name: She was also known as Eileen Evelyn Greer Ney.
  • Name: She was also known as Eileen Evelyn Greer Fogelson.
  • Biography: Greer Garson was christened as Eileen Evelyn Greer and was born in East Ham, London.

    In 1930, Eileen Greer Garson first appears on the electoral register, and she is there at Tillotson Road until 1935. According to some fantastic information provided by Peter and Ann Kraushaar who now live at 5 Tillotson Road ( which he and his wife bought in 1959 from the widow of Peter Gray who had previously bought the property from Greer's mother in 1936/37 ), the move in 1935 appears to coincide with her debut in the West End London theatres after her university and 1932/33 Birmingham Repertory Theatre experience.

    She became the symbol of a nation unconquered by Adolf Hitler.

    She was educated at London University and at Grenoble. She gained a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree from London University. Greer worked in a London advertising firm 1932-1934 and then with a Birmingham company for two seasons; her debut was in [ITAL:]'Street Scene'[:ITAL].

    Her London stage debut was in 1934 in [ITAL:]"The Tempest"[:ITAL], then opposite [BOLD:]Sir Lawrence Olivier[:BOLD] in the short lived [ITAL:]"Golden Arrow"[:ITAL]. She then had starring roles in [ITAL:]"Mademoiselle", "The Visitor",[:ITAL] and [ITAL:] "School for Scandal"[:ITAL]. In 1938, she was spotted by Louis B. Meyer in [ITAL:]"Old Music"[:ITAL]; she signed for MGM and made her screen debut in [ITAL:]"Goodbye Mr. Chips".
    In 1940 she starred in "[ITAL:]Pride and Prejudice[:ITAL]". She then appeared in the very early BBC television of Shaw's [ITAL:]"How He Lied to Her Husband"[:ITAL]. In 1941, she starred opposite [UND:]Walter Pidgeon[:UND] in [ITAL:]"Blossoms in the Dust"[:ITAL]. She made many radio programs and many early TV appearances, but her main achievements were the nominations for Best Actress for [ITAL:]"Blossoms in the Dust"[:ITAL], the second world war ( 1942 ) drama [ITAL:]"Mrs. Miniver[:ITAL]" ( [BOLD:]for which she won an Academy Award[:BOLD] ), [ITAL:]"Madame Curie"[:ITAL] in 1943, [ITAL:]"Mrs. Parkinson"[:ITAL] ( an unfortunate irony ) in 1944, [ITAL:]"The Valley of Decision"[:ITAL] in 1945 and [ITAL:]"Sunrise at Campobello"[:ITAL] in 1960.

    The personification of Louis B. Meyer's ideal of British refinement and beauty, Greer Garson was the Queen of MGM during the World War II years. In 1993, she was awarded the insignia of an Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire which she received from the British Consul-General in Dallas.

    It was the reporting of this event in the press that gave me the idea on how to contact Miss Garson. I sent a letter to the British Consul in Dallas enclosing an unsealed letter to Miss Garson, asking the Consul to pass it on to her - as he obviously knew how to get in touch. This he did, and a few weeks later, I received a wonderful letter from Greer Garson - well, she dictated it through her Office Manager, as she is quite frail. In this letter of June 1994, Greer explains that she thinks she met Edward in the theatre, but it was all a long time ago. She remembers that " Edward had an elder sister who was quite beautiful and a younger brother ", but she cannot remember their names. The letter is printed on her personal letter heading, so it's quite a treasure - it's not every day that I receive personal mail from film stars - and she was gorgeous and so refined, wasn't she !

    Peter Kraushaar also has sent to me a photocopy of a photograph of a group said to have been taken on the occasion of a play given by the East Ham Grammar School, with young Eileen Garson appearing in the centre of the front row. Peter records that she was also a member of the East Ham Operatic Society.

    She deplored the violence in modern films, and donated millions of dollars ($US10m) to the Greer Garson theatre and film archive at Southern Methodist University - although she was a devout Presbyterian.2
  • Education: She was educated She was educated at the University of London, where she earned degrees in French and 18th-century literature.
  • Birth: She was born on 29 September 1904 in 88 First Avenue, Manor Park, East Ham, London, Essex, Northern Ireland, Her parents were evidently Presbyterians.3Evidently, she was descended from Rob Roy McGregor.[:CIT].
  • Residence: She resided in Greer's Farm, Castlewellan, Nr Newry, County Down, between 1917 and 1920 Rather than "living" here full time, it might be better to say that she was a frequent visitor with he mother.

    Of all the awards she won, she once said her most treasured possession was still a pearl pendant which she wore in the Presbyterian church at Castlewellan in 1917, when her aunt Eva wed Dr.Robert Murray of Glasgow.
  • Education: She was educated in Grenoble, Switzerland, about 1930 She received full scholarships from a local school to attend the University of London, where she won honours studying French and 18th century literature on an accelerated course, with secretarial classes for backup.
  • Occupation: She was a market researcher for an advertising firm in London. about 1931.
  • Residence: She resided in 2 Audley Square, Mayfair, London W.1., in 1933 3This has been the address since 1921 of the University Women's Club ( est 1865 ), and still is. Perhaps GG stayed here on the eve of her wedding ? This is the hypthesis put forward by Peter Kraushaar and his wife Anne.[:CIT].4
  • Marriage: Greer ("Eileen Evelyn Greer") Garson and Sir Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, K.B.E.M.A., were married on 28 September 1933 in the Registry Office, St. George, Hanover Sq, London, In Greer Garson's biography "A Rose for Mrs. Miniver" Edward is described as a "rich and dashing young undergraduate".5,6
  • Occupation: She was a film actress in London and America. after 1935.
  • Divorce: Greer ("Eileen Evelyn Greer") Garson and Sir Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, K.B.E.M.A., were divorced in 1942 They had separated shortly after marrying in1934.7,5
  • Residence: She resided in Suite 2040, 325 N Saint Paul, Dallas, in 1993.8
  • Residence: She resided in 3232 McKinney Avenue, Suite 1210, Dallas, 214-922-8001 fax 214-953-0249, in 1994.9
  • Death: She died on 6 April 1996, at age 91, in Dallas.
  • Burial: Greer's remains were buried on 9 April 1996 in Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park, in the Fogelson Triangle, Dallas, Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park.
  • Last Edited: 6 July 2021 12:41:25


  1. [S842] Greer Garson - Profile of Career
  2. [S5733] Michael Troyan, A Rose for Mrs. Miniver
  3. [S1018] Peter Kraushaar, Peter Kraushaar, Letter 20 March 1994
  4. [S728] New York Times, 30th Sept 1942, Page 29 Col 4
  5. [S205] Letter from Richard James Snelson dated 19 April 1989
  6. [S831] Death Notice - The Times 10 December 1992
  7. [S983] Letters from Peter Kraushaars dated September & November '93
  8. [S1039] The Office of Greer Garson, Letter from Greer Garson, June 1994


Sir Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, K.B.E.M.A.1

M, #1614, Deceased, b. 31 October 1904, d. 8 December 1992

Person Exhibits

Sir Edward Snelson KBE, 1904-1992



Family 1: Edith Evelyn Prichard (b. 19 December 1907, d. 29 December 1978)

Family 2: Greer ("Eileen Evelyn Greer") Garson (b. 29 September 1904, d. 6 April 1996)

Family 3: Jean Johnstone Mackay (b. 5 July 1912, d. 25 May 2007)

Main Events

  • Name: Sir Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, K.B.E.M.A., was also known as Sir Edward Snelson.
  • Biography: The index to the New York Times for 1942 records that Snelson Edward A A was seeking a divorce from the actress, Greer Garson - or it could be the other way round. She was contemplating marrying a Mr. R. Ney, but evidently the wedding had to be postponed.

    An extract from Who's Who 1961 refers to "Snelson, Sir Edward Alec Abbott" as follows :-

    [ITAL:]"KBE Cr 1954 ( OBE 1946 ) Secretary Ministries of Law and of Parliamentary Affairs, Karachi, born 31 Oct 1904 son of Thomas Edward and Alice Martha Snelson married 1956 Prof Jean Johnstone MacKay. Educated St Olave's Gonville and Caius College Cambridge. Called to the Bar Gray's Inn 1929. Entered ICS 1929. Served in Central Provinces District and Sessions Judge 1936; Registrar High Court 1941; Legal Secretary 1946; Joint Secretary Government of India 1947; retired 1947; Official Draughtsman Government of Pakistan 1948; Secretary Ministry of Law 1951; Secretary Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs 1952-58. Member Executive Committee Arts Council of Pakistan 1953; Legal Adviser to Karachi Port Trust Museum. Judge on tribunals for the Partition of Germany post 1945".[:ITAL].

    He wrote a play called 'Father Damien' - I have read it having found a copy at the State Library of New South Wales. The dedication page reads " For G." I have no doubt that this must mean 'for Greer'.

    In 1994, I "met" on the Bulletin Boards in the UK Genealogical Conference Area on the FidoNet Network, Jeremy Brown. Jeremy's mother laws living next door to Sir Edward's widow, Lady Snelson, and still played Scrabble with her regularly.

    An article in the New York Times on September 30 1942 reads :-

    [UND:][BOLD:]"SUES GREER GARSON - "[:BOLD][:UND][ITAL:]Husband a Judge in India Seeks A Divorce in England”

    " Greer Garson 34 years old star of the motion picture "Mrs Miniver" is being sued for divorce on the grounds of desertion by Edward A A Snelson a subordinate Judge in India. The petition is down for hearing on the undefended list of the Divorce Court during the Michaelmas term which starts October 12. Miss Garson obtained a decree of divorce from Judge Snelson in Los Angeles in May 1940. It was reported made final a year later. Judge Snelson has been in India several years. He married Miss Garson in London in 1933."
    I was saddened to see ( by chance, when I returned from Summer Holidays on January 12th 1993 ), in the Australian edition of the International Weekly Telegraph the following short statement:-

    [ITAL:]" Sir Edward Snelson. Aged 88. Called to Bar by Gray's Inn, 1929 and joined Indian Civil Service the same year. Secretary of Ministries of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Pakistan until 1961. Latterly Justice of Supreme Restitution Court, Herford, German Federal Republic; and Judge Arbitral Tribunal for Agreement on German External Debts and Mixed Commission Koblenz. Author of Father Damien ( 1938 ). OBE 1946, KBE 1954. Snelson married first, 1933 ( dissolved 1942 ) Greer Garson, the actress; and secondly, 1956, Prof Jean MacKay. " [:ITAL]

    In the Sydney City Library ( where hard copies of all of the World's recent editions of major newspapers can be read ), I went through the last six weeks of The Times, The Guardian and the Sunday Observer, until I found this announcement in the Thursday 10th December 1992 edition of The Times :- [ITAL:]

    " SNELSON - Sir Edward Alec Abbott, K.B.E., M.A. On December 8th at The Quinta Nursing Home, Bentley, peacefully after a long illness borne with great fortitude, in his 89th year. Beloved husband of Jean, father of Christopher and Anthony and father-in-law of Karin. Requiem Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Alton, Hants. Wednesday December 16th 11 am. Family flowers only please. Donations if desired to The Parkinson's Disease Society, c/o H.C. Patrick & Co. Funeral Directors, 86 East Street, Farnham, Surrey. "[:ITAL]

    As a point of interest, Sir Edward's aunt Martha Snelson married John Harling JONES, a schoolmaster of Ampthill in January 1892 ... now isn't that a coincidence ! They married at Chester, St. Mary's ..... it all adds up doesn't it, when you look at Sir Edward's father (brother of this Martha Snelson), and their roots in Chester in the St. Mary Parish.

    Sir Edward Snelson Fund

    1. The sums given by Ms Sheila McCullagh, in memory of her cousin Sir Edward Snelson, shall form a Fund to be known as the Sir Edward Snelson Fund.

    2. The income of the Fund shall be applied to provide one or more bursaries, to be called Sir Edward Snelson Bursaries, for persons, who demonstrate financial need, to assist them in meeting the costs of an undergraduate course leading to a degree of the University in any subject within the School of Arts and Humanities or the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

    3. The Fund shall be managed by the General Board.

    4. Any unexpended income in a financial year shall either be added to the capital of the Fund or accumulated for use as income in any one or more subsequent years, as the General Board may determine.
  • Occupation: He was a Public Servant in British Museum, London.
  • Birth: He was born on 31 October 1904.
  • Christening: Edward Alec Abbott was christened on 4 December 1904 in Church of England, St. Andrew's, Ampthill.2
  • Marriage:

    Sir Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, K.B.E.M.A., married Edith Evelyn Prichard about May 1928 in the Southwark District Registry Office, Westminster.

    Edith and Edward were indeed 1st Cousins !3,4,5
  • Residence: He resided in 7 Court Lane, London S.E. 21, in 1933.6
  • Occupation: He was a civil servant for the Indian Civil Service in 1933.
  • Divorce: Sir Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, K.B.E.M.A., and Edith Evelyn Prichard were divorced before September 1933.
  • Marriage: Sir Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, K.B.E.M.A., and Greer ("Eileen Evelyn Greer") Garson were married on 28 September 1933 in the Registry Office, St. George, Hanover Sq, London, In Greer Garson's biography "A Rose for Mrs. Miniver" Edward is described as a "rich and dashing young undergraduate".7,8
  • Occupation: He was in India in 1936.9
  • Divorce: Sir Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, K.B.E.M.A., and Greer ("Eileen Evelyn Greer") Garson were divorced in 1942 They had separated shortly after marrying in1934.10,7
  • Occupation: He was a bureaucrat for the Government in the Indian sub continent in 1947.10
  • Residence: He resided in Pakistan about 1948.11
  • Award: Named a Knight of the British Empire in the New Years Honours List on 1 January 1954.
  • Marriage: Sir Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, K.B.E.M.A., and Jean Johnstone Mackay were married in 1956.
  • Occupation: He was a diplomat and bureaucrat in various roles in Karachi, West Pakistan, in 1961.
  • Occupation: He was a judge in the Supreme Restituition Court, Herford, West Germany, after 1962.
  • Residence: He resided in Binstead, Alton, about 1991.12
  • Death: He died on 8 December 1992, at age 88, in Bentley, Hants.
  • Obituary:

    Obituary on 10 December 1992.10


Census 1911Sir Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, K.B.E.M.A., Id #1,614 (Principal) was at home on Census night 1911 at 101 First Avenue, Manor Park, Essex

Original Documents, Source and Citations here
  • Last Edited: 6 July 2021 12:41:27


  1. [S599] Letter from Richard Snelson dated 3 November 1991
  2. [S1008] Letter from Richard James Snelson dated 6 December 1993
  3. [S1018] Peter Kraushaar, Peter Kraushaar, Letter 20 March 1994
  4. [S5482] Marriage Cert Edward Snelson & Greer Garson, Event Date: 28 Sep 1933
    Registration District: Westminster
  5. [S5726] Christopher Snelson, Email from Christopher Snelson 8 Nov 2009
  6. [S1019] Edward Alec Abbott Snelson, Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson, Source Element: 28 September 1933
  7. [S728] New York Times, 30th Sept 1942, Page 29 Col 4
  8. [S205] Letter from Richard James Snelson dated 19 April 1989
  9. [S5733] Michael Troyan, A Rose for Mrs. Miniver
  10. [S831] Death Notice - The Times 10 December 1992
  11. [S894] British & Irish Biographies 1840-1940
  12. [S624] Who's Who 1992


Maggie Pritchard

F, #1617, Deceased, b. about 1893


Family: Henry Snelson (b. 10 July 1888)

Main Events

  • Name: Maggie Pritchard was also known as Maggie Snelson.
  • Birth: She was born about 1893.1
  • Marriage: Maggie Pritchard and Henry Snelson were married on 5 June 1926 in St. Mary's, Chester.2,1,3
  • Residence: She resided in 29 Handbridge Street, Chester, about 1927.4
  • Last Edited: 6 July 2021 12:41:22


  1. [S207] According to Richard James SNELSON
  2. [S5505] Chester FHS BDMs
  3. [S206] According to Richard James SNELSON
  4. [S223] Chester St. Mary Baptisms 1898-1947, Memo: Annotation: Chester St. Mary Baptisms 1898-1947


    31 May 1903 Eliza May dau of William Henry & Eliza Jane
    Edge, Plumber 29 Hartington Street

    12 Dec 1917 Sarah Ann dau of Mary Snelson Spinster, 29


    20 April 1927 Norah Mary b. 20 April 1927 ? dau of Henry &
    Maggie Snelson 29 Handbridge

    18 August 1948 Philip John Hall b. 24 June 1948 son of Delme Colin
    Hall and Sarah Ann Hall, Electrician
    127 Hartington Street

    10 Dec 1947 John Henry Mason b. 23 October 1947 son of John Henry
    and Norah Mary Mason labourer 2
    Joinson's Court


Mary Snelson1

F, #1618, Deceased, b. before 10 November 1890, d. 8 January 1945



Main Events

  • Name: Mary Snelson was also known as Mary Douglas.
  • Birth: She was born before 10 November 1890 in Chester.
  • Christening: Mary was christened on 10 November 1890 in Church of England, St. Mary's, Chester.2
  • Marriage: Mary Snelson and Thomas Douglas were married in 1919 in Chester in a civil ceremony.3
  • Death: She died on 8 January 1945.
  • Burial: Mary's remains were buried on 12 January 1945 in Chester General Cemetery, Overleigh, Age: 54 y
    Address: 6 Gamul Terrace, Chester
    Date of Death: 08/01/1945
    Date of Burial: 12/01/1945
    Grave Number: P8835
    Page Number: 130
    Consecrated: True
    Cemetery Register: DCE 1/10
    Running Number: 8437.
  • Last Edited: 6 July 2021 12:41:21


  1. [S206] According to Richard James SNELSON
  2. [S150] According to Richard Snelson
  3. [S5505] Chester FHS BDMs



M, #1620, Living


  • Last Edited: 1 December 2022 23:02:33


M, #1622, Living


  • Last Edited: 1 December 2022 23:02:33


M, #1624, Living


  • Last Edited: 1 December 2022 23:02:33