Some time ago while working with census records for the city of Madrid I came across the entry for one Herbert Stewart, who appears in the 1924 census at Martires de Alcalá street No. 2, 1st floor. Rendering of foreign names in Spanish records is always a fraught process (and the same is true of Spanish names in other records) but this one indicates that Mr Stewart had been in Spain for 24 years by then, so he was surely aware of Spanish naming customs, viz., one should give one’s father’s surname followed by one’s mother’s maiden name. He appears to have done so, writing his full name as Herbert Stewart Arnott and signing the sheet as Herbert Stewart. The entry reveals that he was born in London on 30th November 1877 (or possibly, 1874) and that he was a horse-breaker employed by none other than the Duke of Alba, whose Madrid palace was almost directly behind his flat.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if the horse-breaker – Herbert Stewart – were somehow related to his employer, the Duke of Alba – Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart? No, I don’t think so either.
In any event, in case someone somewhere is wondering whatever happened to Great-uncle Herbert whom family lore has wandering off to Spain to work for a Duke…. here he is!
SOURCE: Padrón Municipal de 1924, Tomo 578, Hoja 8841; Archivo de la Villa, Madrid