Family history from Gidley One Name Study:
I must include under musicians Muriel Gidley Stafford, born in Adrian, Michigan, USA, in 1906. She moved as a baby with her parents, William and Louisa Gidley, to Leamington, Ontario, Canada, on Lake Erie, where the Candian Encylopedia of Music records that 'in 1921, after only six lessons from a local teacher, she became organist of St John's Anglican Church, Leamington. She became the first organist-choirmaster of the new (1927) Park Rd Baptist Church and remained there 31 years. Here she directed an annual carol festival that became a model of unhackneyed programming, featuring little-known carols... In 1970 she was deputy organist and director of music at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church. Stafford established her reputation as a concert artist ... in recitals in cities across Canada. She was a member 1927-52 of the staff and examiners' board of the Toronto Conservatory of Music (RCMT), teaching organ and piano, and a President of the Women's Musical Club of Toronto... She became the first woman chairman of the Toronto Chapter of the Royal Canadian College of Organists and also served 1957-9 as the first woman national president. Stafford received the first Distinguished Service Award from the RCCO.' Muriel's grandfather was George Gidley, born in Throwleigh, Devon, in 1848, a member of the Winkleigh Gidley family, who emigrated with his surviving children to Michigan in 1893. Her father, William George Gidley, moved from Michigan to Leamington, Ontario, where he was the Gas & Water Commissioner for many years, taking time out to serve as a Major in the Canadian Army, where he was awarded the MC for the drive on the Somme on Sep 15 1916.