My Channel Island Ancestry

My family history in the Channel Islands and beyond!


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Alfred H. W. Gallienne – died 21st October 1919

Today is the anniversary of the death of my great great great grandfather Alfred Henry William Gallienne. This ancestor has been quite tricky to trace. For many years he was known to me as Alfred W. Gallienne, as I thought Alfred H. Gallienne was a different person with a different wife. But recently during my visit to Guernsey in July 2013, I made a few break throughs with my Gallienne family tree and discovered that they were one and the same person. These things take time to clarify and you don’t want to add things to your tree that are incorrect, especially on a place like Ancestry.com where incorrect details are often shared or passed on.

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A spontaneous visit to the Priaulx Library resulted in my mother and myself finding Alfred’s death in the local paper, as you can see in the photo below.

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My mum helping me search through the old newspapers

A visit to the Priaulx Library is a ‘must do’ on your list of things to visit when in Guernsey on a family tree hunt. Not just purely for the records but because the building inside is a wonderful step back in time and  everyone there is so helpful.

1841 – Alfred H. W. Gallienne and his twin sister Matildh Sophie were born sometime in 1841 in Catel, Guernsey. Possibly the son of Sophie Pipet.

Screen shot of Gallienne family in 1841 census

1851 – Alfred, age 10, is now living at The Catel, Guernsey, where he is listed as an ‘inmate’ along with Nicholas Gallienne, aged 66,  John Gallienne, aged 16 and Thomas, aged 14. The Catel was once a poorhouse and hospital.

1867 – Alfred, aged 26,  marries Louise Brehaut in St. Pierre Du Bois, Guernsey

1871 – Alfred, aged 30, is aboard the ship “FASHION’ – rank: able seaman. His wife Louisa is in the 1871 census at home with her father Thomas Brehaut and their sons: Alfred and Albert.

1881 – Alfred, aged 40, is head of household and is living with Louisa his wife, now a CHARWOMAN and their sons Alfred, Albert and daughter Louisa. He is recorded as working as an Agricultural Labourer.

1884 – Alfred’s wife Louisa dies at the age of 43, reason unknown.

1891 – Alfred, aged 50, is now living in Planque, Guernsey, with his new wife Rosalie Brehaut. Is this a sister of his first wife Louisa Brehaut. It is possible as this was common practice in those days. Living with Alfred and Rosalie are their sons Alfred (22), Albert (21), daughter Louisa (20), and Edwin (8) and John (4).

1901 – Alfred, aged 60, is still living in Planque, with Rosalie, Edwin Brehaut (stepson), John (14) and Alice (8).

1911 – Alfred, aged 70, is living at La Planque, with his wife Rosalie, daughter Alice Mary (18)  and is working as a general farm labourer.

1919 – Alfred dies at home. There is a discrepency with his age. The newspaper clipping says he dies in his 70th year which makes his birth date 1849, but in the 1851 census his age is 10, which makes him born in 1841.

Death notice in newspaper

Death notice in newspaper

This newspaper clipping gave us useful information:

  • the date of his death
  • place of death
  • address in his final year
  • where his final resting place is, although we were unable to find it.

It is always so satisfying being able to complete an ancestors timeline.

If you have Alfred in your family tree and have more information to share I would love to hear from you! :-)


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Census Dates

Screenshot of my Davey ancestors Isaac W. Davey and his wife Ann (nee le Breton) and their 7 children living at 14 Lempriere Street (AKA The Eagle Tavern)

One of the most useful sources of information when I am researching my Channel Island Ancestry is the  population census taken every ten years. What we don’t always know is the exact date that the census was taken on.

UK CENSUS DATES

Here is a website which gives you the date of the UK Census dates: UK Census dates.

JERSEY CENSUS DATES

1891 Channel Island Census - 5th April 1891

GUERNSEY CENSUS DATES

1901 Census – St. Peter Port, Guernsey – 31 March 1901

Useful information found in Census records:

  • Name of head of household
  • occupants of household
  • address
  • occupants age – occupation/living means – marriage status/school attendee – years married – nationality of occupants (and father’s nationality)
  • who their neighbours are (they could be more relations!)

Here are some interesting Census records for you to browse:

1841 Census Channel Islands

1881 Census: Residents of Jersey General Hospital (Also known as The Workhouse at the time – information includes: inmates, nurses, cooks, boarders, domestic servants and so on.)

Note: I will update this post if I come across the further dates for when the Jersey census was taken every ten years.


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George Perchard Davey – born 26 April 1885

My great great grandfather was born 127 years ago today. He was the son of Isaac William Davey (b. 30 December 1851 – St. Helier, Jersey) and Ellenora Goudge (b. 1855 – Grouville, Jersey). George is the middle child of 6 children.

Here is his timeline that I have researched so far:

1885 – George Perchard Davey is born at 14 Lempriere Street, St. Helier, Jersey. Until about a year ago, 14 Lempriere Street was also known as  ‘The Eagle Tavern’.

1885 - On the 10th May, George is baptised in the parish of St. Helier. His father Isaac is recorded as a shipwright on the records. His godparents are a Perchard George (his mothers brother). We can presume this is where he gets his middle name from. The other godparent is Evaline Goudge. Ellenora’s sister/ George’s aunty.

1891 – George is 6 years old and is recorded in the census as a ‘scholar’. He is still living at 14 Lempriere Street, along with his parents and siblings: Older brother Isaac – apprentice to plasterer, James – Errand boy, Elenora – scholar. George’s grandparents Isaac William Davey and Ann ‘Nancy’ Le Breton and Aunty Cecelia are also living with them in this tiny home with a pub downstairs! That’s nine people.

1901 – In the next census, George is 16 years old and is living at 15 Union Street, St. Helier, Jersey with his parents and sister Violet. He is working as a ‘Plasterer’, maybe at the same place his brother Isaac was working for 10 years earlier.

1906 – On the 17th May, George marries Ada Margaret Barette, daughter of Frank Barette  - a Barrack Warden. They marry in the parish of St. Saviour, probably at St. Saviour’s Church. Ada was living at Grouville at the time. The marriage took place in the presence of I.W Davey & Eleanor Davey (George’s parents).

1911 – George (aged 26) and Ada (aged 25) have their first child: George Davey. They are living at 15 Winchester Street. Maria Chapman, a nurse, is also living with them. I think she may be a type of ‘night nurse’, there to help with the first few weeks of rearing the baby. This implies that George and Ada have a little spare money and must be comfortable financially.

1914 – George and Ada have another child on the 16th February: Lily Ethel Barette.

1914 – 1918 WORLD WAR 1 – During the war, George is positioned in Nottingham. His Rank: Sergeant of the Royal Engineers, Labour Corps

1917 – On the 19th May, Ada Margaret Barette, native of London,  is sentenced by the Royal Court and sent to prison for ’6 months hard labour.’  Sadly, she is ‘charged with abandoning her four children’ I have to say I was rather gobsmacked when I first discovered this. And many questions still go unanswered. I do not know when her two other children were born or where any of the four children ended up. Is George still serving at war?

1919 – On the 19th May, George (aged 34) enlists in Jersey to serve overseas on active duty – Labour Corps. I still wonder where are the children?

1920 – On the 19th April, George is discharged from service due to ‘Demobilisation’. Character assessed as ‘Good’. Height: 5ft 51/2 – Complexion: fresh – Eyes & hair: brown – Scar on left side of cheek.

1921 King George V, Queen Mary and Princess Mary visited Jersey. Was George named after the King of his time?

1922 – On the 22nd of July, George buys a town house: 7 New Street, James Place, Jersey.

1924 – On the 6th May, George’s son is born (my grandfather): Kenneth George Davey. His mother is Clara Eliza Lozuet. What happened to Ada?

1925 – On the 14th July, aged 40, George writes his Will & Testament.

1938 – On the 28th February, George’s stepson (Clara’s son) dies of an electric shock in an accident at work. Read more about the tragedy here: Tragedy in 1938

1940 – On the 1st of July Jersey is under forced occupation by the German army. George is living at 29 Dorset Street with his wife Clara, son Kenneth and his wife to be Lorna Patch.

1941 – On the 14th July George (aged 56) had to go on ‘Guard Duty’ in Rouge Boullion from 10pm to 2am. He had to report at the Town hall. Locals had been painting ‘V’ for victory signs on German posters, etc. Very near the street to where George lived!

1942 – On the 16th May, George had his possessions insured – a dwelling, Piano, wireless set, etc. with the Jersey Mutual Fire Insurance Society. Wireless sets were confiscated at some time during the German Occupation.

1945 – After five years under German occupation, Jersey is liberated!

1947 – On the 1st October, George (aged 62) dies of a heart attack while ironing upstairs. George is buried in Mont-a-L’Abbe Cemetery on the 6th October, Jersey, UK. The J.E.P. states his age as 64.

It remains a mystery to this day what happened to George and Ada’s four children. Ada stayed in the island after her sentence. The only reason I know this, is because I have seen her Identity cards that all islanders had to have during the German Occupation in the World War 2. I do not know if she tried to get back in contact with her children. As a mother myself, I hope so. Or did she stay in the island just so she could watch them grow up from afar? I would love a reader to answer these questions for me…


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Rachel Mary Davey was born – 1813

Rachel was born in St. Helier, Jersey, 208 years ago on the 7th August 1813. She was the daughter of William Davy (of Somerset) and Marie Defrance (of Guernsey). Fifteen days later she was baptised, on the 22nd August 1813.

Rachel’s parents, William and Marie had married in 1804, nine years before she was born. Therefore it is possible that she was not the first child they had as this is quite a large gap between marriage and first child, particularly for those days.

I have not been able to find out any more about Rachel. Apart from her birth the next possible records would have been the first census in 1841. If Rachel was still alive, (the Cholera Epidemic swept through Jersey 3 years before) she would have been 28. By this age we can presume that she might have been married and therefore using a different surname which would make her harder to trace. The fact is that I can’t find any of the Davey family in 1841.

Another fact that is interesting is that Rachel’s father writes a Will & Testament  on the 15th November 1832, the year of the Cholera Epidemic that swept through the island and especially through the more populated town areas. In the Will & Testament, Rachel’s name is mentioned as one of the beneficiaries along with her siblings. This implies she must still be alive. We know that her father continues to live a long life, so I wonder if he, along with many other panicked islanders decided to make arrangements just incase the worst happened! The following is a list of the family and their ages for the year 1841:

William Davy (father) – would have been 61, he was still alive as he didn’t die until 1864 at the grand age of 84.

Marie Defrance (mother) – would have been 59, she was still alive, and didn’t die until 1858, again at the grand age of 78.

William George Davy (sibling) – would have been 25, I have nothing about him apart from his Baptism date: 17th November 1816.

Mary Ann Davy – Mary is a bit of a problem as there appears to be two of her. One born in 1819 the other born in 1825 (who married George Le Breton). Sometimes when one child dies young another is born and given the same name in memory. I wonder if that is the case here.

Isaac William Davy – would have been 20 years old. Isaac is not in the 1841 census either, but as my great great great grandfather I know that he goes on to lead a long life, until the age of 78!

So where Rachel and her family are in 1841, still remains a family history mystery, one I hope to be able to solve one day…

Note: you might notice that I have used 3 different versions of the Davey surname, this is because 3 different types have been used in the records, so am I a Davy, Davey or Davis?


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Who is Francois Demoy?

I have mentioned only once before a Francois Demoy. He is living as a ‘boarder’ with my great great grandparents Yves Marie Rabet and Jeanne Marie Rabet in the 1901 Census. The address is Ponterrion/Pontession Mill, Trinity, Jersey, Channel Islands. (Unfortunately I have not been able to confirm or decipher the census writing for the correct spelling of the mill).

Here are the details from the 1901 census:

Island: Jersey

Civil Parish: Trinity

No. of schedule: 23

Name of house: Ponterrion Mill

Name of person: Francois Demoy

Relation to head of Household: Boarder

Condition as to marriage: Single

Age: 23

Proffession: ? on farm (than scribbled on top are the possible words ‘ag horse’)

Where born: France

What has sparked a further interest in me about Francois is that I found him in the same cemetery as some Rabet’s. During my trip back to Jersey at Christmas I did quite an extensive search around the graveyards with my mother to find the graves I have not yet been able to find or weren’t aware of. At first I looked in Trinity graveyard in the hope of finding them there, when (rather slowly) it occurred to me that being of French origin my ancestors were highly likely to have been catholics. So we made a quick diversion to the next parish and nearest Catholic church and cemetery and ‘BINGO!’

I am a little familiar with this church through various family occasions. It isn’t very large and therefore didn’t take too long to look around. The next photo is of Francois Demoy’s grave and headstone;

Grave of Francois Demoy.

The Francois in the 1901 census was 23, this makes his birth date 1878. The headstone has the birth date of 1874. He died at the age of 72.

Looking at some archive records at the Jersey Heritage Trust website for Francois Guillaume Demoy, the details show that he was born on the 10th September 1874, in Plaintel, Côtes du Nord, France. Plaintel is about a fifteen minute drive from Ploeuc where my Rabet family came from in France. Maybe they came over on the boat together when they heard there was workers needed in Jersey at the turn of the century 1900.

Is Francois Demoy a family friend or relation to my ancestors or just a stranger who needed work and somewhere to stay? Another mystery on my list of ‘Things to find out’.

If you know more about this person, I would love to hear from you!

Update:

Well would you believe it, the moment I press ‘PUBLISH’ for this post I find another Francois Demoy on Ancestry.com. Here are the details from the 1901 census:

Island: Jersey

Civil Parish: St. John’s

No. of Schedule: 76

Name: Francois demoy

Relation to head of household: Servant

Condition as to marriage: Single

Age: 28 (which would make his birth year 1873 and more accurate with the Francois in the cemetery!)

Profession: Ordinary Agricultural labourer

Where born: France






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Jersey children learn about Census in school

I have just come across this piece of information from the www.jerseyweekly.com about children in St. Martins School, Jersey  having the opportunity to learn about taking a census and all that is involved. What a great idea for a classroom lesson! This may sew the seed of interest in some child who may become a future genealogist.

Head statistician at the Statistics Unit, Duncan Gibaut, said “The census allows people to find out about their ancestors. It will also allow future generations to see what life was like in Jersey in 2011.

My descendants in 100 years time will see that I am  not on the Jersey census for the first time since 1971. I wonder if they will have access to all my records and research I have taken and therefore will know that I emigrated to Australia or will they have to start their own investigation as to why I suddenly disappear?

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