snap shot of William Davey's Will - 1832

Cholera Epidemic reaches Jersey – 1832

On August 6th in 1832, the cholera epidemic that had been sweeping through England and Europe had finally reached the shores of Jersey.

Cholera = an acute intestinal infection characterized by severe diarrhoea, cramp, etc.: caused by ingestion of water or food contaminated with the bacterium. (The Collins Concise Dictionary)

Go back through the death dates of some of your ancestors. You may find you have people in your family tree that died around this time and cholera may have been the reason of death.

Alex Glendinning writes about the Jersey epidemic here: JERSEY CHOLERA EPIDEMIC – 1832

The epidemic spread throughout the town areas first as it was high residential area and therefore spread from building to building quicker than it did in the countryside. Alex writes that…

‘When the cholera reached Jersey on August 6 1832, there had been a heavy downpour of rain the previous day and Dr Hooper theorised that the movement of all the accumulated filth in the streams helped spread the disease.
Hilgrove Lane was one of the first places to suffer outbreaks.’

The majority of my ancestors were town dwellers, so this is of interest to me. Although I have not been able to always find specific addresses for this time as it was before the first Census in 1841.

I scan through all my family trees for all the death dates during this year and only find a date match with my Davey family.

The Rabet’s didn’t arrive in Jersey from Brittany until the turn of the century in the early 1900’s.

The Lozuet’s were living in St. Ouen at this time so were relatively safe (I presume).

I find William Davey who had died on the 19th November 1832. I have written about him before:

Boxing Day marriage of Mary De France & William Davey – 1804

William Davy – died 19th November 1832

William writes his Will & Testament four days before he dies in St. helier, leaving his wife Mary Defrance as executor and his children are his heirs: Thomas, Rachel, William, Isaac, Mary Ann and George. Unfortunately his Will does not state his address unlike his son Isaac’s Will & Testament 60 years later.

snap shot of William Davey's Will - 1832

It says that he is ‘of sound and disposing mind.’ I don’t have a copy of this death certificate, so I can not confirm  whether he was ill from cholera.  He died at the age of 52.

Alex Glendinning  goes on to state that:

According to Dr Hooper’s carefully kept statistics, 803 people were taken ill and 347 died over an eleven week and five day period. The deaths were so concentrated in the poorer parts of town, that the Rector of St Helier had to inaugurate a new Strangers’ Cemetery (below Westmount) on August 27 to cope with the extra burials. On October 27, the Board of Health reported the Island free of cholera and adjourned, the very day that the first case was reported in Guernsey.

Sadly, another cholera epidemic returns 16 years later, in 1848. You can read more about it in an article in the Jersey Evening Post: Containing Cholera In The 19th Century.

My next step is to get hold of a copy of William’s death certificate from the Jersey Registry Office to confirm details of his death.

I may have had more ancestors that fell ill or died from the cholera in 1832, but I do not know many of their dates of death. This is especially the case with my female ancestors. If I do not know the surname of the man they married I cannot trace their whereabouts and therefore when they died or where.

Have you found a family death during 1832?

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Ann Elizabeth Davey – born 24th June 1854

On this day, the 24th June 1854 my 2nd great grand aunt  Ann Elizabeth Davey was born. She was the 4th out of ten children born to Ann ‘Nancy’ Le Breton and Isaac William Davey. I get great satisfaction in writing about my female ancestors. They can disappear very quickly in history and in the records, especially once they lose their maiden name and become married.

Here is Ann’s timeline from what I know so far:

1854 – On the 24th June, Ann is born in St. Helier, Jersey. the first daughter for Ann Nancy Le Breton and Isaac William Davey.

1854 – On the 3rd September Ann is baptised in the Parish of St. Helier (source: http://search.jerseyheritage.org/wwwopacx/wwwopac.ashx?command=getcontent&server=files&value=%5CGC03A215.pdf)

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1861 – In the 7th April 1861 the Channel Isalnd Census was taken. At the age of 6 Ann is recorded as a ‘scholar.’ She is living at 14 Lempriere Street with her mother, father, older brother’s Isaac and William and younger sisters Mary and Ester.

1871 – Ann is 17 and is working as an Apprentice Tailoress. This could be a tough job in cramped conditions working long hours.

“Dressmaking was an essential service in Victorian Britain, no community could really be without a dressmaker, and those who were trained and skilled had a job for life. “

(Quote from Amanda Wilkinson: D is for Dressmaker -http://19thcenturyhistorian.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/d-is-for-dressmaker/)

1881 – Ann is now called Ann E. Blackmore. She has married Henry Blackmore although he is not in the household on the day this Census is taken. Ann, aged 26 is living in Dorset Street (possibly No. 13). She is sister-in-law to the head of the household Jas Blackmore (her husband’s brother), a Seaman. Ann is still working as a Tailoress. Also in the household are Jas’s sister Mary Messervy, a Dressmaker, aged 26. Jas’s other sister Emma Blackmore, aged 18 also a Dressmaker and Maud M. Messervy, aged 3, a niece (probaly Mary’s daughter. Interestingly, the neice Maud was born in Sydney, New South Wales!

I wonder why mary and Maud are back in the island? I wonder why Mary went to Australia, had a daughter theere and how did she had enough money to travel back?

I currently can’t find Henry Blackmore’s whereabouts on the day of the census but will update this page should I find out.

1891 – Ann is now lodging at Duhamel Place with her 5 children:  Henry, aged, a scholar/ Ann E., aged 7, a scholar/ Alfred, aged 5/ William, aged 4 and Arthur S. aged 1.  Ann is still working as a Tailoress. The head of household is a William Nudd and his wife Cecelia, aged 39 and a Dressmaker. (This is possibly her sister Cecilia, although she should be younger not older???)

In the household are two other lodgers: Mary Whelan, aged 64, a Charwoman and Ellen Whelan, aged 59, a Dressmaker.

Local news:

On the 30th March 1899 the London and South Western steamer, the ‘Stella’ sank on it’s way to Guernsey and Jersey. It hit the rocks off Alderney’s coast and sank within 15 minutes. 86 passengers and 19 crew died. The Wreck of the Stella – Titanic of the Channel Islands Among the drowned was a W. Davey, I have yet to confirm whether or not he is a relation. He was the son of Capt. Davey of the brig ‘Union’. Were any of your ancestors among the dead?1901 – On the 31 march, the Census is taken and Annie is 47 years old,  a ‘widow’ working as a Tailoress of her ‘own account’. She is living with her children: Anne E. (16) – dressmaker, William (12) and Arthur S. (11).

I don’t know anymore beyond this date. I can’t find Ann in the 1911 Census. Although many women were not in the 1911 Census due to ‘suffragette’ tendencies. Did Ann object to have her name in the census? Maybe you can help me?

Thanks for stopping by! :-)

 

Matilda Davey – born 19th March 1863

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According to my records my great great grandfather Isaac’s younger sister was born, Matilda Davey. A child of nine to the parents Isaac William Davey and Ann ‘Nancy’ Le Breton.

Any family historian will tell you that tracing our female ancestors can be tricky because once they have married they can disappear if you do not know the surname of their new spouse.

I have created the following timeline of what I beleive is Matilda’s life, but there is always the sneeking fear that you may have got it wrong and matched your female up with the wrong husband, especially when their name is as common as Davey.

1863 – Matilda is born on the 19th March very likely at 14 Lempriere Street (once The Eagle Tavern), St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK.

1863 – On the 5th April Matilda is baptised in a town church of St. Helier. Her godparents were Philip Le Breton and Mary Leath. It is likely that Philip is the mother Ann’s brother. Ann came from a huge family with 11 brothers and sisters! (Source: Jersey Heritage Archive Catalogue)

1871 – In the Census, Matilda aged 7, is a scholar and is living with her father Isaac: a Shipwright, mother Ann: Tavern Keeper, and siblings: Isaac W: Shipwright (aged 19), William: Mason’s Labourer, Ann E: Apprentice Tailoress, Mary and Esther: Scholars and Selina aged 1. I would love to know more about the life of women Tavern Keepers, it can’t have been easy with such a large family where your children’s age range from 19 to 1 years old.

1881 – In the Census, Matilda is 18 and is still a ‘Scholar.’ This seems quite old to still be at school.

The Elementary Education Act 1880 insisted on compulsory attendance from 5–10 years.      (Source:Wikipedia. Lincolnshire School Resources Genuki.org.uk)

She lives with her father Isaac, now a Victualler. Her mother is no longer a Tavern Keeper. Her older brother Isaac lives with them with his wife and kids. 

1885 – Matilda, aged 22 married Arveld George Winter Bishop.

1891 – Matilda is 28 and is living at 12 Goucester Street with her husband Arveld, a Stationary Engine Driver and their 2 month old son Arveld.

1899 – Matilda, aged 36, gives birth to a daughter, Lilian Beatrice Bishop, eight years after her son. This is quite a lengthy time between children, it may be that Matilda lost some to miscarriage in between.

1901 – In the Census taken on the 31st March, Matilda is living at 17 Seaton Place, St. Helier, Jersey with her husband Arveld – an Engine/Crane Driver and their children Arveld (10) and Lilian (2).

This is the year that tragedy strikes matilda’s life. She loses her 10 year old son Arveld to Tuberculosis. Having a 10 year old son myself, I can not even begin to understand how unbearable it must have been to experience this.

Tuberculosis infects the lungs and causes breathing difficulties which would have been very distressing to watch in a child.

In large cities the poor had high rates of tuberculosis. Public-health physicians and politicians typically blamed both the poor themselves and their ramshackle tenement houses (conventillos) for the spread of the dreaded disease. People ignored public-health campaigns to limit the spread of contagious diseases, such as the prohibition of spitting on the streets, the strict guidelines to care for infants and young children, and quarantines that separated families from ill loved ones.                                                                     (Wikipedia – Source: Diego Armus, The Ailing City: Health, Tuberculosis, and Culture in Buenos Aires, 1870–1950 (2011)

1903 – Aged 40, Matilda has another daughter, Muriel Evelyn Bishop.

1911 – Aged 48, Matilda is living at 29 Windsor Road with her husband Arveld, now working as a Ships Stoker and daughters lilian and Muriel who are both attending school. A ships Stoker was hard work, shovelling coal into the ships engine. I wonder why he changed jobs?

1924 - At the age of 60, Matilda writes her Will & Testament. It appears she has separated from Arveld as she beqeathes her property and possessions to her daughters.

1941 – Matilda dies at the grand age of 78. I do not know where she is buried.

***

If Matilda is in your family tree and you can confirm some details above, that’s great I’d love to hear from you or maybe you ar related to her husband, let me know.

Hope you enjoyed reading this timeline, until next time, bye for now.

Boxing Day marriage of Mary De France and William Davy – 1804

Davey marriage

On Boxing Day in 1804 my great great great great grandparents were married. The above image says the following:

‘William Davy, the son of John Davy of the Parish of West Coker in the County of Somerset, & Mary De France, the daughter of Thomas De France, of this Parish (Guernsey), were married together on the 26th of December 1804.’

In this day and age, Boxing Day seems an odd date to marry but there was method in their madness. In the 1800’s, Christmas Day and Boxing Day were official holidays which was quite a big deal in a time when most people were working 6 days a week and more than likely going to church on the 7th day.

Times were hard and with families saving up for the big Christmas celebrations and with the rare opportunity of a few days off many couples took the opportunity of getting married. Family and friends would be gathering together so they could kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

William and Mary didn’t stay  in Guernsey, as they were in Jersey by 1813 when their daughter Rachel Mary was born. They went on to have 6 children, that I am aware of and both lived till a grand old age.

Questions:

  • Why was William in Guernsey? This was at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. William came from West Coker, a town  which had a long history of growing hemp and flax for sailcloth manufacture, which made “Coker Canvas” highly prized by naval captains. (Thank you Kelly for this info.)
  • Why did they move to Jersey? Jersey had it’s own rope walks. Was there a shortage of ropemakers in the islands?

If you know the answer to either of these questions or you are related to William or Mary I would love to hear from you.

Happy Boxing Day and if you are getting married today, ‘Congratulations!’

William Davy – died 19th November 1832

William Davey, my 4x great grandfther died on the 19th November 1832.

I have come across William’s surname spelt in a few different variations:

DAVY is recorded in his own marriage to Mary De France in 1804

DAVIS is recorded in his Will & Testament in 1832

DAVEY is recorded in the marriage certificate of his son Isaac to Ann Le Breton in 1850.

It is the latter spelling which stuck and is still used today with William’s descendants and myself.

Here is William’s timeline as far as I know so far:

1780 – William Davy is born about 1780 in West Coker, Somerset. The exact date is unknown. His father was John Davy, his mother is unknown.

1804 – William, aged 24 marries Mary De France, age 22 and born in Guernsey, daughter of Thomas De France, on 26th December, Boxing Day.

Davey marriage

1813 – William’s daughter Rachel Mary  is baptised in St. Helier on the 7 August. The family have now moved to Jersey from Guernsey. Was this for work? In the marriage certificate of his daughter Mary Ann to George Le Breton, William’s proffession is recorded as a CARTER. This is a job of low earnings.

1816 – Birth of  son William George.

1819 - Birth of daughter – Mary ann

1821 – Birth of son Isaac William on the 24th July. Isaac is my 3x great grandfather.

1832 – A cholera epidemic swept through St. Helier and some of the outlyinf parts of the island. Special centres were established to cope with the level of illness. 

1832 – On the 15th November William, aged 52, writes his Will & Testament – “my desire is to be buried at the discretion of Mary De France, my dear wife.”

mark X of William Davis

mark X of William Davis

1832 – On the 19th November, only 4 days after writing his Will & Testament, Willaim dies. UPDATE: He was buried Green Street Cemetery.

Cemetery plot 230 - Green Street Graveyard, Jersey

Cemetery plot 230 – Green Street Graveyard, Jersey

Although I do not have firm evidence of where William lived, I can presume that it was in St. Helier where  his children were born. It may be that William became one out of the 348 vicitms of cholera in Jersey.

To find out more about the history of cholera in Jersey click on the following link: (http://www.theislandwiki.org/index.php/1832_cholera_epidemic)

If you think you are a descendant of William Davey than I would love to hear from you!

Town Petition from Merchants

Illustration from Historical and Topographical Description of the Channel Islands (1840) by Robert Mudie – “St. Helier’s, Jersey”

On the 29th March in 1871 a petition was rased in Jersey, Channel Islands. The crowd gathered in the streets of St. Helier (the Capital main town) and the harbour. On that day 343 signatures were collected on behalf of the merchants and seafaring men. The cause was a much needed harbour development in St. Helier.

In 1871 I had the following ancestors around at the time:

Isaac William Davey – age 49 – Shipwright

Isaac William Davey jr (son of above) – age 20 – Shipwright

William Davey (son of above) – age 18 – Shipwright

I do not see any of my ancestors names on the list of the petition. Does it not concern them? Are they happy with the size of the harbour as it is? Or have they been warned by their employees not to get involved maybe at the jeopardy of their jobs?

Maybe your ancestor is on the list, you can check it out here:

http://members.societe-jersiaise.org/lepivert/petition.htm

It is a great list and shows you a variety of people and their different professions that were involved including blacksmiths, drapers, merchants, ship builders and solicitors, etc.

Tip: The list is not in alphabetical order, bu tif you want to search for  a particular name hold down ‘command’ and ‘F’ on your Mac computer and a box will open up on the right handside at the top of your screen. Type in the surname and it will tell you how many there are on that page.

As a result of this petition a break water was built. I’m sure the event caused quite a stir in town on the day!

The Jersey 12 days Of Christmas

My little book!

My little book!

You may have heard of the old traditional rhyme ‘The 12 Days Of Christmas,” but have you heard of ‘The Jersey 12 Days Of Christmas?’ Over the past year I have illustrated and written my own version of this rhyme into a little picture book.  The words and illustrations include many typical icons of Jersey’s heritage. The book is ideal for younger children and can be used as an early reader or counting book! It is also ideal for the elder generation to share with their younger family members or friends, so they can share their own knowledge of Jersey traditions.

Here is an extract;

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

A puffin in a pear tree. 

On the second day of Chritmas, my true love sent to me…

2 Jersey cows 

And a puffin a pear tree.

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me…

3 ormer shells

2 Jersey cows

And a puffin in a pear tree.

© text copyright 2012 Ramona Davey

It is now available at the following shopping outlets in Jersey, Channel Islands:

Gourmet Gorey

Jersey Museum

Love Birds

Rococo

Societe Jersiaise

It is also available on itunes bookstore as a free interactive ebook here: The Jersey 12 Days Of Christmas. The inside title page and each illustration makes a sound when you tap on the image. The final illustration has 12 sounds.

The 12 days of Christmas have alos been known as Christmastide or Twelvetide. The first day of Christmas starts on Christmas Day, 25th December and the 12th day of Christmas ends on January 5th. To find out more about this here – Wikipedia.

I would love to hear any feedback from readers who have the ebook or bought/ received the paperbook!

Christmas Greetings

A Christmas card given to my great grandfather.

A Christmas card given to my great grandfather.

Above is a photo of a Christmas card given from Captain J.F. Le Huquet to my great grandfather George Perchard Davey while he was a Private. There is no date on the card, so I am presuming it may have been given at some time while George served in the First World War. But I may be wrong.

DSCF4199

Inside of the card

The other fact I may have wrong is the Captains initials. It looks like J. F. Le Huquet, but if I look at the examples of letters from the palaeography guide I have written about here: poster, you will see that sometimes it is hard to tell. It could be a J,F or G. See for yourself.

The letters 'J'

The letters ‘J

The letter ‘F’

The letter 'G'

The letter ‘G’

The only record I can find in my online search of a J. F. Le Huquet is a John Fred Le Huquet. His name is in a list of ‘New Trustees Of The Royal Crescent Church’ ( Archives records). I’m not too sure where the Royal Crescent Church in Jersey is or was. Maybe you can help me?  If you have an ancestor called J.F. Le Huquet and you know he was a Captain, I would love to hear from you and maybe you could contribute a little more to the background of this card.

Inside the card there was also a little verse:

DSCF4198Happy Christmas to you all!

Palaeography & The Jersey Alphabet

Recently I ordered a death certificate for an Isaac William Davey who died in Somerset in the late 1918. I know that my Davey ancestors originally came from Somerset and did not know where one of the Isaacs had died. I have since been told by a generous reader where my Isaac now lies.I will receive a hard copy and an e-mail copy. The latter has already arrived and within it was a free copy of a palaeography guide which is just so useful. Here it is:

 

This will be a great help when deciphering archive records online or in paper form. Letters that can be particularly hard to recognise in their old form are F, H, I, J and Z.

 

The other thing I have done recently is order a book called ‘Jersey Alphabet‘ from Ex Libris which I discovered while searching through the internet. Here it is:

 

It is a lovely read and covers all things Jersey from A To Z. From ABREUVOIR ( a roadside watering place, mainly for animals) to ZOO ( of course Gerald Durrell’s famous haven for endangered species).

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…