My Channel Island Ancestry

My family history in the Channel Islands and beyond!


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Matilda Davey – born 19th March 1863

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 11.06.41 am

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.


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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!


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More mystery photos – set 2

A while ago a reader contacted me to say that he had purchased a photo album which contained photographs of unknown people in the 1930′s. He believed that some, if not all the photos may have been taken in Jersey. He was correct as you can read here in a previous post: Mystery family holiday photos from reader.

Today I am uploading the second batch from his collection, which are fabulous. It is hard to say if they are in Jersey or not, but hopefully one of my lovely readers may recognise something.

richard - lady in cloche

A beautiful portrait photo of a young lady in a cloche hat.

Do you recognise this young lady or the interesting broach she is wearing?

richard - lady with dog

Who is this rather fashionable lady with her pet dog? Interesting style of hat too.

richard - mature couple by church

A well dressed couple at a special occasion

Do you recognise which church this may be? The window shape and the paving on the floor may be a clue.

richard - old lady in chacked dress

A very smart woman standing infront of her vegetable patch.

Do you recognise this woman and are they rhubarb plants behind her? I wonder too if the granite wall and stone borders have been painted white as is often seen in Jersey?

If you recognise any of these photos I would love to hear from you.

Many thanks to Richard for sharing his wonderful photos!


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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!


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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).


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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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John Lozuet is born – 23 April 1866

On the 23rd April 1866, my great great grandfather was born. John Lozuet the son of Jean Louis Desire Lozué (c.1840) and Elize Elizabeth Le Brocq (c.1841 – St. Ouen’s).

Here is his timeline that I have discovered so far:

1866 – On the 23rd April John Lozuet is born in St. Ouen’s. The place of birth may have possibly been somewhere along Vinchelez Main Road where his grandparents lived and where John was living at the age of 15. He is the second child to Jean and Elize Lozué. John has an elder sister Eliza, born a year earlier.

1871 – John is 5 years old. Whereabouts unknown? Did he go to France to visit some of his father’s family?

1873-1875  John is aged 7 to 9. His name appears in the St. Ouen’s School log book.

1881 – John is 15 and working as a ‘Carpenter’. He is living somewhere along Vinchelez Main Road with his grandmother Eliza Le Brocq. She is a widow  aged 65, and is the head of household. She is also an ‘annuitant’, which means she may have lived on money left from a will/estate/rent. John’s older sister is also at this address. John’s parents were either away, at work or dead when the census was taken. I have not been able to find them anywhere.

1891 – John is 25 years old. I can’t find him in any census. I believe he may have been travelling or already in America at this time. The photo above was taken possibly around this time. The photographers were Elite & Lotz of 838 Market St., San Francisco, California. The business was  running until about 1906. I also can’t find his future wife Clara Anna Mabey in any census and I wonder if they travelled together at this time. But why to San Francisco? An uncle has suggested that maybe it was for a wedding as a couple from Jersey, Channel Islands were the San Francisco marriage records at about this time. I would love to solve this mystery.

1897 – John’s daughter is born – Ada Florence Le Brocq Lozuet. Her birth is registered in the St. Helier Baptisms. John has moved out of the countryside and into town. Notice the mother’s maiden name ‘Le Brocq’ has been added as a middle name. This was quite common practise once upon a time.

1898 – John and Clara have a second daughter – Clara Eliza Lozuet (my great grandmother).

1898 – Nine months later (or the dates may be wrong) John and Clara have a third daughter – Violet Florence Mabey Lozuet.

1899 – Disaster strikes the Islanders as the Steamer ‘Stella’ sinks off the Minquier Islands near Alderney. Does this affect John at all?

1901 – John is 35 years old. He is back in the Jersey census working as a ‘Seaman’. He is living at 28 Don Road, St. Helier, Jersey with his wife Clara and their daughters: Ada, Clara and Violet.

1902 – John and Clara have their fourth daughter – Mabel Maud Lozuet.

1902 – John is still working as a ‘Sailor’.

1907 – John and Clara have their fifth daughter – Elsie Lilian Lozuet. They are living at 3 Colomberie Cottages, Jersey.

1911 – John is 45 years old. He is living with his wife Clara and their five daughters at 1 Providence Lane, St. Helier, Jersey. he is now working as a foreman, but I don’t know where.

1914-1918 – World War 1. 

1931 – John is living at 44 1/2 Clearview street, Jersey. He dies here  of Pnemonie, Lobaire, Maladie du Coeur (Pneumonia/heart attack) at the age of 65.  He is buried at Mont-a-L’Abbé Cemetery, Jersey.

At some point in time a ‘t’ was added to the end of the surname. On the few records I have found of Jean Lozue, no ‘t’ was ever added. This may have started with John Lozuet’s generation. The Lozuet name has been quite difficult to trace. Even though it is quite uncommon. There are a few Lozuet’s in Australia and I know they must be related but I have hit a brick wall as to how. I have written about the origins of the name here: Origins of the LOZUET name

Unknowns:

  • When do John Lozuet & Clara Anna Mabey get married?
  • When and why does John get his photo taken in San Francisco? Was he working as a Seaman?
  • Where is Clara Mabey when John dies? Has she died before him?

If you feel you can contribute any more information I would love to hear from you. I hope you have found this interesting!


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100 years Anniversary of the Titanic

Today is the hundred year anniversary of the tragic sinking of the passenger liner RMS Titanic.

As usual, when I read about these kind of events, I wonder to myself, were there any Jersey people involved. According to the records on Ancestry.com there are a few Guernsey and Jersey people on the list. Here they are.

From Jersey:

UK, RMS Titanic, Deaths at Sea, 1912 – Name: P Ahier – Birth: abt 1892 Jersey – Residence: Southampton

From Guernsey:

UK, RMS Titanic, Deaths at Sea, 1912 – Name: H Ingroville – Birth: abt 1891 Guernsey – Residence: Southampton

UK, RMS Titanic, Deaths at Sea, 1912 – Name: A Whitford – Birth: abt 1875 Guernsey – Residence: Southampton

From Channel Islands:

UK, RMS Titanic, Deaths at Sea, 1912 – Name: Harry Williams – Birth: abt 1884 – Residence: Channel Islands

 

I also wonder what kind of coverage the local Evening Post (first publishing in 1890) would have written about this awful event.

Jersey and it’s locals with its seabaring history would have been no stranger to tragedy at sea. Even so, such a momentous trip held a lot of hope and sense of achievement, which was lost in an incredibly quick amount of time.

 

To find out more about the Titanic visit the link www.rmstitanic.net


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Mary DeFrance

According to the research myself and my friend Kelly have been doing, our ancestor, my great, great, great, great grandmother, Mary DeFrance died on the 6th February 1858. One hundred and fifty four years ago today. For me, researching our female ancestors is really exciting, for they can be hard to trace. This is mainly because the females adopt their spouses surnames. They are therefore quite hard to find in the records if you do not know who they marrried. In this case Marie  married William Davey. How they met is unknown, but from the pieces I have managed to unravel I have created my own story which may one day be proven to be true or incorrect.

  • Marie DeFrance was born in St. Peter Port, Guernsey about 1782. Her father may be Thomas DeFrance born circa 1765.
  • In 1789, the start of the French Revolution takes place. I wonder how this affects the islanders, as thousands of French aristocrats apparently flee to Jersey, expanding the size of St. Helier dramatically.
  • In 1804, Marie marries William Davis/Davey in Guernsey. William, I believe has sailed over from England (he was born in West Coker, Somerset). Maybe for work? I do know that at some time William’s occupation is that of a ‘Carter’. This is not a job that was seen as doing well in the world.
  • Unusually for those days, they do not have a child until 1811 (7 years after marriage), Thomas Davis/Davey. Maybe she had given birth to earlier babies but I have not found any record of them.
  • In 1813, Rachel Mary Davis/Davey is born in St. Helier. So we now know they have left Guernsey for Jersey, Channel Islands, UK. Only the baptism records have been found regarding Rachel, so I do not know what becomes of her.
  • In 1816, William George Davey is born in St. Helier, Jersey (notice the spelling Davis is no longer used).
  • In 1819, Mary Ann Davey is born. She goes on to marry a George Le Breton.
  • In 1821, my great great great grandfather is born, Isaac William Davey. His godparents are William Leto and Catherine De France (later she is Catherine Leto)
  • In 1832, their is a cholera epidemic which sweeps through the town and outskirts. Marie’s husband writes his Will & Testament at this time, as I am sure do many others. In the record Marie’s name is spelt Mary. This english way of spelling their names was sometimes purposely done to blend in with the locals.
  • the rest is unknown..

Then at 2am on Saturday 6th February 1858 Mary dies at her home at 14 Lempriere Street. Fanny Sampson was present. I do not know who Fanny Sampson is yet. She died of ‘vieillesse – old age’ at 76 years old, which suggests to me that she was a tough old girl!

Where she is buried is unknown at the moment, but it is on my ‘to find out’ list.

If you think you are connected to Marie DeFrance or know more about her life, I would love to hear from you!

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