My Channel Island Ancestry

My family history in the Channel Islands and beyond!


4 Comments

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…


2 Comments

British subjects are evacuated from Jersey to Germany

Sixty nine years ago today, on the 16th September 1942, many Jersey residents were evacuated and transferred to Germany. Last year I discovered that one of my relations was ‘Transported to Germany on 16. 9.42′. (source: Identity card). Violet May Davey was an older sister to my great grandfather George Davey. She was 49 years old when she was transported with her son and husband.

Violet Bryant (nee Davey)

At first I was a bit confused as to why she was transported there. I still don’t have the exact answer, but one theory is that she went because her husband Wilroy Joseph Bryant was English, and not Jersey. This made quite a difference during the 2nd World War. Wilroy’s and Violet’s oldest son went with them, he was 20 years old. There is a photo of him standing in a group of men  in the prisoner-of-war camp ‘Laufen’ (the photo is in the Jersey archives). There was a younger son who would have been 10 years old at the time, but I don’t know if he went with them as well. As you will see in the notice below, only men of the age 16 to 70 had to go. Maybe he was left behind with other family members. Below is an extract from the evening post on the 16th September 1942:

Notice put in The Evening Post on the 16th September 1942

Laufen was a castle in Germany that was initially used as a prisoner-of-war camp during the war. Then in 1942 it was reused as an internment for hundreds of men deported from Jersey and Guernsey in the Channel Islands, as well as some American civilians. It was an incredibly brave decision to go, although there really wasn’t much choice in the matter. Her husband and son had to leave. They were going into the unknown and leaving family and friends behind and noone knew for how long for.

What happened to Violet and her family after the war? At Christmas I went home to Jersey to visit family and do some more research on my family tree. On a visit to the archives there was a display of children’s family trees for a project at one of the islands secondary schools. I recognised one of the names on the tree. I had taught this young lady when she was 5 years old and to my amazement Violet Davey was on her tree! Violet was her great, great grandmother, who had survived the war.

Note: The Evening Post was founded in 1890. Now known as the Jersey Evening Post or J.E.P.

“From 1940 to 1945, the Channel Islands were occupied by the German armed forces, and although publication of the paper continued, it was produced under the supervision and strict censorship of the occupying forces”

(Source: http://www.thisisjersey.com/jersey-evening-post/history-of-the-jep/)


12 Comments

Summerland Factory

Summerland Factory staff photo – Grace is sitting in the front row 4th from the left.

At some point during my grandmothers teenage years she was employed at the Summerland Factory in Rouge Boullion, Jersey, Channel Islands. I know that according to her identity card , on the 16th January 1941, Grace was employed as a machinst.  Jersey was being occupied by the Germans at this point.

I haven’t been able to find out much about the factory, unfortunately. I did send the photo to the J.E.P. a few years ago in the hope that they would put it in their Temps Passe section. I never heard back from them, which is a shame and not the first time they have failed to reply. It is a shame on the grounds that I sent it when  two of my grandparents were still alive, and therefore so would have been more of their generation. It is possible quite a few locals might have written in to give some very useful feedback and memories. So, I use my blog, this website to share these resources with you.

On the website jersey.com there is a little section about the conditions of everyday life during the Occupation, here is an extract from their page about shopping and a mention of the Summerland factory:

Shopping hours were reduced to 10 am – 12.30 pm, and 2 pm – 4 pm, as goods became scarce. Textile shops were open only on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. They received limited supplies from France, the Summerland factory in Rouge Bouillon, and from local residents. Textile factories were re-opened to provide employment for local women, as well as supplying much needed raw materials.

So these women in the photo above would have had an awful lot of work on their hands. I do not know what work they did exactly although there is a possibilty they made the ‘Jerseys’ and the ‘Guernseys’ jumpers that were often seen worn on the local fishermen. I would love to hear from someone who is more knowledgeable than me in this area, so please fell free to contact me.

The fantastic thing about this photo is not only the image itself, but on the back my grandmother had written down everyone’s name!

My grandmother’s sister Barbara Rabet is also on the photo in the 2nd row, second from the left. I even think that Betty Boucherie that is in the photo is the sister of my other grandmother Edith Bouchere.

Here is a list of the names I could decipher:

Nina Steptowe

Muriel Windsor

Mary Frane

Freda Hutchings

Miss Mallet

Edna Druby

Miss Le Marquand

Mavis ?

Doris Holley

Bessy  ? Moyse

Betty Boucherie

Doreen White

Dorothy Wiverl ?

Jose L’affoley

Mrs Sleep

Emmie Hall

Evelyn de Gruchy

Barbara Rabet

Margaret Hunt

Jone Moyse

? Smith

Rhoda Smith

? Lane ?

Grace Rabet

Winnie Norman

Irene Bisson

Mrs Perchard

Joan Labou

Joan De La Cour

UPDATE: Since writing this post, I have since discovered that Sumerland Factory was opened next to Sacre Coeur Orphanage. According to islandwiki.org the factory would provide ‘lessons in housekeeping, sewing and knitting for the older girls in the orphange.’

I know that my grandmother lost her mother when she was only 9 years old and that at some point she and most of her siblings went into orphanages. I have not been able to find out which ones exactly or the dates but it makes sense that she is working for Sumerland Factory which is right next to Sacre Coeur Orphange.

Check out this photo, maybe your grandmother or another relation is in the photo somewhere?

Did they come from the Orphange too?

If so let me know, I would love to hear from you.


Leave a comment

Liberation Day

On the 9th May 1945 members of my family living in Jersey, Channel Islands, experienced something I have been fortunate enough never to have lived through. They were finally liberated from a five year occupation by the German Forces during World War 2. The mixture of feelings must have been incredible: happiness at being free, sadness for those who didn’t make it, anger that they had to endure such conditions in the first place. These are just to name a few…

During 6th form I was lucky enough to be part of a project at Hautlieu school where we made recordings of our Grandparents experiences through that time.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to get hold of a copy. Now that my grandfather has passed away I feel that it would be a great thing to have in my possesion and to be able to share his memories. (I will let you know if I manage to obtain the recording).

Something I was lucky enough to get hold of was a poster from a show held in Jersey in 1995. In the photo is a family member.

Henry Rabet amongst the celebratory crowd on Liberation Day in Jersey

On the left side of the poster is a young boy hanging off a moving vehicle. He is Henry Rabet my grandmother’s younger brother. I would love to know who’s caring hand  is holding onto Henry just to make sure he doesn’t fall off the vehicle and get trampled in the crowds. Henry is 17 years old and has been living under German occupation from the age of 12. It is likely that he would have had to learn some German in school, the cinema had German movies and money in the new form of the Reichmark had been introduced.

Relief must have been a huge emotion on this day, especially for those older generations like my Great grandfather George Davey. George had already been through World War 1 as a teenager and was lucky enough to get through World War 2.

If the Germans had been the victors of World War 2, I would be writing my blogs in German, the stories my grandparents would have passed down to me would have been quite different and the photo above would not have been taken. I would never want to experience war, but I admit I would love to have been their on Liberation day!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers