My Channel Island Ancestry

My family history in the Channel Islands and beyond!


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Do you know about TROVE?

Hello again everyone,

It’s been a while since I have posted but I am glad to say that I am back from my 4 weeks holiday back in Jersey, Channel Islands.  I had a fantastic time catching up with so many family and friends every day. I also managed to do quite a bit of family research, visiting of cemeteries and a two day trip to Guernsey with my mum. So I have plenty of new stuff to blog about and share with you. The first thing I would like to share with you is an Australian resource called TROVE. I went to listen to a speaker at the local library this morning, who explained to us how TROVE works and what it provides. I have dabbled with it a few times and found useful and interesting snippets of information. What is it? It is a collection of Australian newspapers that have been digitised for your  use. Not only is it free but you can use it without signing up.

So for those of you that have ancestors that may have been to Australia in the past this may be of some use to you. Here are some quick facts to help you:

  • it includes Australian Newspapers generally up to the end of 1954
  • it includes the first 50 years of The Australian Women’s Weekly
  • it includes photos, books, journals, maps
  • it includes archived websites (Pandora)

I typed in the surname Rabet as I know that my great grandfather travelled to Australia in 1929. This is what I came across:

Monday 3 May 1948Next issue

The Daily News – Perth WA –                          Monday 3 May 1948 Next issue

I don’t know yet if this John Rabet is related but the good thing is that now I know about him and I have another mystery to solve. But I did discover his age, which meant he was born in 1928 and the fact that he was in the R.A.N. The Royal Australian Navy.

The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929)

This image above is of another example where I have found John Rabet in the old digitised newspapers. (Don’t know yet if it is the same guy). I have taken a screenshot of how the search looks. On the left is the text which you are allowed to correct. The green section is a bit where I corrected the spellings. As the articles are so old and use old font the computer can interpret the words incorrectly.

Ann, the lady who presented the talk explained that she can spend as much as 50 to 60 hours per week on correcting the text. This is as a volunteer. I think this is wonderful and this reminds me of all the family historians I have met that are generous with their time and knowledge.

I hope you find Trove useful too and have fun scrolling thorough the digitised newspapers and more!


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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!


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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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Were your Breton ancestors from Nobility?

I subscribe to a great blog called The French Genealogy Blog. Today their post is about The Beleaguered Nobility of Brittany. In short, it describes how Louis XIV wanted to establish who in his realm was truly of the nobility and who was not. Apparently, nobility did not pay many forms of taxes, which meant that there was obviously a financial incentive for many to become what were known as “false nobles”. This problem was particularly severe in Bretagne. I was unaware of this until now.

Within the post, other links to very useful websites are provided which may or may not help you with your research into your Breton ancestors, but they are never-the-less all worth a look at.

Tudchentil – which has pages on 18 Breton Knights in a Tournament in 1238 or An Armorial Breton

 

Ploeuc Genealogy – which is about the history, genealogy and heritage to ploeuc and its surroundings, including Notaries of Ploeuc from 1739 – 1907

 

I doubt I have any nobility in my Breton ancestors, the Rabet’s. So far their statuses have been:

Laboureur – which has a variety of meanings including ploughman/ peasant or small tenant farmer rich enough to own their own plough (p228 – Soldier and Peasant in French Popular Culture, 1766-1870)

Cowman – herder of cows

 

Agricultural Labourer – a person who tills the soil for a living.

laboureur image

 

 


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Ann Marcellaine Mahaut – born 10 January 1854

St. Lawrence Church - I wonder if this was where Ann was born?

St. Lawrence Church, Jersey, Channel Islands – I wonder if this was where Ann was born?

Ann Marcellaine (Marcelin) Mahaut was my great great great grandmother. I am amazed and delighted that I have been able to go back this far. Our DNA is practically the same. When I got my DNA test results for my MATERNAL LINEAGE’ it says our ancient ancestors (known as the Travelers) come from the maternal haplogroup U. According to wikipedia, the possible time of origin is 55.000 BP and possible place of origin is Western Asia. There are 8 subgroups in the U group and therefore I need to discover more about which of the 8 I may be in and therefore more specifically where my ancient ancestors come from.

As far as I know, Ann wasn’t from anywhere as far as Asia, for she was born in Jersey, Channel Islands.

Here is her timeline:

1854 – Ann Marcellaine Mahaut is the second  child born to Jean Aimable Mahaut (c. 1819) and Anne Henriette Quenault (c.1819). Place of birth was St. Lawrence, Jersey. She has an older sister Lydie born in 1843, nearly 11 years earlier.

1861 – In the Census of 1861, Ann is living at the Farm House, St. Lawrence with just her parents. Lydie had proably left home by now as she would have been 18 years old.

1870 – Opening of the railway from St. Helier to St. Aubins.

1871 – In the census a decade later, Ann  (17) is now living with her parents at the Bake House in Vingtaine of the Valley, St. Laurence. Her father is now a Sailor and her mother a Baker. Ann is now also a Baker and is obviously helping her mother. I wonder if it was their own business. I know there was an old bakehouse in St. Lawrence. Times have changed. During this year the Channel Islands Exhibition was held in Victoria College Grounds.

At some point in time Ann meets Philip James Hamon (he is 18 years older than her and this is possibly his second marriage). I have yet to discover the marriage date and details, although according to the website Family Treemaker, it states that she got married in 1875. Click on the following link to see details: Familytree maker

1875 – Ann gives birth to a daughter Anna Eveline Hamon with her husband Philip J. Hamon.

1877 – Ann and Philip have their second child, Philip James Hamon jr.

1879 – Ann and Philip have their 3rd chilld George Hamon.

1881 – Ann (27) and Philip have their 4th child Charles Hamon. The details at Charles’s baptism are as follows: father’s occupation – Mariner. Godparents – John Charles Quenault (maybe Ann’s relation) and Mary Ann Denise. Ann is now living  along St. Aubin’s Road.

1882 – Ann and Philip have their 5th child, Walter Hamon.

1883 – ON the 5th December, Ann and Philip have their 6th child, Florence Sophia Hamon (my great great grandmother). They are now all living at No.4 Newgate Street, St. Helier in town near the local prison, which would have had a very different environment to the countryside of St. Lawrence.

1891 – Ann (aged 37) is still living at 4 Newgate Street with her husband and children: Philip, George, Charles, Florence, Priscilla, Edith and a boarder Florence H. Le Gros. Her husband Philip is still a Seaman, while her son Philip is a Carpenter’s apprentice and the other children are scholars, apart from Edith who is too young for school aged 5.

1899 – 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.

1901 – Ann (47) has moved to No.5 Patriotic Place with her Husband Philip, now a news vendor at the age of 66. Her son Philip is no longer a Carpenter’s apprentice but a Sailor. Her son George is a Labourer at Saws Mill? (Hard to read). Florence and Edith are still at home too.

1911 – The final Census available at this current time states that Ann (57) is living with her husband Philip and they are both now working as News Vendors from home. Their son Philip (aged 34) is still living with them and is working as a Seaman still.

My research ends there as I have not been able to find out anymore. I do not know when Ann died or where she or her husband are buried. The Familytree maker website says she dies in Guernsey.

Researching my female ancestors is always a joy to me. I like to discover what their everyday lives might have been like and compare it to mine.

If you know more about Ann and her family I would love to hear from you.


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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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