Isaac William Davey – born 30 December 1851

I have been pleased with the amount of progress in my research on Isaac William Davey. His timeline is filled with many events. Some sad, some curious, some rather romantic. The only thing missing is a photo of him.

1851 – On the 30th December Isaac William Davey is born in St. Helier (possibly 143 Breton Yard, Jersey – which I think no longer exists). His parents were Isaac William Davey b.1821 and Ann ‘Nancy’ Le Breton b.1827.

1852 – Four months later, Isaac is baptised in St. Helier, Jersey. His godparents were Isaac Davey Senior (his father) and Fanny Le Breton, aged 15 (his aunty/mother’s sister).

I wonder why Isaac was baptised so late after his birth? Nowadays, baptising your child four months after their birth doesn’t seem such a long time but in the 1800’s it was recommended that a baby be baptised very soon after the birth due to illness and high child death rates. I know that when my son was baptised he was almost 9 months old. This was due to the fact that we did a joint baptism ceremony with his cousin Anna. In an article by Stuart Basten from the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, he explains:

…in the early seventeenth-century, William Gouge wrote that ‘it is not meet for Christians to defer the baptizing of their children beyond eight days.

He goes on to say that:

However, both Gouge and the later seventeenth-century Prayer Books allow for a short period of rest for mother and child.

1861 – Aged 10, Isaac is living at 14 Lempriere Street, St. Helier, Jersey with his father Isaac – a ships carpenter, mother Ann and siblings William, Ann, Mary and Esther – all scholars (attending school).

1871 – Aged 20, Isaac is still living at 14 Lempriere Street ( once known as The Eagle Tavern). He is now a shipwright following in his father’s footsteps. His mother Ann is a Tavern Keeper. I wonder if she living upstairs and working downstairs in The Eagle Tavern? Isaac’s six siblings are also living at home with him: William – a Mason’s Labourer, Ann E. – Apprentice Tailoress, Mary, Esther, Cecelia, Matilda and Selina.

You can read more about shipwrights in a previous post here: Shipwrights

1876 – At the age of 26 Isaac marries Ellenora Goudge. Tony, a family historian and contact of mine gave me the following romantic story;

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The marriage date was first worked out from 1911 census. Then on a visit to the Jersey archives one year I found the following information from his marriage record book ALL SAINTS C/E MARRIAGE INDEX SEPT 1872-JUN 1907:

NO.22    January 4th 1876

Name: Isaac William Davey

Age: 24

Marital status: Bachelor

Occupation: Shipwright

Place of residence at time of marriage: St. Helier

Place of birth: St. Helier

Father: Isaac William Davey               Rank: Shipwright

***

Name: Ellen Goudge

Age: 21

Marital Status: Spinster

P.O.R at time of marriage: St. Helier

P.O.B: Grouville

Father: Henry Goudge                Rank: Mariner

En presence de: A. H. Moon & Mary Frances Davey (Mary is Isaac’s sister and Mr Moon later becomes Frances’s husband)

1877 – On the 1st of January Isaac and Ellenora become parents to son Isaac Davey.

1879 – On the 20th February Isaac and Ellenora give birth to James Davey.

1881 – Isaac is still living at 14 Lempriere Street, St. Helier, Jersey. this residence must be feeling quite cramped by now as Isaac is living here with his parents, 5 siblings, his wife and sons Isaac and James. That’s 11 people!

(Note: the mother Ellenora’s birth place on the 1881 census says St. Martin, not Grouville.) It is here that Isaac and Ellenora’s third child Elenora was born.

1885 – Isaac and Ellenora become parents to my great grandfather George Perchard Davey born at 14 Lempriere Street, St. Helier, Jersey.

1888 – On 15th August, Isaac and Ellenora have another daughter, Eva Louisa Davey. Eva was baptised within a month. maybe they knew she was not going to survive. Sadly, Eva died of convulsions 5 months later in the following January. During this period Isaac is working as a carpenter.

1891 – Isaac, aged 39 and Ellenora, aged 36, become parents to another son, William Davey, born at 14 Lempriere Street, St. Helier, Jersey. Isaac is now recorded as a ‘shipwright.’ His son Isaac is apprentice to a plasterer and his son James is an errand boy. Isaac’s parents and one sister are also still living at this address.

1893 – On the 12th may, Isaac and Ellenora have another daughter Violet May Davey.

1899 – The Channel Islands sees one of it’s worst shipwrecks in history. The sinking of the South Western Steamer, The Stella. You can read more about the disaster here in a previous post: The Stella. 86 passengers and 19 crew died. One of the crew was a W. Davey. As of yet I have been unable to confirm a link with my Davey tree. But what I do know is that family relations between Isaac and his father Isaac Senior deteriorate around this time. So much so that in Isaac seniors Will & Testament in October 1899, Isaac Snr states:

“…it is also my wish that my body shall not bee seen or touched by my eldest son Isaac William Davey after my death.-“

 These are quite dramatic and powerful words and one can only wonder at what on earth Isaac Jnr said or did to enrage the anger of his father so much. Did Isaac say something bad about W. Davey’s seamanship on the Stella?

Did Isaac reconcile with his father before he died 6 months later in July 1900?

1901 – Aged 50, Isaac is living at 15 Union Street with his wife Ellenora, son George P. Davey, a plasterer and daughter Violet M. Davey.

1911 – Aged 60, this years census states that Isaac is a ship-fitter, living with his wife Ellenora at 21 Charles Street, St. Helier, Jersey. The census also records that of the 8 children Isaac and ellenora have had, only 4 are alive in 1911. Also living at this address is Ellenora’s mother, Eleonore Hope Goudge (nee Perchard) a widow aged 81 along with grandson John Philip Bree, aged 25, single and a Baker.

Where Isaac William Davey died or was buried is still unknown to me, although I do know that his wife Ellenora is curiously in the same grave as Isaac’s father. Maybe Ellenora reconciled with her father-in-law at some point. Maybe she took sides? Whatever happened Isaac’s love for his wife was enduring as we can see from the photo image above where Isaac was calling for Ellenora on his deathbed.

I hope you have found this interesting, maybe have even discovered something new. And if there is anything new you can tell me or contribute to Isaac’s life I would to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Ramona

Some more information on the history of baptisms:

When were babies baptised? Some Welsh evidence

Birth baptism intervals for family historians

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.

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!