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!’

Alfred H. W. Gallienne – died 21st October 1919

Today is the anniversary of the death of my great great great grandfather Alfred Henry William Gallienne. This ancestor has been quite tricky to trace. For many years he was known to me as Alfred W. Gallienne, as I thought Alfred H. Gallienne was a different person with a different wife. But recently during my visit to Guernsey in July 2013, I made a few break throughs with my Gallienne family tree and discovered that they were one and the same person. These things take time to clarify and you don’t want to add things to your tree that are incorrect, especially on a place like Ancestry.com where incorrect details are often shared or passed on.

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A spontaneous visit to the Priaulx Library resulted in my mother and myself finding Alfred’s death in the local paper, as you can see in the photo below.

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My mum helping me search through the old newspapers

A visit to the Priaulx Library is a ‘must do’ on your list of things to visit when in Guernsey on a family tree hunt. Not just purely for the records but because the building inside is a wonderful step back in time and  everyone there is so helpful.

1841 – Alfred H. W. Gallienne and his twin sister Matildh Sophie were born sometime in 1841 in Catel, Guernsey. Possibly the son of Sophie Pipet.

Screen shot of Gallienne family in 1841 census

1851 – Alfred, age 10, is now living at The Catel, Guernsey, where he is listed as an ‘inmate’ along with Nicholas Gallienne, aged 66,  John Gallienne, aged 16 and Thomas, aged 14. The Catel was once a poorhouse and hospital.

1867 – Alfred, aged 26,  marries Louise Brehaut in St. Pierre Du Bois, Guernsey

1871 – Alfred, aged 30, is aboard the ship “FASHION’ – rank: able seaman. His wife Louisa is in the 1871 census at home with her father Thomas Brehaut and their sons: Alfred and Albert.

1881 – Alfred, aged 40, is head of household and is living with Louisa his wife, now a CHARWOMAN and their sons Alfred, Albert and daughter Louisa. He is recorded as working as an Agricultural Labourer.

1884 – Alfred’s wife Louisa dies at the age of 43, reason unknown.

1891 – Alfred, aged 50, is now living in Planque, Guernsey, with his new wife Rosalie Brehaut. Is this a sister of his first wife Louisa Brehaut. It is possible as this was common practice in those days. Living with Alfred and Rosalie are their sons Alfred (22), Albert (21), daughter Louisa (20), and Edwin (8) and John (4).

1901 – Alfred, aged 60, is still living in Planque, with Rosalie, Edwin Brehaut (stepson), John (14) and Alice (8).

1911 – Alfred, aged 70, is living at La Planque, with his wife Rosalie, daughter Alice Mary (18)  and is working as a general farm labourer.

1919 – Alfred dies at home. There is a discrepency with his age. The newspaper clipping says he dies in his 70th year which makes his birth date 1849, but in the 1851 census his age is 10, which makes him born in 1841.

Death notice in newspaper

Death notice in newspaper

This newspaper clipping gave us useful information:

  • the date of his death
  • place of death
  • address in his final year
  • where his final resting place is, although we were unable to find it.

It is always so satisfying being able to complete an ancestors timeline.

If you have Alfred in your family tree and have more information to share I would love to hear from you! :-)

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!

Muratti Final 1933

My great grandparents watching Jersey and Guernsey play football.

Seventy eight years ago today, on the  20th April 1933  my great grandmother Florence Anna  Gallienne (sitting at the top) and her husband Henri Yves Rabet (to her right) watched the Jersey football team play against Guernsey for the annual Muratti Final.  Florence is 28 years old and Henri is 30 years old when this photo is taken. By this time they have been married  for 9 years and have had five children. Florence is to have sadly died only 3 years after this photo was taken.

What is great about this photo is that it gives you an insight into your ancestors leisure times and social activities. The fact that they both went to watch football together shows a shared social interest (although I am presuming that Florence enjoyed watching football, I may be wrong!) It also makes sense that later on in time their son Henry (who was 3 at the time of the photo) was mad about football and played well in the school team.

New St. Junior 1940 - 1941

Henry Rabet Jr. is sitting in the front row, first on the right. Notice the date on this photo, I wonder if it was taken just before Jersey was occupied by the Germans during World War 2? It is likely that this may have been New Street Primary’s football team (the school no longer exists). Henry was living at 45 New Street, Jersey with his father the time this photo was taken.

Anyway, I know very little about the Muratti football games and therefore had to do a little research online. The Muratti is the annual men’s football competition which began in 1905 and is between Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney. The only years where the Muratti did not go ahead was during World War One 1915 – 1919 and World War Two 1940 – 1946.  The teams wear their island colours of green and white (Guernsey) and red and white (Jersey) and blue and white (Alderney).  I came across the website: Guernsey  FA and amazingly enough they have a History section which includes the Junior Muratti Guernsey Team and results:

Date & Place: 1933 April 20 – Jersey

Score: Jersey 4 Guernsey 2.

Team players: R Le Tissier, E Sauvage, W Breton, N Brouard, C Guilbert, G Taylor, H Duquemin, W Stevens, R Martel, S Robert, E Le Flocq.

These are the Guernsey players and I don’t recognise any family names. I couldn’t find the list of players for the Jersey team, but I will try and find them. The website was a great find as it confirmed the date of the Muratti, plus Florence’s grandfather was born in Guernsey so maybe she had family playing in one of the teams???

If you recognise anyone else in either of the photos, I would love to hear from you!