My Channel Island Ancestry

My family history in the Channel Islands and beyond!


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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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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.


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Henry Rabet marries Florence Gallienne

Henry and Florence in 1933, nine years after their marriage.

On this day 23rd June 1924 my great grandparents Henry Yves Rabet and Florence Anna Gallienne were married in the Parish of St. Saviour, Jersey, Channel Islands.

  • Henry was 22 years old, a bachelor, living in St. Saviours (I don’t know where exactly). He was working as a Labourer, maybe with his father Yves Rabet, also a Labourer, who is on the marriage certificate.
  • Florence was 18 years old, a spinster, living in St. Andrew/St. Helier. Her father Albert Gallienne is on the certificate working as a mason.

Screenshot of marriage certificate.

Henry and Florence married in the presence of Peter Le Vannais and Hilda Maud le Vannais. Hilda is one of Henry’s sisters. How Henry and Florence met is unknown, and in the next six years they start a family and have four children together. My grandmother told my mother that she was brought up in a place called Paul Mill Cottage as seen in the photo below, in Mont de la Rosiere Lane.

Mont de la Rosiere – where Florence and Henry lived in the late 1920, early 1930’s.

 

Certificates are always an exciting purchase and in my eyes are always worth it for the extra details they record.

Eg:

  • professions of both fathers of the bride and groom
  • residence of bride and groom at time of marriage
  • witnesses at the marriage


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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!


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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!


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Who is Francois Demoy?

I have mentioned only once before a Francois Demoy. He is living as a ‘boarder’ with my great great grandparents Yves Marie Rabet and Jeanne Marie Rabet in the 1901 Census. The address is Ponterrion/Pontession Mill, Trinity, Jersey, Channel Islands. (Unfortunately I have not been able to confirm or decipher the census writing for the correct spelling of the mill).

Here are the details from the 1901 census:

Island: Jersey

Civil Parish: Trinity

No. of schedule: 23

Name of house: Ponterrion Mill

Name of person: Francois Demoy

Relation to head of Household: Boarder

Condition as to marriage: Single

Age: 23

Proffession: ? on farm (than scribbled on top are the possible words ‘ag horse’)

Where born: France

What has sparked a further interest in me about Francois is that I found him in the same cemetery as some Rabet’s. During my trip back to Jersey at Christmas I did quite an extensive search around the graveyards with my mother to find the graves I have not yet been able to find or weren’t aware of. At first I looked in Trinity graveyard in the hope of finding them there, when (rather slowly) it occurred to me that being of French origin my ancestors were highly likely to have been catholics. So we made a quick diversion to the next parish and nearest Catholic church and cemetery and ‘BINGO!’

I am a little familiar with this church through various family occasions. It isn’t very large and therefore didn’t take too long to look around. The next photo is of Francois Demoy’s grave and headstone;

Grave of Francois Demoy.

The Francois in the 1901 census was 23, this makes his birth date 1878. The headstone has the birth date of 1874. He died at the age of 72.

Looking at some archive records at the Jersey Heritage Trust website for Francois Guillaume Demoy, the details show that he was born on the 10th September 1874, in Plaintel, Côtes du Nord, France. Plaintel is about a fifteen minute drive from Ploeuc where my Rabet family came from in France. Maybe they came over on the boat together when they heard there was workers needed in Jersey at the turn of the century 1900.

Is Francois Demoy a family friend or relation to my ancestors or just a stranger who needed work and somewhere to stay? Another mystery on my list of ‘Things to find out’.

If you know more about this person, I would love to hear from you!

Update:

Well would you believe it, the moment I press ‘PUBLISH’ for this post I find another Francois Demoy on Ancestry.com. Here are the details from the 1901 census:

Island: Jersey

Civil Parish: St. John’s

No. of Schedule: 76

Name: Francois demoy

Relation to head of household: Servant

Condition as to marriage: Single

Age: 28 (which would make his birth year 1873 and more accurate with the Francois in the cemetery!)

Profession: Ordinary Agricultural labourer

Where born: France






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Jersey children learn about Census in school

I have just come across this piece of information from the www.jerseyweekly.com about children in St. Martins School, Jersey  having the opportunity to learn about taking a census and all that is involved. What a great idea for a classroom lesson! This may sew the seed of interest in some child who may become a future genealogist.

Head statistician at the Statistics Unit, Duncan Gibaut, said “The census allows people to find out about their ancestors. It will also allow future generations to see what life was like in Jersey in 2011.

My descendants in 100 years time will see that I am  not on the Jersey census for the first time since 1971. I wonder if they will have access to all my records and research I have taken and therefore will know that I emigrated to Australia or will they have to start their own investigation as to why I suddenly disappear?


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In memory of Kenneth George Davey

Kenneth George Davey - 1927 to 2009

On this day, two years ago – 3rd January 2009, my grandfather died at Lakeside Nursing Home in St. Peter’s, Jersey, Channel Islands, aged 82.

He left behind him 11 children, 35 grandchildren and many more great grandchildren!

Although I have returned to the island for Christmas and to catch up with friends and family I also have a long ‘to do’ list of family tree research. One of the items on the list was to visit the crematorium in Westmount Road, St. Helier. My mother laid some flowers on my grandmother Grace Davey’s resting place (Ken’s wife) and I took a photo of the Remembrance book.

A message in memory of Ken Davey by his daughter Susan.

So where ever you are now pop’s, we are all thinking of you and send all our love,

Ramona


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On this day – Violet Florence Mabey Lozuet was in born 1898.

 

Violet on her birthday.

 

On this day 4th November 1898 began the life of Violet Florence Mabey Lozuet.

Here is Violet’s timeline from what I have found out so far:

1898 - On the 4th November Violet is born to parents John Lozuet and Clara Anna Mabey. Notice that one of Violets middle names is the maiden name of her mother. This was often done in the past and is still done now, especially when particular surnames are dying out.

1898 - On the 30th November Violet was baptised (details from St Helier Church Baptism Register, 28th July 1889 – 21st February 1909). Her godparents were her father John (a ‘Mariner’) and mother Clara.

1901 - Violet (age 3) is living in Don Road, Jersey with her mum, dad, and sisters Clara and Ada.

1911 - Violet (age 13) is living in Jersey with her mum, dad and sisters Clara, Ada. Mabel and Elsie.

1941 - Violet (age 43) is living at the St. Saviours Hospital. Also known as the ‘Mental Hospital’.

1992 - Violet dies at St. Saviours Hospital.

It is not quite clear why Violets life turned out as it did.  Nor is it known at what age she was admitted or under what circumstances she ended up in St. Saviours Mental Hospital. An old family rumour was that she was jilted at the alter and this sent her mad. Maybe she just had a nervous breakdown which today would not warrant being admitted into St. Saviours or maybe there was more to it, that we will never know.

The sad thing about this story is the only reason my mother and I knew about Violet is because we saw her obituary in the local paper, the Jersey Evening Post. Of course it was too late by then to visit her and get to know her and her life story. My mother went to the hospital to try and find out a bit more about Violet…

She had spent her whole life in the hospital and had probably become quite institutionalised. Family never came to visit her as far as the present staff knew. So we then asked my grandfather (Violet’s nephew) why noone knew about her, especially as she had still been alive all these years ?

My grandfather didn’t know when she was admitted, but only that he must have been very young as he barely knew anything about her himself. Sadly it seems that family had forgotten about her.

They were different times back then. People felt differently. This is why I am keen to find out more about Violet…I think she deserves that much!

So, with Violet’s death at the grand age of 94, living longer than any of her siblings, the surname Lozuet died out too.

 

Here is a link to the archive records for Violet at the:  Jersey Heritage Trust


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La Faîs’sie d’Cidre

I have many fond memories of visiting (and cycling through the country lanes) to Hamptonne Farm and am glad to tell you that the Cider Festival is here again!  Enjoy a traditional event where Jersey’s rich heritage of apple growing and cider making is celebrated with lots to see, do, learn and enjoy.

History of the Cider Festival

In the 17th Century cider was made by farmers in Jersey to give to their staff, making up part of their wages

***

Venue: Hamptonne

Date: Saturday 16th October 2010 – Sunday 17th October 2010

Food:

  • Roast chestnuts
  • freshly baked Cabbage Loaves – always worth buying one!
  • Jersey “Wonders” –  delicious!
  • plus lots of goodies in Hamptonne Café including bean crock and Hog Roast
  • sausage sandwiches and burgers made from local meat
  • crepes,
  • seafood etc.

Activities & Entertainment:

  • Face Painting
  • Learn to do Apple Juggling and Plate Spinning – with Danny Faulkner of the Ace of Clubs
  • Art/craft activities for children with textile artist Bianca Padidar
  • Live music –  Jerriais choir singing on Saturday at 12.30 pm; Friends of the Tone Deaf on Saturday at 3.30 pm; Les Deux Amigos on Sunday at 3.30 p.m. plus Don Dolbel’s accordion

Admission:
Adult: £6.70;

Child (age 6-16) £4.20;

Senior citizen (age 65 +) £5.70;

Student £4.20;

Family £19.50

Free entry:
Under 6
Jersey Heritage members
Flash cards
Gold cards
Société Jersiaise members
National Trust for Jersey members

To find out more visit the Jersey Heritage website.

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