My Channel Island Ancestry

My family history in the Channel Islands and beyond!


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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.


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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…

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