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.

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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.

Elsie Lilian Lozuet was born – 16 October 1907

Elsie Lilian Lozuet – I just love the beautiful blouse she is wearing with pearl buttons over her shoulders.

Elsie was the fifth daughter of John Lozuet and Clara Anna Mabey. With her the chance for the Lozuet surname to continue ended. Elsie was born in Jersey but spent most of her life in Birmingham, England. From here she wrote many letters to her sister Clara (my great grandmother). Within the letters you get a fascinating insight into their lives, including such comments as the following:

” …Thank you for the cake it was lovely the cakes over here are rotten.”

She even refers to my grandfather, her sister Clara’s son:

“… how’s kenny, still got his shop?’

These little details are great because they confirm the fact that my grandfather had a shop of which I was aware of. This then will help you to determine the date or thereabouts. She continues to say that she hopes Clara has got a nice lodger in, as it is better than being alone (so we now know this must have been after her husbands death in 1931).

In other letters (most addressed from Perry Bar, Birmingham) Elsie thanks Clara for the Calendar she has sent, the marg (margarine) and another cake. She is looking forward to the Spring and hopes they both have a nice summer like ‘last year’. She finishes in one letter saying the following:

“Well I’m afraid I’ve no news I never go anywhere but shopping….Elsie xxxx”

I love these snippets into their lives, it gives you the little treasures of information that archive records can’t give you. Here is her timeline:

1907 – Elsie Lilian Lozuet is born on the 16th October. Her parents were living at 3 Colomberie Cottages, St. Helier at the time.

1911 – Elsie is living with her family: her father John, a ‘foreman’, her mother Clara and siblings Clara, Ada, Violet and Mabel.

1931 – Elsie’s father dies. I wonder if she went back for his funeral?

1936 – Elsie marries Norman Norton of Birmingham.

1939 – Elsie gives birth to a son, Michael about 4 months before the start of World war 2.

1944 – Elsie’s husband Norman dies from Tuberculosis. Elsie is now bringing up a five year old on her own in the midst of a war.

1966 – Elsie dies in Birmingham.

I wonder if she ever returned to Jersey to see her sisters or if they ever travelled to see her?