Ebenezer Davey (c1792 -1862), my great great great grandfather, was the fourth of my direct ancestors to migrate to Australia. This makes him the fourth of my ‘boat people’ and, at 61, the second oldest!
Ebenezer and his brother Elijah appear to have been born in Truro, Cornwall in about 1792 and 1794 respectively. I have yet to identify their parents or any other siblings. In 1814, Ebenezer was a witness at Elijah’s marriage to Johana Randall in St Mary’s Truro.
By 1823, Ebenezer is listed as watchmaker at West Bridge in Truro. He also married Elizabeth (Trewhella?) at about that time. They had four children: Ebenezer (c1824), Mary (c1826), Elizabeth (c1828) and Jane (unknown).
The family may next have moved to St Austell, Cornwall where Ebenezer advertised his services:
Watch & Clock Maker, Silversmith & Jeweller.
Jewellery neatly repaired &c.”
By the time of the 1841 Census, the Davey family was living in Basset St, Falmouth. Ebenezer (aged 49) was listed as a Watchmaker J(ourneyman), born in Cornwall. Also living with him were his wife Elizabeth (41), son Ebenezer (18, Cabinetmaker Ap.) and daughter Elizabeth (15) but not Mary. The 1851 census lists him as having been born in Truro.
His son, Ebenezer James Davey married Mary Holditch in 1848 and emigrated to Australia the following year. Daughter Mary Davey sailed on the same ship. The news from Melbourne must have been good as Ebenezer and Elizabeth and their remaining daughter, Elizabeth followed them four years later.
Ebenezer (aged 61), together with his wife Elizabeth (50) and daughter Elizabeth (20) were amongst 190 “unassisted” immigrants in steerage on the barque “Arrogant” which sailed from Plymouth on 29th November 1852 and arrived in Port Phillip on the 3rd April 1853, just in time for his grandson Robert Ferres’ first birthday.
Ebenezer obviously intended to continue his trade in Melbourne as he brought with him this reference (decorated with a bright red seal) from the Mayor of Falmouth, Eli Cuttance:
Borough of Falmouth
This is to certify that Mr Ebenezer Davey of Falmouth Watchmaker & Jeweller has been known by me and the Inhabitants generally of this Borough for more than twenty years as a sober, honest, and respectable Tradesman and a man of Talent and ability in his Profession and he is therefore worthy to be admitted to any place that requires implicit Confidence Perseverance and Fidelity.
Novr 20th 1852
Ebenezer died of “Acute Peridontitis” on the 4th July 1862 at Gipps St East Melbourne. This was probably the residence of his daughter and son-in-law, Mary and John Ferres. He was described as a watchmaker, aged 70 years who was born in Cornwall and had lived 9 years in Victoria. Ebenezer Davey was buried on the fifth of July 1862 at the Melbourne General Cemetery.
Questions and Ideas for Future Research
When and where was Ebenezer born?
Who were his parents?
When and where was he married?
When did he live in St Austell?
Where was his daughter Mary living for the 1841 Census?
Where was his wife living for the 1851 Census?
Did he move back to Truro before coming to Australia?
Did he work as a Watchmaker/Jeweller in Victoria?
Where did he live for the 9 years in Melbourne?