By Cynthia Sanderson (nee Harvey)

Originally written for members of the family.


 On 16th October 1715, JAMES HARVEY married Rebecca Bond in the village of Imber.  Imber was a small village on Salisbury Plain, about four miles east of Westbury.  It is no longer inhabited as it forms part of the army’s training area, the parish church being used for target practice.  We do not know at present where James hailed from but we believe that Rebekah was born to Benjamin & Ann Bond in 1694 in Slaughterford, west of Chippenham.   James and  Rebekah had about six children, one of the youngest being  AARON HARVEY, born in Imber in 1729.

 By 1755 Aaron was working in Marden in Wiltshire.He married Grace Gray, aged 25,  in her  parish church at Market Lavington  a small village on the edge of  Salisbury Plain.  Grace was the daughter of Charles Gray and his wife Jane (nee Biss).   Their first child Rebekah was baptised in 1755, followed by JAMES HARVEY in 1756, Bety in 1758, and Paul in 1761.

  When James grew up he moved to the village of Enford,  but he may have worked for  Daniel Hamlen  the miller at Stanton St Bernard because in 1776 he married Dorothy Hamlen, Daniel’s daughter.   Dorothy was 27 but James, being only 19, had to have his parents’ permission to marry.  James and Dorothy settled in Stanton St Bernard and here their four  children, Ruth (1778), Elizabeth (1779),  JOHN HARVEY (1783) and Henry (1784) were born. 

 John Harvey married Sarah Bunce  in Stanton in 1805 and they had five children – DANIEL HARVEY (1806); James (1810); John (1811); Mary Ann (1814) and Betty (1819).  

  In 1812 John Harvey was employed to cut the Alton Barnes White Horse (click for more details ).   He died in 1861, aged 78.

 With the aid of censuses we know more about the Harveys from here on.   DANIEL married Elizabeth (Betty) Pearce in November 1829 a few months after Betty had given birth to a son STEPHEN.  (In later records he is always referred to as Stephen Harvey so we presume he was Daniel’s child).    It would appear that Daniel and his brother James were competing for fatherhood at this time as Stephen’s birth was followed by that of six more children.  In his turn James produced ten offspring, although several did not survive to adulthood.   In early records Daniel was described as a Carrier  (in 1847 he was paid “£3.13s.7d for taking Perry to London”).  In the 1851 Census he was described as “Basketmaker” but by 1861 and thereafter he was described as “Farmer”.   In 1867, Daniel’s wife Betty died  but a couple of years later Daniel married Roseanna Perry.   In the 1871 Census he and Roseanna  were living  in their small farm at Stanton  employing  “one man and a boy”. Also living at this address at that time was “John Harvey, grandson from Middlesex” – was he the boy who worked on the farm? (He was approximately 9 years old).   Roseanna died in 1874 aged 61 but Daniel himself lived until 1892 when he died aged 85.  His daughter-in-law, Elizabeth  (who lived next door to him and presumably cared for him) died herself a week later, aged only 53.

 Apart from his birth, our first reference to STEPHEN HARVEY is in the 1851 Census where (aged 21 and described as “Basket Maker), he is visiting a family called Page in North Newton.    However, work in the countryside was probably becoming scarce and some time during the 1850’s he must have decided to try his luck in London.  When he married Jane Cowdry on 27th March 1859 they were both living at South End Cottages in Fulham.  Jane came from All Cannings, a village adjoining Stephen’s home at Stanton St. Bernard.  Jane had given birth to a daughter, Mary Jane, in 1852 (father unknown), and the little girl was brought up by Jane’s mother in All Cannings  (she was in fact shown on the death certificate as being present at the death of her grandmother in 1873).  She does not seem to have lived with her mother at all, although she must have kept contact with the family. (When my mum was doing a Family Tree for my daughter Angela for school she mentioned that Grandad had a sister called Mary Jane so she must have learnt about her after marrying my father  – my Auntie Jen was probably named after her as Mary Jane was her full name.)

 The first child born to Stephen and Jane in Fulham was Alice (1860), followed by JOHN HARVEY (1862), Frederick  (1865), Elizabeth (1867) and Sarah (1869).   It was John who was staying at his grandad’s house in Stanton St Bernard in 1871.  In the 1881 Census he is described as a Costermonger and later he worked at his parents’ shop in Margravine Road, later having his own business in Fulham Palace Road.  John married Sarah Ayliffe in 1888 and had a large family, amongst who was CHARLES WILLIAM HARVEY our father. They both lived to celebrate their Golden Wedding in 1938, (click for details from Newspaper cutting).

 Sarah died in January 1944 and John died a few weeks later in February soon after a bomb fell on his house in Chiswick.

 Alice Harvey married William Hogan, a bricklayer of Irish descent and had a large family.  Her daughter Mabel married Caspar Justius Momberg and they emigrated to America in the early 1900’s.  Mabel’s daughter Agnes had a long period of correspondence with Auntie Bella.

 Frederick Harvey married Brittania, daughter of  Mackenzie Boswell, Horse Dealer and Gypsy.  In the 1881 Census the Boswells were living in “Travelling Caravan”, Sutton Maddock, Shropshire.  At their wedding in 1886, her name was given as Brittania Simpson.    They had several children and in the 1891 Census her children have the surname Simpson.   I wonder if it was the tradition in Gypsy families for the children to take their mothers surname. 

 Elizabeth Harvey married Edward Prior and had several children.

 Sarah married a John Frederick Ellis and had a daughter Dorothy.

 I have had great difficulty tracking down Mary Jane Cowdray (Grandad’s stepsister) and am still looking for clues.

 Stephen and Jane returned to Wiltshire at the end of the nineteenth century.  Stephen died in 1900 in Woodborough near Stanton St Bernard.  In the 1901 Census Jane is living in Woodborough with her two grandchildren Dorothy Ellis and Mark Griffin (both born in London).  I cannot find out whom Mark Griffin was born to. 


If you believe you have any family connections, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Cynthia Sanderson

Angela Weatherill