Hannah DAVEY

Hannah Davey was born in 1899 at Englishtown near Blessington in Tasmania. She was the 6th born out of 12 children to George and Martha Davey nee Colgrave.

Birth certificate Hannah Davey 1899 TAHO RGD 33/1/87 no 598

Englishtown is near the mountains of the Ben Lomond National Park in north-eastern Tasmania and would have been extremely cold during winter. The closest town is Evandale about 22kms away. Life would have been very hard for this large family. Hannah’s father, George, was mentioned in local papers as tendering for works on the roads near their land, but otherwise was a farmer.

1912 ‘EVANDALE.’, Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954), 7 March, p. 7. (DAILY), viewed 11 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50641551

Hannah’s father died in November 1914, aged just 49 years. He died at the Launceston General Hospital and was interred in the Presbyterian Burial Ground in Evandale. Hannah’s youngest brother, Frederick, was born just one month before her father’s death so I am sure she would have been expected to help look after him when not at school.

Marriage

By 1922, Hannah had moved to the big city of Hobart in southern Tasmania. She was working as a housekeeper to the Lord family in Sandy Bay. This was mentioned in the electoral roll of that year as being on the corner of Grosvenor and Lord Streets. Her future husband, Henry Lewis England, also lived in Grosvenor Street with his parents. This is probably how they met.

Hannah and Henry married on 9 May 1923 at the Methodist Church, Longford. The following article was in the Examiner dated 10 May 1923.

WEDDING BELLS: ENGLAND-DAVEY. The marriage of Hannah, fourth daughter of Mrs. Davey, of Longford, and the late Mr. George Davey, late of Deddington, and Henry L., only son of Mr. HL. England, and the late Mrs. England, of Sandy Bay, Hobart, took place on Wednesday afternoon at the Longford Methodist Church. Rev. George Arthur, M.A., was the officiating minister. The church was charmingly decorated with white roses and chrysanthemums and autumnal leaves by Misses Gladys Wheeler, and Millie Lee. The bride was given away by her young brother (Mr. Bert Davey) in the unavoidable absence of her elder brother (Mr. W. G. Davey, of Hobart). She wore a pretty frock of white organdie muslin embroidered with beads, and a wreath of orange blossoms and veil, the latter being loaned by her cousin (Mrs. Arthur Sherwood). She carried a shower bouquet of choice white flowers, tied with satin streamers. Her only attendant was her sister (Miss Doris Davey, who wore a frock of white crepe merle trimmed with blue. She carried a posey of white blossoms tied with blue streamers, and wore a gold bangle, the gift of the bridegroom. The bride’s brother (Mr. George Davey) supported the bridegroom as best man. Mrs. Davey (mother of the bride) wore a costume of navy blue serge and a black hat. Miss Gould played the “Wedding March” during the signing of the register, and as the newly-wedded couple left the church, Mrs. Davey entertained the bridal party and immediate relatives at wedding tea at the conclusion of the ceremony. Mr. and Mrs. England left for Launceston, and later on the North East Coast. where the honeymoon will be spent. Mrs. England’s travelling dress was a smart navy blue costume, with cream crochet front and a navy blue and gold hat, with Oriental trimmings. She also wore the bridegroom’s gift – a handsome black fur. Her present to him was a pocket wallet and notebook.

Henry Lewis England and Hannah Davey at marriage May 1923
at Methodist Church, Longford, Tasmania.

Family life

Hannah and Henry had three daughters: Iris Alston 1924 – 1934, Margaret Grace 1928 – 2017 and Phyllis Joan born 1934 and still alive with stories to tell. Iris died one month after the birth of Phyllis, so my mum didn’t get to know her eldest sister. These are some memories my mum had about her mother and family life:

  • Hannah enjoyed crocheting and cooking, especially fish.
  • She always helped on committees at Sandy Bay Methodist church.
  • We always went to Long Beach for picnics – caught the double decker tram at the bottom of King Street.
  • We had no car and no phone and only once dad had built the new laundry and bathroom did we get hot running water.
  • Hannah chopped off the top of her thumb helping with the new building.
  • We walked everywhere or caught the trams.
  • Hannah’s mum lived with us for six months of the year and the other half with Hannah’s sister Lizzie who lived in Lenah Valley.
  • We grew a lot of our own food and dad had a great peach tree in the backyard.
  • We used to have lots of visitors and cousins (who were back from the war) who would stay with us – Eileen stayed for four years while doing her high school study.
  • On Sunday, dad would cook the roast on the fuel stove while we went to church and Sunday School.
  • For tea every Sunday we would have sponge cake and scones and eat at the dining room table rather than the kitchen table. It was a special event.

A few other pictures of Hannah and the family:

Iris and Margaret in the backyard at Grosvenor Street, Sandy Bay
Iris and Margaret at Long Beach, Sandy Bay, Tasmania.
Henry, Hannah, Iris and Margaret at Hobart Regatta about 1929
Henry, Hannah, Margaret and Phyllis about 1937

Henry Lewis England died in March 1963 aged 74. Nearly four years to the day Hannah died March 1967 aged 67.

Martha Jane COLGRAVE

Martha Jane COLGREAVE was born 13 March 1874 to Francis and Susan Colgreave nee Boyd. The family lived at Blessington in northern Tasmania. Martha Jane was the fifth out of ten children born to this couple.

Martha Jane’s siblings were:

  • 1866 Francis John
  • 1867 Samuel
  • 1869 Frances Isabella
  • 1871 William F
  • 1876 Lillian Ada (Moy)
  • 1878 John Alfred Arthur
  • 1881 Ernest Charles
  • 1883 Ethel Mary Ann
  • 1886 Frederick George

Her mother Susan died in 1900 and her father in 1920.

In the 1870s, there is an F Colgrave providing wood for the local gaol and the Council Chambers. This could be Martha Jane’s father or grandfather who were both named Francis.

Marriage and children

Martha Jane married George DAVEY in 1890 when she was only 16 years old and he was 24. They married at Martha Jane’s home in English Town and her father Francis and George’s mother Annie were the witnesses.

The family, which eventually included 12 children, lived at Blessington near English Town where George made a living as a farmer but also was often contracted by the Evandale Road Trust to build and improve roads in the district. Read George’s biography to find out more about this.

This is the two room house in which the family lived in Blessington. Photo taken in 1987.

At the time of George’s death in November 1914, Martha was now on her own with 6 children aged 12 and under, the youngest being one month old Frederick.

The eldest daughter Mary Ann had married Gordon BURFORD in 1911, Emily Jane had married Trevor COX before 1913 and neither were now available to help with the younger children.

Martha Jane was still living in Blessington near English Town according to the 1914 Electoral Roll.

In 1915, her daughter Elsie died aged 11 and then in 1917 Leila passed away aged 7. Both girls were buried with their father in Evandale.

By 1928, Martha Jane had moved to Longford where she had bought a house to live in. She was now in her 50s and must have been a strong, determined woman to move house at her age.

Her daughter Elizabeth had married James BOXHALL and in the 1949 Electoral Rolls, Martha Jane was living with them in Oatlands where Jim was a policeman.

Martha Jane died in New Norfolk on 18 August 1954. She had outlived 6 of her children.

Remembrances from some of Martha Jane’s descendants

Phyllis (daughter of Hannah)

  • She lived at Longford. We holidayed there once a year. We went up by train.
  • When she was older she lived at Auntie Lizzie in New Norfolk for 6 months and at our place in Sandy Bay for six months.
  • She was a frail little lady.
  • She died about 10 days before your father and I were married.

Lorraine (daughter of Frederick, the youngest child)

  • I only remember an old lady who used to go & stay with Auntie Lizzie at Oatlands.
  • Think she also stayed with Auntie Hannah too.
  • We were living at Parattah near Oatlands & I was in Grade 4 when we came to live down in Newdegate St.

Denise (granddaughter of Lizzie)

  • As kids we had contact with Martha Jane – from memory both at Oatlands and New Norfolk
  • She used to sit in her wicker chair near the fireplace and we had to be quiet. This was nearly impossible as kids of 5 or 6.
  • She used to be waited on “hand and foot” – she seemed to be very old.