Friday, March 28, 2014

George Vickery (1824-1874) "52 Ancestors"

This is week 13 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. I am working ahead to try to have a few posts ready in reserve just in case. It seems like I am focusing on my wife's line again, especially her ancestors from the Channel Islands. This story is about her 3rd great-grand uncle George Vickery.

George Vickery was born on 8 September 1824 in St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands. He was the second of at least ten children. His parents were Thomas Vickery (1798-1863) and Mary Coutanche (1807-1853), my wife's 4th great-grandparents. George was baptised on 22 September 1824.

I haven't yet found many records for George between his birth and the 1851 Census, so we will start just before that. In about 1845, George married Louisa LeBoeuf (1823-??), the sister of James and Frederick LeBoeuf, whom I have written about previously. George and Louisa's first child was Raimond George Vickery. Raimond was born on 28 June 1846 but died about two years later on 12 April 1848. A few months prior to Raimond's death, on 25 January 1848, their second child, James Frederick Vickery, was born. On 1 January 1850, their third child, William de Perval Vickery was born. William died three months later on 8 April 1850. The 1851 census lists the family as George (age 26), Louisa (age 26), and James F (age 3). Additionally, the following people were also living in the home: Mary Ann Leboeuf - sister-in-law (age 20), Ann Coutanche - aunt (age 70), James LeBoeuf - brother-in-law (age 25), and Frederick LeBoeuf - brother-in-law (age 19). The home was located at 22 Royal Square, St. Helier. George's occupation is listed as Soliciter. I looked up Royal Square on Google Maps and saw that it is located adajcent to the Royal Courthouse and just up the road from the Parish Church of St. Helier.

As a soliciter, George wrote several books, including Verite ou mensonge loi ou violence in 1855 and Des privileges de l'ile ou de la resurrection de Stuarts et de la chambre toilee a Jersey in 1856. These titles are in Jersiais, the language of the Channel Islands and can roughly be translates as Truth of falsehood, law or violence and Privileges of the island or the resurrection of the Stuarts and the draped chamber in Jersey. Notice, I said roughly translated since Google Translate does not have a Jersiais translation and I had to use the next best thing, which was French.

In the 1850s, during the reign of Napoleon III, there was much political repression happening in neighboring France. Many critics of the emperor fled for refuge to Jersey. One family who were exiled in Jersey was Victor, Charles and Francois-Victor Hugo. You may already know who Victor Hugo was since he wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables. Francois-Victor Hugo wrote for a newspaper in Jersey known as L'Homme. In 1855 the Hugo family was expelled from Jersey because of a story in the newspaper criticizing Queen Victoria. During their time in Jersey, George Vickery became a friend of the Hugo family and in 1855 organized a petition of notable people in Jersey against the expulsion order.

George was an active member of the States of Jersey, the island's legislature. On 6 November 1856, the States' legislature adopted a new law to add Parish Deputies to the Assembly. Deputies would have the same rights and functions as the existing twelve Jurats, twelve Constables and twelve Rectors. Jurats were elected for life and Rectors were chosen by the Crown; Deputies were to be elected by their parish, as were the Constables, for three years. Each parish of St. Helier chose three Deputies and the other eleven parishes each chose one Deputy. They took their seats for the first time on 29 January 1857. George was among the first Deputies elected to the Assembly. On July 1859 the States Assembly passed a law increasing the number of Barristers, which had been a maximum of six prior to this time. George was appointed a Barrister in 1860.

During the 1861 census, the family is living at 203 Famworth Ter Cottage Street in St. Helier. The family consisted of George (age 35), Louisa (age 32), and George (age 3). George's occupation is listed as Barrister of the Royal Court. In addition to his immediate family, the following people are living in the house; Marian LeBoeuf - sister-in-law (age 23), Eliza Quirot - servant, cook (age 21), and Eleanore Quirot - servant, housemaid (age 16). I am not sure what happened to James since he would have been around 16 years old during this census. There are also several other children "missing" in this census. They include three daughters; Adala, Augusta, and Leonida Maude. Adala was born 28 April 1851. Augusta was born 31 March 1853. Leonida Maude was born 6 May 1855. I previously wrote a post about Leonida Maude and her adventures in Australian theater.

In 1871 the family was living at 11 St. Marks Road, St. Helier. The family in the 1871 census included George (age 46), Louisa (age 46), Adala (age 19), Maud (age 15), and George (age 13). There was also a servant, Mary Fitzgibbon (age 21) living in the house. Two of the children, Maude and George, are listed as scholars, meaning they are attending school. It appears that George was still serving as a representative since his occupation is listed as Deputy Barrister and he wrote the following letter to his constituency in 1870:

At the expiration of Fourteen Year's Service in the States as one of your Representatives, I wish to thank you for the confidence you have so warmly and repeatedly shewn me, and to solicit for another triennial term a renewal of your kind support.
Without presumption on one hand and without false modesty on the other, I think I may to-day conscientiously affirm that, during these Fourteen years, my chief ambition has been to labour diligently and to the best of my humble ability for the Public good; and that 1857, when I first entered the States, no Member of the Legislative body has taken a more active part than I have done in initiating and, so far as possible, carrying out whatever both you and I considered conducive to the general interest of the Island.
I have no wish to detail in this brief address what I have succeeded in effecting in the Legislative Assembly and States' Committees; what I have projected; and what is au Greffe in my name for early discussion. Before the General Election takes place I shall probably have fitting opportunity to do so.
For the moment, after thanking you for the trust you have, during such a comparative length of time, reposed in me, and soliciting, if you think me worthy of it, a renewal of your confidence (the last time I am likely to do so) I merely desire to state, and most distinctly, that my sole reason for wishing to be re-elected is this:--I wish to complete the States' work I had imposed on myself, I wish to carry out the important Bills I have prepared, and which stand for discussion during the next Session of our Local Parliament.
It will be physically impossible for me, Gentlemen, to canvass you personally. You know the reason, impaired health. This of course will not militate against me with honorable and intelligent men. Those who think that I have done my utmost to serve the public faithfully will not wait to be canvassed; but will, I trust, volunteer me their kind support through Members of my Committee.
I hope to be favoured with the personal attendance of my friends at the Meetings that will be announced in conjunction with my re-election.

I remain, Gentlemen, truly yours,

We found this letter sewn into the cover of a family album maybe 10 years ago but we do not know where that album is today. Luckily we had the foresight to copy the text and save it for the future.

George Vickery died on 16 November 1874 in St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands. We have found several poems written about George Vickery but since they are in Jersiais it is difficult to translate them. Maybe someone reading this blog in the future will be able to help us with the translation.


by : Augustus Asplet Le Gros

Le k'min est court du ber jusqu'au tomb;
La vie, au pus, n'est qu'un rêve et une ombre;
Et ben souvent nou-s-a du desteurbé,
Et ben souvent la querière en est sombre.

I faut muorir, ch'est ben là notre sort,
Q'nou-s-ait grandeur, richèsse, ou ben piéssance;
Car i faut tous payir rente à la mort,
Q'nou seit utile ou q'nou seit en nisance.

" Vick'ry n' est pus," l'êfant de not' Jèrry,
Qui tant de feis ichin se fît entendre.
Nou l'dit partout, à la Cour, au Marchi:
" Vick'ry n'est pus," i faut ben le comprendre.

J'avions perdu le Sueux, Duprè, Godfray.
Il' 'taient nuos grands, et leux île en 'tait fière.
Iun et pis iun s'en va, que nou viyait:
I' sont tuos morts, et Vick'ry veint de les sière.

Oubliéra-nou leux travas et leux faits?
Chein qu'il' ont fait pour le ben sus la terre?
Laissons leux d'fauts! je sommes-t-i parfaits?
Qu'est qui gin'ra, dites-le-mei, la pierre?

Vere, i vivront! en ermerquant leux pas,
Au coin du feu, nuos êfants puorront lière
que nou deit tous s'entr'aidjir ichin-bas,
Se rendre utile et pon s'entre-nière.

Eune Caricatuthe d'la "Voix des Iles" 1873 - 1874

Le Député Vickery

by: L'Anmin Flippe

Le Devoir

Duty! Devoir! grand mot qui donne
Le vrai couozage au vertueux,
Duty! Devoir! doux mot qui sonne
Comme la musique des cieux,
Combain de la famille humaine,
Ne te porte honneur ni respé,
Jersey expects that every man
This day will do his duty.

Et dans chute terrible épreuve,
Que je subissons, mes anmins,
Faut-ti laissi sa femme veuve,
Et ses chiers êfants orphelins;
Raidissons nous contre la gène,
Comme Nelson y faut c ri,
Jersey expects that every man
This day will do his duty.

Comment! dans un jour de souffrance
Njou restezait les bras croizis,
Si nou veut trouvé l'espézance,
Y ne faut pas resté assis.
Vickery nos môtre sans peine,
Comment nou peut sen dêhalé.
Jersey expects that every man
This day will do his duty.

Quicun nos dit, la chose est belle
D'assisté tout homme ichin bas,
Mais mé, je donne a ma chapelle,
Donné ailleurs je ne peux pas.
Hypocrite a la douche haleine,
Ne vain don pue nos êlourdé.
Jersey expects that every man
This day will do his duty.

1 comment:

  1. I have a piano from the late 1800's that has the name Geo. Vickery. The name is not listed anywhere as a piano maker or player. I have even reached out to iano historians and nothing! Could this piano belong to your family?