DAVIES family Upton Magna 1800-1911

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SMJ
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I'm starting to dig deeper into the family past and I'm getiing to grips with the DAVIES family who lived around Preston Boats Farm and Upton Magna for most of the 19th Century. I'm reasonably certain Robert DAVIES (1799-1882) is my 4xGtGf. His son William DAVIES (1837~1889) married Emma OARE in Uffington 1867.

Later in life in the 1891 Census, Emma is widowed, living at 'Horse Boat House' (Underdale area of Shrewsbury) and listed as 'Keeper of Boat'.

1. Were there any records or licences issued to operators of a boat on the River Severn in the 1800s? Any records in Shropshire Archives? I'm trying to establish if she was the ferry operator or just had a boat on the Severn.

2. Is there any written history about the ferries across the river (Uffington, Underdale and Preston Boats)?

I have come across a few photographs of the ferries taken around the 1880s onwards but no history or documentation. Does anyone have any more information?

Steve J (b.1957 Cross Houses - now living in Gloucestershire) 

 

Richard Hobbs
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Hi Steve, my great great grandmother's first husband was a James Davies born in 1823 in Upton Magna. I don't have any records of siblings though his father was Henry I think.  I have details of James' family if you would like, though these will be available in Ancestry.

Re Preston Boats, my great grandparents lived at the farms in the 1930's to 50's, and there was a wire across the river which they used to get to the other side. The posts are still there I believe.

Richard Hobbs

SMJ
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Hi Richard, thanks for the offer of the James Davies line, but I haven't found any connections to a James or Henry Davies in my tree. I have found several unconnected Davies families in the area, some associated with Uffington or Roden/High Ercall or Upton Magna. If it helps anyone, my branch seems to be associated with WILDING and EVERALL names in the C18th. My GtGf was a William Francis Wilding DAVIES b.1868.

My real problem is a total brickwall in 1870. WFW Davies' wife was an Ada Davies b.1870 (from census and marriage detail) but I have been unable to find a birth for 1868-1872 for this name in any part of the county that would allow the following years to match. Various census returns and the marriage certificate consistently give her birth year as 1870 and Place(s) of Birth as Crewe(1881), Condover(1891) & Shrewsbury(1901 & 1911). Her father according to the marriage was William Davies, a farm labourer. You don't have a stray Ada Davies in your tree?

It strange how history can be interconnected. Throughout my teenage life I lived in Highfields and would often walk a dog on the Shrewsbury side of the river opposite Preston Boats, not realising my ancestors were probably doing the same 150 years ago when walking from Abbey Foregate down Preston Street to the river.

Many regards

Steve J

 

Richard Hobbs
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Hi Steve, no, I don't have an Ada Davies unfortunately.

I grew up in Elmfield Road,off Belvedere Avenue, so we used to play around Highfields and down to the river.  It's sad to hear that many new houses are to be built (have already been built) on Weir Hill, but I guess new housing is needed.

Graham Hollox
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Re ferries, have you tried contacting Neil Clarke author of 'Fords and Ferries on the Shropshire Severn?' He can be contacted via Broseley Local History Society. We have a memorial inscription in the old St Mary's Church in Broseley, to a Charles Davies who lived in Broseley Wood but died 26th April 1829 "snatched away from the arms of an affectionate wife and seven children" which we cannot link to. As a neighbouring grave is to Mary (nee Gwynn) aged 63 wife of a Francis Everall who died 16th October 1828, i am wondering if these may be relevant to your search or if your research may help us.  Graham Hollox.