Harvey Story

By Cynthia Sanderson (nee Harvey)


Our earliest confirmed Harvey ancestor is JAMES HARVEY who was born in Wiltshire in the late 1600’s. On 16th October 1715, James married Rebecca Bond in the village of Imber – a small village on Salisbury Plain.  (It is no longer inhabited as it forms part of the army’s training area, the parish church being used for target practice). We cannot confirm but believe that James hailed from Westbury, a village on the edge of Salisbury Plain, about four miles from Imber. 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, Bety in 1758, and Paul in 1761.

Their second child was JAMES HARVEY (born in 1756)   James was living in the village of Enford when he married Dorothy Hamlen in Stanton St Bernard in 1776. It is quite likely that he may have worked for  Daniel Hamlen  the miller at Stanton St Bernard because Dorothy was 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  children were born Ruth (1778), Elizabeth (1779),  John (1783) and Henry (1784).

JOHN HARVEY was born in 1783. He married Sarah Bunce  in Stanton in 1805 and they had five children, Daniel (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.

 DANIEL HARVEY was born in 1806 and, 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 – Sarah 1831; Henry and William 1833; Eliza Jane 1843; Alice 1846. 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 (see below) 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 (Henry’s wife), 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. (See The Search for Mary Jane to read about her very interesting life). The first child born to Stephen and Jane in Fulham was Alice (1860), followed by John (1862), Frederick  (1865), Elizabeth (1867) and Sarah (1869).   
Stephen worked as a Market Gardener in his early Fulham days, later starting his own green grocery business. Towards the end of the nineteenth century they returned to Wiltshire. Stephen died in 1900 and Jane in 1902, both in Woodborough close to their birthplaces.

JOHN HARVEY Was the boy 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. They both lived to celebrate their Golden Wedding in 1938, (click for details from Newspaper cutting). Soon after this event their property in Fulham was compulsorily purchased for proposed building work and they moved to Chiswick in west London. Sarah died in January 1944 and John died a few weeks later in February after a bomb fell on his house in Chiswick.

John Harvey

CHARLES WILLIAM HARVEY (my father), born 26th June 1901 was the only child of John and Sarah to carry on the Harvey name.


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 Simpson in 1886. She was the daughter of  Thomas Simpson, Travelling Showman.   They had several children.

 Elizabeth Harvey married Edward Prior and had several children.

 Sarah Harvey married a John Frederick Ellis and had four (maybe 5) children and a sad married life.

 I had great difficulty tracking down Mary Jane Cowdray (Grandad’s stepsister) but have finally learnt about her eventful life.

 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).  


Research details written by Cynthia

Stephen Harvey was born to Betty Pearce in 1829. In November of that year his mother married Daniel Harvey of Stanton St. Bernard.  Every document relating to Stephen gives “Harvey” as his surname so I have no reason to believe that Daniel was not his father.  Jane Cowdry was born about 1830. At the time of the 1851 census Stephen was visiting a family called Page in North Newton and  described as a “basket maker”.  (I suppose this family could be related to Jane Page (Jane Cowdry’s mother) and is perhaps how Stephen met Jane Cowdry although I have not found Jane in the 1851 Census..

In 1853 Jane gave birth to a daughter, Mary Jane (birth certificate enclosed). 

 No name is given for a father and I am inclined to think that she was not Stephen’s child, as she always seems to have been referred to as Mary Jane Cowdry.  (I believe that she is the Mary Jane Cowdry given as “present at the death” of her grandmother Jane in 1873. In March 1859 Stephen and Jane were married in Kensington and both gave their address as South End Cottages.  They had the following children:

Alice (1860); my grandfather John (1862); Frederick (1865); Elizabeth (1867); Sarah (1869).

-Stephen seems to have worked in the Fulham market gardens for a while and eventually they had  a greengrocery business.  Both Frederick and John had similar shops.  My grandfather’s was in (30) Fulham Palace Road and he was there until the Second World War

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