Help with brick wall ancestor – Samuel

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Help with brick wall ancestor – Samuel

Postby michelledennis » Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:59 pm

My ancestor Samuel Samson Davis, a gunlock maker of Aldgate, London has been on my ‘most wanted’ list for over 20 years. I have gathered much information on his marriage, children, occupational life, and burial, but can’t find anything of his origins (birth, baptism, parentage).
I have researched all the known baptisms for Samuel/Samson DAVIS – but cannot confirm the correct one.

KNOWN FACTS
Born approximately 1781, probably in London. (from age at burial).
1803 – marriage to Betty HOLBROOK at St James, Paddington, London – stating he was ‘of this parish’.
1804 – 1st son Samuel born Prescot Street, Whitechapel, baptised St Mary Whitechapel.
1805 – 1818 worked Tower of London, living at 4 Upper East Smithfield, Aldgate.
1807 – 2nd son Joseph born Butlers Buildings, East Smithfield, baptised St Botolph, Aldgate
1809 - 1832 Butlers Buildings/4 Upper East Smithfield, Aldgate.
1832 – death & burial 4 Upper East Smithfield, buried at St Botolph, Aldgate.
Samuel had a sister Ann (died 1840) who married James Keech a chemist of Deptford, Kent (1796-1846) at St Dunstan’s, Stepney on 24 July 1823. No children found. (Ann was mentioned in Samuel’s will of 1832 naming her as a guardian of his surviving 9 children).
Samuel and Betty’s children were – Samuel 1804, Joseph 1807, Sarah 1809, Elizabeth 1811, Ann 1813, Catherine 1814, Mary 1816, Samson 1818, and John 1821.

I am descended from their third son, Dr Samson Davis who immigrated with his family to Melbourne, Australia in 1852.

RESEARCH CONDUCTED
Trade & post office directories, taxation records, death duties, occupational records (apprenticeship, guild, freedom, trade, company, Tower staff records, board of ordnance), patents, newspapers, obituaries, magazines, property, insurance, will, burial, marriage, baptism of all children.
Checked Paddington St James baptisms and marriages (for his own and his parents)
Followed up possible London baptisms, but unable to confirm. (1779 St Mary Whitechapel is not him!)
FamilySearch entry regarding Samuel Samson DAVIS is my own old, incorrect entry.
Checked all London wills of Samuel and Samson DAVIS in case they were his father – all ruled out!
Had my male line DNA tested to look for possible connections.

Any advice on where else to look for his origins would be greatly appreciated!!!

Michelle Dennis
Sunbury, Victoria, Australia
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Re: Help with brick wall ancestor – Samuel Samson DAVIS, Lon

Postby MarkCDodd » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:29 am

G'Day from a fellow Victorian. I can see from your Ancestry tree you have done an excellent job gathering a lot of information on him. My only suggestion would be apprenticeship records. The Gunmakers may have him under his real name which was also used for his apprenticeship.
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Re: Help with brick wall ancestor – Samuel Samson DAVIS, Lon

Postby gardener » Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:40 pm

Is there any chance that he was related to the Samuel Samson Davis who is in the 1861 census? The latter seems to belong to a Jewish family so I don't know how likely that is, but they are in the Aldgate area.
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Re: Help with brick wall ancestor – Samuel Samson DAVIS, Lon

Postby michelledennis » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:32 am

gardener wrote:Is there any chance that he was related to the Samuel Samson Davis who is in the 1861 census? The latter seems to belong to a Jewish family so I don't know how likely that is, but they are in the Aldgate area.


Thanks for your suggestions. Perhaps my Samuel Samson DAVIS was related to his namesake in the 1861 census, but this one was definately Jewish, so I still feel it slightly unlikely. He was just so prominent in the CofE - getting married there (St James, Paddington - of this parish), and having his nine children baptised CofE (St Mary Whitechapel and St Botolph, Aldgate), and both he and his wife and some of his children were buried at St Botolphs. One of his son's Dr Samson Davis was a CofE lay preacher.

But, its certainly a possibility. I've spent a few hours following the Jewish 1861 Census Samuel Samson Davis line that you suggested and found out the following -
Moses Aaron Davis had a son -
David Davis b 1781 d 1829 (watchmaker of Bury St, Aldgate). David married Elizabeth Lazuras at the Great Synagogue 1804. David's will is on ancestry and lists a sister Rosetta, and five children including -
Jacob David Davis b 1810 d 1870 (furrier and wine merchant) of 14 St Mary Axe, Aldgate. Married 1834 Dinah ALEXANDER at the Great Synagogue. (lots of land tax and electoral roll records on Ancestry for Jacob). Jacob had 6 children - including
Samuel Samson b 1838 (same name as my ancestor!)

So although I've had lots of fun researching this very Jewish family, I've gone up high enough not to make a connection with my Samuel Samson Davis b 1780. Darn it!

Thanks so much for your suggestions though.

Cheers

Michelle
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Re: Help with brick wall ancestor – Samuel Samson DAVIS, Lon

Postby michelledennis » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:34 am

Thanks also for the suggestion about apprenticeships. I have done a lot of research at the gunmakers company over the years, and although they have a lot of other records for him (including 4 patents he took out on improvements to gunlocks) there is no trace of an apprenticeship record. I've tried all the other usual apprenticeship sources too, but so far, no luck. Thanks for the idea though. :P
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Re: Help with brick wall ancestor – Samuel Samson DAVIS, Lon

Postby MattFletcher » Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:44 pm

Why do you rule out the 1779 baptism at St. Mary's Whitechapel? Right name, age, neighbourhood ... could be worth another look.

I'm interested in how your ancestor qualified as a doctor from such modest beginnings. The cost of medical training meant it was limited to a small self-perpetuating middle class. He must have been an extraordinary individual.

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Re: Help with brick wall ancestor – Samuel Samson DAVIS, Lon

Postby gardener » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:37 pm

There is this book http://www.worldcat.org/title/dictionar ... c/60070498
(it seems to exist in some Australian libraries) and in a review it says that "gives the salient features of the origins and careers of every known member of a London trade whose product was essential..."
Perhaps your guy is mentioned? It depends a bit what "salient" covers ;-) perhaps you could get a library to do a look up for you?
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Re: Help with brick wall ancestor – Samuel Samson DAVIS, Lon

Postby michelledennis » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:13 pm

Gardener - yes I have got a copy of Howard Blackmores book (a dictionary of London Gunmakers) - yes, my ancestor Samuel Samson Davis is mentioned in there. I corresponded with Howard for a few years before he died. Thanks for that suggestion.

Matt - I rule out the 1779 baptism because that child was born in a workhouse, and my Samuel Davis seems to quite middle class/wealthy from his will and inventory listing. He worked in the tower of London as a gunmaker, and had quite an extensive career supply guns to the Board of Ordnance, and his own shop at 4 Upper East Smithfield in Aldgate. Also, I have found other records regarding the workhouse Samuel Davis later in life - separate to my own.

Regarding Samuel Samson's son - Dr Samson Davis - he was left an orphan as a child aged 13 (with his 8 siblings) after both his parents died within a week of each other (probably in the 1832 Chlorea epidemic). In his father's will, his aunt Ann Keech was made a guardian with his father's money put in trust for him. An apprenticeship was arranged (on it he names his older brother Joseph as his guardian), and he had quite a good medical career in both London and Australia.

Thanks for your help and questions.

cheers
Michelle
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Re: Help with brick wall ancestor – Samuel Samson DAVIS, Lon

Postby BC Wench » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:31 am

Is this still a Brickwall, or have you solved it?

Unless otherwise advised this will be moved to the Brickwalls Archived section
within 24 hours
Researching: PARGETER, BELCHER, BRADLEY, DANDO, ROWLEY, ROWSELL
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Re: ARC TBC Help with brick wall ancestor – Samuel

Postby michelledennis » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:36 pm

Hello, no its still a brickwall - I still cannot find his baptism. cheers, Michelle
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Re: ARC TBC Help with brick wall ancestor – Samuel

Postby BC Wench » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:31 pm

Thanks for letting me know :wink:
Researching: PARGETER, BELCHER, BRADLEY, DANDO, ROWLEY, ROWSELL
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