16 January 2009

Another Update on Charles Frederick Davies

Good news! Further to my posts on 27 Nov & 18 Dec about Charles Frederick Davies I've been contacted by his great-great-granddaughter Kimberley Davies Traum who lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Kimberley tells me that Charles Frederick emigrated to Canada about 1869 where he met and married his wife, Mary Ann Routh who was born in Ontario. In the 1881 census of Canada they were living in Montreal, Quebec with their four children - Florence, Frederick, Karl R and 6 mth old Maxton Routh Davies.

About 1893 the family migrated to the US where they were living in Detroit, Wayne Co, Michigan in the 1910 census. In 1920 Charles Frederick was living with his married daughter Florence Geddes in Detroit and on the 4 Dec 1922 he passed away at his son Maxton's home in Shaker Heights, Cleveland, Ohio.

The bad news is that I made a horrible botch up of Charles Frederick's mother, she wasn't Mary Ann Burrows as I had thought - and I have no idea why I thought it at the time - she was Matilda Maxton, sister of his father's second wife Ann Maxton - and sure enough the both of them are in the marriage entries for the 3qtr of 1843 - luckily Kimberley was able to give me the details from Charles Frederick's birth certificate which proves who his mother was:-

    When and where born: Tenth of June 1844 at 1 Foxton Terrace, Islington
    Name: Charles Frederick
    Sex: Boy
    Name and surname of father: Charles William Davies
    Name, surname and maiden surname of mother: Matilda Davies formerly Maxton
    Occupation of father: Chronometer Maker
    Signature, description and residence of informant: C.W. Davies, Father

Finally, a few interesting facts about Charles Frederick's life from Kimberley.

When 13 years old he was appointed organist of St. Peter's Cathedral, 90 Kensington Park Rd, Notting Hill, London, winning a competition in which 15 of the most prominent organists in England took part. He was a pupil of [Dr Henry John] Gauntlett, G. B. Allen, and Lefébure-Wély. He was one of the earliest Fellow of the College of Organists and was the first organist of St. Alban the Martyr Church, Holborn. In 1869 he went to Canada, on the recommendation of Richard Redhead, to become organist of St. James’, Montreal. He afterwards held other posts, his last one being at Detroit where he was organist at the Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church for several years. He was president of the Windsor College and Conservatory of Music. In 1913 he founded the Windsor (Ont.) College of Liberal Arts, now a prosperous educational institution.

I'm amazed that from such old photographs with very little information on them that I've been able to find a descendant on the other side of the world in a relatively short time, and all done without leaving my computer. So a new home has been found for the Davies family photos, I'm so pleased.

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