The Life and Times of Louisa Hallsey

This is the 10th in my series of blogs recounting the lives of my 2 x Great Grandparents and next up is Louisa Hallsey.

Louisa Hallsey was the 7th and youngest child born to Daniel Hallsey and Harriet Hallsey nee Simmons. She was born in January 1836 and Baptised at St. Peter and St. Paul Parish Church in Milton, Gravesend in Kent on 24th January 1836, just prior to the start of Civil Registration in England and Wales, which started in 1837. At the time the family were living in Queen Street, Milton, Gravesend and Louisa’s Father Daniel, was listed as a Waterman.

St-Peter-St-Paul_Milton

(St. Peter and St. Paul Church)

The Parish of Milton is relatively small, around three quarters of a mile, from east to west, and a mile and half north to south. Much of the population was, until about the 1840s, scattered in rural farmhouses, country houses and cottages. It sits on the River Thames and lies within the Borough of Gravesend. The boundary between the two parishes is centred through Gravesend High Street (which puts the old Town Hall in Milton, not Gravesend) and It contains about eleven hundred acres of land, of which approximately fifty are marshland.

Louisa Hallsey Baptism

For some reason I have been unable to locate 5 year old Louisa in the 1841 Census, despite looking at various websites under various names. Both her parents can be found living together at Milton in Gravesend, also with her parents are her siblings, Sophia 15, James 14, Eleanor 12, William 10 and Edmund 9, but for some reason no Louisa? Unless of course, one of you eagle eyed researchers out there can spot her?

1851 Census

The 1851 Census shows our Louisa Hallsey living at home at 16, Queen Street, Milton, Gravesend with both her parents, Daniel and Harriet. At the time Daniel is listed as a Waterman, also living at home are Louisa’s siblings, Thomas 30, Sophie 29, Eleanor 21, William 20, and Edmund 19.

On 23rd June 1859 Louisa Marries Thomas Elisha Day at St.Andrew’s Church, Holborn, London. Louisa is listed as living at Hatton Garden, London at the time of their Marriage. Thomas is listed as a House Decorator and his place of residence is also listed as Holborn, London, Witnesses to the Marriage were Henry James Day and Matilda George Day who were both Cousins to Thomas Elisha Day and both living in London at the time. It’s always worth noting and recording the witnesses at the Weddings, because they could be future, or existing family members.

Thomas Elisha Day Marriage

The next record we find that mentions Louisa Day, is the baptism of her first Child, Louisa Harriet Day, who was baptised on 30th March 1860, at the time the family are living at 11, Cambrian Grove, Gravesend, Kent.

1861 Census

By the time of the 1861 Census the family home is 68, Wrotham Road, Milton, Gravesend, Kent and Louisa and Thomas are living at home with their one year old Daughter.

Between 1862 and 1871 Louisa and Thomas have another five children, Annie Alexandra Day born 1863, Frederick Archer Day born 1865, Henrietta Sophia Day born 1866, Harry Archer Day born 1868 and Jessie Day Born 1871.

1871 Census

By the time of the 1871 Census, the family had moved to 11, Peacock Street, Gravesend, Kent and Louisa is living at home with her Husband, Thomas Elisha, who was listed as a Painter. Also living at home are two of their Children, Louisa and Annie, sadly Jessie, Henrietta and Harry had all died in their infancy. It’s impossible to imagine the devastating effect that losing so many children so young, could have had on Louisa and Thomas. With diseases such as Cholera, Typhus and Smallpox still rife in densely populated areas, survival for young Children was a constant battle. 1871 Saw the worst Smallpox epidemic in Britain, when 50,000 people died as a result of the disease.

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One more child is born to Louisa Day and Thomas Elisha Day, on 28th January 1878, my Great-Grandfather Frank Day was born at 11, Peacock Street, Gravesend, Kent.

11, Peacock Street, Gravesend

(11, Peacock Street, Gravesend)

1881 Census

The next record we find is the 1881 Census and Louisa is still living at 11, Peacock Street, Gravesend, Kent and living at home with her are her Husband and three surviving children Louisa Day, Annie Day and Frank Day, also at the residence is a lodger, Samuel Bayle. Thomas’s occupation is still a House Decorator.

1891 Census

By the time of the 1891 Census Louisa and Thomas have moved again to 41, Wingfield Road, Gravesend, Kent, also living at home are children, Louisa and Frank.

41, Wingfield Road, Gravesend

(41, Wingfield Street)

The next entry we find for Louisa Day surrounds her sad death, she died 19th May 1899 at 41, Wingfield Road, Gravesend, Kent aged 63. Informant of her Death was her Husband, Thomas Elisha Day, who was present at her Death. Louisa died from Morbus Cordis Syncope, or more simply put, Heart Disease.

Louisa Day Death Certificate

Her Death must have deeply affected her Family, not that any Death wouldn’t have such a devastating affect on a Family, both her Husband and Son Frank, placed announcements of Louisa’a Death in the Newspaper:

Taken from the Gravesend Reporter dated 19th May 1900

Day – In sorrowful and loving remembrance of our dear Mother, the beloved wife of Thomas Elisha Day, who departed this life on May 19th 1899 at 41, Wingfield Road, Gravesend.

How sudden was her death to us,

And a great surprise to us all,

When God did say, you must away,

Could she refuse His call.

“Tis sad to see the empty chair,

And miss the face we loved so well.

Her loss seems very hard to bear,

Yes, harder than our tongues can tell.

Time has passed and friends around us,

Think the wound has almost healed;

But they little know the sorrow,

That lies within our hearts concealed.

Inserted by her sorrowing husband and children, Louie, Annie and Frank.

Taken from the Gravesend Reporter dated 19th May 1900

Day – In sad and loving remembrance of my dear Mother, who departed this life May 19th 1899, at 41, Wingfield Road, Gravesend.

One year has passed dear Mother

No more thy face I will see

But with a sons fondest love

My Memory clings to thee

O’ sudden was thy call, dear Mother,

Not one word to me could you say,

Hard seems my lot which has befel,

For I was not there for the last farewell.

Had I known that death was near you,

With it’s swift and awful tide.

Nothing would have kept me from

My darling Mother’s side.

Inserted by her sorrowing son, Frank.

Louisa Day in Memory

Louisa was buried on 24th May 1899,  Grave Number 3720 Section A27, Gravesend Cemetery, Old Road West, Gravesend.

Gravesend Cemetery map

Thomas Elisha Day Burial Location

I have always had a special feeling about ‘Louisa’, I have never been able to put my finger on the reason why, but she has always been an Ancestor that I have felt a ‘connection’ too, more than some of my other Ancestors, is that Ancestral memory or a deeper connection that I have yet to find, either way, Louisa will always have an extra special place in my heart.

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10 thoughts on “The Life and Times of Louisa Hallsey

  1. Thanks for sharing. Your stories around the transcripts really sets the scene.

    So true about the outbreaks from around the mid-1850s. My direct family line that emigrated from Isle of Thanet to South Australia lost 3 of their children in the space of two and a half years (1846-49)…One in their home town and two at the beginning of their journey onboard the ship near Gravesend.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I like that idea! Francis Hammond was baptised in Milton in 1815 and married Susan Browning Wood in Queenborough in 1836 but they were living with their family in Milton in 1841 at King Street. They had moved to Chatham by 1851.

        Liked by 1 person

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