Sunday, June 8, 2014

Josiah Godfrey Defriez (1847-1866)


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Josiah Godfrey Defriez enjoyed a busy and comfortable childhood in Bethnal Green, London. He sometimes went on visits with his doctor father, Joseph George Defriez, and enjoyed the poetry and music of his refined mother, Mary Ann Godfrey Defriez.

Josiah was the third child in the family, and probably the first to leave home. On October 8, 1865, he signed on as cabin boy on the ship Mary Warren and began a voyage around the world. The ship arrived in Melbourne, Australia in February of the next year.

On October 7, 1866, Josiah fell from the top mast during a storm and was killed. The captain buried him at sea. Unlike other sailors who died in debt, his estate consisted of £2.17.6, and it was sent home by the consul at the next port. (Assuming I'm reading the cryptic notes correctly.)

On Ancestry.com a few family members list his place of death as "Tengah, Sulawesi Tengah, Indonesia" but I cannot find a source for that claim.

Word of his death arrived in Bethnal Green sometime after March 6, 1867. It was a time of sorrow and mourning for the Defriez family: they had lost their youngest son, Herbert, in December 1865, then their next youngest, Alexander, in January 1866. The family may have never quite recovered from these deaths, but that is another story, and will be continued this week.



Except for a few legends shared by well-meaning but inaccurate relatives, the book George Jarvis and Joseph George DeFriez is accurate in most regards, so it was a surprise that the author, Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson, got her uncle's death date wrong, placing it in 1871. I will use the date found in the maritime records and correct it in Family Tree.


Sources.
The Argus (Melbourne, Victoria), "Shipping Intelligence," February 16, 1866, 4, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/5770163.

The National Archives, Maritime deaths [database online], findmypast, (Source).

Overson, Margaret Jarvis. George Jarvis and Joseph George DeFriez Genealogy. Mesa, Arizona: 1957.

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