©2009-2016 Becky Higgins

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Surname Saturday - Davey, Stephens, Ellstrom, Christiansen, Larson

The work has begun. Reviewing and researching the ancestors of Alice Mildred Davey. The focus will be on her four grandparents’ surnames: Davey, Stephens, Christiansen, and Ellstrom. Perhaps if there is time and space, the next generation’s Harper, Letcher and Mellberg surnames may be touched on as well.

This Davey line hails from Lanlivery, Cornwall, England. The progenitor and immigrant ancestor, John Dyer, brought his family to Dodgeville, Wisconsin via Canada. The family included Mary Ann (Harper) Davey, his wife, and their children John Dyer, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, and Joseph Thomas. All the children were born and baptized in Lanlivery.

Joseph Thomas Davey, the youngest child of John Dyer and Mary Ann (Harper) Davey, became a miner mining in the area of Dodgeville or wherever he found work. Lots of mining was being done in the Platteville, Wisconsin which is where he may have met his wife, Mary Louise Stephens. Mary Louise was a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Letcher) Stephens. Mary Louise was born in Iowa County, Wisconsin, probably Platteville, in 1844 after what became known as the “Stephens Colony” came to the area from Perranzabuloe, Cornwall, England. Around 50 members of this Stephens clan immigrated together in 1842, thus the description of “colony.”

Joseph and Mary Louise Davey had eight children: Joseph Thomas, Mary Louisa, May Louise, William T, Frederick Francis, Hypatia, Benjamin Leroy, and Charles. All of the children were born in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Joseph still traveled some for mining work, leaving Mary Louise to handle things at home. Based on some surviving letter, Joseph did send money home to help out but it appears the family sometimes found itself in dire straits.

Frederick Francis Davey was born 09 Jul 1877, the fifth of the eight children of Joseph and Mary. He dropped out of school in the 5th grade at the age of 9 or 10. He eventually received training and became a barber. By 1906, he was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he met and married Alice Augusta Larson. She had taken the name of her stepfather; her biological father’s surname was Christiansen.

Alice was the daughter of Hans and Amelia (Ellstrom) Christiansen. Hans and Amelia had two children; Alice and Teckla. Hans was born in Fodslette, Fyn, Denmark. He was naturalized in November 1877. Hans worked for the Lake Superior Mining Company in Ishpeming, Michigan. He married Alice Augusta Ellstrom on 19 Apr 1879. On 07 Sep 1883 while working in the Number 2 Engine House where he was an engineer, Hans had hit in the head by a fly wheel and died a few days later at his home in Ishpeming. This left Amelia widowed with two children under the age of four.

Amelia Ellstrom was born to Frederick and Christina (Mellberg) Ellstrom in Backfors, Dahsland, Sweden on 24 Nov 1858. She was their second child. The children born in Sweden – Augusta, Amelia, Alexander, and Albert – immigrated with their mother (Frederick was already in America) in July of 1869 and settled in Marquette, Michigan. Once in America Frederick and Christina had three more children – Albertina, Anna Christina and Alice M. Amelia’s father and at least one brother worked for the railroad.

On 06 Aug 1887, Amelia married Carl August Larson. The Larson children are Ethel, Lida, Clarence, Alma and Clifford.

It seems there will be plenty to write about as time goes on. I still have plenty of researching and reviewing to do be I can put a book together but it looks like it will come together.



  1. Hi .Im not sure if the first comment I wrote got to you.I have pictures of Mary louise Davey that I would like to share and others .May be one of Alice Davey HIggins as a child not sure .I am a decendant of Charles Davey ,Fred's little brother .We do not have a death date for him and would be interested in that info if you come across it .Charles married my great grandma Ethel Wills Davey Wedyke and I think Alice and my great aunts and grandmother Elsie was near her age and lived in Ishpeming for a time so I think they being 1st cousins it could be her in the picture .Do you know if she was known as Mary Alice?How can I share the pictures with you ?Please reply when you have a chance .Thanks Cherie Clark Burghardt

  2. Hi Cherie,
    I'd very much like to exchange info with you on this family. I'm seriously working on writing my mother-in-law's family story and you may be able to fill in some blanks for me, and I you:). Please contact me a bhiggins9@gmail.com. One of my questions was how Fred Davey and Alice Ellstrom got together but if he visited with Charles in Ishpeming that could be the answer. Anyway, there's lots more so please email me.