Julia DRAKE in 1859 in Dartmouth (St Petrox)
- a witness at a marriage at St Petrox Chuch
From: Anna Tang

Date: Thursday, 11 September 2003 6:58 AM

Hello Roy

I recently obtained a copy of 2 ancestors mariage records from the Devon Records Office, & a witness on it was a Julia DRAKE.

The marriage was between John Bellett (Mariner - who later became Master Mariner - 'Captain Bellett'), & Ellen Anderson, on April 6th 1859, St Petrox, Dartmouth. Witnesses were Samuel Gurney & Julia Drake. I worked out that Samuel Gurney is probably the Samuel Gurney who was a 'Quay master' in 'Bears Cove' (today known as 'Bayard's Cove' - where they filmed 'Onedin Line' incidentally) in 1881 census, who possibly married a Jane Winsland who could have been Ellen Anderson's Aunt (still working on that one!).

But I haven't yet been able to find anything out about Julia Drake. We have a great old photo, (with crinoline skirts!) from my grandparents collection that we have been trying to indentify, which I have attached. The two people in the middle look very much like John Bellett (mariner/master mariner) & his wife Ellen Bellett (nee Anderson). They married when they were age 24 (John) & age 20 (Ellen) so this could be a wedding photo? - I do not know for sure! I had thought the man on the left could be Samuel Gurney & the woman on the right could be Julia Drake. I have yet to find out if John had siblings, so that is another possibility, or it could be his father (who possibly conceived John very young) & a sister. Ellen's father, James Anderson had died before her wedding (another mariner - dangerous occupation then!) but she had a couple of sisters quite close in age. John's father was another John Bellett, a 'labourer'. We are pretty sure the locket photo is John Bellett (mariner/master mariner). We have another photo of Ellen Bellett much older, but she does look rather like the girl in the middle, even tho it is harder to tell when people get older.

If you know of someone with a Julia Drake of Dartmouth in their tree, that would have been alive at about the time of the photo, could you ask the date of birth of Julia Drake? & forward this e-mail to them, so we could either put her down as a possiblity, or eliminate her (if she would have been too old to match this photo for example). Many, many thanks.

So I am sending you all this just in case you know of somebody that has Julia Drake (possibly of Dartmouth) in their tree - Julia who would have been in her 20's (approx) in 1859, by the looks of things, if it is her in the photo. Because they could have the same photo in their collection if it were her - & if they do have the same photo, I would love to know, because that could help with the identification! Even if it isn't her, I thought it could be interesting for a 'relative' of Julia Drake to see what Julia's contemporaries/friends were wearing/looked like at the time! Apparently dark coloured dresses were very 'trendy' then because 'modern' dyeing techniques suddenly allowed dark dress cloth colours to be possible, I think I read in a book about the history of costume!

Well I had better stop now, but just want to add that St Petrox is a really pretty church in Dartmouth, within Dartmouth Castle, in an amazing location overlooking the River Dart, & I have photos of that too, if a relative of Julia Drake's is interested in seeing where she once was!

Best Wishes
Anna Tang, England

Just found this info below on www.familysearch.org - I think this could well be the Julia Drake on my ancestors marriage certificate as she is the only Julia Drake I could find born Dartmouth (in 1881 census). Of course she could have married & changed her name by then tho! But she is also the only Julia DRAKE born Dartmouth that I could find on the LDS internet IGI records - I know they are not full records, but maybe you would know if there were any more Julia Drakes around at that time - it is not too common a name then I think!
1881 census: Household: Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation Disability George DRAKE Head M Male 73 Dartmouth, Devon, England Stoneman Elizabeth DRAKE Wife M Female 72 Dartmouth, Devon, England Julia A. DRAKE Daur U Female 44 Dartmouth, Devon, England Dressmaker (so birth year c.1837) Source Information: Dwelling Higher St Census Place Dartmouth St Saviour, Devon, England Family History Library Film 1341523 Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 2174 / 72 Page Number 26 IGI Individual Record FamilySearch™ International Genealogical Index v5.0 British Isles Search Results | Download | Pedigree Julia Drake Female Event(s): Birth: 1837 Dartmouth, Devon, England Christening: Death: Burial: Parents: Father: George Drake Family Mother: Elizabeth John & Ellen Bellett, whose marriage she witnessed, were born 1835 & 1840, so she was a 'peer' of theirs it appears.