Isle of Man Family History Society Journal Vol 1 No 3 1979



Another Manx Link With TRAFALGAR

Millennium Pottery, we read, will commemorate once more John Quilliam, the most famous Manx naval seaman who sailed on the Victory at Trafalgar. Then let the Family History Society throw a spotlight on another officer of the Victory who also has his place in Manx family history.

He was Lt.Lewis Buckle Reeves, R.N. who is recorded in the Trafalgar Roll in Greenwich Museum:-

'(53) Lieut I.B. Reeves was the son of Thomas Reeves and Ellen, daughter of Lewis Buckle of Borden, East Meon, Hants, and grandson of Robert Reeves of Besborough, Killimer, Co. Clare. Second lieut., R.M. 1804. In Victory at Trafalgar, 1805, severely wounded. Lieut. 1807. Present at defeat of French at -I;Babaga nr St Louis, 1809. Retired on half-pay, 1817; Medal and clasp. Died at Douglas, I.O.M., 1861.

The Manx Sun mentions his death:-
Lewis Buckle Reeves of Prospect Hill, Douglas, son of Thomas Reeves, M.D. of Cork, Ireland,and Eleanor, nee Buckle, on 3rd May 1861. Last surviving officer who fought on the flagship Victory,at the memorable battle of Trafalgar.

In 1849 the Manx Sun had announced that Lt.Reeves had been awarded the Trafalgar Medal. It describes the medal, and continues:
Lt. Reeves, second Lieutenant on the Victory but a first Lieutenant now... is it not a stinging reproach on every one of the Admiralty Board .. that this single step should be the only promotion doled out to such a worthy and brave officer? We do expect that this tardily bestowed honour will be followed by a speedy appearance in the Gazette and Captain in the Corps,

In its issue of May 18, 1861 the Manx Sun writes:-
In our paper of the 4th, we recorded the death, at the age of 75, of Lewis Buckle Reeves Esq, Lieutenant of Marines - one of the last surviving officers who fought so gloriously on board the Victory with Nelson at Trafalgar in 1805. Lewis Buckle Reeves, when only 19 years of age served as second lieutenant on board the Victory at the battle of Trafalgar, in which engagement he was seriously wounded. His figure,occupies a prominent position in Wests cerebrated picture The Death of Nelson. He received his commission in 1807, subsequently served with great bravery on the Solebay, and commanded the Marines at the capture of Fort St. Louis, Senegal. The expedition with which he was then entrusted was attended with imminent peril to all engaged; and to his honour it ought to be recorded that it owing to his keen foresight and prompt representation of the importance of that African stronghold, that the attack was first contemplated; and it was chiefly in consequence of his personal bravery and that of his faithful band of Marines, that the fort was taken. He was left in charge of the fort, which he successfully garrisoned for seven months, during which time nearly half his men fell victims to fevers endemic to the region. He afterwards served on the Minerva frigate, on a voyage of Discovery. His practical talent and scientific attainment rendered him an acquisition to the safety and success of the expedition. After passing through conflicts and dangers not often equalled and seldom surpassed, he retired on half-pay. In 1820 he came to the Isle of Man, and the following year married into an old and respected Manx family. Since then he has resided in Douglas, where he gained the esteem of all with whom he came in contact, and has left a lasting memorial, of his true worth in the respect and attachment of a very large circle of friends. His marriage is recorded in the Advertiser(2.8.1821)
Lewis B. Reeves, Esq., of the Royal Marines, to Jane, daughter of the late Dr Walter Scott, of this town. On Trafalgar Day, 1941, an 'Old Port St.Maryite' wrote to the I.O.M. Examiner:

It may interest your readers on Trafalgar Day to know that a daughter of Lt. Buckle Reeves R.N.(Mrs E.G.Jones lived in Port St.Mary for many years. Lt. Reeves was wounded-;a few moments before the great admiral. Both were in the cock-pit together. Mrs Jones (Eliza Reeves) was born and educated in Douglas, and had two brothers, both lieutenants in the navy. She was a near relative of Major Taubman (of Middle) and also connected with the Farrants of Ballamoar.

Mrs Jones was a member of the Navy League. She met a direct descendant of Lord Nelson at the Trafalgar centenary in London.... Lewis B. Reeves was buried in Onchan. Perhaps next year someone may put a few flowers on the grave on Trafalgar Day. It is remarkable that two heroes of that epic fight should be buried on the Island.

Anne Jane, his wife, died in April 1851 away from her home (14 Stanley Terrace, Douglas) at Bush lodge, Pembroke,but. besides her husband other members of her family lie in Onchan churchyard, particularly her grandfather, Dr Patrick Scott, near the so-called whipping Post. He was Surgeon to the Household from 1772 until his death in 1803. His son, Dr John Nelson Scott became the next Surgeon to the Household. His other son was also a doctor. He had been a surgeon in the army in the West Indies. In the Athol Papers is a letter written to the Duke by Dr P. Scott begging the Duke to intervene to prevent his son Walter going out again to the West Indies, (dated 1796). This son Walter died in the prime of life, suddenly from gout of the heart on June 2, 1804. He had married Elizabeth Moore, daughter of Peter Moore, and related to the Taubmans of Middle, and the Farrants of Ballamoar. Mrs Scott died in 1803. There were two children left, a boy named Walter and a girl, Jane Anne, both under age at the time of their fathers death.

It is thought that Dr Patrick Scott was a near relative of Sir Walter Scott. Sir Walters brother John was a Major in the army. He visited the Isle of Man, and seems to have been on the Island for a time about this period.

Why did Lewis Buckle Reeves choose to retire to the Isle of Man? His own home was in Ireland, his mothers in England. Had he met his wife, or her father before? There is romance and sorrow in this story that needs further investigation.
And what of the grave? At the moment it is in a bad state. Could the Islands medical profession interest itself in this memorial of a Surgeon to the Household, and his grandson-in-law, our Other Hero of Trafalgar?




The Manx CAESAR-family has formed the subject of articles by several local writers. The fullest treatment seems to have been given by W.W.Gill in A Third Manx Scrapbook. John Caesar was the earliest of the family to whom Gill found reference in insular sources, and the date of this record, 1643 enabled the possibility to be entertained that the family might be descended from an Englishman, Sir Julius Caesar. A legend arose that the Manx Caesars were, via Sir Julius, descended from the imperial Caesars, and the Bacon family in the last century decorated their drawing room with plaques of the Roman emperors, alluding to their descent from the Caesar family.

All this is of no connection with the Manx family of Caesar; in fact the family was in Man before Sir Julius Caesar had even married. The name probably owed its origin to a nick-name applied in the middle-ages to a member of the family, as do names like - King, Prince, Duke and Lord.

The first member of the family to settle in the Island was Arthur Caesar. The earliest mention of him so far found in records is in the Liber Vastar. for 1615, when 'Arthur Caesar sonn in law of Robert Clerke is entered by consent of his father-in-law' for some property in Castletown, In 1621 Arthur was carrying out a contract for the garrison 'to transport to Forts of this Isle 40 bolls malt, 20 bolls wheat' (from entry dated 11 June 1621 in 'a book of licences and charges' beginning 16 March 1620/1 from the series 'Receipts & Disbursements' in the Derby Papers at the Manx Museum.)

Arthur's wife was Margaret Clerke or Clark, who was heiress of Ballahick, Malew. Their eldest child was probably Elizabeth Caesar who married Anthony Patten, a native of Warrington, England. Liber Vast. records in 1642 the entry of Anthony Patten for some property in Castletown 'by a grant from his father-in-law Arthur Caesar'. [see Castletown 1643 MR - Anthony Patten and Caesar shared a shop]

Arthur made his will on 23 October 1644 and probably died soon afterwards; in it his daughters Barbary, Elizabeth and Jaine are mentioned, also his grandson Caesar Patten, his wife Margaret, and his son Arthur Caesar.

Barbary (or Barbar) married John Wattleworth at some date before 1654, when she was appointed overseer of the orphan child of her cousin, Jane Lace, als Clerke, of Peel. Later the Wattleworths purchased property from Katherine Lace. Only in one document have I seen Barbary referred to by both maiden and married names, and this vital document came from the miscellaneous documents from the Diocesan Archives, in the Manx Museum. This is a complaint by 'Barbar Wattleworth als Caesar' that one Captain Fox had made a scandalous remark to the effect that Barbary and the Bishop were conducting an affair! Fox was sentenced to one month of imprisonment in the crypt under St German's Cathedral on St Patrick's Isle, as punishment for the 'vilifying and very unseemly expressions that he used'.

Of Jane Caesar, daughter of Arthur, nothing has been discovered; but she might account for the christian name Caesar appearing in the Brew family of Castletown.

Arthur Caesar, Jr, was given certain properties in Castletown by his mother in a deed of gift of 1652, at which time he was unmarried. He married, Jane Christian als, Banckes, widow of Edward Christian of Cranstal in the parish of Bride (who had died 1651), and sold his Castletown property, establishing himself first in Douglas, then in Ramsey.

John Caesar was the elder son and heir of his parents, Arthur and Margaret Caesar. On his grandfather's deaths L.V. records: 'Robt Clarke is dead & ye right of his ground descends to Jo Caesar his grandchild....'. Robert Clarke died in about 1646. John Caesar was already a member of the House of Keys, and Attorney General and became the ancestor of the later Caesars, who remained at Ballahick until the family died out in 1789 (See Family Tree).

The name Caesar lived on in other ways however, and the Wattleworths had a Caesar in almost every generation until the middle of last century. The Patten/Parr family also used the name, and the last Parr to leave a will was Caesar Parr, 1792. The Cosnahan/Bacon family similarly used the name as a first name - in fact so many families were 'entitled' to use it that it became a popular christian name for unrelated families during the 19th century.


            Arthur Caesar= Margaret Clerke 
            Merchant     | Heiress of Ballahick 
          m. before 1615 |  bur. 12 Dec 1675
          d. about 1644  |
                |   |                      |                         |                 |
Jane Moore = John Arthur = Jane Bankes Barbara=John Wattleworth Elizabeth=Anthony    Jane
  d.1688   |d.1676/7     |             d.1670 |  d.1670           d.1665 | Patten     ??
           |             |                    v                          V               
           |             |  
           |             +--------------------------------------------------------------+
           |                                                                            |
   +-------+----------------+------+--------+----------+-------+--------+         +-------------+
   |       |                |      |        |          |       |        |         |             |
John     Robert = Leticia John  Mathew  Margaret   Arthur Elizabeth  Jane       Elizabeth	Catherine
d.1649  bap.1652| Baxter  d1654 1652-82  m. d.1705  d.1664 m. d.1687  m d.1699	m.Turner Calcott
         d. 1714|  d.1729                Charles          Ewan Christian  William	`
                |                        Moore           Cranstal, Bride  Harrison 
                |                      Ballasalla        m.1672           Ballachrink
                |                                                         m.1683
   |            |           |
 Mathew	    Margaret     Robert=Jane Oates 
 bap.1679   bap.1686   bap.1689 |  d.1769 
                     MHK 1736-42|
                      d. 1744   |
   |       |       |         |        |        |                          |  
John     Julius   Jane      James	Robert   Margaret = John Joseph	  Matthew
bap.1713 bap.1716 bap.1719 bap.1721 bap.1723 bap.1727 | Cosnahan	  bap.1720
d.1789    d.1739   d.1720   d.1751   d.1789   d.1760  v                d.1753





The 19th century censuses are the Manx genealogist's best friend. How often he must regret they do not exist in a family-by-family form earlier than 1841. But parish records can provide material for DIY exercises in linking families with places, even in the 18th century.

When I realised that there were figures for a head-count census for Lezayre in 1757, I thought it would be interesting to try and interpret these statistics in the light of Thomas Arthur Corlett's almost contemporary lists of the Lezayre population with particular reference to his list of Intack holders of 1766. It would be too simplistic just to count the names and hope to balance them with the census figures. Some holders (as he indicates) did not even live in the parish. But he has provided us with the names of some 300 residents, all adult, heads of families, predominantly male. He has also attempted to identify every person on his list beyond all possibility of ambiguity. He deals with that special bugbear of Manx genealogy, the namesake, by appending nicknames or places of residence. His assessments themselves are most valuable. They are 'by quantity and quality'. They indicate the economic standing of the man. Mrs Deemster Heywood paid £4.10.0 Wm. Cottier & son Pat ld. The average would be about 2/6.

But what gives validity to the exercise is the census figures For the 1757 population was 1481, (223 married couples, 33 widowers & 65 widows, 174 unmarried males over 16, and 185 females, 296 boys and 282 girls under 16). Lezayre was the largest of the parishes at the time. Not till 1784, when it had 1680, did Douglas and Malew exceed it, The 1831 census states that the then population of 2657 consisted of 412 families living in 386 houses. On this basis we might expect the 1757 population to have lived in 215 houses. This gives us every confidence in the completeness of Corlett's lists.

My first interest in the exercise was personal. I needed badly to know who was the man described in another 1766 document as 'Ewan Kissage of Lezayre, Miller'. The parish records indicated that there could be as many as four persons bearing that name alive in the parish, and none were designated Miller anywhere at all. But there he was, assessed for his share of the seating cost:- 'Ewan Kissage, Millnr, for several parcells near his house, 8/9'. Usually Corlett did better than that. He indicated the neighbourhood of the intacks., e.g. 'in the Curragh', or 'near Close Charn' etc. But it was enough. I could now identify him absolutely with the help of the relevant volume of the Liber Assed. If you are looking for an ancestor in the 18th century Lezayre, Thomas Arthur Corlett may help you too. Incidentally Thomas Arthur Corlett also witnessed Ewan's will.

But Corlett has also left a valuable contribution to Manx social history in general. His lists have a usefulness we might call demographic, in revealing what was happening to families and the land they held. This side I dealt with in the first part of these articles. We saw how the original. Manx families that occupied lands in the 16th century were being whittled down, their holdings thinned out, and by and large, particularly Intack land was passing into the hands of what I would call Anglicised families i.e. families with non-Manx names like Heywood, Stevenson, Llewellin, Frissell, or families who almost made it a matter of tradition to foster marriage ties with English families, like the Christians or Garretts.

But I think a Close study of these lists could contribute to the topographical dimension of family history, linking families and areas.

Lazayre in the 1760s was not only the most populous, but the largest in size of the parishes. It covered about 16,900 acres. But nearly half of these were either mountain or curragh. The farmlands formed a rough letter H imposed on the parish. Across the centre ran the 10 Abbeylands, while the downstrokes represent the 32 manorial quarterlands, 10 following the line-of Sulby Glen on the west, and a rather more complicated 22 on the east, running between the coast and the curragh through Ramsey, and south into the mountain. The main road between Ramsey and Sulby lines out the cross-stroke, and links the population, the parish church being sited slightly east of centre,

Lezayre was particularly rich in intack land, most of which was the product of centuries of drainage work, along the line of the Sulby river and Lough Mallow. Prom the heights of Narradale or Glentrammon it is still possible to trace the curragh area simply because it is noticeably free of buildings. In his appendices to Talbot's edition of the Manorial Roll J.J. Kneen names some 150 of these intacks. There were intacks up Glen Auldyn and on the edges of the mountains of course, but the best and the bulk of them were between the Sulby river and the Andreas and Bride boundaries. The name of intacks change all the time and Corlett only uses about a third of the number of names that Kneen listed, but he specifies some 250 holdings, being content to denote them as 'near' his named areas. The sites were served by still identifiable side roads leading from the 'main road at Gob-y-Volien, Sulby Glen, Sulby Bridge, Baar-ny-harey and the Garey. The commonest areas were Lough Mallow, Close Homm, Close Chirm, Clobe-y-Quayle, Gob-ny-Volley Close-e-Nellan (called the Poor Close). Some we can locate easily, 'near the river at Glen Duff', 'near Ellanbane', 'Close Lake', even 'Glen-olding'. J.J.Kneen's maps in Manx Place Names locate others, such as Close-e-Nollan, Drim-ny-Cleanagh; Wood's Atlas others, such as Cooil-y-Voddy.

Others like Close-y-Quayle and Close Homm I have not traced, and would welcome word of them. Some have very Manx names like Erriu Kellew, Fraigh Doo; others very English ones like Rough Meadow Watson's Park, Silver Lane.

If we could locate all these intacks, we should be on the way to knowing roughly in what part of the parish families lived, always assuming that a man would probably arrange to have an intack as near as possible to where he lived. From the Quarterland holders we can draw some conclusions, and interested study night enable many more to be worked out. For instance, if we divide the parish into three zones, corresponding to the strokes of our letter H, East, West and Central (Abbeylands), we learn that of the 56 families holding the 42 quarterlands, the names Corlett, Cottier, Christian, Curphey, Garrett, Kneen, Quayle and Tear are found in all three zones. while Corris, Cowley, Faile. Harrison Kelly, Kermode, Kewin, Kewley, Knickle and Oats are found only in the West; Calow, Claug, Corkill, Gawn, Goldsmith, Llewellin, Quark, Quine, Strachan, Vondy, Watteworth and Wood only in the East; and Casement, Cry, Kewn, Kewney, Kinney, Kissage,,Skillicorn, Wade and Wilson only in the Centre. Kneal is found in West and East - though only once in the West, to 14 times in the East; Caley, Killip, Kinread and Stevenson in West and Abbyelands. Cleark, Corteen, Crow, Gill, Howland and Martin in East and Abbeylands.

It is via the East, and no doubt Ramsey that new families seem to appear and, on the whole, have not moved much westward. It is the old Manx names that have spread most, the ubiquitous Corletts topping the league with 34 holdings.

It will only be when someone charts all the intacks, that Corlett's lists will enable us to descry similar patterns among the intack-holders. But for the interested, some family names and places emerge in relation.

For instances if you are interested in Joughins look for them first in the east; if Corrises or Quayles the odds are for the west; if Casements, they seen confined to the Grange Quarterland under Cronk Sumerk.

And if your fancy walks in the 1760s,along the Sulby Bridge road, you would probably meet going to their intacks in Close Chirm, Dan Lace, Dan Christian, Dan Cry, Dan Cowle, Phil Cleator, Dorrity and Margaret Christian, Parson Crebbin (though he was from Jurby), Patt Cormode, Patt Nelson, Wm Kewn and John Kneal, while down the Sulby Glen road would have gone John Curphey (Strong), Widow Corlett (smelter) and Jane William and Thomas Tear, Wm and Jn Kewley, Ewan Curphey and Mrs Nicholas Corlett, etc, etc.


index next



As the first New Zealand member of your newly formed group, may I congratulate the Society on its formation (long overdue from my point of view) and also the editor and his contributors on the -compilation of the first Journal. I found the articles most interesting, especially the one on Clans and Families.

New Zealand is a long way from the tiny Isle of Man, but in my 5 years of Manx research, via professional researchers, I have-become very close to the-Island, and my thirst for history concerning it has been whetted. I am planning a book-on my Manx heritage to be published next year.

My research involves mainly the South of the Island in the Arbory, Rushen and Malew parishes. I have been concentrating mainly on my QUALTROUGH lineage and have been reasonably successful. The lineage establishes itself in the late 1700s as a branch of the Qualtroughs of Kentraugh and Kentraugh Mill, Rushen.

In July, 1859, James Qualtrough of Arbory, son of William Qualtrough and Catherine Moore, his wife Catherine (nee Clague), and eight of their nine surviving children left Liverpool on the Mermaid for New Zealand. They arrived in Auckland on October 19th that same year. James had written a Diary of the family's voyage to New Zealand, and it makes very interesting and exciting reading. A copy of it is in the Manx Museum. (See also article Genealogy Joy in the last number of this Journal For a digest of it. Ed)

The family had emigrated to New Zealand to take-up land offered by the Government to immigrants on the basis of 40 acres per adult and 20 acres per child. On these terms James stood to gain 240-acres of farmland. -This he must have acquired at Papakura, a few miles South of Auckland. Research has yet to be done to verify this. However he cannot have thought too much of this land because 13½ months after the arrival of the family in New-Zealand, James purchased 118 acres for the grand sum of £1180-stg. -This land was at Pakuranga, a district to the east of Auckland. The family farmed the land, and at the same time built defences to secure themselves in the Maori wars of the 1860s. James, a staunch Wesleyan, became very active in the Church, donating land for a church to be established in the district, and subsequently became a lay-preacher.

James and Catherine saw their daughter Elizabeth Jane marry William A. Cowan, an Irish immigrant in 1866; son William marry Catherine Love, daughter of a Scots family in 1872, and a daughter Sarah marry John Haddock, also Irish, in 1876. Catherine, the child who at 15 had elected to stay in the Isle of Man, married James Kinley in 1868, and continued to live with her aunt Jane Hudgeon who had brought her up. Catherine had three children before her death in 1873,and contact is still kept up with her descendants who live in the Island today.

The only other child to marry was son Thomas, who married Jane Bell in 1878, but she died in childbirth. Thomas remarried in 1886, to Mary Ann Prince.
James and Catherine both died in 1881 and are buried in a little graveyard next to the little church where he had preached.

1979 is a big year in New Zealand for the descendants of James and Catherine, as on Oct 20/21, the descendants who now number some 600,-will celebrate the 120th anniversary of the arrival in New Zealand of-the original family (Oct 19 1859).

This will be the first such gathering of the descendants of James, and it is expected to be well supported. To add to the momentous occasion the knowledge that our familys celebration is to take place-in the same year as the Isle of Man Millennium celebrations. (Three members of our N.Z. family will be in the Island in July to help the many tourists and Manx folk enjoy the observation of the Islands 1000th year of government. Unfortunately I am not one of them)

A very interesting programme for our New Zealand celebration has been proposed, including dinner, an evening of Manx and Qualtrough history to the present day to be achieved with the assistance of a taped commentary and slides and maps. A church service is planned in the little church James had preached in so long ago. This church still in good repair, has been moved from the land James donated to about a mile away, in an historic village. It is in the process of being restored to its former splendour.

- This is an exciting year for all Manxmen(and women) and I can assure you that here in New Zealand the Manx spirit lives on, and in October we will toast our Manx ancestors and think not only of their contribution to the Isle of Man those years ago, but also of their influence on the early days of the settlers in Pakuranga, N. Zealand. -

Good luck to the Society.



 FHS index

Back index next


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received MNB Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2000