JOHN HOARE'S FAMILY HISTORY
The Cheesman Family Biography
by Vicki Cheesman
The Wedding photograph of Edmund George CHEESMAN and Mary Elizabeth DREISBACH
This page and all images contained are the property and copyright of Vicki Cheesman. The rest of the site is operated by John Hoare.
I am delighted that Vicki has offered the opportunity for me to host her family biography, which was originally written for the benefit of her extended family. In transcribing it for the internet I have removed some specific dates and geographical information. If you are researching any of the families covered, Vicki would be happy to fill in the gaps on an exchange basis - please contact her through me.
I have also removed specific references to events less than one hundred years ago as this information could be considered confidential.
At present I haven't compared Vicki's research to mine, so there may well be some minor differences and there is certainly a large amount of extra information.
John Hoare December 2004
Our great-grandfather was born in Brighton, England, in 1814. George was the son of George Cheesman Sr, and Alice Taylor. He came from a wealthy family of builders.He married twice. He wed his first wife, Emma Chandler 1835 in Brighton.She bore him three children, Emma Elizabeth born 1837 in Brighton, Isabella Marie born 1841 in Brighton, and Alice born 1843 in Brighton. Emma married Henry Turner; Alice married Samuel Pyall Diprose in 1869 in Redhill, Surrey, and Isabella, remained a spinster. Emma Chandler Cheesman died in 1855 and George married his second wife, Amelia Caroline Davies in 1858 and moved to Kent.She bore him 4 children, Edmund George born in 1860 , Alfred Addison born in 1861, Jessie Amelia born in 1862, and Edith Mary born in 1864.Edmund married Mary Elizabeth Dreisbach April 17, 1883, at the brides home, Reno Township, Kansas. Alfred married Mabel Irene Fyers October 3, 1893 in Cheltenham.Jessie married Charles Fearon Fuller, September 3, 1893 in Edith remained a spinster taking care of her mother in later years.George was a gentleman and the family lived in a large mansion on Sandrock Road. The mansion was torn down several years ago and apartments were built there. According to some family members, a clerk in George's employ stole 33 thousand pounds worth of bearer bonds. Consequently the family moved to Tenby, Wales and later to Cheltenham, England. George was reported to have regained some of the stolen property. He died in 1882 in Pembroke, Wales.
Our great-grandmother was born in 1835 in London, England. She was christened in 1835 in Surrey, England. Her father was Charles Davies and her mother Amelia Grant. Not much is known of her life before her marriage to George. At this time we have been unable to determine the date and place of their marriage. She bore him 4 children, as has been previously mentioned. We know that she was the lady of the house, mentioned in the 1881 British Census. in Tenby. She was 46 at the time and George was 67. The only children mentioned as living in the residence were Isabella, of George's first marriage, Alfred and Jessie.When George died, Amelia and her daughter, Edith, and her stepdaughter, Isabella, moved to Cheltenham. She received 200 pounds and was not well provided for after his death. She died in Cheltenham in 1915.
Charles Davies was our great-great-grandfather. His parents were Soloman Davies and Molley Alexander. He was the father of Amelia Caroline Davies (Cheesman). He was born in 1793 and was married to Amelia Grant. (Her father was Sir Grant, a Scotsman, who wore his kilt when he was in London.) They had 6 children, including Amelia Caroline. He had a brother named John Davies who was a Captain in the Infantry and stationed in India. Charles date of death is not known, but he is believed buried in a vault in Reigate, England. The vault was said to be owned by his father-in-law, Sir Alexander Grant.
Soloman Davies was the father of Charles Davies and our great-great-great-grandfather. He married Molley Alexander in 1784 in East London, England. They had 4 children that we know of; Elizabeth Davies born in 1788 and wed to Richard Filewood Snelson in 1820 in Surrey, died 1938, Charles Davies born in 1793 and wed to Amelia Grant, Edward Davies, birthdate unknown, but died in 1845 in Maharashtra, India and John Davies, dates also unknown. Soloman's family lived near Epsom where he entertained lavishly at the horse races and kept riding stables for his favorite horses.
He is also said to be buried in the vault at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Reigate.
Charles was Amelia Cheesman's brother, and son of Soloman Davies and Molley Alexander. He was born in 1837 in Surrey, England. He married Madeline Jee, born in 1850 in London, England. She was 18 when they married. Charles was an Army officer in the King's Dragoon Guards and his regiment was sent to India, where they spent the next four years.
'They traveled on a sailing vessel and were three long months on the water before they reached their destination. They were stationed near Calcutta and this fair young English girl was very popular and found the army life very gay and interesting. It was after their return to England some four or more years later that they felt the urge to come to America. Captain Davies was eager to come to this new country and try his hand at raising sheep and fine thoroughbred stock. So in 1877 they sailed for these shores and eventually arrived in Leavenworth county, where they purchased a splendid farm of 1200 acres just east of Reno (township). They stocked the farm with the finest thoroughbred horses and cattle and a great flock of English Merino sheep. The great farm, with its long, low farm house and its broad acres became one of the show places of Leavenworth county. It was named Heslington Park for Madeline's father's home in England. With its trim lawns and tennis courts it became a great place for parties and social life.'
This excerpt was from the Tonganoxie Mirror, July 15, 1933.
Cpt. Davies died in 1882 and in 1888, Madeline married Joseph H. Driesbach. Joseph was the uncle of our grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Dreisbach (Cheesman).; Our grandfather, Edmund George Cheesman was listed as a visitor in their home on the 1880 United States Census. In fact, he had come to America to start his own farm, backed by his father, George Cheesman. Madeline Jee Davies Dreisbach died in 1933 and is buried between her husbands in the Oak Hill Cemetery, Lawrence, Kansas. Madeline and Joseph lived in Tonganoxie, Kansas and their home is still a residence today.
Elizabeth Davies was born in 1788 and christened in 1789 in Surrey, England. She was the daughter of Soloman Davies and Molley Alexander, sister to Charles Davies and wife of Richard Filewood Snelson. She married her husband, Richard, in 1820 in Surrey, England. She lived to 96 and died in 1860 in Surrey, England. (This death date is off by 5 years.)
Richard Snelson was born in 1780 in Lambeth, England. He was the son of Jeffery Snelson and Mary Filewood. He married the sister of Charles Davies, Elizabeth Davies, in 1820 in Surrey, England.They had 5 daughters that were lovingly called the 'Belles of Reigate.' He became vicar of St. Mary Magdalene Church in 1812 and with his father, Jeffery, held the vicarage for 35 years. A stained glass window in the Church was dedicated to the memory of father and son, however, it may have been destroyed during WWII.
Jeffery Snelson was vicar at St, Mary Magdalene Church, Reigate in 1782. He was the father of Richard Filewood Snelson, husband of Elizabeth Davies, sister of Charles Davies. Jeffery was appointed by Staffordshire justices as surveyor of highways for Hanbury in Staffordshire in 1775. It was a voluntary post given to respectable members of the local community to organize a workforce to ensure that the parish roads were kept in good condition. He was born in 1740 in Ruston (or Eccleshall), Staffordshire. He married Mary Filewood in 1779 in Lambeth. Possibly, they had 3 children including Richard. Jeffery died on April 12, 1812.
Edward Davies was the brother of Charles and Elizabeth Davies, and son of Soloman Davies and Molley Alexander. He was a Barrister and Master of Equity and resided in Bombay, India.
A tablet was erected in his memory at the English Church -
This tablet erected by his professional friends at Bombay as a tribute to the Integrity, Urbanity, and Professional ability which distinguished the conduct as Master Equity in the Supreme Court of Judicature at the Presidency.
He died in 1845, in Maharashtra, India. He was 45 years of age.
Emma was the first child of the marriage of George Cheesman and Emma Chandler.> She was born in 1837 in Brighton, and christened in 1837, in the Chapel Royal, Brighton, Sussex, England. She married Henry Turner.
Isabella is the second child of George Cheesman and Emma Chandler. She was born in 1841 and christened in 1841 at the Chapel Royal, Brighton, Sussex, England. ' Aunt Pussy,' as she was called, was good looking with her dark eyes and dark hair, but she had a rather severe demeanor. She remained with the family after her mother died and helped to raise and care for the children of George and Ameila Caroline. In 1870's she accompanied Jessie and Edith to Germany for a years schooling. They all learned to write and speak German. Edith hated the school there and told of the filthy lavatories and the open-drain sewage in the streets. Edmund and Alfred would join them on holidays.Alfred told of eating lots of cherries only to discover that they had grubs in them. After George died in 1882, (Isabella was one of the Executors of his estate and received 100 pound immediately upon his death.), she moved with her stepmother, Amelia, and her stepsister, Edith, to Cheltenham. She did not stay there and moved to Exmouth to work with the poor. She found the workhouse at Exeter near Exmouth to be in shocking condition. Isabella never married, but lived with a companion at Exmouth. She was strict Evangelical and helped to have a new church built in Torquay. When Jessie's husband, Charles Fearon Fuller, died, she and her 2 girls, Violet and Claudine, went to stay with Isabella. She had ponies and taught the children to ride. Isabella had a shanty up on the moors and they would often spend all day up there. Isabella would pack a big hamper with cold meats and salads. For dessert, there would always be blancmange pudding and pineapple.(There were 3 pictures given to Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Dreisbach Cheesman painted by Claudine. Perhaps she painted these in rememberance of her times spent on the moors.)
Alice was the third child of George Cheesman and Emma Chandler. She was christened in 1843 at the Chapel Royal, Brighton, Sussex, England. She married Samuel Pyall Diprose, in 1869 at St. Matthews, Redhill, Surrey, England. Nothing more is known of her except the mention of her and her husband prominently in the will of George Cheesman. She co-administered a trust for our grandfather, Edmund George Cheesman, with Alfred Addison Cheesman.
Our grandfather, Edmund George Cheesman was born in 1860 in Kent, England. He was the first son of George Cheesman and Amelia Caroline Davies. He went to America, specifically Kansas, in the early 1800's. He lived with his uncle Charles Davies and his aunt Madeline. We think he lived with them for approximately a year before he bought a farm of his own, probably with money his father had given him to invest. He never went back to England.
Alfred was born in 1861 in Kent, England. He was a fair-haired, blue-eyed boy and the second son of George Cheesman and Ameila Davies. When his father died, Alfred had to leave Cambridge, unable to get his degree, due to lack of funds. He went to America to join his brother, Edmund George in Kansas. He would cross the Atlantic many times in the future bringing stock to his brother and other family members. He often talked of 'Old Joe Driesbach', the second husband of his Aunt Madeline Jee Davies. (Violet wrote that he fought in the Boer War, however, this has not been substantiated.) He returned to England and went to live in Cheltenham to be near his mother, Amelia. He married Mabel Irene Fyers. He used to bicycle around Cheltenham when he was first married. He is buried in Cheltenham's main cemetery.
Vernon was the third child of Alfred and Mabel Cheesman, and was a distinguished war hero.
Jessie Amelia Cheesman was the third child of George and Amelia Cheesman. She was born in 1862 in Kent, England. She had very dark hair and blue eyes. Jessie visited her brother, Edmund George, in Kansas in the early 1890's, and stayed for several months. She loved her brother, but objected to the 'chewing gum' habits of the children. They would stick their gum under the table.She had been so terribly seasick on the voyage to see her brother, that when she returned home to England, she never went on board a ship again. Jessie Amelia married Charles Fearon Fuller, a Captain in the RE, October 3, 1893 in Cheltenham, England. He was the son of General Charles Rondler Fuller, RA, who was in India during the mutiny. They lived in Twickenham, England when they were first married. They had 2 daughters, Claudine and Violet. Claudine was born in Twickenham in 1894. They moved to Cheltenham in 1900, where Violet was born, and then to Torquay in southern Devon.
Claudine was the first daughter of Jessie Amelia and Captain Charles Fuller. She was born in Twickenham, England in 1894. She painted pictures of the moors.
Violet was the second child of Jessie Amelia and Capt. Charles Fuller. She was born December 18, 1900 in Cheltenham, England.
Edith Mary was the fourth child of George and Amelia Cheesman. She was born in 1864 in Kent, England. She had very blue eyes and fair hair. When she was a child she could never forget the awful breakfasts she shared with her sister Jessie; nothing but bread and butter and occasionally an egg. Jessie said the bread and butter would stick in her throat when she could smell the scent of bacon and eggs coming from downstairs. The family was very wealthy in those days. Her father owned a huge house with a walled garden. Peach and apricot trees were trained against the walls and there were greenhouses filled with grapes and other plants. The children were not allowed to eat any of it. 'That is how children were brought up in Victorian days,' according to Edith. After her father, George, died, she and her mother, Amelia, moved to Cheltenham.
This is the family history as related by Violet Lakeman to Edmund Cheesman and Alice Sheperd in the many letters that I have in my possession. Information was carefully gleaned from them. Sometimes it was corrected when the right information was known, but for the most part it is her remembrances that are put to paper.
Original text by Victoria Ware Cheesman
July 30, 2004
Transcribed by John Hoare (see the note at the top of the page)