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Thomas Davey, Pilton Lace Twister

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Thomas Davey was born in Goodleigh in late 1802 and moved to Pilton to work as a lace twister in one of the lace factories. In 1839 he married Grace Parker of Pilton, the year after her father had died, and they bought a house in Priory Place, Pilton, on land sold leasehold by James Whyte of Pilton House to John Gerry of Pilton in 1833. John Gerry had passed his lease on to Daniel Jones of Pilton in 1837 who then passed it on to Thomas Davey.
Thomas and Grace Davey had seven children, but only four survived to adulthood. Grace died on 6 August 1848, a few days after the birth of her seventh child, a son called Edwin, who only survived until the following February. Later in 1849 Thomas Davey moved with his five surviving children to Tiverton where he was employed as a silk lace twister in John Heathcoat’s lace-making factory. Thomas married again in 1855 and, shortly afterwards, changed his name to Davis, the reason apparently being that there were too many other people called Davey in the town.
The photograph of Thomas Davey was taken in August 1864, when he was 61.
Please download a more detailed version of the story of John Davey written by his descendent Roger Davis to whom great thanks are due. Thomas Davey was his great-great-grandfather.

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