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Heptzibah and George Harvey

by | Aug 22, 2015 | Village Folk | 4 comments


Heptzibah & George Harvey lived in Brick Row and had a large family, relatives of whom still live in the area.  We now have another photograph and more information about the Harvey family.

Harvey Links

harvey family golden weddingPeter Dickinson is related to the Harvey family and has written a lovely piece about his World War II Memories on the Milton Keynes Living Archive.  He includes a picture of his mother’s family (left) and a little piece about life in Chrishall.  (Peter’s mother was Violet Harvey, front row second from the right).

You can clearly see Heptzibah and George sitting in the front of the smaller photograph.  And several of the men are wearing lovely buttonhole flowers so perhaps it was a special occasion that the family had got together.  I wonder if the flowers were grown on the family allotment?**

**Update March 2017: we now know that this picture was taken on the occasion of George and Heptzibah (‘Epsie’)’s Golden Wedding in 1936.  In the photograph you can see:

Back row: Tom, Tim, Peter, Will, Reuben and David

Front row: Ada, Epsie, George, Violet and Rose.

Click on the photograph for a larger image.

(Sadly Peter’s article no longer appears on the Milton Keynes Living Archive website. Hopefully it is tucked away in their archive somewhere.)

My mum had been born in a small village called Chrishall, Essex which is near Royston, Herts. She had two sisters and six brothers, so I often wonder what life had been like when she was growing up. Around 1943 our family did visit the cottage where she had lived during her childhood. It had no electricity, gas or water. The toilet was in what was known as the barn. It did not have any lighting or running water. Quite an experience when there was a call of nature after dark. I can still remember my mum’s brother Tim taking two buckets attached to a yoke to what was known to the locals as the ‘dungle’. This was about half a mile from their cottage and adjacent to Uncle Tim’s huge allotments, which he referred to as his garden. On a hot day the ‘dungle’ had a smell all of its own, but he did produce masses of lovely vegetables from his garden.

olive-harvey-bookIn 2008 Mrs Olive Harvey from Duddenhoe End (very near to Chrishall) wrote a series of three books on the history of Duddenhoe End and Wenden Lofts.  There are, of course, various mentions of Chrishall and many local families.  These books can be borrowed from Saffron Walden Library.

  • Aspects of an English Village: Duddenhoe End with Wenden Lofts; North West Essex: Book 1
  • Life and Times of an English Village: Duddenhoe End with Wenden Lofts; North West Essex: Book 2
  • Farming through the Centuries : Duddenhoe End with Wenden Lofts; North West Essex: Book 3

(Top photograph from the Bruce Drury Collection.)

Y:    C: 20th century


  1. Chris Harvey

    My Grand Mother was Alice Harvey who was married to Bernard Harvey, they both lived in Duddenhoe End for many year and had a large family. Bernard died in 1976 and Alice around 1995 It would be interesting to know if i have any connection to the above people.

    • Rosemarie Gant

      Hello Chris – I should think it is very likely that you are related to George and Heptzibah. I wonder if your grandfather Bernard was the son of one of George and Epsie’s sons. I’m afraid I haven’t traced all the Harvey children but that would probably be the place to start. Unless there are any other Harveys who see your comment and can enlighten us!

  2. Adam Harvey

    George Harvey is my Great Great Grandfather and Reuben is my Great Grandfather. Rueben had three sons and a daughter so we have lots of the history of this side of the family. My father has those photos on the wall in his house.

    • Rosemarie Gant

      That’s lovely Adam. If there are any family memories of the village please let us know!


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