All of this must have been terribly hard to bear. But with a young family to care for, he quickly remarried on 4 Dec 1804 to the widow Elizabeth PEDDER (nee CHESTLE) in Carisbrooke. Their daughter Sarah (perhaps named after her deceased half-sister) was baptized in Newport in March 1806. Later that same year, James’ oldest daughter Eliza married in Winchester on the mainland. A couple of months later on 14 Jan 1807, his oldest son James JEFFERY Jr married Lucy CAFFIN in Chichester Sussex and then returned to the Isle of Wight to raise his family. Eliza also returned to the island.
James life seemed to be back on track, surrounded by family. But change was in the offing.
We can only speculate on the reasons why James decided to emigrate to Canada. Sometime in 1809 James’ sister (or cousin?) Ann died at the age of 50. James was two years older, so Ann's death would have been yet another reminder of his own mortality. Perhaps a mid-life crisis played its part, and a new start would have sounded appealing. The grass was definitely green in Prince Edward Island, and the advertisements for colonial settlers presented it as a golden opportunity. So in 1809 James sold some property, bought supplies and sailed to PEI where he bought two large parcels of land totaling 694 acres in Lot 17 from the proprietor Harry Childeroy COMPTON. We know that James’s son George was also in PEI in Nov 1809 as he was a witnesses on one of the land transaction documents.
At least some of his family did not emigrate until the following year. Family documents mention at least one unnamed family member sailing from England on 14 Aug 1810 and landing 5 Nov 1810 in Charlotte Town. It is a real shame that passenger lists haven’t survived or may not have been created that far back. But from newspaper accounts of ship arrivals, perhaps they were aboard the brig “Louisa”, arriving in Charlottetown on 5 Nov 1810 from Portsmouth.
Not everyone emigrated. James oldest two children Eliza and James as well as his daughter Jane, his father and siblings, remained in England. Those in PEI attending Hannah's wedding were probably James and his 2nd wife Elizabeth, Stephen, Hannah, George and young Sarah.
The process of felling trees, clearing land, planting crops, building a house and setting up a business must have been daunting and filled with hardship, at least initially. And perhaps business was not as profitable as hoped for. So not everyone stayed. James must have become disillusioned and decided to move back to the Isle of Wight, leaving on 27 Jun 1812. Just days before sailing he signed his will, summarized as follows:
Will of James Jeffery, Richmond, Richmond, PEI [1757-24 April, 1815], yeoman. Bequests: to Charles and the other 2 children, sons or daughters of [his son] James Jeffery & Lucy Jeffery, late Lucy Coffin of Chichester in the city of Chichester, County of Sussex; to daughter Elizabeth Pring?; to son Stephen Jeffery; to daughter Anne or Hannah Compton; to son George; to daughter Jane; to daughter Sarah Lawford Chestle-Jeffery; to Edward Lawrence, son of Francis Lawrence, one farm called Welling [130 acres], late in occupation of John Welling. Witnesses: Thos. Nickerson, George Coles, Daniel Davis. Will signed 22 June, 1812; probate granted 5 Sep., 1816.
We do know that Hannah remained in PEI after her father left, as did Stephen and George. Sarah was still very young , but as of 1826 she was living in PEI as well. James’s second wife Elizabeth died in 1829 on the Isle of Wight, so she presumably left PEI with her husband, assuming she went there in the first place. James himself died before her in 1815 in Carisbrooke IOW, only three years after returning to England. He was buried in Church Litten Park, Newport on the Isle of Wight.
I would like to acknowledge the original research of Betty M Jeffery and Carter W Jeffery, my main source for this story. They published their book "The Jeffery Family of the Isle of Wight and Prince Edward Island" in 1998.
The Jeffery Family of the Isle of Wight and Prince Edward Island, by Betty M. Jeffery and Carter W. Jeffery, 1998
PEI Heritage Buildings - blog by Carter W Jeffery
Early Wills of PEI, Summaries - Island Register site
Isle of Wight - wikipedia
Map of Isle of Wight, England - myGoogle Maps
"52 Ancestors" is a reference to the "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" challenge I am participating in.
Reference the No Story Too Small blog by genealogist Amy Johnson Crow for more details.
It is giving me the much needed incentive to write and publish my family stories.