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Home: Surnames: Dorey Family Genealogy Forum

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William Richard Dorey of the Isle of Guernsey, Channel Islands, Great Britain.
Posted by: Kimberly Anne Emerson (ID *****9318) Date: March 25, 2003 at 13:59:04
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My Great Great Grandfather William Richard Dorey was born on the Isle of Guernsey, Channel Islands, Great Britain. He emigrated to New Brunswick, Canada in 1880 and settled in Fredricton, New Brunswick, Canada. He lived in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada and for 30 years he was a railway bridge and building foreman for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He married Mary Loretta Arsenault and they had the following children: Frederick Thomas Dorey, George Dorey, James Allen Dorey, Anne Beatrice Dorey and Mary Jane Dorey. He and his family moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1917. He was an outstanding figure in the Councils of the Railway Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way. William and his wife Mary Loretta were very well off. His son Frederick T. Dorey lived in St. Stephen, New Brunswick and worked for HM Customs. William returned to the Isle of Guernsey to visit a brother during his later years before returning to Detroit, Michigan. William Richard Dorey died in Detroit, Michigan on January 28, at the age of 80.

There is a news article among William's possessions of a Mr. Adolphus Le Messurier Dorey of Les Forgettes, Castel, Isle of Guernsey, dated 1939. Adolphus is believed to be a family member:

Mr. Adolphus Le Messurier Dorey, of Les Forgettes, Castel. Article is copied from a paper clipping found in the papers of Anne Dorey Callaghan (William Dorey's daughter) from teh Guernsey Evening Press dated 1939:

Made 14 Coffins--Echo of Sea Tragedy--Clock in Corner 110 years.

The building of 14 coffins, at 15 s. each; a bailiff who rode a log of wood, two grandfather clocks that have not been moved for 110 years. The building of the Town Mills...

These form but a few of the memories of an active Guernsey octogenarian who can remember the winter days when doctors used sledges.

Mr. Adolphus Le Messurier Dorey, of Les Forgettes, Castel, who is in his 83rd year, is a very interesting Sarnian to meet, for he has a clear memory of his varied and busy life and is still active as a grower.
Les Forgettes is a well-known house on the hill leading from King's Mills to St. Saviour's. It is distinguished by having a smithy and a carpenter and wheel-wright's shops attached to the cosy cottage, and in the smithy and shop are found the tools used in all these callings of Victorian days. Even the horse-driven or man-powered wheel circular saw is still intact, and a door is encrusted to a depth of three inches with dried paint encrustations--the legacy of generations of carpenters who wiped their brushes clean on its surface.
We found Mr. Dorey, "at home," with Mr. Dorey, an affable cicerone of the house. Two grandfather clocks attracted our attention, one was in the kitchen, the other in the front room. That in the front room bore the inscription "Elie Guerin; Guerneysayce" and possessed a minute hand and calendar. For 110 years they have denoted the seconds in their solemn tick-tock and never have they moved from their respective rooms.
Mr. A. Dorey still has a bright eye and is quick-limbed. He got together his old chisels, lathe and saws with loving eye. All the tools are in perfect condition and oiled and a line of spades testifies to the stout workmanship of farm and garden tools of generations past. "He likes to see them all in perfect order and condition" observed Mr. Dorey, who was Miss A. Giles, of the Bordage, before her marriage.
In the early days, Mr. Dorey was the youngest son of the late Mr. Nicolas Dorey of Lest Forgettes, Castel, a wheel-wright, who married Miss Emilie Le Messurier, daughter of the late Mr. Daniel Le Messurier, of King's Mills in 1829, then they set up house and placed their grandfathers' clocks and a bureau in the position they now occupy. Mr. Nicolas Dorey died in 1891, aged 82 years and 2 months.
Mr. A. Dorey was associated with his father throughout his life. They would buy elm trees, cut them down and sell them to the late Mr. Peter Olgier, a ship-builder, or the North Side, St. Sampson's, carting them bound to a stout pair of wheels on an axle.
When Town Mills were built: Mr. Dorey recalled the days in 1868, when his father, as a contractor, built the Town Mills for the late Mr. Peter Hocart. He would drive his father to work in a phaeton and fetch him back in the afternoons.
Fourteen Coffins: Mr. Dorey remembers that his father made the 14 coffins for the men who lost their lives in the wreck of the ship L'Europe, off Fort Houmet. The men lie in a large railed-off vault at the Castel Cemetery. A maker of coffins, as a contractor, Mr. Dorey said his father then received only 15s per coffin with burial services included.
On one occasion father and son were proceeding with a van, loaded with wood, when they met Sir Stafford Carey, Bailiff, at the King's Mill. Sir Stafford asked for a "lift" and forthwith the father accepted this august Sarnian, who rode quite unperturbed on the load of wood from King's Mills to the Rohais, where he continued his walk to the Royal Court.
In those early days there was much work for father and son in connection with the repairing of water and windmills. Often they crossed to Sark, to repair the windmill there; to Alderney, to attend to the water-mill and windmill in Guernsey. The mills they attended included the Vale, Noirmont, St. Martin's, Moulin de la Haye, Castel and the cement mill at Les Landes.
At home there was the work of blacksmithing, wheel-wright, and farrier and also, later, that of contracting for the erection of glasshouses (greenhouses).
Mr. Nicolas Dorey made tables at Elizabeth College, paid at 2s 8d per day. Father and son made a big business also in churn covers, which were sold at 5s, 6d each.
Doctors on sledges: "Ah, these days of telephones and motors," exclaimed Mr. A. Dorey "Why one day, years ago, I had to take a horse from here and ride to La Plaiderie, in town, to call Dr. Le Page to attend to a patient, and when I was a boy the doctors would travel on horse sledges to their patients when the snow was thick on the roads."
Mr. Dorey observed that they both were old readers of the "Evening Press" having first had their "Presses" from Mr. Falls, Sous l'Eglise, St. Saviour's. They also take a "Weekly Press" to send to a nephew, Mr. Thomas Simon, of Detroit, Michigan, U. S. A.
Of the marriage Mr. and Mrs. A. Le Messurier Dorey have a son and a daughter; Mr. A. Dorey, Portinfer View, Vale, and Mrs. A. Le Cornu, of Lohiers Farm, St. Saviours.

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