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Home: Surnames: Sivyer Family Genealogy Forum

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Sivyers and Sivers East Sussex and Kent 1780s to 1880s
Posted by: Nick Smith (ID *****3897) Date: September 13, 2003 at 23:32:43
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As it seems that at least two others on this board are descended from the same James Sivyers as me I am posting some details of the results of my research.

My great grandfather was Cunningham James Sivers who was born on 23 Nov 1869 in Caw, Derry, Northern Ireland. He later became a chimney sweep in Beckley, East Sussex. (According to Kellyís Directory in 1913 he was trading under the name of James Sivers. He was the son of James Sivers and Maria Wilson who married on the 13 May 1867 at the Registrarís Office in Derry.

James was then serving in the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Regiment of Foot. Although I have no absolute proof I believe that he was the James Sivier who was baptised on 27th February 1842 at Withyham, East Sussex. He was the son of James and Sarah Sivier described as travellers.

I have found eleven offspring of this couple. They are Lavinia, Levi, James, Ellen (or Eleanor), Mary Ann, Samuel, Henry, Thomas, William and Jemima. They were mainly born or baptised in and around Rotherfield.

In baptismal and/or birth records of her children, Sarahís former surname is given as Willoughby or Willeby but I believe that she was married to James Sivyer as Sarah Goby on 28th May 1832 in Wadhurst. The reason for the change in surnames could be that as a traveller she might have followed the gypsy custom of using her motherís surname (ie Goby or Golby) early in her life. Later she might have used her fatherís surname (ie Willoughby).

Although I have not found a birth record for Sarah I have found a marriage record in Herstmonceux dated 2 Oct 1812 for John Willougby and Ann Golby. This couple may well be Sarahís parents.

James Sivyer senior is probably the one baptised on 31 Jan 1808 in Rotherfield. He was the offspring of John Sivyer and Lidia Turk who were married on 11 Oct 1807 in Rotherfield. This James died in the Union Workhouse, Uckfield on 29 May 1889 and his death certificate gives his name as James Sivyers, an occupation of Chimney Sweep of Rotherfield and an age of 85. Research on Lidia Turk and her ancestry by others can be found at

John Sivyer, baptised 22 Aug 1784 in Wadhurst, was the son of Samuel Sivyer and Mary Ashdown who married in Wadhurst on 13th April 1784. I have not been able to get back any further.

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