Jeffrey Green

Jeffrey is a historian
based south of London

193 : The family of Jacob Christian 1870s-1950s


Page 048 of this site details Liverpool-born George William Christian (1872-1924) and mentions his two brothers and a sister. Their parents were Antigua-born Jacob Christian and Liverpool-born Octavia Caulfield. At the time it was written (February 2010) I was aware two sisters had separately migrated to western Canada but no details were to hand. Much later Canadian descendant Lorelei McKenzie made herself known, and she supplied evidence from newspapers which added to Jacob Christian’s story, including the London Morning Post of 23 September 1881 and the Liverpool Mercury of 12 September 1881 which reported Jacob Christian, a boarding house keeper in Liverpool had been stabbed by a sailor in London. Those reports stated that Christian was a member of the charitable society the Good Templars. In October 1888 his boarding house was at 79 Mill Street, Liverpool (Cheshire Observer, 6 October 1888).

The ‘Good Templar’s Funeral’ was reported in the Liverpool Mercury on 24 October 1894. He was buried in the St James cemetery. Born ‘in the West Indies’ he had been active in charity works in ‘the south end of Liverpool’ and the treasurer of the Toxteth lodge. His widow, son Alexander and his wife, ‘Mrs Rogers’ (who was Julia Christian, a daughter) and her sister Octavia were noted along with several Good Templars and members of the Toxteth Guardians (they administered poor relief). He had eleven children but five died.

In July 2018 Lorelei triumphantly announced that she now had photographs of all six of Jacob Christian’s children.

Rubena Christian (1879-1914) had married in 1899 and with her husband Oscar Patterson and children left Liverpool for Canada in 1906. Four years later her sister Julia Rogers (1863-1923), a widow, went with her children to Canada. [Julia, below]


 

She had married Lewis Alexander Rogers and they had seven children – George Rogers is seen in the snow. His father was a grocer in Liverpool, born in either Guadeloupe or Jamaica. The Rogers moved to Wales and he died in 1903.

George William Christian was a merchant in Nigeria and the Cameroons, and had worked with his brother Arthur (1874-1926) in Nigeria. Decades later his son drowned in Nigeria.

[George Christian, 1922]:

 

 

George Christian’s brother Alexander (1870-1925) ran the Liverpool office (see page 048):

The other sister Octavia (1875-1936) married a Scottish tailor Denis McDavid in Liverpool and they had four sons and a daughter. Their son Herbert is mentioned on page 122: in the Liverpool Scottish Regiment he was a prisoner of war in Germany 1917-1918. He left £118,000; his brother Arthur had been a ship’s captain and left a considerable fortune; brother Gordon was an engineering officer who died off Nova Scotia when his ship was torpedoed in 1942.

The photographs include Denis McDavid and Octavia Christian on their wedding day in 1896.


Rubena is seated next to the bride, and then there is their mother. The bulky man behind Denis McDavid is Alexander Christian (also see image above) and his wife Euphemia Latimer (1870-1947) is seated. The child is Herbert – born in 1898.

Arthur Christian lived in Ampthill Road in Liverpool and worked as an ‘African trader’ in the Gold Coast [modern Ghana], in the cocoa trade. He died in January 1926 at Cape Coast. He married a local woman Elizabeth Dadzie and had several children. The six who survived childhood all married. This branch of the family has Lebanese connections.

So, the family of Jacob Christian and Octavia Caulfield had and has links to Liverpool, Manchester, Wales, London, Belfast, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, the Middle East, western Canada, Guadeloupe/Jamaica and Australia.