Now you may not have heard of this lady but what a life she had. She was the second recorded supercentenarian and lived in 3 centuries.
Margaret Ann Harvey was born on the 18th May 1792 in St Peter Port on the Island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. She was the first child and eldest of seven children born to John Harvey and his wife Elizabeth Harvey nee Guille.
Margaret’s father was a shipping magnet and privateer which afforded her a better life than most. She attended school in Bristol followed by finishing school in Brussels. She was a great fan of literature and spoke English, French, Italian, German and Spanish and could read Greek.
On the 18th January 1823 in St Peter Port she married John Neve. The couple lived in England from their marriage until John Neve died in 1849. The couple didn’t have any children so after John’s death Margaret returned to Guernsey and spent the rest of her life living there.
Throughout her life she travelled in Europe. She visited the battle site of Waterloo and throughout Europe including the Austro-Hungarian Empire. She travelled before her marriage and during. In her widowhood her travelling companion was her sister.
It was reported that in 1902 Margaret was found climbing a tree to pick apples at the age of 110. It just shows she never gave up. I couldn’t climb a tree as a kid so full marks to Margaret.
Margaret died on the 4th April 1903 a month before her 111 birthday. She was alive in the 1700’s, 1800’s and 1900’s.
So let’s consider what she was aware of during her life time.
She was alive during the reign of 5 monarchs. When she was born King George III was on the throne and would reign for a further 28 years. Then came King George IV, King William IV, Queen Victoria and King Edward VII was 2 years into his reign when she died. She would have started out life as a Georgian and ended as an Edwardian.
The world changed so much during her lifetime. The industrial revolution was a big part of her life as was the inventions that would change our lives.
Some of the inventions included:
1798. Edward Jenner invented the inoculation for Smallpox.
1804. Richard Trevithick invented the steam locomotive as a form of power.
1837. Samuel Morse develops morse code.
1855. Henry Bessemer develops the Bessemer converter for use in the steel industry.
1867. Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.
1876. Alexander Graham Bell developed the telephone.
1879. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb (amongst others).
1901. The first vacuum cleaner was developed.
Also the steamship was developed, steam trains for passengers, the first steps into flight and the development of the car.
There was also so much change in the world. Margaret was known to have visited the battle site of Waterloo in Belgium but she also would have been aware of so much more. She recalled she remembered the end of the French Revolution which ran from 1789 to 1799. This was followed by the Revolutionary wars which ran from 1792 to 1802. Next came the Napoleonic wars which ran from 1803 to 1815 ending with the Battle of Waterloo. The Crimean war ran from 1853 to 1856 and Margaret would certainly have been aware of this. Next was the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865. The final major outbreak she lived through was the Boer War from 1899 to 1902.
Margaret’s life must have changed so much over her 110 years with so many new developments and inventions, changes in medicine and the world around her.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my Family History Ramblings on genealogy and history in general. I hope you find it informative and hopefully funny!