Who is this family? ‘Familia Ivens 1914’

Who were they

This photo was taken in St Leonards-on-Sea, Hastings, Sussex, in 1914.

On the reverse it reads:

4 generations – Dear Gran 93. Baby 7 months. 31st July, 1914. Familia Ivens

So that’s Mother (b.1821), her son (b. circa 1845), her grandaughter (b. circa 1880), and her great granddaughter.

Presumably, HIS family name is IVENS, and there’s a strong resemblance to some of the Portuguese family plus the use of the word ‘familia’

Anyone know who they might be?

A conversation with Maria Da Graca Freitas (great grand daughter of Ricardo Julio Ivens Ferraz, grandson of William Ivens) in 2010 produced these tantalising pieces of info:

“Now here’s an interesting thing! I have found a Gazette entry for a Catharaina Prescott Ivens Ferraz, Actress, who was living at Cumberland Court Rest Home, 6 Cumberland Gardens, St Leonards on Sea, Sussex, and died 2nd March 1998. So there is some connection with this small town. For a moment, I thought that the older lady (aged 98) might have been THE Catherine Prescott (senior) but she doesn’t resemble the other photo we have of Catherine. More to find!!!! Let me know if this small snippet creates any leads for you. Regards”

“Hi, David. You have mentioned the actress Catharina Prescott Ivens Ferraz. Her full name was Catarina Prescott Moniz Barreto Ivens Ferraz and she was born near Aveiro (Portugal) in September 1902 and died in England in March 1998. She was daughter of Severiano Alberto Ivens Ferraz and her wife Rakima Zaira Moniz Barreto. She lived most of her life in England, as actress and journalist in a magazine for women.
I don’t think she is directly related with this photo. “

“Hi David! Once again! I think that I should tell you that the year of “1914” was written by me, after searching in the internet the name of the photographer: H. Seymour Cousens. He was known as photographer at the end of of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. So I think that the year of “1914” should be ignored and the searching should begin in the end of 19th century. Do you agree? Regards.”

“Hello David! I’ve been thinking that the “four generations” photo shows: the old lady Caroline Amélia Brunswick (daughter of Thomas Northmore); her son Mansel Longworth Dames (who married Mary Jane Ivens); her grand-daughter Norah; and her great-granddaughter (Mary Frances? or Jane?). If this is correct the photo could have been taken in 1914, because the old lady died with 97 years old, about 1918.
Do you think it makes any sense? Regards.”


Norah (b.1881) daughter of Mansell Longworth Dames [taken 1936]


2 responses to “Who is this family? ‘Familia Ivens 1914’

  1. Dear David
    I am intrigued by the “Familia Ivens” puzzle that I found in your Portuguese Ivens section. I can comment on Maria De Graca’s Longworth Dames suggestion.

    The Longworth Dames family: Caroline Amelia Brunswick (b 5 June 1821 Exeter), lived in St Leonards with Mansel’s unmarried brother and sister from around 1900 until she died in September 1918.
    Her eldest son, Mansel Longworth Dames ( b. in Bath, Feb 1850 ) and Mary Jane Ivens, (b. 1846 in the Azores) married in 1877. (She was daughter of Thomas Edward Hickling Ivens 1810-80 and Henrietta Carew 1816-70). They had two daughters Elin b.1878 and Norah b.1881, both born in India where Mansel was a District Commissioner in the Punjab.
    I can find no trace of Elin after her birth and she does not return to the UK with the family when they retire to Enfield in about 1900, but Norah m. Frank Smart in 1909 and they had 2 daughters, Mary Frances b. Jan 1914 and Jane b. June 1917.

    Matching the photo’s inscription: Caroline Amelia Brunswick’s 93rd birthday was in June 1914. On 31 July that year her son Mansell would have been 64, his daughter Norah 23 and their elder daughter Mary Frances between 6 and 7 months old.
    So, apart from the fact the man in the photo looks a good deal younger than 64, this narrative fits pretty well. I have a headshot of Norah taken from a group photo at my mother’s wedding in August 1936. Is this the same woman as the young mother in your photo, 20 years before? I think it’s quite likely. What do you think?

    [See photo at end of original posting]

    If we accept the above attribution, the inscription ‘ Familia Ivens’ is clearly not a description, as it is the Longworth Dames family that is pictured. It must be a dedication, i.e. the family that the photo is sent to. Mary Jane’s brothers married English girls and worked in England or India so the only Portuguese “ Familia Ivens” I am familiar with at this time is that of Thomas Edward and his second wife Maria Medeiros whom he married 18 months before his death in 1880. She lived on until 1931.
    However, although it’s possible, it seems unlikely that Mary Jane (or Nora) would have been sending a family photo to Maria Medeiros Ivens, calling CAB “Gran”. I learned from my mother that the children from the first marriage with Henrietta Carew were not best pleased when Thomas Edward started a second family with his 18 year-old Azorean housekeeper after Henrietta’s death, and particularly not when he gave the children the same names as them and eventually married her. So, not much love lost there, I fear.
    So, there could be a partial solution here depending how one thinks the photos match.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Henry,
    This sounds a very plausible solution and I like the coincidence of ages and location. In terms of the photo you would like to upload, I can easily ‘invite’ you as an Author, thereby enabling you to add posts of your own [I will need an email addrsss] if you would like that, or you could send the photo to me at david.ivens@wild-duck.co.uk for me to upload.
    Either way, I think your photo would add to the tale.
    As I am a descendant of Thomas Edward and Henrietta Carew (and indeed his son Thomas Edward) do you know the fate of His daughters Margaret Carew Ellis, Elizabeth Frances, (Mary Jane I gather married Mansell Longworth Dames) and Henrietta Wilhelmina?


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