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Billingshurst

Between 1794 and 1813 ten children were born in Billingshurst to Thomas and Leah JOYES, Thomas, Richard, Sarah, Kesiah, Hannah, Daniel, Mary, Luke, Martha and Jane. They were a poor family sometimes requiring help from the parish. So poor, in fact, that in the years of 1814/15/16 young Daniel was placed with local farmers and supplied with clothing from vestry funds.

Between 1815 and 1816 his fourteen year old sister Hannah was contracted to work for a Mr Mathews, from one May Day to the next. Her duties would have been as a dairy maid or household servant. 25th March was known as Lady Day - May Day was 1st May


One of Luke's descendants, Canadian Ronald Cox says " Luke and his family initially settled in the township of Nelson [Halton County] in the Gore district on the farm of Joseph Lyons. Luke sent the following letter to his father and mother:

September 4 1836

Upper Canada


Dear Father and Mother

I desire to be remembered to all, father and mother, brothers and sisters. We are all well except Daniel: he has not been well since we come to this country. I won't send for any of my brothers and sisters to come here, but if they come they will find it a deal better country to live in than England. If any of you do come out, come to Hamilton and enquire for Chatfields Farm, for Joseph Lyons, and he will direct you to where to find me. I have engaged with Joseph Lyons for 100 dollars a year, free house and fuel, and board for myself and an acre of land to keep a cow in summer."

Decades later Walter JOYES from a younger branch of the same JOYES family set up business as a corn dealer and agent for agricultural machinery, at Hereford House, Station Road, Billingshurst. His sisters Emma and Rosina lived in a house nearby. As can be seen from the invoice below, Walter had branches everywhere.... well, Billingshurst and Southwater.

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Walter Joyes invoice dated 1888 for £23-14s

In 1824 Thomas junior married Jane ANSCOMBE of Ashington. Thomas was a farm worker like his father. To feed an ever growing family in hard times he needed to move about in search of contracts of employment, either in Billingshurst or nearby Itchingfield. In 1836 he made a bid to emigrate to Canada along with his family and that of his married brother, by applying to go on the Petworth Scheme. Although accepted, at the last minute his hopes for a new life for his family were dashed, when his current employer refused to release him. However, his younger brother Luke, wife and two infants, were permitted to sail. The 1841 Census shows Thomas and Jane living in a farm cottage at a property called Combelands in Billingshurst, with five of the younger children.