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Clavey

The Clavey family  of Chewton Mendip can probably trace their ancestry back to Richard Clavey (c1590-1630?) who lived in Stoke
Lane (Stoke St Michael) but there records for that parish are in a particularly bad state.
 One of Richard’s great grandsons was William Clavey  (1681-1778) who lived in Stoke Lane and was an edged tool maker with a mill and land holdings there leased from the Horner family of Mells from around 1750. William was married to a member of the Fussel family who later ran a substantial edged tool business in Mells. William’s sons returned to the land and called themselves Yeomen.
 Collinsons history of Somerset published in 1791 states there were two edged toolmills in Mells without naming them. Perhaps one of them was the Clavey mill?
 Another descendent of Richard Clavey was Thomas Clavey who was born in Ashwick c1690. It is reasonable to assume that he was the person who married  Sarah Weeks of Aisweek (Ashwick?)  in Chewton Mendip on 24/9/1733. Edmund Rack who conducted the research for the Rev John Colinson  states that many people in Ashwick were Methodists which may have been what bought Thomas to Ashwick. Thomas was described as living in Chewton Mendip so it may have been the son of Thomas born c1690 who married Sarah. It is also reasonable to assume that Thomas worked at Cutlers Green as an edged tool-maker.
 Firstly it was difficult for people to move to a different parish unless they had a trade or the financial means to support themselves so Thomas needed a sponsor of some kind to make even the short move from Ashwick to Chewton Mendip.
 The second point is that the Waldegrave records show there were several blacksmiths and related trades in Chewton Mendip but there no record of the Claveys holding a lease has yet been found. Cutlers Green was owned by the Kingsmills at the time which may explain the lack of records.
The Claveys next appear in the poor law records when John Clavey was examined in 1741, presumably to confirm he had the right of settlement. He must have passed this test because a substantial sum was spent on his wedding to Mary Holbrook.
 The 1839 tithe map showed that a James Clavey was living in the Folly. There were three James Claveys living in the village at the time but as the Folly was used to accommodate Waldegrave estate workers, the most likely person was  a 60 year old agricultural labourer who was married to Martha and they two sons, George and James. The third James Clavey was a 35-year-old carpenter who was also living in the Town tithing somewhere. He was living with Mary, who may have been his mother.
 Phillp Clavey was living in Hillside or Hillview cottage in Bathway. He may have been the father of Philip Clavey who was killed in the first world war.
Various members of the Clavey family attended Chewton Mendip school in the Victorian era and it is believed some of them worked for Mendip Motors.
 Louisa Clavey was daughter of Thomas Clavey and Elizabeth Martha Speed. She later married Rees Oakes. Her mother was the niece of Robert Speed who married Ann Curtis in 1823. She attended Chewton Mendip School in 1876.
 Rose Ida Clavey was the daughter of John Clavey. She was born 15/5/1877 and admitted  to Chewton Mendip school in 1881. They were living in Nedge when she attended school and was withdrawn because she was wanted at home.
At least two members served in World War One and Philip Clavey did not survive. The Commonwealth Graves Commission database (http://www.cwgc.org/) states he served as a private in the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 1st/8th battalion, his service number was 307297. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial and his date of death is given as 26th September 1917.
 John Clavey was described as a road contractor when he was a trustee of the Bathway Methodist Chapel in 1910. He  is buried in the new churchyard of Chewton Mendip. He may have been the father and grandfather of the children at Chewton Mendip school in the 1880s.
 Members of the Clavey family were still living in the village in the late 20th century.
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