I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me at familyphotoreunion [ at ] yahoo [ dot ] com. I also accept donations of pre-1927 images to be reunited. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Monday, March 12, 2012

Carrie D'Orsey, Lecturer and Vocal Coach, 1842-1913, England

Miss Carrie D'Orsey is addressing the meeting of clergy at Yarmouth, England in this postcard photograph from 1911.  According to the inscription on the reverse of the card, "Aunt Carrie D'Orsey" was the sister of Reverend L. M. D'Orsey.  With this information we can get a clearer picture of who Carrie D'Orsey was, and what her family connections were.

According to the 1851 Scotland Census, Caroline Margaret Ann Dorsey was born abt. 1842 in Govan Parish, Lanarkshire.  At the time of the census she is living at Great Western Road No 2., Kew Terrace, Govan.  Her mother, Mary Ann Dorsey, 40 was a clergyman's wife, and there were three other children in the house at the time:  Henry Rowlatt, 12; Louisa Morier, 7, and Lambert Murray (the future Reverend), 5.  Caroline's father is not in the household.  Sometime between 1851 and 1861 the family moved to England.

In the 1861 England Census for Cambridge, Cambridgeshire the father does appear with his wife and family.  Alex James D'Orsey (Dorsay in the census) was born 1812 in Newcastle, Warwickshire, England.  Alexander D'Orsey was educated at Cambridge and his career information can be found in the Cambridge Alumni directory:

"Adm. sizar at CORPUS CHRISTI, Jan. 20, 1846; a ‘Ten-year man.’ Matric. Michs. 1859; B.D. (Stat. Eliz.) 1860. Chancellor's Medal, 1860. Ord. deacon (Glasgow) 1846; priest, 1847; Incumbent of St John's, Anderston, Glasgow, 1847. Chaplain in Madeira, 1856-9. Chaplain to the Bishop of Gibraltar, 1859. Chaplain and Lecturer at Corpus Christi, 1860-4. Lecturer at King's College, London, 1864-84. Professor of Public Reading and Speaking at King's College, London, 1884-90. ‘In the year 1860 the Rev. Mr D'Orsey obtained the Chancellor's medal for a poem on the Great Comet of 1858. This gentleman soon after became English lecturer at Corpus College, and commenced a course of instruction in clerical and public elocution, an undertaking in which the undergraduates of the day chose to discover something ludicrous’ (Sir G. O. Trevelyan, 176). Married Lucy Georgina, dau. of the Rev. T. Irving, sometime R. of Ormesby, Yorks. Died Mar. 20, 1894, aged 82, at Coutham, Redcar. (Scott, MSS.; The Guardian, Mar. 28, 1894; Crockford.)"

Carrie's mother, Mary Ann D'Orsey died in 1862, and her probate was completed in 1885:

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941


In 1881, Caroline is living with her father and step-mother Lucy Irving D'Orsey at 13 Princes Square, Paddington, London.

Carrie is living at 40 Weymouth St W, St. Marylebone, London at the time of the 1911 census and her occupation is listed as "Lecturer in Voice Production and Elsuctior [elocution?]." 

I love this photograph of Carrie because it shows her at work, which is something you commonly don't find in this time period.  So how did this postcard photograph end up in Victoria, BC, in a shop on Antique Row?

I think I have the answer to that, but you'll have to wait for my post about a Hathorn postcard I found along with Carrie's postcard.

UPDATE May 23, 2012:  This postcard has been reunited with a Hathorn/D'Orsey researcher in England.  So glad it's going back to a family member,

1 comment:

  1. Her great grandfather, Alexander Donald, was a childhood friend of Thomas Jefferson. Her grandfather, William Dorsey, wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1825 and outlined the family history and talked about her father and how he was very bright. Judging by his career that you have outlined, he obviously was: http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/98-01-02-5577
    There is also more detail about Alexander Donald available here:
    Great to see this picture and great research. Many thanks, James