A bit more of this other family…The Kent and De Vos Families

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Charles Kent and his wife, Ida (nee De Vos) with their son, Charles (Frank) abt 1896

Charles Kent and his wife, Ida (nee De Vos) with their son, Charles (Frank) abt 1896

I think this is a wonderful photo!  The furniture, the clothing (I love the little boy’s outfit!) and their pose.  I particularly like the embossing at the bottom – Skeen & Co, Colombo.  This company was very well known and respected in Ceylon in the 1890s.
To me the picture is quite exotic and when I look at the lineage of Ida,  I can see why.  I am lucky enough to have the family tree of the De Vos family which is taken from “Genealogy of the Family of De Vos” as published in “The Journal of the Dutch Burgher Union”.  This was compiled in 1910 by Frederick Henry de Vos and revised and updated in 1937 by Mr D V Altendorff.

In the photo above are the great-great grandparents of my children (on their father’s side).  They were mentioned in my previous blog.   Charlotte Ida Elizabeth de Vos was born on 14 December 1871 at Trincomalee, Ceylon and married Charles Kent on 28 December 1895.  She was one of eleven children born to (great-great-great grandparents) Harriet Hunter (born in Scotland on 28 November 1837) and John George de Vos (born Ceylon on 5 June 1835).    His parents were (great-great-great-great grandparents) John George De Vos (born 1810) and Elizabeth Euphrosine Merciana Franke.  Going back another generation, parents of John George are (5th great grandparents) Petrus Geradus de Vos (Boekhouder – meaning accountant) (1762) and his third wife Susanna Petronella Van Dort (1790).  Petrus was born to (6th great grandparents) Pieter de Vos (Boekhouder) (1731) and his second wife, Magdalena Meyer (1744-1780).  Going back another generation, Pieter was born to (7th great grandparents) Pieter de Vos Boekhouder (1698-1734) and  his second wife, Christina Polnitz (1699-1750).  My children’s 8th great grandparents from this family were Olivier de Vos (1653-1699) and  Johanna Melchiors.  I believe he was the first of the family to move to Ceylon, travelling by ship in 1673.  And going back once more, Olivier’s parents (9th great grandparents to my children) were Victor de Vos (about 1612) and Maria Jooris (1614).

Being Dutch colonists, the De Vos family were able to take control of as much land in Ceylon as they wanted.  It was said that, at one stage, the family were very wealthy and owned up to one third of the island of Ceylon!

Two points of interest that I would like to follow up on – firstly it is said that there is a direct connection between the De Vos family and Baron de Vos Van Fleming who was created a Baron in either 1235 or 1325.

Secondly, information I have to hand says that the De Vos family built and donated Alms House in Bruges, Belgium in 1713.  Apparently it has been restored and is open for inspection as part of the National Trust.   Perhaps this is somewhere my children might visit one day.

Obviously I have more research to do on this family!

And now to another family…


Wedding photo of Agnes Long and Harold Frederick Kent

Wedding photo of Agnes Long and Harold Frederick Kent

Su Leslie’s posts about kisses and weddings inspired me to get back in to my family research and look at wedding photos I have in my possession.  Unfortunately, only two.  In fact this one does not belong to my family at all but to my children’s father’s family.

Harold Frederick Kent was their great-grandfather and Agnes Long, of course, their great-grandmother.  The wedding took place on 3 April 1926 in the Mount Pleasant Methodist Church in Ballarat, Victoria.  If I didn’t have the date at least I would know from the fashion that it was in the 1920s.

I was recently given the Kent family tree already researched plus some information about most of the family members.  However, I don’t yet have a feel for them – and maybe I never will as they are not my blood relations.  That remains to be seen.  From research originally done by Ronald Kent from Warwick, this is what I know about this photo.

Harold Kent was born in Colombo,  Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on 9 august 1901 to Charles Kent and Charlotte Ida Elizabeth de Vos.  He married Agnes Long who was born in Ballarat, Victoria to Dorcas Pearce Dunn and William Henry Long on 13 May 1899.

Born in England, Harold’s father, Charles joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment around 1887 and served in both India and Ceylon.   When the Battalion returned to England, he remained in Ceylon and joined the Ceylon Light Infantry Volunteers.  He married Charlotte on 28 December 1895.  At that time he was a Drill Instructor and by the time he was discharged in 1910 he held the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major.

So how did Harold end up marrying a girl from Ballarat?  Well in 1910, the Kents left Ceylon and lived in Warwick in England.  There were 9 children in the family and they all attended good “public” schools.  Harold was sent to Kings Grammar in Warwick (the third oldest in England after Eton and Winchester).  The family then returned to Ceylon in 1913 and Harold attended St Joseph’s College in Colombo and then St Anthony’s College.  He excelled at school and was offered a place to study medicine at Cambridge University.  However, he never followed this up because all the places were first given to returning servicemen and he missed out.  Instead he became a Merchant Seaman.  He remained at sea for just a few years and then jumped ship at Geelong!  In an effort to get as far away from the ship as possible he took the first available train which took him to Ballarat.  Of course this is where he met and married Agnes.  As a point of interest, Harold became a painter and decorator and continued this until his death in 1975.

Harold and Agnes had six children including my children’s grandfather, (William) Frank Kent.  At this stage I don’t know much more about the marriage of Harold and Agnes other than that Agnes died just four weeks after her husband.


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