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Chafe Lineage in Canada
300 Years in Canada (1705-2005)

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Surname Family Trees
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Surname Facts and Demographics After 1900
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Famous Family Members to 1840 to 1900 to 1945 to Present
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Family Trees: Chaffe, Chaffey, Chaffee, Chafy, Chafe
Chaffe/Chaffey Lineage in England from 1016
Chaffee/Chafee Lineage in America from 1637
Chafe Lineage in Canada from 1705
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The Chafe Family from 1705 Newfoundland
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Possible Chafe Connection between England and Newfoundland
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Chafe Family Heirlooms
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Settling Newfoundland
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)World Events 1704-1707
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)E.R. Seary Review on Chafe Surname in Newfoundland
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)DNA Analysis
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Petty Harbour Bait Skiff Song
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Chafe's Who Died in World Wars
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Edward Chafe and the Longitude Problem
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The Homestead of John Chafe (c.1685-1759) in Petty Harbour
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Petty Harbour Church Record (PDF File)
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Chafe's Resting in St. George's Cemetery, Petty Harbour
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)History and Maps of Petty Harbour, Brigus & Pool's Island, Newfoundland
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)This Chafe Family History, Photo Gallery and Birth Dates


woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)PETTY HARBOUR COME HOME YEAR - July 28th to August 4th, 2007 woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)


John Chafe (c.1685-1759) was born near Ipplepen/Berry Pomeroy in Devon.   He appears to have arrived in Petty Harbour circa 1705/6.  Thomas likely left from the English city of Topsham (south of Exeter), which was the major Newfoundland supply port for Petty Harbour at that time. When he arrived he was an unmarried bye boat keeper. A bye boat keeper was an independent man who obtained his goods and craft from the merchant and hired his own men. Bye boat keepers came across to Newfoundland as passengers, fished all summer with hired men, then sold their fish to traders, left their boats behind and often returned home in the winter. If the fishing was good, they obtained part of the profit.  When times were hard or the fishing was bad, they took part of the loss and the merchant risked less. 

Petty Harbour in the late 1800'sLocation of John Chafe's Homestead

Henry Chafe (1725-1801) Gravestone, St. George's Church, Petty Harbour. Son of John Chafe.  He married Ann Efford, the daughter of George Efford.  They had four sons and three daughters.  Henry Chafe was the wealthiest of the Chafe's in Petty Harbour.  He rented out his extra fishing rooms to others.The only Chafe mentioned in the Newfoundland records for that era was John Chafe. John Chafe was a petitioner to the government on 2 February 1708-9 which establishes that he wintered at Newfoundland at that time. The Ruck Ledgers, 1713-1719, seem to indicate that he was purchasing winter supplies on 20 Nov. 1718 and 20 January 1719. On April 1, 1721, John was one of the petitioners to the government regarding the "lack of justice in the winter season" (after the murder of Thomas Ford).  There is a gap in the Newfoundland records, but the customs entries suggest John was exporting cod liver oil to Devon in the 1730s. There is another document that suggests that John Chafe had made Petty Harbour his home.  On 22 February 1742-3, John Chafe signed a petition sent to Gov. Byng. The Newman Ledgers show a partnership between John Chafe and Edward Chafe.  John was literate and of good character as he was hired as a constable in 1729 along with Samuel Angel.  There is no reference to his wife, but her name could have been "Ann" as they may have had a daughter by that name. John brought over from Devon a silver teapot (c.1680's) that eventually belonged to cousin Edward Chafe and an oak desk (c.1730) that belonged to another cousin. The Chafe's were followers of the Church of England.  The branch was prosperous because of fishing, sealing and attempts to establish farms at Goulds, a few miles west of Petty Harbour.  Some of the oldest headstones in Petty Harbour belong to the Chafe branch and were imported from England. 

A record for a John Chafe, buried 22 May 1757 was found in Ipplepen, Berry Pomeroy, Devon. This is quite possibly his because John was apparently still alive in 1753 when Customs Records in Devon list John Chafe and Co. shipping 600 pine boards from Nfld. In 1755, the Devon Port Books show John and Edward Chafe shipping cod from Newfoundland. It is possible that by 1755 Edward was running the company in his father's name.

The 1794-5 Newfoundland census stated that sons Edward, Henry, William, and Samuel Chafe were "native born" with adjoining property. The Newman Mercantile Ledgers show that two of these men were in a partnership. The headstone of Henry Chafe dated 1801 died at 78 years old, suggesting that he was born circa 1723 (if Henry was as old as was claimed). So if Henry was "native born" circa 1723, both his parents were likely in Petty Harbour. John had four sons: Edward (c.1720-1802), Samuel (c.1722-1800), Henry (c.1725-1801) and William (c.1728-1812) and maybe two other sons; Richard and John (1730-1792).  There is no evidence of daughters although there may have been a daughter Ann.  Each of the Chafe sons married but Samuel did not appear to have had children.  On his son Henry's marriage records to Ann Efford, the father is shown as John Chafe of Torquay, Devon.

John Chafe Signature, April 1, 1721John's house is no longer standing, but was located on the south side of the harbour adjacent to a brook running down from Boones Head hill into a small indentation in the harbour called Knocker's Hole. It is said that those in the house could reach out of their window and pull water from the brook. The first homestead was a sod covered rock wall basement, but a construction was in wood.  His fishing room was located in the harbour slightly to the east.  Future generations of Chafe's in Petty Harbour built their homes and rooms on the large piece of land on this side of the harbour.  A house was built on the site of John Chafe's homestead over 100 years ago and was house was demolished in the late 1970's.

Thomas Ruck Jr. (1659- ?) was a New England merchant, mariner and ship owner who became involved in the Newfoundland trade during the period 1713-1722. He dealt with many Newfoundland fishermen and planters, with a range of operation extending from Ferryland to Bonavista. Most of his trade, however, was concentrated at the ports between Torbay and Bay Bulls.
     -     Transaction on September 10, 1719,  John Chafe of Petty Harbour 8 Pounds 16 Shilling
-     Transaction on September 26, 1719,  John Chafe 20½ Qtls 13 Pounds 3 Shilling

Ray Leaman reports that the property where the School and Church are located was once the property of John Chafe who lived there in 1708.  It went to his eldest son Edward who may have built the first Church St. David's in 1780.  The earliest headstone in the cemetery is Edward's brother, Henry Chafe who died in 1801.

Edward Chafe Signature, 23 September 1783Edward Chafe (c.1720-1824) was born in Petty Harbour, but was sent back to Devon to receive an education.  Edward married, Jane (Jenny) Way from Wolborough (1731-?) at Ipplepen, Devon, 1 January 1750.  They had eight children baptized at Wolborough, Devon; Edward (1751), John (1753), William (1755), Henry (1757-1814), Samuel (1760), Elizabeth (1763-1763), Thomas (1766-1843), and James (1768).  The family headed to Petty Harbour about the time of the start of the American Revolution (1776), possibly to escape the press gangs for the British Navy.  Edward owned property in Petty Harbour next to his brother Henry Chafe on the south side.

Edward Chafe was born c.1720 and buried in Tormoham, England in 1802.  He submitted a claim around 1783 to the Longitude Board for the Longitude Problem award.  In 1714, the British Government offered, by Act of Parliament, £20,000 for a solution which could provide longitude to within half-a-degree.  John Harrison (1693-1776) submitted his first timepiece, the H1 in 1737.  Four models later and after much lobbying of the Longitude Board, King George III and finally parliament, an Act of Parliament in June 1773 finally awarded him £8750.  Apparently there were many board members who coveted the award themselves.  John Harrison was recognised as having solved the longitude problem.  Captain James Cook confirmed the accuracy when he returned to England in July 1775.  However the actual prize went unclaimed until the Longitude Act was repealed in 1828 as the board had asked for very extensive land and sea trials.  Edward sent numerous correspondences in 1784-5 to the Longitude Board to likely to try to claim the prize.

Edward and his wife were buried in Devon.  His son Edward married at Ipplepen in 1750.

This generation of Chafe families are listed in the 1794-1795 Census of the Avalon South Region - Southern Shore District Harbour & District of St. John's for Petty Harbour for the Chafe families.  These four Chafe families with their wives and children represented about 17% of the residents in the Petty Harbour community at that time.

Note: The above Chafe Family Shield is not official nor registered.  The crest was changed by the webmaster and is dedicated to the Canadian side of the surname; a puffin and spruce trees, both found in and around the Petty Harbour, Newfoundland area. 

1794-1795 Census of Petty Harbour
Occupiers Owners Owners Occupation Years Here Marital Status Male Adult Female Adult Male Child Female Child Male Servant Male Dieter Dieter
Jas. Burns Henry Chafe Fisherman 8 Male 1 1 0 0 0 1 0
Samuel Chafe Samuel Chafe Fisherman Unknown Male 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
William Chafe William Chafe Fisherman Unknown Male 1 1 6 4 0 0 0
Henry Chafe Henry Chafe Fisherman Unknown Male 1 1 4 3 1 1 0
Edward Chafe Edward Chafe Fisherman Unknown Male 1 1 3 1 1 1 0
Henry Dasper? Henry Chafe Fisherman 33 Single 1 0 0 0 1 0 1
Henry Warren Henry Chafe Fisherman 29 Single 1 0 0 0 1 0 0

Henry Chafe (1757-1814) was born in Wolborough, Devon, England and married Elizabeth (1765-1835), circa 1795. He had six children all baptized in Petty Harbour; Edward (1796-1860), Jacob (1798-1878), Sarah (1799-1884), Mary Ann (1803-1879), Robert (1806-1854) and Elizabeth (1809-1882).

Jacob Chafe (1798-1878) married Harriet (1804-1886), circa 1822 at Petty Harbour. His occupation was a fish curer. It is possible that Harriet Allan (1804-1886) was the child of Samuel Chafe and Mary Marshall. Some people in Petty Harbour say she was an "Allen" but the diary of Levi George Chafe states that she was Sam Chafe's daughter. Jacob and Harriet had nine children; Lucretia (1824-1916), Sophia (1826-1913), Henry George (1827-1884), Emmanuel (1829-1908), Mary Ann (1832-1908), Elizabeth Sarah (1834-1864), Amelia Maria (1837-1924), Harriet Allen (1840-?) and Matilda (1843-1897).  Jacob Chafe was a successful planter and Jacob Chafe's Watch sealing captain.  The Newfoundland Museum in St. John's has a silver watch (Catalogue Number R986.823) presented to Jacob Chafe in 1829, in thanks for his part in the rescue of the schooner Helen The inscription on the watch reads "Presented by the Chairman of the Marine Insurance Association of St. John's, NF to Mr. Jacob Chafe as a testimony of approbation of his conduct in the saving of the schooner Helen on 1st May 1828". The watch was made by Vale & Ratheran, Birmingham England in 1829 or 1830, (Hallmark on inside cover: Anchor Black F Maker VR) and is 0.925 Stirling.  Jacob passed the watch on to his brother Edward (1796-1860), then to his son Jacob (1842-1918) and then finally to Daniel Windsor Chafe (1884-1962). 

On June 8, 1852, a bait skiff (or trap skiff - 26 to 32 feet long) was caught in a squall near Petty Harbour while returning from Conception Bay. Everyone in the community witnessed the event but were powerless to help the men. They drowned one by one, except a boy clinging to the mast. Jacob Chafe successfully rescued the boy. The famous Newfoundland folk song, "The Petty Harbour Bait Skiff" recalls the event.  It was composed soon after the tragedy by John Grace of St. John's, where there was "crying and lamenting in the streets" on learning of the fate of Skipper John French and his crew "all on the eighth of June".  Lucretia Chafe (1824-1916)Only one of the crew, "young Menshon", (or Menchington) was saved by "Jacob Chafe that hero brave."  Edward Chafe said that when he was little his grandfather had a copper sundial in the parlour which was presented to Jacob Chafe, the Hero Brave, in recognition of his courage and selflessness.

In 1794 there were four chafe households (8%) in Petty Harbour out of a total household count of  53.  In the 1870 Lovell's directory 35 men or 22% of the male surnames in Petty Harbour were Chafe's.  Of these two were farmers, 13 were planters and 19 were fishermen. 

Jacob Chafe's daughter, Lucretia Chafe (1824-1916) married James Watt from Peterhead, Scotland. He landed in Petty Harbour, where he met and married in 1849.  Son Alexander Watt was born at Petty Harbour on 20 August 1850.  The Watt's immigrated to Victoria, Australia, on the schooner Sybil, which left St. John's on 17 November 1852 and arrived in March 1853. They settled in Geelong and then Melbourne, Victoria.  Lucretia died on April 6,  1916, Maud St, Geelong, Victoria from senile decay and was buried on April 8, 1916 in Eastern Cemetery, Geelong, Victoria.

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Theory 1.
From research gathered locally in Devon, paraphrased from her correspondence and posted on this site Dec 2004 and Sept 2005.  Contact available upon request.  This theory is that John was possibly born in Ipplepen, 13 July 1674 the son of John Chaffe and Mary Bulley but this would have made his children born when he was 56 and dies when he was 85.  In addition there is research indicating connections with Chafe family members and other families who shared a heritage in Devon and Petty Harbour.

From the village of Ipplepen:
1672 Oct 17 Mary d/o John Chaffe.
1676 July 13 John s/o John Chaffe. (John Chafe 1st settler in Newfoundland?)
1681 Oct 20 Edward s/o John/Mary Chaffe.
1733/4 Feb 5 Dinah d/o John/Mary Chaffe.
1737 Sep 4 William s/o Mr. John/Elizabeth Chaffe.
c.1730 John Chafe married Elizabeth Jordain,1749,  mariner and 'of Ipplepen'. 
1753 John Chafe married at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London in 1791, son of John Chafe/Elizabeth Jordain

1671/2 Jan 1 John Chaffe to Mary Bulley. (the first Chaffe found in Ipplepen that had an established family)
1700 Dec 24 Mary Chaffe to Christopher Damerell jnr.
1745 Feb 18 Mary Chaffe to John Osborne.
1749 Dec 19 Edward Chafe of Ipplepen, mariner, to Flora Cornish of St. Paul's in Exeter, spinster
1749 14 Jan Mr. Jno. Chafe of Ipplepen mariner, to Eliz. Jordain of Berry Pomeroy
1750 Jan 1 Mr Edward Chaffe to Jinny Wey.

1687/2 Mar 2 Mary wife of John Chaffe.
1692 Mar 26 John Chaffe, widower.
1698 July27 John Chaffe s/o John. (record in Buckfastleigh)
1748 Jul 28 Mary Chaffe.
1750 May 22 Dinah Chaffe.
1757 June 4 John Chaffe senior. (John Chafe 1st settler in Newfoundland?)
1803 Dec 19 Samuel Chafe. (brother of William, Edward and Henry?)

Most entries are CHAFFE with only one CHAFE. Also the two for Mr. usually donates someone of substance. However, the double ff was used widely around this time. It was supposed to be the first (capital) 'f' doubled, but somehow any subsequent f' also seems to have been doubled.

From the above births marriage and burials are the surnames of Bulley, Osborne and Damerell, as well as the daughter of Mary Chaffe and Christopher Damerell married a Williams. All these surnames were found early in the colonization Newfoundland.

Two marriage licences are as follows:
19 December 1749 - Edward Chafe of Ipplepen, mariner, to Flora Cornish of St. Paul's in Exeter, spinster.  Edward Chafe of Ipplepen and Tom Smith an innholder put up the £200 (not the father in law, possibly indicating parental disapproval)
14 Jan 1749 - Mr. Jno. Chafe of Ipplepen mariner, to Eliz. Jordain of Berry Pomeroy.
     - John Chafe of Ipplepen and his father in law put up the £200 for the wedding.  Henry, the son of the above John Chafe, left most of his possessions to his niece, daughter of his brother John. He also left money to several people including the children of Ann Chafe and Henry Dashper. The Newfoundland Dashpers returned to Devon and are buried there. John Chafe's wife (Elizabeth Jordain) ran an Inn in Berry Pomeroy.

These licences meant that they could only be married in the parishes mentioned. Taking out a licence did not necessarily mean they would marry and therefore, it is likely the first marriage did not take place, especially as the money for the marriage was put up by Edward Chafe and Thomas Smith of Exeter, Innholder. If the marriage had the blessing of both parents, generally the fathers/grooms would have put up the money as in the case of (2) John Chafe and Eliz. Jordain.  Shortly after, Edward Chafe married Jane (Jinny) Way of Wolborough. A few years later, a Flora Cornish married Henry Martin.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)John Chafe (b.c.1730 but no birth record found) married Elizabeth Jordain 13 January, 1749. Marriage licence states he was a mariner and 'of Ipplepen'. John and Elizabeth had four children and could be an unnamed son of John Chafe (c.1685-1759) who landed in Newfoundland.
- Elizabeth born 1750 married Robert Morrish. No children.
- John born 1753 married at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London in 1791 to Martha Staples. One daughter, Martha, born circa 1817, who married a prominent doctor David Price (son of a North Wales minister) at St George in the County of Middlesex, on 22 June, 1813. They had one daughter, Gertrude Elizabeth Price. Sometime after their marriage, David Price moved the family down to Margate in Kent due to his wife's illness. When she died he remarried and had other children by his second wife, but the Berry Pomeroy Chafe blood line ended with Gertrude Elizabeth Price who died in Margate, 19 November, 1858, age 41 unmarried. David Price died in Margate, a well respected doctor and surgeon, on 30 May, 1870 age 82.
- Henry born 1756, never married. He died in Bridgetown, Berry Pomeroy and his will dated 1842 leaves money to several people including Henry Dashpar (husband of Ann (Chafe) Dashpar of Newfoundland (b.1773) daughter of Henry Chafe (c. 1725-1801), their children and spouses, with the residue to his niece Martha.
- William born 1758 and married Mary Staples 17 June 1796, sister of Martha Staples above. No Children. William's will states he is of the Parish of St. Botolph Aldgate, Gentleman, and proved in 1802. Mary's Will dated 1812 which states she was a widow.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)One Edward Chafe (who cannot be connected to the family tree) married Sarah in St. Katherine's by the Tower (near the Tower of London). When he died (will known but not too descriptive) Sarah remarried William Standforth at St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, London. This Edward Chafe was an innkeeper of sorts. He seemed to give out loans to seamen which were repaid on their return from trading overseas. One of these documents relates to the Dashper's.  Sarah died shortly after marrying William Standforth and her family hinted that he might have married her for her money.  Edward Chafe's will dated 2nd February, 1726/7 states he is of St. Katherine's, a victualler (supplier of goods).  He bequeathed his estate to his loving wife Sarah Chafe and nominated her his sole executrix.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)It is possible that Edward Chafe of St. Katherine's by the Tower (will dated 1726/7) line may be the same as Edward Chafe born in Ipplepen October 1681, but there is absolutely no proof of this. Also, the old fashioned 's' is very similar to 'f' and it could well be Chase instead of Chafe. There is also no proof that the Berry Pomeroy family are connected either, but it seems more than likely when looking at the two marriage licences for John and Edward Chafe 1749-50. 

St Saviours, the Parish Church of Tormoham woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)From the Royal Greenwich Observatory Archives (now transferred to the Cambridge University Library and also copied to the Public Records Office in Kew) are copies letters by Edward Chafe of Tormoham/Torquay and William Chafe of Berry Pomeroy. The signature of Edward is virtually identical to that on his marriage licence to Flora Cornish and at least one Newfoundland document. They relate to Edward's claim of solving the Longitude problem. Although Harrison claimed the prize in 1773, the Longitude Board sat until the Longitude Act was repealed in 1828. Edward's letters are dated from around 1783 to 1786 with the one from William Chafe of Berry Pomeroy (1785). Unfortunately, Edward was not awarded anything as the Admiralty demanded that all submissions should be submitted with proof from someone who had scientific knowledge. One cannot say with certainty that these letters are from Edward Chafe, but the signature is the same as that on several documents and it links Edward with William of Berry Pomeory.

In 1714, the British Government offered, by Act of Parliament, £20,000 for a solution which could provide longitude to within half-a-degree (2 minutes of time). John Harrison (1693-1776) submitted his first timepiece in 1737. Four models later and after much lobbying of the Longitude Board, King George III and finally parliament, an Act of Parliament in June 1773 finally awarded him £8750.  John Harrison was recognised as having solved the longitude problem.  Captain James Cook confirmed the accuracy when he returned to England in July 1775.  However the actual prize went unclaimed until the Longitude Act was repealed in 1828 as the board had asked for very extensive land and sea trials.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes) Edward and his wife Jane (Jinny) Way are buried at Tormoham Parish Church - Church of St. Saviour.  Recorded in the Parish Register is Edward Chafe was buried the 12th January 1802 and Jinney (Jenney?) Chafe widow buried 22 February 1811.  Unfortunately, the churchyard that Edward and Jinny are buried was cleared some years ago, so there are no gravestones still standing.  Tormoham in it's day was quite a large port where ships sailed in and ship's captains retired, so it is not too difficult to see why Edward chose to live there in the latter part of his life. The Dashpers (Ann Chafe/Henry Dashper and their children) also lived there. Two Dashper Wills confirm this and Ann (Chafe) is definitely buried there.  In Ipplepen many of their surnames appear in Newfoundland records and many are recorded as sailors, seamen and mariners. Another big collection of Chafe/Chaffe surnames is Totnes.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)It is not certain if Edward's father, John Chaffe is buried in Ipplepen. There is no entry for him in Petty Harbour in 1759.  With more evidence that the Chafe family kept their links with Devon, it is not too difficult to think perhaps as he got older, he would want to return to be buried in Devon. 

Theory 2.
The "GESTA CHAFORUM mentions Thomas Chafe as M.P. of Exeter and Sherbourne as the eldest son of John Chafe of Exeter, and the "hopeful godson and young nephew" of Thomas Chafe of Doddescott. The date and place of his birth are unknown, but his father's will mentions his "fower children" in the order of Thomas, Dorothie, Katherine and John. There may have been another girl born but not mentioned on her father's Will. On November 7th 1631 he gave a bond as administrator and executer of his brother John Chafe at Kenton, co Devon who died intestate. Unless John married and had an heir, Thomas below was the only male heir to survive.  Thomas was admitted to the Middle Temple, London June 25, 1631 as Son and Heir of John Chafe late of Exeter, Gentleman, deceased and had Chambers in Brick Walk. In Chaester's London Marriage Licenses his age is given as 30 on Dec 28, 1641 - married Katherine (age 18), daughter of Sir Thomas Malet of St. Audries and Poyntinton, both of Somerset. Their children were baptized - Thomas 1642, Jane 1645 (buried 1664), John 1649, Katherine 1650, Elizabeth 1650, Alicia 1661, Anne (unknown but buried Dec 1660). In 1642 Thomas was educated at Sherbourne, and Wadham College, Oxford, and married on Apr 1662 to Susan Moleyns of West Hall, Folke. Her family had property near Bridport which may account for Thomas Chafe being returned M.P. for Bridport 1685/7. That parliament was a strong support of the Stuarts, and if he sided with them, it might account for his non election to the succeeding parliament. Thomas and Susan had six children - the only male heir 'Moleyne born 1668 died 1695/6 unmarried in Plymouth. It could be that this John Chafe (b.1649) married married Mary Bulley in Ipplepen - the possible start of the Newfoundland Chafe family tree.  It was Thomas Chafe of the Middle Temple who is mentioned on a 1659 Deed of Covenent for the manor of Ipplepen and Torbryan.

Theory 3.
Nicholas Chaffe the second son of William and Jone Chafe married Wilmott. According to W.K.W Chafy, Nicolas lived in West Buckland south of Taunton (15 miles northwest of Chaffcombe) and then settled in Buckfastleigh.  Nicholas and Wilmott Chaffe's children were James, Peter and William. Son William from Buckfastleigh had a son John Chaffe of Buckfastleigh, who married Margart Sawdy. John's children were William Chaffe (of West Buckland) who had lands called "Beather" in 1675, and Henry Chafe (of Taunton).  It is unclear at this point how the family movement over this period of time between West Buckland and Buckfastleigh occurred.

The following relationships are only conjectural, and based on a possible link with W.K.W. Chafy's analysis in 1910 and the Internet Genealogy Service (Later Day Saints - LDS): From the internet a John Chaff (b.1656) from Buckfastleigh married Margaret Knapman (b.1660) in 1680.  They had children Marie (3 Jan 1682-29 Dec 1682), Maria (24 Apr 1683), Lucy (1 Jan 1684), John (11 Jul 1686), Grace (13 Dec 1687) and Juliana (2 Jul 1691).  John Chaff (b.1656) may have had other members of this family (Peter b.1659, William b.1656, Mary b.1654) as they were all born in the same area and time period.  Mary's (b.1654) father was William Chafe (same name as from W.K.W. in this time period) husband of Agnes - all from Buckfastleigh.  It is possible that this John Chaff born in 1686 is the same John Chafe who emigrated to Newfoundland in 1705/06.  Buckfastleigh is only 7 miles northeast of Ipplepen/Berry Pomeroy in Devon.  This would put his age at 19 years old when he arrived in Newfoundland.  

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The Chafes who moved to St. John's preserved John Chafe's desk and teapot, the Efford Bible, the silver watch, and Henry Chafe's (1725-1801) cup. 

Henry Chafe's cup was donated to the Newfoundland Museum on Duckworth Street. They refer to it as "glazed earthenware" in their display. The wooden handle is broken is fastened with a metal band.  The cup, which was likely made in Devon, says "Henry Chafe, Petty Harbour, Jan. 22, 1776" and displays flowers that are yellow or gold with green leaves above and below the inscription.  The meaning of the date is unknown. Henry Chafe was about 50 years old in 1776 so it could be commemorating his 50th birthday. 

Levi George Chafe recorded in his journal the entries he saw in the Efford Bible and the Mary (Chafe) Whitten's Bible. The first page of the Efford-Chafe Bible gives the births and deaths for the family of George Efford and Ann Gempton. There is a page giving a brief history of the Bible and passing of this Bible to his grandson on his death bed. There is a page with births and marriages for some of the family of Henry Chafe and Ann Efford. The final page records the marriage of Philip Bidgood to Martha Clackston (Claxton) in 1761. There is also a strange list of months with numbers... August - 6; September - 8; October - 5.

John Chafe's desk was in the possession of Angus G. Chafe (1917-2001) of St. John's.

There are also references to Bibles being distributed in Petty Harbour by the Anglican Church, and some applications for passports used birth dates taken from family Bibles because church records sometimes only gave the baptismal dates. 

Newfoundland had a low literacy rate due to its geography and economy. However even if people couldn't read, they wanted to own a Bible. Having one in the house would bring good luck and offer supernatural protection. Most families used their Bibles as a "filing cabinet" for wills, deeds, letters, and other valuable papers, plus as place to write down important dates. Many people were extremely reluctant to let others see their family Bibles because they want to protect their valuable papers.  Ownership of Bibles was not denominational. 

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SETTLING NEWFOUNDLAND - Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage

Colonies on the Avalon (circa 1617) showing: Cape Broyle, Petit Harbor, Bay Bulls, St. John's and Conception Baywoodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Early Settlement
On June 11, 1578, Sir Humphrey Gilbert (c1537-1583) was granted letters patent to establish an English colony in North America. Gilbert arrived in St. John's harbour on August 3, 1583 where he was greeted by a number of English, Jersey Island and Portuguese fishermen who were already present in the harbour. On August 5, Gilbert took formal possession of Newfoundland by officially claiming it as a colony of England. His claim was for all land within 200 leagues of St. John's. Any plans Gilbert had of founding a settlement in Newfoundland were for naught. He lost the ship Delight off of Sable island and decided to return back to England. 

In 1608 John Guy had visited Newfoundland as a member of the North Virginia Company. Later, Guy submitted a petition to seeking to colonize Newfoundland for the London and Bristol Company. In May 1610 the English Privy Council granted a charter to the company giving them the whole island. Guy was appointed Governor. Guy founded a settlement at Cupid's, Conception Bay; formerly, this settlement is known as Cupper's Cove. Sheila Ne Geira and her husband Gilbert Pike settled Bristol's Hope (circa 1602), the "Pirate Admiral" Peter Easton who plied Newfoundland waters (circa 1600-1620) and a family named Dawe who are reputed to have maintained a Fish Plantation at near or about Hibb's Cove (formerly Hibb's Hole) in Conception Bay as early as 1595.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Pirates
The first record of piracy in and around Newfoundland was in 1582. In that year the Englishmen Henry Oughtred and Sir John Perrot launched a raid on Portuguese and Spanish fishermen around the Avalon Peninsula. To protect their vessels from these and other pirates, Basque fish merchants began to apply for passports from the Lord Admiral of England.

In 1610 Peter Easton, the "Pirate Admiral" established a fort at Harbour Grace and used Newfoundland as his base of operations until 1614. In 1612, he raided the coast of the Avalon. Easton with nine ships and five hundred men did 20,400 pounds of damage as he plundered the Avalon. From 1612 until 1614, the "Pirate Admiral" ruled north eastern Newfoundland, raiding harbours and shipping and press ganging or "shang-haing" sailors for his private navy.  During one raid he captured 30 English, Portuguese and Jersey Island ships in St. John's harbour. In this same raid he captured Sir Richard Whitbourne, the sheriff who had been dispatched from England to arrest him and bring justice to Newfoundland.  Easton was followed by the dashing and charismatic Henry Mainwaring. Mainwaring was an Oxford graduate a member of the bar and a master mariner. Mainwaring was dispatched to Newfoundland to arrest Peter Easton. But Easton had left Newfoundland and Mainwaring apparently occupied Easton's abandoned settlement. Following in Easton's footsteps, Mainwaring turned to piracy. After a successful career as a Newfoundland pirate, Mainwaring returned to England. On his return voyage he intercepted and protected an English convoy sailing to Cadez. Despite his piracy and (presumably) in gratitude for protecting the convoy Mainwaring was welcomed back to England. Mainwaring went on to become the Chancellor of Ireland. In his old age he went into exile in France following the English Civil War.  After plundering the rich Spanish ships in the Caribbean,  Easton ceased his pirating ways, and in 1615 he settled in Villefranche on the French Riviera, with the title Marquis of Savoy.

Two contemporaries of Easton and Mainwaring were the Pirate Captain John Nutt, and the "Gentleman Buccaneer" David Kirke (1597-1654). David Kirke was an English buccaneer who, in 1628, attacked Quebec, but was repulsed by Champlain. In the same year, he captured a French fleet of 18 French ships in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence. Kirke was also a prominent figure in the establishment of the Scottish colony of Nova Scotia.

In addition to English pirates in the area there were French pirates, including the Marquis de la Rade (1628).  In later years Dutch Piracy prevailed, notably Admiral De Ruyter and Captain Jacob Overson.  In 1665 the Dutch fleet under Admiral De Ruyter captured and burned St. John's. This was followed again in 1673 with Dutch and pirate attacks against St. John's. Until about 1640 the fish trade and supply of boats were plagued by marauding Barbary pirates known as the Sallee rovers who preyed on merchant ships in the English Channel . These were renegade seamen from all nations who sailed out of bases in North Africa. In 1720, the pirate Black Bart (Bartholomew Roberts) attacked ships of the coast of Trepassy, before leaving for the Caribbean. John Phillips, a former fish splitter, lead four others to seize a schooner at St. Peter's, and he too headed south to plunder the West Indies, returning back for refitting.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Colonies
In 1616 William Vaughan (1575-1641) purchased a large portion of the Avalon Peninsula. By 1617 Vaughan had established a small colony of Gaelic speaking settlers at Renews, on the Avalon Peninsula. But it was abandoned in 1619.  In 1620 Vaughan gave Sir George Calvert (c1580-1632), First Baron of Baltimore, a tract of land on the Avalon Peninsula. In 1621 Calvert founded the Colony of Avalon at Ferryland. Although he established the colony in 1621, Calvert did not receive a Royal Charter for the land until 1623.  Calvert himself came over in 1627 but abandoned his possession after only two years because of the harsh winter climate. Later he founded another settlement in Maryland.

In 1632 Cecil Calvert (1606-1675) the Second Lord of Baltimore, was granted a Royal Charter for the Colony of Maryland. At this time, he appointed governors to both the Colony of Maryland and the Colony of Avalon. However, in 1637 the Buccaneer David Kirke (1597-1654) was named co-proprietor of Newfoundland and the first governor under a charter granted to the Company of Adventurers. In 1639, Kirke took possession of the Colony of Avalon at Ferryland. He imported colonists and levied taxes on fishermen in the region. Because of his Royalist sympathies, Kirke was arrested by a Parliamentarian commission and returned to England in 1651. He died in prison three years later. In 1660, the legal title of the colony of Avalon reverted back to Cecil Calvert. However, it remained in the possession of the Kirke family until it's destruction by French soldiers. 

Whether permanent settlement should have be allowed or encouraged at Newfoundland was an issue of some debate in the later 17th century. But in the late 1670s the Committee for Trade and Plantations in London finally decided that settlement should be accepted.

A census in 1680 counted 1,700 people scattered along the English Shore between Bonavista to Trepassey.  The permanent population remained small and unstable until the middle years of the 18th century. Thereafter began an irregular process of population growth, stimulated by a number of factors. After the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), the English fishery expanded into areas formerly used by the French, and an offshore bank fishery developed.  The population was approximately 20,000 by the 1790s, and double that by 1815. 

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)French - English Conflicts
In the 1690's a few thousand hardy soles lived along the shores of the Avalon and Bonavista Peninsulas. All but one community were English settlements.  Plaisance was the lone French community on the Newfoundland coast. From 1689 to 1697 France and England were opponents in King William's War.  Newfoundland's French Governor de Brouillon ordered a French naval squadron under Chevalier Nesmond to lay siege to St. John's in retaliation for previous English attacks in 1692/3.  In 1694 a squadron of ships a laid an unsuccessful siege on d to St. John's. A plan was made to attack the English colonies for a second time. On September 12, 1696, thirty five year old French-Canadian Captain Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d'Iberville (born 1661 in Montreal) arrived in Newfoundland (Sep 12).  After a three-hour march from Bay Bulls (Nov 24), he met up with his group of 20 scouts who had been sent to study the approaches to St. John's. He encountered a detachment of 30 English soldiers posted on a hilltop near Petty Harbour (Nov 26). D'Iberville charged and the enemy surrendered immediately. D'Iberville and his men were in command of the small port just eight kilometres south of St. John's. However, some Petty Harbour colonists managed to escape and reach St. John's, where they alerted residents.  As d'Iberville marched into St. John's from Petty Harbour, English residents marched out the Waterford Valley to meet and repel the French. A pitched battle occurred in the Waterford Valley (Burnt Wood) and on the Heights of Kilbride (Nov 28). Of the 88 English defenders, 34 died in the battle. The English broke ranks and hastily retreated to St. John's.  From then until March 1695, I'Iberville and his troops laid waste to all but one English settlement in the Avalon. 

The damage caused by d'Iberville stimulated the British government to provide a permanent defence force for the island. A strong British relief force of 1500 troops reoccupied St. John's in the summer of 1697.  They found the town abandoned, pillaged and every building destroyed. The following year construction began on the well-engineered fortification of Fort William.  Newfoundland's population re-established itself quickly.  Petty Harbour, for instance, had 3 families (4% of Newfoundland's boats) in 1675; 80 men, 14 planters and 16 boats in 1996; and later 44 inhabitants (plus 144 transients) and 26 boats (6.5% of Newfoundland's boats) by 1698.

A complete chronology of the French - English battles is covered on this webpage.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The Fishing Industry
At the start of the 17th century, the British cod-fishing industry was centred in the south-western "toe" of England known as the "West Country." In addition, the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey participated regularly. Between 1615 and 1640, 70% of the English vessels that sailed to fish at Newfoundland came from the West Country, a region which had the location, the capital, and the men to assume the leadership in the British fishery at Newfoundland.  Five counties made up the West Country: Dorset, Devonshire, Somerset, Hampshire, and Cornwall. Although the last two soon dropped out of direct involvement in the Newfoundland fishery, both continued to be a source of labour. Since the county of Somerset was involved in a variety of other activities, the fishery became strongly identified with Dorset and Devonshire.

Edward Barlow sketch of sackship Real Friendship 1668.The first 20 years after 1600 experienced rapid expansion in the fishery. By 1620, possibly as many as 300 English ships and vessels annually sailed to Newfoundland, with some West Country ports each sending as many as 80 vessels. Many factors account for this growth: the end of the war with Spain in 1603, the elimination of the Spanish fishery at Newfoundland, bountiful fish stocks, and an availability of surplus capital. But a succession of hardships following 1620 caused the fishery to shrink and forced some West Country ports quit the fishery altogether.  Adding to West Country difficulties were the frequent wars between England and various European countries after 1620. Fishermen were "pressed" into the navy, shipping became a target of enemy attacks, and markets in hostile countries were closed to English fish. Even the mere possibility of war could be disruptive. For example, in 1623 the threat of a war with Spain caused the English government to place an embargo on fish exports to that country. The English civil war (after 1640) and conflicts with Spain and Holland during the 1650s disrupted the fishery and trade so deeply that the number of ships in the fishing fleet had decreased from 300 to barely one hundred by 1660. Only 43 ships sailed for Newfoundland by the year 1684.  Many West Country ports simply abandoned the fishery altogether: The Cornish ports of Falmouth and Fowey, as well as ports such as Lyme Regis, Weymouth, Southampton, even Plymouth (one of the most important participants at the beginning of the century) all gave up. The worst years came after 1690 when yet another war, this time with France, caused the English government to prohibit all fishing ships from sailing to Newfoundland. This was a matter of necessity: fishermen were needed to man the navy and as a result, the migratory fishery did not resume until 1693.  The War of the Spanish Succession started in 1702 and put tremendous pressure on the fishing industry in terms of able seamen pressed into the navy, security on the ocean and markets to sell products. 

The number of Newfoundland fishing ships dropped from 171 in 1700 to 20 or 30 on average during the war years. In 1708 only seven sack ships (ships carrying dried cod to Mediterranean/Iberia and wine/salt/cargo to England and fishing supplies/fishermen to Newfoundland) were recorded at Newfoundland, compared with nearly 50 in 1700. The total catch by migrant and resident fishermen between 1702 and 1709 averaged under 100,000 quintals (112 lbs dried saltfish) per year, compared with 300,000 quintals per year before the war.  In 1720 the entire population of the colony was fewer than 5,000.  Many left for the New England colonies; in 1717 alone, close to 1,300 left. 

For example, in an extract from 2 December, 1708 by Captain John Mitchell (HMS Warwick) "A List of Masters, Names of Fishing Ships, with the State of their Fishery in Newfoundland, 1708", the following ships docked at Ferryland. 

Home ports of ships: Bideford (5 ships), Bristol, Ilfracombe, Barnstaple, London, Topsham (Exeter - 4 ships), Salem and New England
Destinations of ships: "abroad", Bideford, Virginia, Barnstaple, Livorno (Italy), Lisbon and New England

Commanders' Names William Carter Abraham Passmore Henry Land George Blackmore
Whereto Belonging Topsham Topsham Topsham Topsham
Burthen in Tons 150 90 60 100
Number of Men 19 21 12 22
Number of Guns 6 7   3
Number of Boats Kept 3 3 2 3
Number of Train Vats 1 1 1 1
Quintals of Fish Taken 600 450 300 450
Tons of Train Oil 4 4 3 4
Whither Bound to Market Lisbon abroad abroad abroad

The years from 1702 to the mid-1720s caused significant changes in the fishery. One of these was the birth of fishing off the Grand Banks.  The English had always preferred the inshore dry fishery, leaving the banks to others, notably the French.  The French were skilled at the wet cure required on the banks and had a strong domestic market for green cod. But some fishing merchants took a second look at the bank fishery as the ship fishery faded and inshore fishing yields began to plummet. The English were not able to copy the French wet cure. Instead, the English bank fishermen salted the fish heavily in the hold and brought the catch to shore, where it was dried. The quality of the fish was not as high as that produced by inshore fishermen, but large numbers of fish caught allow for a profit to be earned at the end of the season.

Generally it was Devonshire fishermen who favoured the new bank fishery. They had long dominated the "Southern Shore" from St. John's to Trepassey, a stretch of the coast which had a clear proximity advantage for exploiting the banks. Fishermen north of St. John's continued to concentrate on the inshore fishery.

The bank fishermen also made money by carrying passengers back and forth to Newfoundland. Since they did not have large crews, the bankers had plenty of room for passengers. At a fee of £3 per passenger, one way, and 20 shillings per ton for supplies and provisions, a banker could defray much of its operating costs from passage-money alone. In a bad year, the passage-money earned by transporting 60 or 70 fishermen and their supplies across the ocean and back could spell the difference between a disastrous and a profitable voyage. It is not surprising that a close relationship developed between the bank fishery, which welcomed passengers, and the migratory bye boat fishery, whose fishermen needed transportation.

Britain assumed sovereignty over the island in 1713 when the War of the Spanish Succession ended,   The Treaty of Utrecht, which ended the war, contained an important article relating to Newfoundland, recognizing it as a British possession and for the French to give up Plaisance. The French retained the right to fish on the northern coast of Newfoundland. 

Poole had substantial interests in Trinity and Bonavista bays, took the lead supplying the fishermen. Other cities soon followed. Exeter, which freighted mostly salt in 1720, regularly freighted provisions and manufactured goods ten years later. Dartmouth, which freighted almost nothing in 1720, became heavily involved in the supply trade before the end of the decade. The fishing ships had become traders as well, and their backers were increasingly tolerant of permanent settlement.

American trading vessels appeared at Newfoundland as early as the 1640s, and were regular visitors to the fishery by the 1670s. But throughout the 17th century the Americans had traded on a speculative basis. In the 18th century, the Americans became much more organized, with factors residing year-round, in charge of permanent warehouses. This enabled them to sell goods all year round, wholesale and retail. They sometimes received bills of exchange instead of cash. If bills were not available, the factor might accept refuse cod for sale in the West Indies. The fish could be exchanged there for bills of exchange, a return cargo, or a combination of both. This kind of trade was extremely important for the Americans, and their trade with Newfoundland grew steadily. Twenty American vessels were counted in 1721; in 1748 the number was 95.

While some West Country merchants complained about unfair competition, most had no objection to American traders. Yankees supplied the fishery with cereal products, livestock, molasses, and especially rum. These goods did not compete with those imported from England and Ireland. If anything, the Yankee trade was complementary to that of the English merchants.  Objections to the Americans were related to a common problem. Merchants who dominated a particular bay or district felt threatened by local emigration to America, because too many people escaped their debts and obligations.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Bye Boatmen, Planters, Servants and Dieters
Fishing Stage Used in Newfoundland - French WoodcutBye boatmen owned fishing rooms and operated inshore fishing boats in the waters around Newfoundland, yet resided in England. Bye-boat operators or keepers were a large and significant factor in the Newfoundland cod fishery from the mid-1600s until the beginning of the 1800s. They usually competed with the larger fish merchant firms, although sometimes a merchant would outfit the operator and buy his catch.  They travelled each year to Newfoundland as passengers on the fishing ships and hired men, known as servants, to work for them in exchange for paid fixed wages rather than a share of the profits. While most servants, like their employers, also migrated annually to the fishery, some remained in Newfoundland during the winter months to look after the facilities and equipment.  They sold the season's catch to the sack (transport) ships and merchants.

The majority of bye boat operations were small, involving only one or two boats, and employing between five and 12 men. Generally, there were five boats and 30 men.  The bye-boat keeper and the fishing servants he employed travelled to his fishing room in Newfoundland each summer as passengers on a fishing ship. He and his crew would fish for the summer from one or two bye-boats he kept there, usually selling the cured catch to a fishing ship before returning to England in the autumn. A couple of men might be hired to remain in Newfoundland over the winter to protect the boats and room.

This method of operation in the Newfoundland fishery grew out of the hard times experienced in the mid-17th century. Bye boatmen had several advantages over the tiny number of resident fishermen or planters (living on a plantation). A planter was a fisherman-owner of a fishing room (or "plantation") and boat.  He was supplied by a merchant and engaged a fishing crew. Because bye boatmen returned to England in the fall, they were able to supplement their fishing income by finding other employment during the winter. When they returned in the spring, they brought over tackle and provisions purchased in England at prices much lower than the planters had paid in Newfoundland. 

FlakeStageFishing Rooms were a tract or parcel of waterfront land on the shoreline of a cove or harbour from which the fishery is conducted; the stages, stores, and 'flakes' and other facilities where the catch is landed and processed and the crew (or family) housed. A stage was a building or structure built along the shore and out over the water to allow boats to land fish. It contained a splitting table or tables, tools, fishing gear, etc., and was where fish were cleaned and split before salting. Depending upon the location, split fish were salted and stored in this same building (before being dried) or were taken further back on the land to a salting stage or store.  A flake was an outdoor platform on which fish were dried, built on posts and shores (that is, bracing poles on angles), with a floor constructed of longers. In most locations they were spread with boughs (which kept the fish off the longers that in hot weather could "burn" the fish). There were various styles of flakes used in different locations, including "beach flakes" and "bawns" where fish were laid directly onto beach rocks.

A servant or shareman was someone who engaged in the fishery but was not fishing on their own account and was in the service of persons who owned or operated vessels, boats, traps or gear.  Servants were paid a fixed wage for the season, or a monthly wage, with or without board and lodging.  Men who remained on the Island during the winter (living on their summers wages) without engaging as winter servants were called dieters (ie. boarders). The men were called dieters because the man who shipped them would have to feed them for the winter months. They received winter board and accommodation against the promise of cash or service in the next fishing season. 

The fishing was done by three men from large open boats, using handlines baited with herring, squid, or capelin. Two others of a crew, lads often of no more than eleven or twelve, remained on shore to deal with the fish once it was landed. Back from the fishing grounds, loaded down with several hundred cod, the boat drew up to the head of the stage that extended over the water as a wharf. There, with long-handled -prongs, the fish were tossed ashore, and into the hands of the boy whose job it was to set them on the cutting table, in reach of the header. 

The crew slit the belly of the fish, twisted off its head, and gutted it, directing the liver through one hole in the table, and into a great vat, and the offal through another, where it fell into the sea. The fish was then slid along, and into the hands of the splitter. With a few quick strokes of his knife, the second crew member had the fish split abroad, and the backbone removed. The fish dropped into a "drooge barrow" where it was covered with salt. A salter was a skilful officer, for too much salt burns the fish and makes it break and wet, too little makes it look red when dried, and so is not merchantable. The drying process was executed on the flakes or directly on beaches if they were blessed with broad expanses of stones. A good sense of the weather conditions was crucial. Knowing when to gather in the drying fish, how to make it into a 'prest pile' so some of the salt would sweat out of it, even knowing how to store it aboard ship, were all skills that called for the know-how of many men.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)The Sealing Industry
The first sealing vessels from St. John's sailed to the ice in 1793. Following their successful expedition, the sailing seal fishery expanded rapidly. Soon after 1800 well over 100 schooners, carrying 3,500 to 4,000 men, were going to the ice each spring. Many of the original vessels had been used in the Bank fishery, traditionally the preserve of migratory English fishermen. But as the migratory fishery dwindled into insignificance and the inshore fishery expanded after the Anglo-French wars resumed in the 1790s, these vessels were put to use in the growing seasonal fishery on the French Treaty Shore and the Labrador coast. It made sense to employ them also in the spring seal fishery. The income generated by sealing provided the capital for the summer fishery, and gave a significant stimulus to allied trades. Building and fitting out boats became a major occupation - decked, schooner-rigged vessels of birch, juniper and pine with 40-50 ft keels and a 14-15 ft beam. The tonnage remained small, partly because of the belief that prevailed until the later 1820s that vessels over 100 tons would not be able to manoeuvre in the ice. The sailing fleet reached a peak of nearly 400 vessels in the late 1850s, carrying nearly 14,000 men. This represents 11 percent of the island's total population, or 45 percent of the male population aged between ten and 50 years, resident between Cape Race and St. John's, generating between a quarter to a third by value of the colony's total exports.

Soon after Christmas, men who wanted to join a sealing voyage made arrangements with individual captains. In February clothes and boots were prepared, and at the end of the month the men congregated in the ports of departure, each man with his little bag of medicines - salves for cuts, friar's balsam for sprains and sulphate of zinc for ice-blindness - and the essential sealing equipment. This consisted of a gaff for killing young seals, a knife for pelting them, and a rope for hauling the pelts to the ship. The gaff was a sturdy pole, five to seven feet in length, tipped with an iron hook. It was used not only for killing pups, but also for balance on loose ice, for hauling oneself out of the water and shavings to start a fire. The vessels sailed to the ice in March to April.  The outfitting merchant provided all the provisions and various supplies for the voyage, for which the sealers had to pay berth money. The catch was divided between owner and crew on a 50-50 basis, with the captain being paid on a separate basis. The schooners carried crews of 40 to 50 men each, which made them very crowded, and living conditions on board were primitive. The usual first job for a crew was to cut the vessel out of the ice using saws, axes, ice chisels and gaffs, and coax it into open water. Then it was the skipper's task to find seals. The aim of all skippers was to find the whelping patches, and take the whitecoats in their prime. To succeed demanded as much luck as good judgement.  His vessel could easily be trapped by on-shore winds or barriers of heavy ice, or imprisoned motionless in the pack. It could be crushed against the shore, or between rafting ice pans. If a schooner could not obtain a full load of whitecoats, which was quite usual, it would hunt the older seals.  The voyage was usually over by the end of April. A crew member might end up with $50 in his pocket, or still in debt to a merchant. The merchant in turn might lose his outlay, but he might equally triple it. In either case, the chance of significant gain was sufficiently good to make the effort worthwhile. But there is no doubt that the fishermen stood to gain far less than the merchant who found the risks acceptable given the high rate of return for a brief employment of men and capital. 

Seal meat never was an important part of the Newfoundland diet, though the flippers were prized as a seasonal delicacy. The skins were not widely used for clothing. Small articles were made in some localities, boots perhaps, mitts and caps, but only the plutocrats of St. John's wore sealskin coats. Settlers caught the seals because they needed income, not because they used them in everyday life, and merchants were anxious to buy skins and the fat.  The skins were salted down and shipped off for manufacture into leather. The fat was rendered into oil, at first by letting it rot naturally. It was used for lighting and in machine lubricants, for softening textiles and in paint, explosives, and margarine, the oil was of greater value than the skins. 

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WORLD EVENTS 1704-1707

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)1704
- Queen Anne of England is in her 2nd year of a 12 year reign.
- 29 Feb. Native Americans sack Deerfield, Massachusetts.
- 24 Apr. The Boston News-Letter was established, first successful newspaper in U.S.
- 20 May. Elias Neau formed a school for slaves in New York.
- 20 June. New England forces under Benjamin Church spend the spring and summer attacking and looting along the Acadian coasts. 
- 24 Jul. Admiral George Rooke takes Gibraltar from the Spanish.
- Jul. Benjamin Church leads a force of five hundred colonial militia against the French towns of Beaubassin and Minas in Acadia. The primary goal is the destruction of the supply lines to and from the French to the Abenaki.
- 13 Aug. Battle of Blenheim. The English under John Churchill, first duke of Marlborough, defeat the French and Bavarians on the Danube River.
- 28 Sep. Maryland allows divorce if a wife displeased the clergyman or preacher.
- October 28th, 1704: John Locke, the Philosopher of Freedom dies in England.
- Isaac Newton publishes Optiks which contains the corpuscular theory of light and colour.
- John Harris' Lexicon Technicum, the first modern encyclopaedia.
- In England Daniel Defoe began publishing The Review.
- French Huguenots founded town of Bath, NC, on Pamlico River.
- La Ronde, the privateer, is captured on the high sea and is taken to Boston.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)1705
- 8 Jan. Georg F. Handel's 1st opera Almira, premiered in Hamburg.
- Jan.  Bay Bulls and Petty Harbour attacked by 450 men under De Subercase. In February St. John's is attacked and burned but Fort William is not captured. In August 144 French attack Bonavista Harbour. Carbonear also resists the French. In the overall campaign 1200 prisoners are taken.
- 16 Apr. Queen Anne of England knights Isaac Newton at Trinity College in Cambridge.
- 23 Apr. Richard Steele's Tender Husband, premiers in London.
- 5 May. Death of Leopold I von Hapsburg (64), Emperor of Holy Roman Empire.
- 14 Oct. The English Navy captures Barcelona, Spain.
- 23 Nov. Nicholas Rowe's Ulysses, premieres in London.
- 29 Dec. Prosper Jolyot's Idomenee, premieres in Paris.
- Eusebio Kino produces a map which finally establishes that California is part of North America, not a giant island.
- Edmund Halley correctly predicts the return, in 1758, of a comet last seen in 1682.
- Robert Hooke's Discourse on Earthquakes (published posthumously) discusses geological mechanisms responsible for the distribution of fossils.
- London's oldest park Greenwich Royal Park in London open to public.
- The first steam engine is built.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)1706
- 17 Jan. Benjamin Franklin is born in Boston. He is the tenth son of soap maker, Josiah Franklin.
- 27 Feb. John Evelyn, diarist, dies.
- 8 Mar. Vienna's Wiener Stadtbank is established.
- 3 Mar. Johann Pachelbel (b.1653), German organist, composer, dies.
- 24 Apr. Giovanni Battista Martini, composer (Padre Martini), is born.
- 23 May. The Duke of Marlborough, leading English, Dutch, and German troops, decisively defeats the French at the Battle of Ramillies and win control of the Spanish Netherlands. 17,000 soldiers are killed.
- 9 Jul. Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville dies in Havana after laying waste the islands of Nevi and St. Christopher in the West Indies.
- 24 Aug. Spanish soldiers from St. Augustine and Havana joins with a French force to attack the Carolina settlement of Charlestown. The English settlers repulses the attack.
- Bishop White Kennet prints his Complete History of England with the Lives of All the Kings and Queens Thereof, Vol. 3 in London.
- The First Presbyterian church is organised in Philadelphia. It had begun in Scotland and the British Isles by John Knox around 1560.
- William Jones, a Welshman, gives pi its name.
- San Felipe Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico is founded.
- The Treaty of Union between Scotland and England is established. Daniel Defoe works as a British agent in Scotland and sends back reports on agitation against the yielding of autonomy.
- Thomas Twinings opens his tea shop in London.
- Isaac Newton publishes the results of his 40 years of experiments with light a second edition of Opticks.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)1707
- 15 Apr. Leonhard Euler, a famous Swiss mathematician was born. His invention of the calculus of variations led to the general method to solve max and min value problems.
- 27 Apr. A Franco-Spanish army beats an Anglo-Portuguese army in the largest action in the battle of Almansa.  The French gain control of virtually all of Spain.
- 1 May. Union of the Parliaments of Scotland and England forms the Kingdom of Great Britain.
- 21 May. Battles near Brussels between French and English.
- 23 May. Carl von Linné (better known as Linnaeus), Swedish biologist who classified planets and animals was born.
- 16 Jun. John March raids Port Royal.  This lead to a larger attack in August, where the English from Massachusetts landed 1600 troops.  The French under Governor Subercase hold off the attack.
- Jul. John Underdown ordered to attack lucrative fishery to White Bay, Newfoundland and destroys the French fishing activities in the area.
- 21 Sep. The Abenakis raids attack Winter Harbor, Maine. 
- 23 Oct. First Parliament of Great Britain.
- The last of six Mogul Emperor's of India ruled in an unbroken succession (1526 to 1707).
- George Farquhar, Irish dramatist, dies.

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Dr. E. R Seary was a Professor of English at Memorial University of Newfoundland and published the Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland in 1971.

CHAFE, a surname of England, a variant of Chaff(e), Cave etc., from Latin calvus Old French c(h)auf - bald. See also Chaffey. (Reaney).  A Devon name, traced by Guppy as Chave, especially in Tiverton, by Spiegelhalter as Chaff(e), and by Matthews as Chafe. In Newfoundland: Early instances: John, of Petty Harbour, 1708 (CO 194.4); John Chaffe, of Bay Bulls, 1708-09, of Petty Harbour, 1720-25 (CO 194.4, 7); -----Chafe, constable of St. John's district, ? 1730 (CO 194.9); Samuel, of St. John's, 1759 (DPHW 26D); Michael Cheefe, of Harbour Grace Parish, 1819 (Nfld. Archives HGRC); Thomas Chafe, from Devon, life long resident of Petty Harbour, died 1843, aged 70 (Nfld. Patriot 8 Mar 1843, Royal Gazette 7 Nov 1843); Abraham of Quidi Vidi, 1858 (DPHW 29). Modern status: Especially at St. John's and Petty Harbour.

CHAFFEY, a surname of England, ? not re-corded elsewhere, ? a variant of CHAFE, or ? from the English place name Chaffhay Farm (Devon), containing the Old English elements cealf - calf and (ge)haeg - (? worker at the) calves' enclosure. (Gover). In Newfoundland: Early instances: Thomas, of Bonavista, 1803 (DPHW 70); James Cheaffy, of Greenspond, 1838 (DPHW 76); John Chaffey, of Change Islands, 1843 (DPHW 83); Thomas Chaffy, of Amherst Cove (Bonavista B.), 1871 (Lovell); Joseph Chaffey, of Crabbe's Brook, 1871 (Lovell); James, of Shambler's Cove, 1871 (Lovell); Joseph Chaffy, farmer of Codroy, 1877 (Lovell). Modern status: Scattered, especially in the St. George's and Bonavista South districts. (webmaster note: Chaffhay Farm is located 8 miles southwest of Chaffcombe in Devon)

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Hear the music in MDI format
Hear the first verse in MP3 format as sung by the Amabile Youth Singers

Petty Harbour Bait Skiff Song
Written by by John Grace, 1852

A bait skiff sails from Petty Harbour into Conception Bay on the 8th of June.  The fishermen encounter storm on their return. A rescue party is dispatched, but only a young fisherman named Menshon is saved.  Jacob Chafe was a key person in the rescue.  

Good people all, both great and small, I hope you will attend,
And listen to these verses few that I have lately penned.
I'll relate the hardships great that fishermen must stand
While fighting for a livelihood on the coast of Newfoundland.
It happened to be in the summer time, in the lovely month of June,
When fields were green, fair to be seen, and valleys were in bloom.
When silent fountains do run clear, caressed by Heaven's rain,
And the dewy showers that fall at night to fertilize the plane.
We bid adieu unto our friends, and those we hold most dear,
Being bound from Petty Harbour, in the springtime of the year.
The little birds, as we sailed on, sung o'er the hills and dales,
Whilst Flora from her sportive groves, sent forth her pleasant gales.
On Saturday we sailed away, being in the evening late,
Bound into Conception Bay all for a load of bait.
The sea-gulls flying in the air, and pitching on the shore;
But little we thought 'twould be our lot to see our friends no more.
The weather being fine we lost no time, until we were homeward bound;
The whales were sporting in the deep, and the sword-fish swimming 'round;
And Luna bright, shone forth that night to illuminate the "say",
And the stars shone bright, to guide us right upon our rude pathway.
We shook our reefs and trimmed our sails, across the bay did stand;
The sun did rise, all circleized, like streamers o'er the land.
The clouds lay in the atmosphere, for our destruction met.
Boreas blew a heavy squall, our boat was overset. 
When we came to the "Nor'ad" head, a rainbow did appear,
There was every indication that a storm was drawing near,
Old Neptune riding on the ways, to windward of us lay,
You'd think the ocean was on fire in Petty Harbour Bay.
John French was our commander, Mick Sullivan second-hand,
And all the rest were brave young men reared up in Newfoundland.
Six brave youths, to tell the truth, were buried in the sea,
But the Lord preserved young Menshon's life for to live a longer day.
Your heart would ache, all for their sake, if you were standing by,
To see them drowning, one by one, and no relief being nigh;
Struggling with the boisterous waves, all in their youth and bloom,
But at last they sank, to rise no more, all on the eight of June.
Jacob Chafe, that hero brave, and champion on that day,
They boldly launched their boat with speed, and quickly put to sea.
They saved young Menshon from the wreck by their united skill;
Their efforts would be all in vain but for kind Heaven's will.
Out of that fine young crew, you know, there was one escaped being drowned.
He was brought to Petty Harbour where good comforts there he found.
He is now on shore, and safe once more, with no cause to complain.
He fought old Neptune up and down whilst on the stormy main.
When the sad news arrived next day in dear old St. John's town,
There was crying and lamenting on the streets both up and down.
Their mothers were lamenting, crying for those they bore.
On the boisterous waves they found their graves where they ne'er shall see more.
Now to conclude and finish these few lines I write in pain:
Never depend out of your strength whilst sailing on the main.
But put your trust in Providence, observe the Lord's command,
And He'll guard you right, both day and night, upon the sea and land.

The Squid-Jiggin' Ground
The Squid-jiggin' Ground refers to "old Billy Chafe" and "Skipper John Chaffey" written by Arthur R. Scammell.

Born in the Change Islands, in 1913, at age 15, Arthur Scammell (1913-1995) wrote the Squid Jiggin' Ground. His recording of the song was released in 1943, and is generally considered the first commercial recording of a Newfoundland folk song.

Oh... this is the place where the fishermen gather
With oil-skins and boots and Cape Anns battened down
All sizes of figures with squid lines and jiggers
They congregate here on the squid-jiggin' ground.

Some are workin' their jiggers while others are yarnin'
There's some standin' up and there's more lyin' down
While all kinds of fun, jokes and tricks are begun
As they wait for the squid on the squid-jiggin' ground.

There's men of all ages and boys in the bargain
There's old Billy Cave and there's young Raymond Brown
There's a red rantin' Tory out here in the dory
A-runnin' down squires on the squid-jiggin' ground.

There's men from the Harbour and men from the Tickle
In all kinds of motorboats... green, grey and brown
Right yonder is Bobby and with him is Nobby
He's chewin' hard tack on the squid-jiggin' ground.

God bless my sou'wester, there's Skipper John Chaffey
He's the best hand at squid-jiggin' here, I'll be bound
Hello! What's the row? Why, he's jiggin' one now
The very first squid on the squid-jiggin' ground.

The man with the whiskers is old Jacob Steele
He's gettin' well up but he's still pretty sound
While Uncle Bob Hawkins wears six pairs of stockin's
Whenever he's out on the squid-jiggin' ground.

Holy smoke! What a scuffle! All hands are excited
'Tis a wonder to me that there's nobody drowned
There's a bustle, confusion, a wonderful hustle
They're all jiggin' squid on the squid-jiggin' ground.

Says Bobby, "The squids are on top of the water,
I just got me jigger 'bout one fathom down"
When a squid in the boat squirted right down his throat
And he's swearin' like mad on the squid-jiggin' ground.

There's poor Uncle Bille, his whiskers are spattered
With spots of the squid juice thats' flyin' around;
One poor little b'y got it right in the eye
But they don't give a damn on the squid-jiggin' ground.

Now if ever you feel inclined to go squiddin'
Leave your white shirts and collars behind in the town
And if you get cranky without yer silk hanky
You'd better steer clear of the squid-jiggin' ground.

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woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)WWI (17 Chafe's were enrolled in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in WWI)
24th Bn., Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regt.)
Died: Tuesday 6 November 1917. Age 26 (Third Battle of Ypres - Passchendaele, July to Dec 1917 - British attack)
Son of Levi Thomas and Emma Chafe, Harbour Grace, Newfoundland
Cemetery: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Grave or Reference Panel Number: Panel 24 - 26 - 28 - 30
In the spring of 1917, shipping losses due to U-boat activity drove the need for an attack on the Ypres Salient to lead to a drive on the German naval bases at Ostend and Zeebrugge. The Third Battle of Ypres (or the Battle of Passchendaele) began on 31st July 1917. By November the battles had reached a stalemate but had taken 550,000 lives.  Just before dawn on 6th November, 1917 the final assault began. Thousands of cannons and guns bombarded the German defenders. Using new wireless radios, the Canadian gunners were able to cut the time span between artillery fire and infantry movement from eight minutes to two minutes. 24th (Victoria Rifles) Bn Canadian Infantry were part of the 5th Canadian Brigade assigned to the attack. The Germans had no time to get out of their bunkers and into position to meet the leapfrogging Canadian infantry, before they were hit by another barrage. By 7.15 a.m., in spite of heavy casualties inflicted by the grimly determined enemy, Canadian soldiers had crossed the final 500 yards, overran the German trenches, captured the village, and took hundreds of exhausted prisoners. But it was a costly victory. Currie's estimate of 16,000 casualties proved frighteningly accurate. Saskatchewan's 28th Battalion suffered huge losses, operating in mud up to the knees and in some places up to the waist. Some soldiers who could not move forward in the mud were caught between the Canadian artillery barrage and the actions of the heavy German rear guard.  The next morning Corporal H.C. Baker remarked, "My impression was that we had won the ridge but lost the battalion."  A British commander, upon touring the aftermath of the battle site, groaned, "Good God! Did we really send soldiers to fight in that?"  Weeks after Passchendaele and the ridge had been taken, the British Expeditionary Force abandoned the area as it was useless to them in terms of the original plan. The attack towards the sea had been abandoned, and there was no hope of breaking through to the German occupied Channel ports. The U-boats were eventually blockaded by simply sinking hulks of ships across the harbour entrance.

H.M.S. "Clan McNaughton", Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve
Died: Wednesday 3 February 1915. Age 21
Son of Henry and Hannah Chafe, of Forest Pond, The Goulds, St. John's West
Cemetery: Beaumont-Hamel (Newfoundland) Memorial, Somme, France
The Clan McNaughton was a pre-war merchant ship, which was requisitioned in November 1914 when she returned to her home port of Tilbury. She was then converted into an auxiliary cruiser, with deck mounted guns.  The crew was comprised of Royal Navy officers, Merchant Navy and the rest reservists. She sailed on patrol duties in the North Atlantic a few days before Christmas 1914, but had to put into Liverpool on the way.  She returned to Liverpool certainly once, perhaps twice before her loss in February 1915. She was in radio contact at about 6 a.m. on the morning of 3 February 1915 and reported terrible weather conditions off the coast of Northern Ireland. Nothing further was ever heard of her.  She may have been sunk in the storm, or was mined.   In all 261of her crew were lost including 21 Newfoundlanders.

JACK CHAFE, Seaman, 1825X
S.S. "Transylvania"., Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve
Died: Friday 4 May 1917. Age 22
(Served as AVERY)
Son of Albert and Eliza Chafe
Cemetery: Beaumont-Hamel (Newfoundland) Memorial, Somme, France
Durng the Great War, between early in 1917 and late 1918 the Mediterranean lines of communication for the British forces serving in Salonika ran from Taranto to Turin in Italy. As troop reinforcements were needed for the Salonika campaign, liners were often employed to carry these troops and one such liner was the SS Transylvania. The turbine-engined Transylvania, (first of two with this name)14,348 tons and a top speed of 17.5 knots, built in 1914 by Scott's Shipbuilding Company and completed just before the outbreak of the Great War was taken over for service as a transport on completion. She was designed to accommodate 1379 passengers but the Admiralty fixed her capacity at 200 officers and 2860 men, besides crew. She was carrying nearly this number when she left Marseilles for Salonika and Alexandria on May 3rd, 1917, with an escort of two Japanese destroyers, the Matsu and the Sakaki. At 10 am on the 4th the Transylvania was struck in the port engine room by a torpedo from German submarine U63, commanded by Kapitan Lieutnant Otto Schultse, near Genoa, Italy. At the time the ship was on a zig-zag course at a speed of 14 knots, being two-and-a-half miles south of cape Vado, Gulf of Genoa, Italy. She at once headed for the land two miles distant, while the Matsu came alongside to take off the troops, saving the lives of 4000 soldiers and nurses on board, the Sakaki meanwhile steaming round to keep the submarine submerged. Twenty minutes later a torpedo was seen coming straight for the destroyer alongside, and struck the Transylvania which sank very quickly, in fact in less than an hour since she was first hit. Lt. Brennell, one other officer and ten men of the crew, 29 military officers (27 are listed below) and 373 other ranks were lost, the total being 414. Bodies recovered at Savona were buried two days later from the Hospital of San Paulo in a special plot in the Town Cemetery at Zinola. Others are buried elsewhere in Italy, France, Spain and Monaco. 

GEORGE CHAFE, Private, 3236
Royal Newfoundland Regiment
Died: Saturday 13 April 1918. Age 35
Son of Philip and Jane W. Chafe, 36 Convent Square, St. John's; husband of Jane Chafe
Commemorated at Beaumont-Hamel Memorial, France
CHAFE, George, Convent Square, died at Bailleul, prisoner of war, April 12, 1918.
The Battle of Bailleul, Bailleut-Nieppe. Bailleul was the scene of hard fighting during the last German push and its subsequent repulse in 1918. The British and French Commanders were determined that the inevitable onslaught would be met with the same invincible spirit that had impelled their forces for almost four years. Along with the numerous other units that went to make up the British armies, the Newfoundland Regiment was rebuilt during the winter months. After spending 25 days in the Paschendaele sector, it left for the Somme on April 10, but when news of the Armentieres reverses were received it was diverted to that area. A position was taken about midway between Bailleul and Nieppe, a short distance to the south of Armentieres. On the morning of the 13th, A Company, under Lieutenant E. Chafe (1895-1938), went into the line between the Hampshires and the Monmouths, and about noon, C Company was sent up in support of A Company. B and D Companies were in reserve.  At 4:30  the battalion on the left fell back, and exposed the left flank to a strong enemy attack. Lieutenant Moore and his platoon faced the enemy onrush and put up a gallant and stubborn fight until they were surrounded and taken prisoners. Their sacrifice, however, was not in vain. Their heroic resistance completely took the edge off the German attack, and the remainder of C Company and Headquarters were able to hold their position along a light railway line. Practically the same situation existed on the right flank. A Company lost its left wing, and for a time nothing could be heard of it. Later, however, it formed up, and with the assistance of Headquarters, stopped the enemy advance and formed a junction with C Company on the right.  On the following day, owing to a dangerous situation developing on the high ground at Neuve Eglise, a general withdrawal to the Ravelsburg Heights was decided on. The Newfoundland Battalion, in its position near DeBroeken, was entrusted with covering this withdrawal. In the evening the enemy attacked with great force and penetrated the British line near LeSeau. Their advance continued until about 6:30, when they were stopped by the Lewis guns of D Company. More German infantry rushed up, and for a time it looked as though part of the Battalion would be surrounded. However the Battalion regrouped and the Germans were stopped only 25 yards from the line. When the Royal Newfoundland Regiment dug in at dusk on the 14th, it had taken 500 prisoners and 94 machine-guns, eight field guns and large quantities of ammunition. But this had not been accomplished without suffering heavy casualties. At dawn next day, the Battalion could muster only 300 rifles. Under cover of darkness the remainder of the 88th Brigade withdrew to the Ravelsburg Heights. The Battalion passed through the line taken by the Hampshires and 4th Worcesters, and took a position in the rear, forming a counter-attacking battalion. Owing to the threatening advance of the enemy, however, the Newfoundland Regiment was hurried back to the line during the afternoon, and was not again relieved until the 21st. During this late period there was no fighting, apart from two intense bombardments by the Germans.  This was the regiment’s last battle as part of the 88tth Brigade, 29th Division. The following month the regiment was formally withdrawn from service due to its depleted ranks.

1st Bn., Royal Newfoundland Regiment
Died: Saturday 1 July 1916. Age 25 (First day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916 - British attack)
Son of Jacob W. and Jane D. Chafe, 140 Casey St., St. John's, Newfoundland
Cemetery: Y Ravine Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel (Newfoundland) Memorial, Somme, France
Private Ernest Chafe (Service Number 709) died Saturday July 1, 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The battle was planned by the British to relieve beleaguered French troops at Verdun and to cause a decisive breakthrough in the German lines. The Newfoundland Regiment was raised within just two months of Great Britain's declaration of war, and had already fought with distinction in Gallipoli. They arrived in France in March 1916 and were one of the four battalions of the 29th British Division's 88th Brigade. On July 1, 1916, 100,000 Allied soldiers, 801 Newfoundlanders among them, commenced the largest infantry offensive to-date along a 40-kilometre stretch of No Mans Land. Thinking advance troops needed help, the Regiment's orders were to capture the lines of enemy trenches at Beaumont-Hamel, some 900 metres away. At 0915, weighed down by 30 kilograms of equipment each, and without artillery support, they advanced slowly from the reserve trenches of St John's Road towards the waiting German guns. A murderous cross-fire by the experienced and dug-in Germans cut across the advancing soldiers. Within thirty minutes the 1st Newfoundland Regiment was virtually annihilated. An isolated tree called the Danger Tree was the Regiment's rally point but also marked a target for the enemy's deadly fire. It was the bloodiest day of the war for British Army. Of the 801 Newfoundland soldiers who went into battle, 255 were killed, 386 wounded and 91 went missing, decimating the colony’s premier contribution to the imperial war effort. When the roll call of the unwounded was taken next day, only 68 answered their names. The British suffered 57,470 casualties (19,240 deaths), while German dead or wounded totalled 8,000. Little ground had been gained and months of deadlocked fighting followed. Some historians see the Somme as the beginning of the end for British control over her empire. The commanding British General de Lisle remarked that the battle was "a magnificent display of trained and disciplined valour" but failed "because dead men can advance no farther". Ernest Chafe was buried in the Y Ravine Cemetery, Somme, the memorial marked by a bronze statue of a caribou - the symbol of the Regiment. July 1st is an important day of remembrance in Newfoundland.

73rd Bn., Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regt.)
Tuesday 6 November 1917
Panel 24 - 26 - 28 - 30
Blanche (Gosselin) Chafe, married 1912, Montreal, to Edward Bartlett Chafe (1888-1916), son of Samuel E. Chafe and Ann Bartlett of Brigus. Edward was killed in WWI.  Edward converted to Catholicism when he married Blanche. Sergeant Edward Bartlett Chafe of the 73rd Bn., Canadian Infantry (Royal Highlander Quebec Regt.) lost his life on Tuesday, 6 November 1917, the last day of fighting at Passchendaele. On 6 November 1917 Canadians took Passchendaele on the crest of the ridge dominating the Flanders Plain. Canadians held Passchendaele against a strong enemy attack on 7 November 1917, advanced 600 yards on a 300 yard front and took 140 prisoners on 7 November 1917, held Passchendaele again on 14 November 1917, and captured a farm at Passchendaele on 17 November, 1917.

Soldier with Honours:
Eric Chafe, Captain, Royal Artillery, Royal Newfoundland Regiment, Engagement: Broembeek, Military Cross

Served for Petty Harbour and Maddox Cove during WWI: 
Frederick Hutchinson Chafe born 10/07/1878, Henry R. Chafe, Howard Chafe, Lawrence Chafe, Peter Chafe, Samuel Chafe, Josiah Chafe

Other Chafe's who Served:
Alice Warren Chafe born 09/08/1895 (lived Massachusetts)
Allan Augustus Chafe 18/12/1892 
Gerald Chafe 12/08/1897 
Hugh Chafe16/10/1897 
Robert Joseph Chafe 11/04/1882 (lived Massachusetts)
William D Chafe
William Thomas Chafe 29/05/1888

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes) WWII
ALBERT H. CHAFE,  Sailor: Fireman, Merchant Navy
Died: 29 June 1941
Name of Ship: Grayburn
Born in Newfoundland in 1909.  At 0030 June 29 1941 a torpedo launched by U-651 sunk the S.S. Grayburn at position 59º 30N, 18º 07W, S of Iceland.  Thirty five of the crew were lost including fireman Albert H. Chafe.  The ship master John William Sygrove and 16 survivors from the Grayburn were picked up by corvette HMS Violet and transferred to the British rescue ship Zaafaran.  Later that day, the U-boat was sunk by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Malcolm and HMS Scimitar, the British corvettes HMS Arabis and HMS Violet and the British minesweeper HMS Speedwell.  There were 45 survivors and no casualties.  The 6,342 ton British registered steam freighter Grayburn was part of convoy BHX-133, and was carrying steel and trucks.  The ships voyage originated in Balitmore and then departed Halifax on June 16 and arrived in Liverpool.  U-651 (Type V11C) was launched Dec 21 1940 under Commander Peter Lohmeyer.  Earlier on 24th Lohmeyer sank the 5,297 ton British Brockley Hill in the same convoy.

LEO THOMAS CHAFE, Gunner, Taylors Bay, Lamaline, Newfoundland
59th (Newfoundland) Heavy Regiment Royal Artillery
Died: 28 Jan 1941

Soldiers with Honours:
Gordon W. Chafe, Gunner, Military Medal Gunner, 
Walter Chafe, Sergeant, Commander-in-Chief’s Certificate, Royal Artillery, died June 16 1998 age 71 (b.1927), Mount Pleasant Cemetery, St. John's - son of Solomon Chafe & Sarah King.

Served for Petty Harbour and Maddox Cove during WWI: 
Albert Chafe*, Eric Chafe, Gordon W. Chafe*, Howard J. Chafe, Lawrence Chafe, Leonard Chafe, Ralph E. Chafe, Seymour Chafe, Jonathan H. Chafe, Jacob Chafe, Edwin Chafe

Alfred E. Chafe, Merchant Navy, died October 01 1990, age 64 (b.1926), Mount Pleasant Cemetery, St. John's - son of Archibald Chafe & Kathleen Vere-Holloway.

Chafe, E. Gordon, Died at Parkwood Hospital, London, February 14, 2005. E. Gordon CHAFE of R.R.#4, Thamesford in his 88th year (b.1917). Husband of Berniece Graham and father of Harvey Chafe of London, Bob Chafe of Ingersoll, Brenda Chafe Goulais River, Mary Lee Chafe of Point Edward and the John F. Chafe (d.1979). Predeceased by his only brother Gerry Chafe and his late wife Dora. Gordon served with the Royal Canadian Engineers in Continental Europe from 1940-1945, was employed at Polymer Sarnia, taught at Wheable Secondary School and retired from Kellogg Canada in 1982. 

Chafe, Audrey N. Date Deceased: November 21, 1998 Age: 61 Service Information Rank: Leading Airwoman Service Number: 134078W Units: Air Force Period of Service: Canadian Forces. Legion Branch: Belleville Branch Location: 

Chafe, Charles W. Date Deceased: May 11, 2000 Age: 68 Service Information Rank: Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Service Number: 13339H Units: Royal Canadian Navy Period of Service: Korean War, Regular Force Legion Branch Information Member Title: Life member Legion Branch: Sarnia Branch Location: Son of Ronald J. Chafe & Margaret A. Squires of Buchans, NL

Chafe, George Date Deceased: October 19, 1995 Age: 61 Service Information Rank: Sergeant Service Number: SN1643 Units: Period of Service: Regular Force, Reserve Legion Branch Information Member Title: Legion Branch: Kingsway Branch Location: Edmonton.

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Henry George Chafe & Amelia Ann Howse 1929Henry George Chafe (1827-1884) married Caroline Whitten (1829-1884) on 17 November 1853 at St. John's. Caroline may have been a cousin. She had a brother Josiah Whitten. They had four children all baptized in Petty Harbour; Allen (1854-1932), Matilda Maria (1857-?), Henry George (1860-1948) and Jacob William (1865-1937).

Henry George Chafe (1860-1948) married Amelia Ann Howse (1861-1943) on 18 October 1883, St. John's. She was the daughter of James Howse (1797-1821) and Catherine Feltham of Greenspond, NF. They were the educated part of the family, and their children became socially prominent. Henry George was first a schoolmaster in Gooseberry Island (c.1885) and Pool's Island (Badger's Quay) and then went to Brigus where he became the superintendent of schools. He and Amelia Ann Howse were buried in Brigus.

Henry George was the fourth teacher in Pool's Island, teaching there from 1890 to 1905.  He was a lay-reader for St. James Anglican Church over that same period and was very active in the community.  In 1898 he conducted 106 services.

Henry George Chafe at Pools IslandThe Diocesan Magazine April 1901.  Mr. Chafe is able to give much valuable assistance in Church work, and with the help of the congregation has been able to secure funds for the painting of the church, both inside and out. This we hope to get done in the summer. With a few other interior improvements this church will be one of the best in the deanery.

Diocesan Magazine, Sept.1901: The church was painted in the summer of 1901 under the supervision of Mr. Chafe. "Mr. Ryder of Bonavista is the painter. It is a big job owing to the fantastic colours of 'long ago'. The paint and oils were kindly imported for us by I J. Mifflin, Esquire, for which, as well as for other little acts of kindness, he has our warmest thanks. " 

November 1903. Bishop's Visitation. Arriving here in the afternoon on, August 18th. Pool's Island presented a very pretty spectacle dressed up so gaily in its many coloured dress. Mr. Chafe the schoolmaster, boarded the Lavrock , and assured his lordship of a Pool's Island welcome. Soon after landing the Bishop inspected the various improvements which have taken place since his last visit, such as the lengthening of the chancel, a new stained glass east window, a new organ, and last but not least, the complete renovation and decoration of the interior the church, all to show the interest and love the people of Pool's Island have for their church.

To Mrs. B. Kean, Mrs. J Knee, Mrs J. Spurrell, Mrs. N. Knee, Miss E. Spurrell and Members of St. James church. 

My dear Friends - Please accept my heartfelt thanks for the very kind address you have presented to me. Coming as it is chiefly from the ladies of the congregation, whilst the great majority of the men are away on the Labrador, it is all the more gratifying. It falls to the lot of few to be treated with such kindness as we have been during our long stay at Pool's Island, and we shall always look back with pleasure to the many happy days we have spent amongst you. 

The vast assemblage which gathered to do us honour, was quite enough to unnerve the strongest and on several occasions we keenly felt the separation from such true friends. 

The credit for the improvements you refer to should go to yourselves, for they would not have been performed if you were not always at hand, ready and willing to help in every good work, and I am thankful that the church and school surroundings are in such excellent condition, both financially and otherwise. 

If we have in any way contributed to your welfare we are very thankful, but we feel in looking back over the years that are past that much more might have been done for God's glory.

I thank you very much for the beautiful purse containing twenty-three dollars, which you have kindly presented me with, and also the friends of children who presented them with many little useful presents. I wish to thank also the many friends who assisted us in removing, especially Mr. Geo. Preston for the use of his boat, and Capt. B. Kean and Mr. L. Wicks, who volunteered their assistance to bring all of our belongings to Gambo. 

In conclusion, I pray that you all may continue loyal to your Church, and steadfast and true to God. With best wishes, believe me, yours sincerely H. B. Chafe, Pool's Island August 1905. 

Brigus Schoolhouse where Henry George Chafe taught.Henry George Chafe was for many years a teacher at St. George's Church of England School in Brigus, which at the time was operated by an organization know as the Colonial and Continental Church Society. Henry George was prominent in church and civic affairs and served for a time during the late 1920s and 1930s as a Commissioner of the Supreme Court in Brigus. Upon completion his career as a teacher, Chafe was appointed to the position of school inspector with the Newfoundland Department of Education, a position he filled dignity for some years before retirement.  Henry George was a very strict school inspector but was well liked by his student when he was a substitute.  Very religious, he would not let his children out to skate on Brigus Pond on Sundays.

May 1775 Chart of Newfoundland as surveyed by James Cook and Michael Lane Beginning in 1844, the school inspector system was in use in Newfoundland schools for 100 years. It was a policy of the education authorities over that period of time to have an inspector visit every school in Newfoundland at least once a year following which a report was submitted to the appropriate authorities on the condition of the building, the progress of the pupils the demeanour of the teacher etc.  For example, the inspector who visited one Newfoundland settlements in 1844 wrote, " 16 children were assembled in the limited space of the teacher's kitchen"; of another he wrote, "school is held in a low, inconvenient loft with access only by a high dilapidated stage"; and of still another, "The school was in a sordid plight, with all the windows closed, and the air not fit to breathe."

Henry George Chafe's  Brigus HomesteadVery often in earlier days, when the Society built schools in many of the larger Newfoundland communities, they also erected teachers' residences. The stately old dwelling which Henry George lived in was one of these. Having served for many years as home to teachers operating under the authority of the Newfoundland School Society, and later under the Colonial and Continental Church Society, the building was then sold to H.G. Chafe who occupied it from the early 1900s to the time of his passing.  Two areas near the site of the former house are named after him.  Chafe's Hill is the rocky rise close to the shore and Chafe Beach is located nearby on the left.

For most of the period during the 1930s and 1940s, the Chafe dwelling was home to the Knee family, and it was here between 1932 and 1936 that (Abbie) Knee conducted a number of his early experiments in amateur radio. Abner Knee, son of Edith M. (Chafe) Knee and grandson of H.G. Chafe, later became one of the pioneers in the establishment of radio communications in Gander, where he continued to pursue his vocation as a wireless operator from that airport town's early beginnings to his retirement there in the mid 1970s. Others of the Chafe family included: Beatrice, wife of Rt. Rev. J. A. Meaden, Bishop of Newfoundland; Myra, wife of Dr. Leonard Miller, a man prominent in Public Health circles for most of his life and after whom the Miller Health Centre (the former St. John's General Hospital) is named; Daisy, wife of bank manager Gerald Laing; and two sons: William, who became a successful osteopath and actor in Montreal, and Harry, a discharged veteran of World War I who also lived in Montreal.

Their oldest child was Edith May Chafe (1885-1948) who married Capt. Kenneth Ryland Knee. Son William James Chafe (1887-?) married May ? and then Marie Wilkie?.  Son Henry Leslie (1895-1942) moved to Montreal.  Daughter Beatrice (Bea) Maud Chafe, (1892-1979) married Right Rev. John A. Meaden (1892-1987), who became the Bishop of Newfoundland. Daisy Pearl Chafe (1900-?) married Gerald Kingsley Laing.  Netta Myra Chafe (1903-1999) married Dr. Leonard Albert Miller who later became the Newfoundland Minister of Health.  They also had two children who died young; Arthur Leslie Chafe (1889-1890) and Arthur Maxwell Chafe (1906-1907).

Henry Leslie Chafe's Recruitment Form April 23, 1918Some Chafe's from Petty Harbour settled in Montreal.  Henry Leslie Chafe (Apr 23, 1895-1942) married Rubina Kate Windsor (1896-1975) on 9 Dec, 1920.  He joined the First Quebec Regiment on April 23, 1918 and served in WWI (Regimental number: 3083611).  Sixteen Chafe's signed up for WW1 including Hugh Chafe (1897-?) who registered April 26th, 1918 later in Montreal.  Six Chafe's died in WW1.  When the war ended Henry worked at Northern Electric in Pointe Ste. Charles.  They hived at 310 and then 397 Riel St., Verdun.  Henry was 5' 3" tall.  He and Kate moved to Greenfield Park in 1931 first at 221 Fairfield then at 80 St. Charles Road. Both of Henry's sons, Walter Leslie (1922- ) and Earl Henry (1927- ) also worked for Northern Electric. Kate Windsor was the daughter of George Greening.

Earl Henry Chafe (1927- ) married Ruby McPhee (1926- ) on 9 July, 1955 in Longueuil, Quebec. They moved into their Greenfield Park home in 1955. They had three boys; Glenn Earl (1956- ), now living in Beaconsfield, Quebec, Peter Leslie (1959- ) now living in Two Mountains, Quebec and Ross Henry (1962- ) now living in Barrie, Ontario.  Coincidently  Greenfield Park is located on part of the old Seigniory of Charles Le Moyne d'Iberville - father of Pierre d'Iberville (1661-1706) who attacked Petty Harbour in 1696.

woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Related History: McPhee/Mulberry Lineage in Scotland/Ireland, Windsor/Greening Lineage in England and Mowbray/Mulberry Family Lineage in England/Ireland PDF File


The Chafe Family Trans Canada Trail Marker,  is located on Panel 15 at the Trail Pavilion at the corner of de la Commune Street and Prince Street, Montreal, Quebec. The Pavilion is where the Lachine Canal and the Old Port paths meet in Old Montreal.


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Henry George Chafe & 
Amelia Ann Howse
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Bea Chafe & Bishop Meaden 
in Newfoundland
Katie_Marie_Cyril_Will_Chafe.jpg (77282 bytes)
Katie, Marie (Will's 2nd wife), Will 
& son Cyril Chafe
Earl_and_Walter_Chafe_Verdun.jpg (168691 bytes)
Earl and Walter Chafe, 
at the apartment on Riel St., Verdun
Harry_Chafe.jpg (127334 bytes)
Henry (Harry) Chafe
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Henry, Earl, Walter & Katie Chafe
Kate_Windsor_Earl_Chafe_and_Henry_Chafe.jpg (81444 bytes)
Katie, Earl & Henry Chafe
Walter_and_Earl_Henry_Chafe_off_Decarie_Blvd.jpg (145983 bytes)
Walter, Earl & Henry Chafe, Decarie Blvd, Montreal
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Henry & Katie Chafe's House, 80 (now 180), St. Charles Road, Greenfield Park
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Peter (5), Kate (68),
 Glenn (8), Ross (2),
Greenfield Park, 1964

The Chafe Men - 1974
Walter, Earl, Glenn, Peter, Ross

The Chafe Men - 1987
Walter, Earl, Glenn, Peter, Ross

The Chafe Men - 1990
Earl, Glenn, Peter, Ross, David

The Chafe Men - 2001
Walter, Earl, Glenn, Peter, David, Ryan, Nolan

The Chafe Men - 2002
Earl, Glenn, Peter, David, Ryan, Nolan

The Chafe Men - 2003
Earl, Glenn, Peter, David, Ryan, Nolan

The Chafe Men - 2004
Walter, Earl, David, Glenn, Ross

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The Chafe Men - Dec 2004
Nolan, Ryan, Earl, Peter, David, Glenn, Ross


The Chafe Men - Jul 2005
Nolan, Ryan, Walter, Earl, Peter, David, Glenn, Ross



woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Hugo a Norman, the Thegn of Chaffcombe (1016) and son Reginald, and owner of Chaffcombe in 1065/1066.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Andrew de Chaffecombe (b.1327) moves from Chaffecombe to Bridgwater.  He lives through the Black Death.  Starting in 1348 the plague moves over southern England killing 30-40% of the population.  Five further outbreaks occur between 1361 and 1393.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Thomas de Chafecombe's (circa. 1405) son John Chafie fought at the Battle of Agincourt, France, 25 October 1415.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Robert Chafe (died 1580) was mayor of Exeter two times during reign of Elizabeth I.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Thomas Chaffe (b.1616) owns land in Massachusetts in 1637 - 17 years after the Mayflower.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Nicholas Chaffe's sons Peter and William acquired land at Buckfastleigh and held it in 1660.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Richard Chafe (b.1664) Dean Prior, Devon, England - 1666 Great Fire of London kills 3,000 people.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)John Chafe (b.c.1685) Devon, England arrives in Newfoundland in 1705.  In January the French attack Petty Harbour and go on to burn St. John's.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Edward Chafe (b.1720) Petty Harbour, Newfoundland; 1713 - Treaty of Utrecht, France concedes Newfoundland to England.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Henry Chafe (b.1757) Berry Pomeroy, Devon, England; 1759 - Quebec City falls to Wolfe's Army.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Jacob Chafe (b.1798) Petty Harbour, Newfoundland; 1798 - Napoleon invades Egypt, 1763-1822 loyalist settlement of Newfoundland. On 1 May 1828, Jacob rescues passengers on the Helen.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Henry George Chafe (b.1827) Petty Harbour, Newfoundland; 1820 - Rapid growth of fish exports to England/US.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Benjamin Chaffey Jr. (b.1806) builds the southern abutments and piers for the Victoria Bridge on the South Shore of Montreal; 1854.  This bridge made it easier for Henry Leslie Chafe to move to the South Shore and commute into Pointe St. Charles.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Henry George Chafe (b.1860) Petty Harbour, Newfoundland; 1867 - 4 Provinces form the Canadian Confederation.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Ernest Leslie Chafe (b. 1892) fighting for the 1st Newfoundland Regiment in WWI dies July 1, 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
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Henry Leslie Chafe (b.1895) Badger's Quay (Pool's Island), Newfoundland; 1896 - First modern Olympics held in Athens.
woodbullet.gif (174 bytes)Earl Henry Chafe (b. 1927) Verdun, Quebec; 1920-30's - Rapid growth of Montreal's economy. Earl moves to Greenfield Park in 1931.

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April 20, 2020