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What happened to Amelia Marie Pourquoi Demay?

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  • What happened to Amelia Marie Pourquoi Demay?

    So, I ran some searched on Ancestry.com, scanned through some census records, etc. and couldn't seem to find any information on Amelia Marie Pourquoi Demay after her conviction in 1889 to 18 months hard labor. Anyone know where she ended up? Did she remain in England upon release? Immigrate to France? Raise a family?

  • #2
    Thanks for starting the thread, Justin.

    I've moved it into the Le Grand section....
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    • #3
      Hi Justin

      As far as I know, nothing is known about Demay either before or after her conviction.
      I’m not sure if anyone has looked for her in more inaccessible records. Perhaps some records have come online since then.

      Personally, I’ve always considered her name to be an assumed one. I mean, Pourquoi? As far as I know, a very uncommon French surname, and, as you say, there seems to be no other record of her.

      In searching for her, I think Demay is somewhat uncommon, while Demaye is the normal spelling. It’s very possible the court transcripts left out the ‘e’.

      Was she even French? She spoke French, the transcript reveals, Grande was known as the French Colonel and frequently went to Paris. So she could have been.
      She was by witnesses considered to be a prostitute, and it’s possible she’d been in England nine years - Allene Williams says she’s known Demay nine years, but it’s unclear whether this means in England, or if they knew each other before.

      From the context I consider the former most likely, but theoretically they could have been colleagues back in Paris or some other place.

      Sergeant James says he’s known Demay 7-8 years, that would place her arrival in London no later than 1882.

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      • #4
        Kattrup,

        Thanks for looking into this. I'll do some more digging to see if she turns up at old addresses. Overall, she's an interesting character worth following.

        Cheers,
        J

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        • #5
          There was a mini biography of Demay in one newspaper that gave the year of her arrival and said that she came over to England from France in the service of a gentleman, similar to Elizabeth Stride's story.

          Demay's name was on the house at Portland Place, I found this in some directories but unfortunately I lost the detail of this information.
          Her name is sometimes given as Emelia and her surname as Dumay.

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          • #6
            FWIW
            I wondered if Pourquoi should Pourquer, this name occurs more often in French records and the two are similar sounding in English.

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            • #7
              Not sure if this is her or not. Age is off .

              Amélie Marie Porquier

              death:
              22 March 1892
              Saint Louis, Brest, Finistère, France

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              • #8
                That's an interesting one. Thanks Jerry.

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                • #9
                  Thanks Jerry
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jerry Dunlop View Post
                    Not sure if this is her or not. Age is off .

                    Amélie Marie Porquier

                    death:
                    22 March 1892
                    Saint Louis, Brest, Finistère, France
                    Excellent suggestion, Debra, and nice work, Jerry.

                    It must be her, the combination of names is too uncommon?

                    Even though the age is a bit off.
                    During the trial in June 1889 she's recorded as 30 then in march 1892 she's 27 and 4 months....not inconceivable that she'd pass herself off as five years younger.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                      Excellent suggestion, Debra, and nice work, Jerry.

                      It must be her, the combination of names is too uncommon?

                      Even though the age is a bit off.
                      During the trial in June 1889 she's recorded as 30 then in march 1892 she's 27 and 4 months....not inconceivable that she'd pass herself off as five years younger.
                      Thanks all. Debs suggestion helped in the search and then I saw a different variation of the first name.

                      Amelia served 18 months in June of 1889. That puts her in prison til about February of 1891. Would the British government have deported her back to France after release, possibly?

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                      • #12
                        Like Kattrup, I think that could be her too, Jerry. In my post I put Emelia as the variant spelling in the directory but seeing the name Amelie has reminded me that was the directory name, the 'e' coming at the end and not the beginning.
                        I think I read she had inherited some money by 1887 so she may have gone back to France of her own accord when her sentence finished?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                          Like Kattrup, I think that could be her too, Jerry. In my post I put Emelia as the variant spelling in the directory but seeing the name Amelie has reminded me that was the directory name, the 'e' coming at the end and not the beginning.
                          I think I read she had inherited some money by 1887 so she may have gone back to France of her own accord when her sentence finished?
                          If it is her, she was only 24 when she was hanging around Legrand in 1889. She died awfully young. She always seemed to me to be rather experienced in her trade.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                            There was a mini biography of Demay in one newspaper that gave the year of her arrival and said that she came over to England from France in the service of a gentleman, similar to Elizabeth Stride's story.

                            Demay's name was on the house at Portland Place, I found this in some directories but unfortunately I lost the detail of this information.
                            Her name is sometimes given as Emelia and her surname as Dumay.
                            Debs,

                            From the trial in 1889 we have this statement from Allene Williams.

                            ALLENE WILLIAMS (Interpreted). I have known Demay nine years...

                            That would put her age at 15 when Williams first met her. She was a young one when she was in service to the gentleman.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jerry Dunlop View Post
                              Debs,

                              From the trial in 1889 we have this statement from Allene Williams.

                              ALLENE WILLIAMS (Interpreted). I have known Demay nine years...

                              That would put her age at 15 when Williams first met her. She was a young one when she was in service to the gentleman.
                              Yes, that's true, Jerry.

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