July 2004 – About the Harvey name in Wivenhoe 

Many people living in Wivenhoe today will be familiar with a road called Harvey Road.  It is seen as people travel down The Avenue on the way to the bottom of the village and the river.

I’m not sure which Harvey is commemorated by naming this road Harvey Road when it was built in the early 1900s.  Perhaps John Martin-Harvey, later Sir John Martin-Harvey, an actor-manager, born in Wivenhoe and apprenticed to his father’s boat-building firm here before going into the theatre. 

Martin-Harvey was gifted with great energy and enthusiasm, and was recognised as a great man in his time. His achievements were recorded in a book researched by Nicholas Butler, published in 1997.

As Sir John Martin-Harvey was born in 1863 and died in 1944, it is much more likely though the road is named after Thomas Harvey and then John Harvey, or the Harvey family generally, who were boat builders here between 1832 and 1882.

The Harvey family originated in Brightlingsea and St Osyth. Research by Ray Harvey (see below) has shown the first Harvey in Wivenhoe in the 1600s.

NOTE: The family history of the Harveys has been extensively researched by Ray Harvey.  Chris Goddard, a distant cousin of Ray’s who has undertaken additional research as well as worked in collaboration with him, has published their combined works on his web site: www.webrarian.co.uk/harvey  Ray Harvey’s research is shown on: www.harveyhistory.info  His web site provides details of over 18,000 family members he has traced – not all Harveys though! 

To find out more about Ray Harvey, who lives in Australia, click here