Miriam “Maria” Davies

Miriam “Maria” Harris Davies

U-Vic Special Collections

Maria Harris was born in London, and could trace her family history to the expulsion of Jews from Portugal in 1492. As a young woman Miriam Harris went to Sydney, Australia and became an umbrella maker. In 1843 at the age of 24 she married Judah P. (J.P.) Davies. She helped him run a business and had three children (Elizabeth, Joshua, and Cecilia).

Attracted to California by the gold rush, the family set out, but was shipwrecked off the coast of Monterey, California. After drifting for 6 weeks they made it to land and settled in Monterey. J.P. ran a hotel, Maria had Henry (Harry) and David. The family moved to San Francisco where Phillip was born. In 1863 the family moved to Victoria. J.P. and Joshua ran JP & Co. auction house. The Davies were a wealthy and prominent family. Maria ran a large household. She sang, and recited long poems that she remembered from her childhood.

Miriam died in 1901 at the age of 82. Accounts of her death vary, but what is known is that around 2pm on February 16, 1901 there was a fire at the Davies home. The gardener was working outside and smelled smoke. He rushed inside but wasn’t in time to save Mrs. Davies. It’s unclear how she actually died. The coroner ruled ‘accidental death.’ She is buried beside her husband, JP Davies.

Gravesite Details: Row F – Plot 30
A shaft carved from Beaver Cove marble by Mortimer & Reed once stood on the granite base.

Relict of J. P. Davies
February 16, 1901
Aged 82 years

J.P. Davies

Elizabeth Davies Schultz (1844-1866)
Joshua Davies (1846-1903)
Cecilia Davies Sylvester (1848-1935)
Henry “Harry” Davies (1850-1916)
David Lewis Davies (1852-1924)
Phillip Judah Davies (1854-1943)

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