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I found something useful on thegenealogist.co.uk.

I found Edwin Stevens in the 1841 census in Redruth, Cornwall.  He was 13 and lived with his parents and 9 siblings.  His father was a parish clerk (I knew that) and an older brother was a copper miner.  I knew there were several miners in the family – it’s what took them to Australia.

I also found the family of Edwin’s wife, Elizabeth Dart.  They too were living in Redruth.  Elizabeth was just 6 years old and it appears her father was dead by 1841.  She, her older brother, and her mother appear to live with an uncle, Martin Cornelius (Elizabeth’s mother was Elizabeth Cornelius).  Martin was a mason.

I found nothing for Edwin Stevens in 1851.  He and his wife didn’t move to Australia until 1855 so they were somewhere, perhaps not in Cornwall.  I can’t trust the records completely.  I know for certain that another family member, Joseph Beal, was in the 1851 census and yet there were no results for him.  So no results doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not there, which is a pain in the arse.  It may be because of transcription errors.  I found two such errors.  Vivian Stevens, a boy, was transcribed as Lavinea.  Betsy Dart was transcribed as Besay.  It pays to look at the original even though it costs extra credits!

Anyway, that’s all I have time for today.  It’s more encouraging actually having found something.

I started this blog in my attempt to better organise records of my searches. I’ve tried noting these down in notebooks, but my handwriting is becoming illegible (particularly after a few months of not having looked at stuff) and it all looks rather messy. So, here we are.

Last night, after watching yet another episode of the Australian series of “Who do you think you are?”, I decided to focus on one branch of my Australian family – the Stevens. I searched on thegenealogist.co.uk which is, frankly, a rip-off site. I regret joining it because I’ve come up with precisely nothing. The search is unfairly broad so you have no idea if the results match or not and you spend credits clicking on each result. They even charge credits for some searches regardless of whether there are results or not.

I went back to familysearch.org and searched Stevens there. It came up with information I’ve already got but also another generation back (names, at least).

I then tried a simple Google search which resulted in a few results from a Rootsweb forum written by a Stevens. The name rung a bell and I checked my paper files for correspondence. Sure enough he was there but he’d had a head injury and hadn’t got back to me after initial contact in 1999. On the forum there were tantalizing hints of him having gone back to the 1400s.   However, he had said in his communication with me that my great-grandmother Lavinia Stevens had an uncle, Sir Bertram Stevens (NSW premier).  This doesn’t seem right as he was born 20 years after she was.  No proof of the connection was given at the time so I’m not sure I could’ve trusted his information further back anyway (it’s always best to double-check in any case).  His posts on the forum were dated 2000 and nothing since. He was a keen researcher and I’m sure he would have posted something somewhere since then if he were still alive. Ah well.

My scrawled family trees in my folder need tidying and organising. Perhaps I can do this online and somehow print them out?

Til the next…