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Andrew Stevens was born in 1754, baptised on 31 March 1754 in St Ives, Cornwall. He was the son of John and Eleanor.  He had 12, perhaps 13 siblings, some of whom died as infants. Andrew’s father was a lawyer, and then mayor of St Ives. I can find no information of past mayors (even a list) of St Ives. The only website I could find listed mayors from the 19th century, as if mayors (or St Ives) didn’t exist before then. Even John Knill (a surname that crops up in the family) wasn’t mentioned. Disappointing.

St Ives is an old and well-known seaside town, known for its artists’ colony among other things. A civic history timeline can be found here.

StIves

Andrew married Honor Facey (whose mother was Gertrude Knill) on 6 March, 1781 in Werrington, Devon (now part of Cornwall).

The couple had six children that I know of. Lenora Penrose Stevens was baptised 4 January 1782 in St Ives. Her middle name was her paternal grandmother’s surname. Gertrude Knill Stevens (named after her maternal grandmother above) was baptised on 5 July 1783. The first son, Vivian Francis, was baptised 17 November 1784. Andrew had had two younger brothers called Vivian (one of them named Vivian Francis) both of whom died in infancy. George Facey Stevens was born next in about 1790 (his middle name being his mother’s surname). I don’t know if any children were born between 1784 and 1790. It seems likely, but I could find no baptisms during that period. There were two burials of young children in 1785 and 1787 in St Ives of a Mary and a William, aged 8 months and 3 years respectively, but no mention is made of the parents. Another five years passed before Emmeline Escott (or Eskourt) Stevens and Edwin are baptised on 25 August 1795 – twins? Again there are burials of infants in that five years but hard to say if Andrew and Honor had any more children apart from the six mentioned.

I have no further information about the life of Andrew. I don’t even know what he did. I have found no newspaper articles about his family, sadly, even though his father was a mayor.

Three of the children married in 1814. The youngest daughter, Emmeline, was the first to marry, to a naval man, George Hubert Rye, in January of that year. In April, her brother, George, married Honour Langdon. Then eldest sister, Lenora, married John Kernick in December.

George Rye had an interesting life. He was a midshipman in the Royal Navy and was involved in a few battles of the time (Copenhagen and Netherlands) before retiring in 1823 due to fever and becoming a commander of the coastguard of St Ives, capturing a French slave ship, and shooting a man in a “smuggling affray”.* He and Emmeline had five sons and a daughter: Hubert, Edward, Walter, George, Frederick, and then Emmeline on 5 January 1824. Sadly, mother and daughter died during or shortly after childbirth, both being buried on the same day on 7 January. It did say on the child’s private baptism record that her father was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy which seems to contradict the above information. Perhaps George retired shortly after the death of his wife and daughter to be there for his remaining children. This seems more likely.

Andrew was resident at Portreath in November 1830, when he died at the age of 76 from dropsy. He was buried in the parish of Illogan on 17 November.

Andrew’s wife, Honor, died just a couple of months later, being buried on 17 January 1831 in Illogan. Their daughter, spinster, Gertrude, married widower, George Rye, in December of that year. They had no further children.

 

Sources: familysearch; findmypast; Cornwall OPC database; Google; wikipedia; stives-town.info; *”The Genealogist”, 1877, archive.org/stream/genealogist;

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George Facey Stevens was born in 1790, baptised on 20 October in Illogan, Cornwall. He was the son of Andrew Stevens and Honor Facey. He had five siblings that I know of (two brothers and three sisters).

Illogan

I can’t find much of interest about Illogan. It was named after an obscure Cornish saint. The population in 1801 was 2895 (compared to 5404 in 2011, the population rising to 10304 in the 1970s before falling again), so never a large town, but a centre of mining.

George married Honour Langdon on 20 April 1814 in Illogan. Honor was born about 1792, possibly baptised on 22 October in Illogan, daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth.

The couple had 11 children over 19 years. The first three were girls: Elanora Penrose (born about 1815, possibly named after George’s paternal grandmother), Mary (1821), and Elizabeth Langdon (1822). The family moved to Redruth at some stage where John Knill was born in about 1823 (probably named after George’s maternal grandmother), baptised on the same day as Lavinia Penrose (1823) who died the following year. Next were Ellen Francis (1826), William (1827), Edwin Vivian (1828), and another Lavinia born between 1829 and 1832. Finally there was Vivian (1830), then George Frederick (1834).

In 1841 the family were still living in Redruth. George was a parish clerk. All ten children were there, the three oldest boys working as copper miner and masons.

George had a short life, dying in 1844 at the age of 54. He was buried on 19 March.

In 1851 Honour was a widow living in Trevingay with six of her children and a granddaughter, Emma, age 8. Emma was possibly John’s daughter. I found a baptism for 1845, daughter of John and Martha in Redruth. Elizabeth was a dressmaker, Ellen a milliner, and Lavinia a tailoress. Edwin, Vivian and George were copper miners. Missing from the list were Elenora, Mary, John and William. I haven’t been able to find John or Elenora in the census. Searching for a Mary Stevens is nigh impossible for census, marriage, or death. Nor have I been able to find William.

Edwin married in 1854 and sailed to Australia with his wife, no doubt to try his hand at gold minning. I was told that John, Vivian, and George (all miners) also moved to Australia but I don’t know when. Any Australian descendants who can enlighten me, please get in touch!

Unfortunately, I don’t even know when Honour died. It’s a pain that the age at death is not given on the index so I could rule out some. She may have died in 1862. (The only other death I could find was Honour Maria in 1854.) How am I to know without an age?

So lots of missing information for this family.

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; genuki.org.uk; Google maps; Wikipedia; Cornwall OPC database; http://www.blaxland.com/ozships/

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I joined the Guild of One Name Studies as there were about eight surnames I have in my tree that were registered surnames there and I thought it worth searching what they had (not that much, it turns out).  One of the names was Facey.  The only ancestor I have with that name is Hono(u)r Facey, who used her surname as the middle name of a paternal ancestor.  I didn’t have much information on her (just her marriage in Devon).  I hadn’t found her baptism or death on previous searches at findmypast.  Today I decided just to do a simple Google search and her name was mentioned in a detailed account of the Rye family.

Well, it turns out that a George Hubert Rye married Emmeline Escott (various spellings) Stevens, daughter of Andrew Stevens and Honor Facey.  I did not have Emmeline on my tree, so that was a bonus.  The website had details about George as a naval man, working on various ships, being involved with battles against the Dutch, slaver ships, and he shot a man in a “smuggling affray”.  Fascinating stuff!  George was one of many children born in Suffolk (and a detailed family history was given).  Emmeline died after giving birth to six or seven children and George married her sister, Gertrude (who was on my tree).  Six sons were listed, one of them marrying the daughter of George Daniel.

I headed over to findmypast and found the marriage of George to Emmeline in 1814, and also to Gertrude in 1831.  So Emmeline had died before 1831.  This gave me something to go on.  I found her death in 1824 in the same month as her two-day old daughter.  Presumably she died in childbirth or shortly after.  Sad.  Her birth date was estimated as 1796, so then I could find her baptism, which I did for 1795 in Illogan, Cornwall.

All this info and time spent, after what was supposed to be a short and simple search in the Guild of One Name Studies, which didn’t, of course, have anything on Honor Facey.