You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Cornwall’ tag.

Christopher Dart was born in around 1801 but I don’t know where. He was a miner in Cornwall and married there but Dart is an unusual surname for Cornwall, originating, instead, in neighbouring Devon. I have been unable to find a birth or baptism for a Christoper in Cornwall except for in Calstock, 1809, which seems a little late, but not impossible. One that seems more likely is a baptism in Tavistock, Devon (not far from Calstock) on 23 December 1800 to Thomas, a miner, and Loveday. However, there’s no way of knowing. I only found about six other Christopher Darts in Devon and pretty much none at all for the rest of Britain. I would have to systematically research each one in order to eliminate them.

Christopher married Elizabeth Cornelius on 27 October 1827 in Redruth, Cornwall. Their first child was named John Cornelius and was baptised on 30 June 1828. Next was Elizabeth Anne who was born in about December 1832, and was baptised on 29 August 1833. Sadly she died at age 10 months, of measles, and was buried on 1 September. Just over a year later, the second daughter was born and also called Elizabeth Ann. She was born in about November 1834 and baptised on 6 June 1835. Finally, in 1837, another son, James Johns, was born, baptised on 12 August.

Sadly, Christopher died just four months later on 3 December. Consumption was the cause of death. He didn’t live long enough to witness the death of his youngest son in 1838 at the age of one. Such tragedy to befall Elizabeth.

Since Christopher’s life was so short, and I have no information on him, I’ll turn to Elizabeth. She was born in about 1805, baptised on 19 September in Redruth. She was the daughter of John Cornelius and Ann Johns and had 10 siblings.

In 1841 she was living in Fore Street, Redruth, with her two surviving children in the same household as a probable brother, Martin and his family. Elizabeth was known as Betsy.

ForeStreetRedruth

Fore Street, Redruth

In 1851 Elizabeth was a greengrocer, living in Miners Row with her children. Her son, John, was a stone mason, as was his uncle living next door.

In 1861 Elizabeth was boarding in Fords Row with a woman six years her senior. She was still a greengrocer. I don’t know what happened to John. Daughter, Elizabeth, of course, had married and emigrated to Australia.

I have no further information on Elizabeth. I don’t know when she died. I have not been able to find any Elizabeth Darts in the 1871 census in Redruth. There is one in Bodmin which is quite far away – a pauper in an asylum, who died there during that decade.

Lots of further research needed.

 

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; Cornwall online parish registers; Old Cornwall in pictures Facebook page;

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/

Save

Edwin Vivian Stevens was born in Redruth, Cornwall in 1828, baptised on 27 October of that year.  His parents were George Facey Stevens, a parish clerk, and Honour Langdon.  He was one of five boys out of a family of eleven children.  An older sister had died before he was born.

Redruth was a town in a tin and copper mining region.  In 1801 it had a population of close to 5,000.  Redruth’s boom period was said to be from the 1730s to the 1860s when the population had doubled to over 11,000, but then dropped when copper mining went into decline and a lot of miners emigrated.

capture

Marker indicates Trevingey

In 1841 the family of twelve were living in Trevingey, Redruth.  Edwin, at the tender age of 13, was listed as a miner, as was his older brother, John, age 15 (copper miner).  It must have been a tough life.  As you can see from the map, there were a lot of mines.  It would be hard to pinpoint which one they might have worked in.

capture

Below is a view from Camborne looking towards Redruth in 1890.  Not a pretty sight.

image53

By 1851, Edwin’s father had died.  Six of the children were still living with Honour in Trevingey, but the youngest was 16, so no great burden (by then anyway).  Two of Edwin’s brothers were no longer at home.  Edwin (age 22) and the remaining two brothers were listed as copper miners.  The sisters were involved in clothes-making.  Included in the 1851 census is Honour’s granddaughter, Emma Stephens, age 8.  I have not been able to find out who her parents were – the father either John or William (common names).

Edwin married Elizabeth Ann Dart on 20 February 1854 in Redruth.  About two weeks later they were headed for Australia.  Another researcher said that three of Edwin’s brothers also emigrated to Australia but I have been unable to find out when.  So it may be that John had already gone to Australia and invited Edwin to join him, or Edwin decided to join the many wanting to try their hand at finding gold in Australia’s south-east.  Either way, Edwin and Elizabeth left Plymouth on 6 March on board the “Trafalgar” and arrived at Port Adelaide on 28 June.

adelaidetimesstevensarrival

Adelaide Times

From then I can only follow the couple’s movements from where the children were born.  The first, a daughter, was born in January 1855 at Spring Creek near Beechworth in Victoria, a long way from Adelaide.  A son was born in 1857 in Beechworth.  Beechworth was famed for its gold-mining.  Its heyday was shortlived, between 1852 and 1857.

capture

Marker indicates location of Beechworth

The family stuck around, the next child being born in Indigo in 1861.  Indigo appears to be a region which includes Beechworth, so hard to identify where exactly the boy was born (perhaps Indigo valley).  From there the family headed to Binalong, New South Wales, where the child died.

capture

Marker indicates location of Binalong, NSW

The following  year they were in Young, New South Wales, a day’s walk to the north-west of Binalong.  Here another daughter was born in 1863.  Gold had been discovered there in 1860, when it was known as Lambing Flat (known for the anti-Chinese riots).  It was renamed Young in 1863.

The family didn’t stop there.  They moved on to Cadia, New South Wales (about 20 km south of Orange), where a copper mine was opened.  The next two children were born there in 1865 and 1867.

capture

The next four children were born at Icely, another mining district close to Orange, from 1869 to 1875.

Edwin’s wife, Elizabeth, died 10 years later in 1885 at the age of 51.  Edwin remarried six years later, marrying Cecilia Dawson in Orange on 4 February 1891.  I have no information on her at all.

If Edwin and Elizabeth hadn’t had so many children (10 in total), I wouldn’t have been able to track their movements across the south-east of Australia from Adelaide to Orange.  The information is otherwise scant.

Edwin died in Orange on 29 November 1908, age 80 (although a brief death notice gave his age as 82) – a pretty good age for having worked in mines most of his life.

capture

National Advocate, 30 November 1908

 

Sources: Google maps; localhistories.org; findmypast; cornwallinfocus.co.uk; cornwallheritagetrust.org; Trove; theshipslist.com; wikipedia; bonzle.com;

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.

I received an email from familysearch just yesterday, claiming that I had an American pioneer in the family.  Well, my first thought was that it was just a lure to get you to search records (ancestry’s marketing technique) and that they should get their facts right first, cos I wasn’t American.  So, despite going “pfft, yeah right” in my head, I clicked on the link and was presented with information about Frances Tibble and family.  Frances was among about 242 people in 30-odd wagons who travelled from Wyoming to Utah in 1868 with the “William S. Seeley” company, obviously a group of Mormans.

Turns out this is Frances Grunsell, the cousin of my paternal great-grandfather’s mother.  She married Thomas Tibble in Hampshire,  had four or five kids and they emigrated to the States in 1865.  Well, who knew?  I have distant Mormon relatives in Salt Lake city.  Funny.

I also worked on Anne Spriggs yesterday.  I found her marriage which said she was Mrs Spriggs, so I vainly looked for an earlier marriage, thinking this wasn’t her maiden name.  However, after some consultation with a Cornwall group on Facebook, I was told that Mrs in earlier times stood for mistress, which meant that she was of a higher class.  Again, who knew?  Considering that I already had her baptism, parents, etc, I was glad that I didn’t have to chuck all that away.  I’ve probably mentioned it before but previous research has taken Anne’s family back to about 1505.  I can’t, however, confirm many of the dates on the tree.  I’m not sure where they got the information from – from records that aren’t online or indexed, evidently.

So my “methodical” research has gone off on tangents lately.  Must focus again.

It’s all very well saying I’ll detail my searches in a spreadsheet, but often I’m not at my home computer when I’m searching so I don’t have the spreadsheet to hand.  Often I’ll think of something “just to see” and veer off in a different direction, without any methodical follow-up.  It’s a mess.  Then I read past posts on this blog and often can’t remember what I found or how I got there.  It’s really bad.  It all takes time and focus, which is difficult when you have a short period (maybe an afternoon) in which to do it.  No wonder I end up doing the same searches all the time.

I was idling away and thought I’d do another search on Christopher Dart in Redruth.  I haven’t been able to find his birth in Cornwall.  Well, today I happened upon a forum with someone saying they suspected he came from Devon.  Ah!  Interesting.  But why the suspicion?  Is it because there are a lot of Darts in Devon?  Very possible.  With that in mind I did a search for Christopher Dart outside of Cornwall and the nearest I found to 1801 was one baptised 3 January 1799 in Hatherleigh, Devon, son of Roger and Herriot.  Hmm.  Children are often named after grandparents but there are no Rogers or Harriet(?)s in Christopher’s family.  There must be more than one Christoper Dart in the whole of Devon for that time, but it appears to be an uncommon first name, if the results are to be believed.

And this is where I make another complaint about search results.  It’s no wonder I draw complete blanks time after time on ancestry and familysearch.  Familysearch, in particular, is a nightmare.  For example, I might enter the name Joe Bloggs, with a date and place and perhaps even parents, and what happens?  I get a list of results with Joe Bloggs listed as the father at a christening for that period.  WTF?  So, I usually end up leaving the first name blank and trawl through heaps of results.  I once entered the father’s name as the name of the birth or christening I was looking for (when it was his son I was looking for) and only then did I get the correct father, and had to search through heaps of irrelevant results.  That’s another thing.  Why ask for a date range if you’re going to show me results 50 years later than what I wanted?  It pisses me off.

Ancestry is just as bad.  Why show me a load of totally irrelevant results?  If my person died in 1850, why are you showing me results for a person born in 1870?  WTF?  I get so irate.  It’s just wasting my time.

I’ve been thinking about the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge.  It might help get me focussed, although I know it goes against the grain to focus on one person at a time – I want all the answers now, for everyone!  Naturally, for such a challenge, I do not want to wait until January – why wait for some arbitrary start time?  There are 52 weeks in a year regardless of when the year starts, so I thought of doing it from 1 July.  It probably would be a challenge as there would be other interests and events to distract me AND I’ve just sent off my DNA sample, so there’s that whole huge learning curve with DNA matches and trees, etc, but  I think I’ll do it anyway.  It could actually be a challenge to find 52 ancestors that I can write anything about, but it doesn’t have to be a lot.  I could also just write about my search for more information or focus on a sibling instead.  I’ve decided I need to know more about siblings and perhaps searching for them will uncover more.  Past searches have proved that right.

Anyway, I’ll start on Friday.

I had not really intended to do any genealogical research, but I was sorting through my email and found emails to myself with various links to genealogical websites which I hadn’t got around to looking at.  One of these was parish records for Cornwall.

I realised that I didn’t have any census returns for my Stevens family.  Edwin and his wife emigrated to Australia in 1854, so I thought I could expect to find them in 1841 and 1851 census returns.  I had a look on ancestry and tried various spellings.  It took me ages, but I finally found Edwin and family in 1851 in Redruth, Cornwall.  His mother was by then a widow.

I was unable to find an 1841 census return for the family.

I again searched various spellings on the Cornwall parish record website and found a burial for Edwin’s father, George, in 1844.  It confirmed his middle name as Facey, and his occupation as parish clerk.  He was 54 at the time of death, so an earlier time of 1790 for his birth (to one I had noted of about 1797 from another researcher).

Two small successes.

I continued searching for family members at the Cornwall OPR database website and found confirmations of dates I already had.  I went back as far as I could and found out that John Stevens was mayor in St Ives in 1744.  I wrote to the St Ives archives who have a list of mayors asking to confirm.  I then searched for the baptism record of John Stevens in St Ives and found a Mr Vivian Stevens (Vivian is a name that crops up often in the family).  Somehow I did a general internet search for Vivian Stevens and 1717 and found a family tree.  This tree listed details of one of my Stevens and so I could confirm it was the same family.  This tree went back to 1657 in Towednack, Cornwall!  Awesome!

Very, very pleased with the progress.

I had meant to update before now on the searching I’ve done recently, but I forgot and have now forgotten the specifics.

I ordered and paid for the death certificate of Christopher Dart, an ancestor on my father’s maternal line.  He was a Cornish miner, and died in 1837 of consumption, a common thing for miners.  He left a widow and several young children.

While briefly going through some files, I discovered I did not have the birth or marriage certificate of my maternal grandfather, surprisingly.  I rectified that.  They didn’t give me any new information but it was important to have.

I have cancelled my ancestry.co.uk sub which expires next month.  I’ll give it a break for a while then sign up again to the Australian site to fill in some gaps on the Aussie side.

I really must stop searching records on impulse.  The trouble is, I have temporarily mislaid my search log so couldn’t recall what I’d last searched for exactly.

I tried initially to search immigration records for the 1920s for when my grandfather and his family moved to Australia.  No luck.

I then went on a different tack entirely and did a bit of searching on the Stevens line in Cornwall until I realised I’d already done a bit of searching on them.  Ditto for Dart which I didn’t really search much.

From Dart to Darlington and I did a search for Elizabeth Darlington of Cheshire.  Previously she’d just turned up on searches for her husband with the surname of Asher.  I searched for her in census returns.  I was delighted to find her parents and herself with eight siblings!  Yay!  Her father was born around 1809 but I can’t get further back than that, unfortunately.  I thought the discovery might lead me to further finds, but no.  Never mind, I’ve now fleshed out her family.

I might go back to the Dart family next.  But first, I must look for my search log notebook and note down what I did.  I also need to buy more paper to note down discoveries.  I have updated my online family trees though.  I do like having stuff down on paper though not only for future reference, but also to help sort things out in my head.

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.