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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 found a whole list online of Grunsell descendants in Australia, so I’ve duly filled those out on the online tree.  It took hours.

I saw a TV programme last night about Tony Robinson in Australia and he was talking about the gold rush from 1851 in Victoria.  I thought about the Stevens family, Edwin in particular, a miner, who emigrated from Cornwall.  As I wasn’t at home, I couldn’t check my files but I looked at my online tree and did not have details about when he and his wife migrated.  One of their children was born in Beechworth, Victoria in 1857 so it had to be before then.  I felt sure I had the details but didn’t have them on the tree.  Tut tut.

I went searching, initially in passenger lists (for NSW and Victoria), without success.  I then found a forum and someone’s wife’s great grandmother was Elizabeth Stevens of the same family.  They emigrated from Portsmouth on 6 March 1854 on the ship Trafalgar and landed at Port Adelaide on 28 June 1854.  No wonder I couldn’t find the passenger list – they came to South Australia.  Elizabeth, their daughter, was born at Spring Creek Beechworth on 16 January 1855.  Success!

I wish I had the time (and more inclination) to sort out my files and go through them systematically.