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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.


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).


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;; Google maps; Wikipedia; Cornwall OPC database;


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 found something useful on

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.