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And finally, a year and a bit later, I reach the end of this challenge. It’s been really helpful for getting my head around what I have and what I don’t have. Anyway, for this final week I have included more than one ancestor: John Stevens and his parents (and beyond). I cannot claim to have undertaken all the research – much of the information (especially the earlier years) has come from another researcher, but where possible I have confirmed the dates.

John was born in about 1715 in St Ives, Cornwall. He was baptised on 24 March 1714/15 (pre-Gregorian calendar).  John was the son of Vivian Stevens and Anne Sprigg. He married El(e)anor Penrose (or Prouse, depending on which website you look at) by licence on 25 March 1738 in St Buryan to the south-west of St Ives. John was a lawyer, then mayor of St Ives and had 13, maybe 14 children:  John (1739); Anne (1740); Vivian (b. 1741, d. 1741); Francis (b. 1743, d. 1744); Francis (1744); Eleanor (1745); Mary (1747); Vivian Francis Penrose (b. 1749 but the long name didn’t prevent his early death in 1750); Elizabeth (1750); Jane (1752); Andrew (1754); and Thomas and Henry (1756). According to the other researcher there was also a Susannah born in 1758 but I have not been able to find a baptism.

John was listed as a lawyer or attorney up until about 1741 in the baptisms and burial of children, and then as a mayor from 1743. Unfortunately, later entries don’t give John’s’ occupation. Eleanor died in 1785, buried on 16 August in St Ives. John died in 1791, buried on 9 September in St Ives.

Vivian Stevens, John’s father, was baptised on 16 February 1685 in Towednack, Cornwall. His parents were Andrew and Elizabeth Stevens. He had two confirmed siblings – sisters, Ann and Margery. According to various records, Vivian was a merchant, collector and alderman.

Vivian married Anne Sprigg on 31 January 1711 in St Ives. They had five children that I know of, including John: Elizabeth (1712); (John); Andrew (1717); Anne (1720); and Catherine (1723) – children of “Mr” Vivian Stevens (and Anne).

Vivian died in 1735, buried on 16 October in St Ives. It was noted he was a “collector” – of what I wonder. I imagine it was some sort of profession such as collecting taxes. If he was born in 1685, that made him only 50 when he died.

Anne lived on to 1764, buried on 6 December in St Ives.  It is Anne’s family that is interesting, in that it can be traced back further. It’s often the female line on “Who Do You Think You Are?” that reveals fascinating history.

Anne’s parents were Thomas Sprigg and Ann Hammond. She was baptised on either the 10th or 16th December 1685 in St Ives (depending on whether the transcriber could read the second digit – if only I could see the original). Thomas Sprigg(e) married Ann on 20 November 1677 in St Ives.

Thomas was baptised on 30 November 1655, the eldest son of Robert Sprigg(s) (no mother mentioned, and I can’t find a marriage for Robert) as far as I know. Thomas had two sisters and a brother – Mary, Elizabeth, and John.

Now comes the stuff from yet another family researcher at ancestry that I can’t confirm, and so, at this point, is pure speculation. It would be great if I could find confirmation. Apparently Robert Sprigg (who died in 1667 in St Ives) was the son of Thomas Spriggs and Margery Anderton. I have not been able to find a baptism for Robert so can’t confirm or deny. Nor can I find a marriage for Thomas and Margery.

Thomas was apparently the son of John Sprigg and Pascoe James, but again I can’t find a baptism or marriage, so don’t know where this information came from. Thomas apparently died in 1663. I can confirm the baptism of John Sprigg on 26 November 1566 in Bodmin, Cornwall. Whether he’s a valid ancestor or not remains to be seen. He was the son of Robert Sprigg (and, apparently, Agnes Hendye). I did find a marriage of Robert and Agnes for 2 September 1565 in Bodmin.

Robert was, apparently, born in 1545 and died in 1596. He was the son of David Spriggs (who, apparently, was born in 1505 but that would make him 40 years old when Robert was born, or at least, baptised). David apparently died in 1559.

It would be amazing if it could all be confirmed, reaching back towards the end of the 15th century(!), but as I don’t know from where or how the information was obtained, it will have to stay theoretical. (You can’t trust anything on ancestry. One “researcher” had attached my Scottish grandmother to her family of totally unrelated people.)

So this brings me to the end of the challenge. It’s been tremendously helpful and made me realise how much I still have to find out – so many relatives, so little time, so little stuff online. I need to look at originals, especially since different transcribers give different dates, unable to read digits clearly.  (So lots of planning to do to enable me to visit the records.)

Naturally, I’ll continue to update this blog with other finds or observations.  Thanks for reading!

 

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; Cornwall OPC database; west-penwith.org.uk/ivesbur4.htm; sallenbach.net; wikipedia; http://www.ancestry.com.au/genealogy/records/john-sprigg_63672852

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;

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.