Mainwaring younger sons go to India

Rowland Mainwaring (1745 – 1817), one of my fifth great grandfathers, was the fourth of the five sons of Edward Mainwaring (1709 – 1795) and his wife Sarah Mainwaring nee Bunbury (1709 – 1798). As a younger son, Rowland was unlikely to inherit the Mainwaring estates. Expected to make his own way in the world, he joined the army, becoming a captain in the 1st Regiment (Royal Scots) and later a major in the Staffordshire Militia.

Rowland married twice. His first wife, Elizabeth Mills of Barlaston, died soon after their marriage in 1777. There were no children. In 1780, three years later, he married Jane Latham, daughter of Captain Latham (d. 1762) of the Royal Navy. From this second marriage there were seven children, with four sons:

  • Edward Henry Mainwaring 1781–1807
  • Rowland Mainwaring 1782–1862
  • Thomas Mainwaring 1784–1834
  • Charlotte Margaretta Mainwaring 1785–1836
  • Elizabeth Mainwaring 1787–1869
  • Susannah Jane Mainwaring 1788–1871
  • George Mainwaring 1791–1865

Three of the sons joined the Honourable East India Company. Rowland (junior) enlisted in the navy.

Edward Henry Mainwaring

Edward Henry Mainwaring began his military career in the Staffordshire militia. In 1795, at the age of fourteen he became an ensign without purchase in the 13th Regiment of Foot (Light Dragoons). He became a lieutenant by purchase in 1796 but retired 9 months later. He is recorded as a cadet in the Bengal Army, appointed ensign from 23 September 1797. On 10 September 1798 he was made a lieutenant. He died unmarried in 1807.

Deaths

July 22 1807 At Dacca, in the East Indies, Lieut. Edward Henry Mainwaring, of the 3d Regiment of Native Infantry, eldest son of Rowland M. esq. of Northampton. While out at exercise he complained of a sudden attack in the head, and died in a few minutes, in consequence of a rupture of a blood-vessel in his brain.

Death notice in The Gentleman’s Magazine of 1808

Rowland Mainwaring

I have written elsewhere about Rowland’s career:

Thomas Mainwaring

Thomas Mainwaring was educated at Mr Kelly’s Northampton Academy, with emphasis on writing and accounts. In late 1800 or early 1801, at the age of sixteen, Thomas petitioned to become an East India Company Writer, the organisation’s most junior rank. He arrived in India on 23 August 1801.

A view of Calcutta from Fort William (1807). Aquatint from a set of prints published by Edward Orme. New arrivals sailing to the city first passed Fort William. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.
The Writer’s Building Calcutta in about 1860 photographed by Francis Frith. The building was where the writers (clerks) worked in Calcutta). Image from Wikimedia Commons.

At this time, a considerable part of the revenue of the British East India Company derived from its monopoly on salt. In the 1780s salt was its second largest revenue source, and in 1858 10% of its income was still from salt. Many of Thomas Mainwaring’s appointments were in the Company’s Salt and Opium Department.

  • 1804, 15 March Second Assistant to the Superintendent of the Western Salt Chowkies. (Chowkies are stations for collecting customs on all branches of trade)
  • 1805, 20 May Assistant to the Superintendent of Eastern Salt Chowkies
  • 1808, 2 August In Charge of the Office of Superintendent of the Eastern Salt Chowkies
  • 1810, 5 July In Charge of the Office of Superintendent of the Salt Golahs at Sulkea (A golah is a warehouse. Sulkea was opposite Calcutta on the west bank of Hooghly River; Sulkea was originally a place where salt was brought and stored in warehouses. Present day Salkia)
  • 1811, 1 November Sub-Secretary to the Board of Trade, Salt and Opium Department
  • 1814, April Nominated to Endorse Stamp Papers
  • 1815, 11 March Collector of Tipperah (the princely state of Tripura now located in the present-day Indian state of Tripura.)
  • 1815, 21 March Acting Superintendent of the Western Salt Chowkies
  • 1819, 1 March Collector of Juanpore (present day Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh)
  • 1824, 19 March Collector of Inland Customs and Town Duties of Calcutta
  • 1824, 8 July One of the Magistrates of the Town of Calcutta
  • 1831, 15 February Commercial Resident at Cossimbazar
  • 1835, 22 January Acting Salt Agent at Tumlook (present day Tamluk)
  • 1835 He was granted furlough to Mauritius and died on the way there on 6 May.

Deaths: On the 6th of May, on board the ship the Duke of Roburgh, on his way to the Mauritius, where he was proceeding for the benefit of his health, Thomas Mainwaring, Esq. of the Bengal Civil Service

English Chronicle and Whitehall Evening Post of 24 October 1835
Map of Indian places mentioned in the careers of Edward, Thomas and George Mainwaring

George Mainwaring

George Mainwaring was accepted as a Writer in 1807. His petition to join the civil service of the Honourable East India Company was dated 23 December 1806. He was about fifteen years old. He attended Haileybury College from 1807 – 1809. He was appointed to the company in 1810 and arrived in India on 30 July 1810. Some of his early appointments also included the administration of salt:

  • 1815, July 18: Assistant to the Salt Agent at Tumlook.
  • 1815, Oct 27: Officiating Superintendent of Eastern Salt Chowkies.

He became a Civil and Session Judge of Benares and agent to the Lieutenant Governor of Benares. He retired in 1841 and died in England.

Benares, A Brahmin placing a garland on the holiest spot in the sacred city. 1832 Lithograph, by the Anglo-Indian scholar and mint assay master James Prinsep. Image taken from Benares illustrated, in a series of drawings. Calcutta : printed at the Baptist Mission Press, Circular Road, 1830-1834. Image retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.
In 1832 George Mainwaring was Officiating Judge of the Provincial Court of Appeal at Benares

Salt agents in Bengal

In Bengal salt was not made by solar evaporation—the usual process—but by boiling concentrated brine, extracted from salt-rich soil by washing with seawater. Bengal salt was known as panga. The Bengal method followed a boiling process because Bengal’s extreme humidity made it difficult to crystallize brine by solar power alone and readily available fuel such as grass and paddy straw made panga production possible there. The brine was boiled for long hours in small earthenware pots at low temperatures producing fine white salt.

The interior of a boiling house in Tamluk, with two malangis (salt labourers) boiling brine with grass or paddy straw. Source: Notes on the Manufacture of Salt in the Tamluk Agency, by H.C. Hamilton, Salt Agent, Dated September 23, 1852, Appendix B, BPP, vol. 26, 1856.

At the end of the 18th century, the East India Company divided the salt-producing areas of Bengal into six agencies run under salt agents — Hijli, Tamluk, the 24-Parganas, Raimangal, Bhulua and Chittagong. In the early 19th century, to make the salt tax more profitable and reduce smuggling, the East India Company established customs checkpoints throughout Bengal and an inland customs line was built across India from 1803 to prevent smuggling of salt from coastal regions in order to avoid the substantial salt tax; it was initially made from dead thorny material.

The agents would contract with the malangis, salt labourers, and pay advances to them as well as supervise the entire process of salt production, the storage of salt in the Company’s warehouses, and its delivery to merchants. Agents were also required to be on the lookout for illegal production and smuggling. A chain of native officers at different stages in the production process enabled a salt agent to manage the entire scope of commercial activities within his region. The salt agents were responsible for producing the authorized annual quota; success or failure in production would determine the Company’s salt revenues. Salt agents were active in production. For example, salt agents advanced money to the malangis, the salt labourers, and occasionally helped the malangis procure fuels in order to prevent delay to production.

Relatives in high places

When looking at the Writers’ petitions for Thomas and George, in both cases I noticed that in presenting the nomination to Henry Strachey the petitioner was a grandson of Lady Strachey. Jane Latham’s widowed mother Jane Latham nee Kelsall (1738 – 1824), had married Henry Strachey in 1770. Henry Strachey was private secretary to Lord Clive from 1764. Jane Strachey nee Kelsall, was first cousin to Margaret, wife of Lord Clive.

From the petition by Thomas Mainwaring to join the East India Company (file viewed through FindMyPast)
From the petition by George Mainwaring to join the East India Company (file viewed through FindMyPast); Henry Strachey was a baronet from 1801 and hence his wife was now Lady Strachey.
Sir Henry Strachey. Image from the University of Michigan which holds many of his papers including correspondence with his wife Jane.

As younger sons of a younger son, Thomas and George Mainwaring did not expect to inherit the estate. A career was necessary and it seems their maternal grandmother’s second husband, Henry Strachey, helped with their introduction to the East India Company.

References

Wikitree:

Isabella Goldstein nee Hawkins 1849 – 1916

Isabella Hawkins was born on 31 December 1849 at ‘Cashmere Station’ near Portland, Victoria, to Samuel Proudfoot Hawkins (1819 – 1867) and Jeanie Hawkins nee Hutcheson (1824 – 1864), the first of their eight children. Her mother Jeanie died in 1864 when Isabella was 14. Samuel married again, to the children’s governess Mary Adamson (1843 – 1908). They had two children. Samuel died in 1867, when Isabella was 17.

On 3 June 1868 at the family property ‘Melville Forest’ near Coleraine, Isabella married Jacob Robert Yannasch Goldstein. Jacob, born in Ireland, had arrived in Victoria in 1858. At the time of their marriage he was working for the Crown Lands Office at Portland. In the same year Jacob was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Victorian Garrison Artillery, a local militia unit.

Isabella and Jacob had five children:

  • Vida Jane Mary (1869–1949)
  • Elsie Belle (1870–1953)
  • Lina (1872–1943)
  • Selwyn (1873–1917)
  • Aileen (1877–1960)

Vida was born in Portland, though her younger brothers and sisters were all born in Warrnambool, where Jacob conducted a wholesale and general store. In 1877, shortly after the birth of Aileen, the family moved to Melbourne, where Jacob was employed as a contract draughtsman.

Jacob Goldstein had been brought up a Unitarian in Ireland, but in Melbourne the family attended the Presbyterian Scots’ Church, and then followed its excommunicated pastor Charles Strong (1844-1942) to his Australian Church, which he established in 1885. Strong was keenly committed to social welfare work, and it was through Strong and his Australian Church that Isabella became involved social reform issues, notably the National Anti-Sweating League which campaigned against the poor conditions endured by many workers in so-called sweatshops and called for a minimum wage. Isabella became a confirmed suffragist, an ardent teetotaller and a zealous worker in many progressive causes.

The public career of Vida’s daughter Isabella began about 1890, when she helped Isabella collect signatures for the Women’s Suffrage Petition.

After Jacob’s death in 1910, Isabella built a house, which still stands, at 1 Como Avenue, South Yarra.

She died on 12 January 1916 in South Yarra, at the age of 66, and was buried in Kew.

Isabella Goldstein had joined the Christian Scientists in 1903 with her daughter Aileen, her daughter Vida had joined in 1902. Isabella’s grand daughter Leslie Henderson wondered if Isabella’s death in 1916 was caused by some illness which her Christian Science beliefs made her unwilling to acknowledge.

Death notice in The Argus 14 January 1916:

GOLDSTEIN.—On the 12th January, at “Wyebo,” Como avenue, South Yarra, Isabella, widow of the late Col. J. R. Y. Goldstein. (Private interment.)

Obituary in the Argus, Friday 14 January 1916, page 8:

Mrs. Isabella Goldstein, who died at her residence, Como avenue, South Yarra, on Wednesday, was the wife of the late Colonel Goldstein. Mrs. Goldstein was one of the most prominent workers in the interests of women and children in Victoria. She was one of the founders of the Queen Victoria Hospital, and, with Mrs. Bear-Crawford as co-worker, took the initiative in securing the raising of the age of protection of young girls to 16 years, and the appointment of women as factory inspectors, members of the school board committees, and the Benevolent Asylum Committee. She was closely identified with the social reform work of the Australian Church, and took part in the establishment of the first creche that opened at Collingwood, and the antisweating movement in its relation to out-door workers. Mrs. Goldstein leaves a family of five-Mrs. H. H. Champion, Mrs. C. J. Henderson, Misses Vida and Aileen Goldstein, and one son, Second-Lieutenant Selwyn Goldstein, R.E., who is at the front.

Obituary in the Melbourne Herald 18 January 1916 and reprinted in the Weekly Times 22 January 1916:

CAREER CLOSES

SOCIAL SERVICE SOLDIER

Although the name of the late Mrs Isabella Goldstein had not been identified of recent years with social welfare movements, she retained a keen interest in all matters of social reform and progress until her death, which occurred at her home in South Yarra last week.

She was among the little band of pioneers that made the way easier for other women social welfare workers. She fought in the days when progressive women’s views were not received with the kindly consideration awaiting them today. In the early days of the feminist movement in Australia, reformative ideas considered common-place nowadays were viewed with much concern, and frequently pioneer leaders brought ridicule and abuse upon themselves for dabbling in public affairs.

These early battles against public opinion in which Mrs Goldstein figured have given encouragement to others, and stimulated the desire to go forward.

Mrs. Goldstein was associated with the notable women leaders who contended for parliamentary suffrage. In all social and industrial questions she took a keen interest, and was in the van of the social service workers who fought the sweating evil many years ago.

Later she became interested in the unemployed problem, and in one particular period of distress spent all her time in the poorer quarters of the city investigating urgent cases and securing assistance.

With Dr. Charles Strong and Mrs. Strong she was associated in various points of social service, and was one of the founders of Queen Victoria Hospital for women and children, which is staffed entirely by women doctors.

Mrs. Goldstein’s views on social and political questions coincided with those of her daughter, Miss Vida Goldstein, to whom she was devoted. She had the mental outlook of young, vigorous womanhood, being up-to-date in all her ideas and suggestions. She might have been described truthfully as an aged young woman

From the obituary of Isabella Goldstein the Melbourne Herald

Wikitree: Isabella (Hawkins) Goldstein (1849 – 1916); Isabella was one of my second great grand-aunts.

Portmore Lodge, Cheltenham

Yesterday when I wrote about the 1921 census record for my great great uncle J G (Gordon) Cavenagh-Mainwaring, I remarked that I could find no trace of Poolmore Lodge, the Cheltenham house of my great great uncle J.G. Cavenagh-Mainwaring.

Today, however, in digitised newspapers available through Findmypast, I discovered what I think is the explanation. ‘Portmore’ was mistranscribed as ‘Poolmore’ on the 1921 census record.

The Gloucestershire Echo of 2 October 1920, for example, lists Mrs Cavenagh-Mainwaring of Portmore Lodge as a member of the Local Save the Children Famine Fund Committee. 

Returning to the image on the cover of the 1921 census return for the Cavenagh-Mainwaring family it was clear that the address can indeed be read as Poolmore Lodge. The handwriting is poor; it would have been easy to make the mistake.

Front of 1921 census return by J G Cavenagh-Mainwaring (retrieved from FindMyPast: Archive series RG 15 Piece number 12175 Schedule number 117 Schedule type code E Schedule type England household, single page, 10 entries District reference RD 333 RS 2 ED 38)

There is still  a Portmore Lodge, now divided into flats, on St Georges Road Cheltenham. A two-bedroom apartment on the top floor was sold in the last few years. I found an advertisement for it at
<https://charleslear.co.uk/property/st-georges-road-cheltenham/> through a Google search. 

Portmore Lodge is at 97 St George’s Road. The advertisement says it was built in about 1830 and was the residence of the first Mayor of Cheltenham. It was converted into a small number of self-contained apartments in 2003. The real estate describes it as:

Standing on the crest of the hill on St. George’s road alongside a row of similar detached villas, Portmore is within 5 minutes’ walk of the vibrant Montpellier district which offers a range of bespoke boutiques, restaurants, hotels and bars. Cheltenham’s Promenade is also within a short stroll as is Waitrose. There are a range of excellent schools in close proximity including Airthrie, Cheltenham Ladies’ College and Dean Close whilst Cheltenham Spa Railway Station is within walking distance just 1 mile away and the M5 motorway junction is only 2 miles distant.

https://charleslear.co.uk/property/st-georges-road-cheltenham/

(Waitrose and the motorway obviously postdate the 1921 residential experience of the Cavenagh-Mainwaring family.)

In Whitmore Hall From 1066 to Waltzing Matilda Christine Cavenagh-Mainwaring (wife of the grandson of JG C-M) wrote that the  J.G. Cavenagh-Mainwaring family moved to Cheltenham in 1917 in order to be nearer to schools for the children. The oldest son Rafe went to Cheltenham College; the two girls, Joan and Mary, went to Cheltenham Ladies’ College; and the second son Maurice went to Dartmouth Naval College (250 km away in Devon!). Cheltenham College was a mile and the Ladies’ College only a third of a mile from the house.

Gordon Cavenagh-Mainwaring from Whitmore Hall: from 1066 to Waltzing Matilda

The Cavenagh-Mainwaring family lived in Cheltenham from about 1918 to December 1928 when they moved to Whitmore Hall, a story for another post.

I am pleased to have found the Cheltenham house. The England & Wales census transcripts can be amended, so I have decided to submit corrections to the transcript. The poor Poms have had a dreadful time at the cricket lately; I will be glad to do my little bit to lift their morale.

Sources:

  • 1921 census return by J G Cavenagh-Mainwaring (retrieved from FindMyPast: Archive series RG 15 Piece number 12175 Schedule number 117 Schedule type code E Schedule type England household, single page, 10 entries District reference RD 333 RS 2 ED 38)
  • Cavenagh-Mainwaring, Christine and Britton, Heather, (editor.) Whitmore Hall : from 1066 to Waltzing Matilda. Adelaide Peacock Publications, 2013. Page 129.
  • Advertisement for Flat 5 Portmore Lodge https://charleslear.co.uk/property/st-georges-road-cheltenham/

Related post: 1921 census return for JG Cavenagh-Mainwaring and family

Wikitree:

1921 census return for JG Cavenagh-Mainwaring and family

Today Findmypast published indexes and digitised images of the 1921  Census of England & Wales.

The census was taken on 19 June 1921. Thirty-eight million people in eight and a half million households were surveyed. Household by household the census recorded the number of rooms, the occupants’ age, birthplace, occupation and usual residence, their place of work, and their employer. For the first time the census gave ‘divorced’ as an option for marital status.

To try it out I searched the Findmypast 1921 census records for my great  great uncle, James Gordon Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1865-1938), whom I knew  was living in England at the time.

Screenshot of search results from FindMyPast

Only six people were recorded with that surname, all of them in the same household: Gordon, his wife and their four children. The return for their household has these six family members and two young servants. Their house had 14 rooms.

Image of 1921 census return for James Gordon Cavenagh Mainwaring retrieved from FindMyPast: Archive series RG 15 Piece number 12175 Schedule number 117 Schedule type code E Schedule type 
England household, single page, 10 entries District reference RD 333 RS 2 ED 38

The address is not given, so I downloaded a copy of the original transcript. It was recorded as Poolmore Lodge, St Georges Road, Cheltenham. The transcript came with a useful historical map.

Historical map provided with the 1921 census result for JG Cavenagh-Mainwaring

The transcript did contain some minor errors, for example St Georges Road had been mis transcribed in one instance as “Nr Gloyes Road”, and the person making the return was “Major Maireveaing”.

Linked to the main image of the return were extra materials which were related images:

  • the front of the return which had the address and the name of the person making the return
  • the cover of the book containing the return
  • census collector pages
    • a map of the district (in this instance noted as wanting at the time the records were transferred to the Public Record Office in 1977)
    • notes describing the district – the boundary and streets within the district

A search on Google  gives no results for Poolmore Lodge, but Google streetview shows that though some houses in the area appear to date from 1921 there has also  been some redevelopment: the Cavenagh-Mainwaring house probably no longer exists. (Update Have found Portmore Lodge was mis transcribed – see later post Portmore Lodge, Cheltenham. Coincidentally the house appears in the Google street view I screenshotted – it is the darker house one house in from the right.)

Google Streetview of St Georges Road, Cheltenham.

To recover the costs of digitisation and indexing, Findmypast charges  for retrieving records. It cost me AU$5.94 to view the image and another AU$4.32 for the transcript.

Looking at the English census household return gave me a good sense of James Gordon Cavenagh-Mainwaring’s family at that time. Unfortunately this sort of information is not available in Australia, where individual census returns are destroyed. By 1921 most of my family lived in Australia, but so far as census records are concerned I now know a little more about my English uncle.

Wikitree:

1798 marriage of John Gilbart and Elizabeth Huthnance

On Tuesday 3 January 1798 my husband Greg’s 4th great grandparents John Gilbart, 38 years old, and Elizabeth Huthnance considerably younger at 23, were married by licence at Gwinear, near Hayle in south-west Cornwall. Elizabeth was from Gwinear; John was from the village of St Erth, a few miles southwest. Neither had been married previously . Both were able to sign their name. The witnesses to the union were Henry Huthnance, who was probably Elizabeth’s brother, and a man called William Ninnis. The vicar was Malachy Hitchins, a notable amateur astonomer.

“England Marriages, 1538–1973 “, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NJ9Z-FMN : 13 March 2020), John Gilbart, 1798. Image of register at https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G924-P23Z?i=61

John was an employee of the Cornish Copper Company (CCC), who had been promoted from a position in the firm at Copperhouse near Hayle to manage the Rolling Mills at St Erth. The St Erth battery mill, constructed in 1782, used water-powered machinery to roll copper into sheets, much of it used to sheath the hulls of naval vessels.

For most of the nineteenth century the Gilbarts were prominent St Erth Methodists. John Gilbart was a member of the first Copperhouse Methodist Society and the founder, in 1783, of the St Erth Methodist Class. At the time of John and Elizabeth’s marriage, English law recognised only marriages conducted under the auspices of the Church of England, by Quakers, or under Jewish law. This is probably why the marriage was performed in the Church of England and not the Methodist Chapel. Methodism began as a reform sect within the Church of England.

John Gilbart is remembered in the St Erth Methodist Church

John Gilbart died in 1837. Four years later, Elizabeth Gilbart, 65, of ‘independent means’, was recorded in the 1841 census as living in Battery Mill, St Erth. In the same household were six, all unmarried, of her 13 children, and one grand-daughter who, perhaps, was there visiting her grandmother. The household also included a 15 year old female servant.

The house built by John Gilbart in St Erth where Elizabeth was living in 1841

Elizabeth Gilbart died on 1 July 1847. Her death was noted in the Royal Cornwall Gazette of 9 July 1847. A similar notice appeared in the West Briton newspaper of 16 July 1847:

At St. Erth, on Thursday, Elizabeth, the relict of Capt. John Gilbert, of St. Erth Battery Mills, aged 73 years.

(John’s title of captain is one that is used in the mini industry and has no military or naval significance.)

Elizabeth left a will, proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 18 December 1847. Her bequests included annuities to be provided for various children, specific books, and furniture.

The grave of John and Elizabeth Gilbart in the churchyard at St Erth

Related posts:

Wikitree:

Isabella Crowe

Some years ago, one of my Cudmore cousins told me about a legal provision that had been made for two illegitimate children of our forbear James Frances Cudmore (1837 – 1912).

On 24 August 1912, a week after J.F. Cudmore’s death, a woman named Isabella Crowe of Nailsworth South Australia signed an indenture—a legally binding contract—in which she and her one male child and one female child, “alleged to have been fathered” by him, with their present and future descendants, agreed to make no claims on his estate in return for 300 shares in the Federal Coke Company Ltd. (In September 1912 shares in Federal Coke were being sold for 32/6; 300 shares on that basis would be worth about $61,000 today.)

The original of this indenture is held in the Mortlock Library, a wing of the State Library of South Australia. The signature of Isabella Crowe was witnessed by J.K. Cudmore (J.F. Cudmore’s eldest son). He also witnessed Isabella’s signature on a receipt for the shares, which appears on the same document, with the same date. The name “Isabella Crowe” appears several times in the document, always in the same handwriting, which is different from the handwriting on the rest of the document.

My cousin believes that the indenture was drafted in secret while J.F. Cudmore was still alive. J.K. Cudmore, it appears, had instructions to put it into effect when his father died.

Who was Isabella Crowe? I am not sure. I have found the birth of an Isabella Crowe in 1871 in Robe, South Australia, the third of six children of Henry Crowe and his first wife Harriet nee Barnes. Harriet died in 1878. Henry remarried and died in 1904. His second wife died 1897 leaving two children. In November 1891 a Isabella Crowe, aged 21, a servant, religion Wesleyan, living in Norwood, was admitted to the Adelaide Hospital.

I have found no other mention of Isabella, and no marriage or death records. (I had previously identified two children, Constance and Herbert Crowe born 1895 and 1896, as possibly the children of Isabella. The details in the Register of infants born in the Destitute Asylum for these two children indicate they are not the children of Isabella Crowe and J. F. Cudmore.)

Sources

Wikitree

Major William Duff 1754 – 1795

One of my fifth great grandfathers was William Duff (1754–1795), the second natural son of James Duff, later Earl Fife of Banffshire (1729–1809).

William Duff was baptised on 16 March 1754 at Fordyce. His mother, Margaret Adam of Keith, was the personal maid of the Countess Fife, the mother of James Duff, that is, the mother of William’s father.

James Duff acknowledged William and his brother James and sister Jean as his children and all three received a good education at his expense. Care of the children was entrusted to William Rose, the factor (agent) of Lord Fife . The correspondence on this matter between William Rose, Lord Fife, and the three Duff children is extant, some being published in the 1925 book Lord Fife and his Factor.

William Duff was educated at the Royal Military Academy Woolwich in southeast London, a training college for commissioned officers of the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers. There is a letter from William in 1770 when he was about 16 years old describing his course of studies:

Rise at 6 and go for a walk. Breakfast 7.30. Study from 8 to12. After dinner, military exercises. 3 to 6 study.

The book of the Duffs Volume 2 page 516

The Old Royal Military Academy, in use 1741–1806. The cadets were taught in the left-hand half of the building, the right providing a Board Room for the Ordnance Board. Image by George Rex – Image from Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/rogersg/5198302406/, CC BY-SA 2.0

On 11 December 11 1770, William obtained a commission as Lieutenant in the 7th Royal Fusiliers, and in September 1771 he wrote from Chatham Barracks to his father at Duff House :

Since I wrote your Lordship last I have been detailed, with twenty men, for a week, to Upnor Castle, a place about four miles from here. This is a duty we take by turns. All this marching about of late has been very expensive to me, and within these two months (during which time I have never been settled in one place) it has cost me upwards of eighteen pounds. Our regiment, I believe, will remain as it is for the winter, but it is generally thought we shall march some other way before February next. My brother sets off for Scotland, with the first ship. I wanted to get to London, for a day or so, to see him before he went, but I really could not get leave. We are now so thin, that I have the Sash every other day almost. I understand your Lordship is killing the Deer just now, and I dare say you will have good diversion. I have just got another step in the Regt., so that there is now five under me.

The book of the Duffs. Volume 2 page 517

Eighteen pounds in 1771 is probably equivalent to more than 30,000 pounds today. The website MeasuringWorth states to compare the value of a £18 0s 0d Commodity in 1771 there are four choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real price of that commodity is £2,413.00
  • labour value of that commodity is £32,180.00
  • income value of that commodity is £35,310.00
  • economic share of that commodity is £273,500.00

On 15 April 1773, William Duff embarked with his regiment for Canada, the journey taking 11 weeks. He was still in Canada in 1775, when the American War of Independence broke out. He wrote to his brother, Sir James Duff of Kinstair, on 21 May 1775 from Quebec. The 7th Royal Fusiliers were stationed with the 26th Foot in Lower Canada; the two regiments were loosely scattered among frontier posts, and both were at very low strength, together mustering only seven hundred men.

At the time of the American invasion of Canada in 1775, most of the regiment was forced to surrender. The 80 man garrison of Fort Chambly, Quebec, attempted to resist a 400-man Rebel force but ultimately had to surrender in October 1775 and the regiment lost its first set of colours.

The King’s Color of the British Seventh Regiment of Foot. It was captured by American forces at Fort Chambly, Canada, in October of 1775. As the first flag captured by the new American Army it was sent to Congress as a trophy. and is now in the West Point Museum. (Photo from West Point Museum Facebook page).

William Duff was taken prisoner by the Americans, probably at Fort Chambly in October 1775. Though it was hoped he might be returned in an exchange of prisoners, he was not released until early 1777.

In February 1777 he wrote to his father from Staten Island about the purchase of a company in the Regiment. William foreshadowed the expense stating “There is not a Company that has sold for less than Seventeen hundred pounds.” He asked his father to confirm that his father would purchase it for him and requesting security.

Seventeen hundred pounds in 1777 was probably equivalent to three million pounds today . From the website MeasuringWorth:

  • real price of that commodity is £224,600.00
  • labour value of that commodity is £2,858,000.00
  • income value of that commodity is £3,110,000.00
  • economic share of that commodity is £22,870,000.00

William left the 7th Regiment and was promoted to captain in the 26th Foot on 9 April 1777.

On 4 January 1786, William Duff now Captain of the 26th Regiment of Foot was promoted to Major; at the time he and the regiment were serving in Ireland.

On 9 April 1787 at Redmarshall, Durham, Major Duff of the 26th Regiment married Miss Skelly, of Yarm, daughter of the late Gordon Skelly Esq., Captain in the Navy. The book of the Duffs describes Dorothy as niece of Lord Adam Gordon, and the third Duke of Gordon; her grandmother Lady Betty Skelly (1717 – 1769) was sister to Cosmo, 3rd Duke of Gordon (1720 – 1752. Dorothy’s great uncle, Lord Adam Gordon (1726-1801) was colonel of the 26th Regiment of Foot from 1775 – 1782.

In May 1787 William wrote to William Rose from Cork :

We expect to sail to-morrow for Quebec. After various delays we reached this place a fortnight since. I am, as you often told me I should be, happier than ever in possession of a real, confidential friend. Everyone likes her. Were we richer it would be better.

The book of the Duffs. Volume 2 page 522

The headquarters of the regiment in July 1787 at Quebec was under the command of Major William Duff. The regiment moved to Montreal in 1789, and then to the frontier posts along the Niagara River in 1790. It moved to St. John in 1792.

William took his wife Dorothy to Canada. They had one daughter, Sophia Henrietta, born about 1790. It seems likely she was born in Canada.

William Duff retired from the army in March 1793.

William Duff, major in the 26th foot, died on 5 July 1795 at Fulford near York. He has a memorial in the Duff House Mausoleum at Banff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The inscription reads:

Sacred to the memory of William Duff of the 26th Regiment, a meritorious officer, a most sincere friend, an affectionate husband, an indulgent parent. He lived esteemed and respected. He died regretted and lamented in the 41st year of his age in the year of the Lord 1795.

“The Annals of Banff.” New Spalding Club, 1893, Issue 10, page 369.
Duff House Mausoleum retrieved from geograph.org.uk/p/5701382

William’s daughter Sophia was about five years old when her father died. Sophia and her mother stayed in contact with William’s family.

Sources

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Preserving family history

Family history is an engrossing hobby, a fascinating challenge to trace relationships, and an opportunity to discover how a family has experienced historical events.

I am fortunate that quite a few of my forebears and their relatives were also interested in family history, sufficiently interested to write it down. Several of them published books, for example:

  • Philip Chauncy, my 3rd great grandfather, wrote about his sister and wife in his “Memoirs of Mrs Poole and Mrs Chauncy” 1873 republished in 1976
  • J G Cavenagh-Mainwaring, brother of my great grandmother Kathleen Cudmore, formerly Cavenagh-Mainwaring nee Cavenagh, in 1935 published “Mainwarings of Whitmore and Biddulph in the County of Stafford : an account of the family, and its connections by marriage and descent; with special reference to the manor of Whitmore”. His book has now been digitised and is available at archive.org https://archive.org/details/mainwaringsofwhi00main/page/n5/mode/2up
  • In 1985 Helen Hudson nee Hughes, first cousin of my paternal grandfather, published “Cherry stones : adventures in genealogy of Taylor, Hutcheson, Hawkins of Scotland, Plaisted, Green, Hughes of England and Wales … who immigrated to Australia between 1822 and 1850”.
  • James Kenneth Cudmore (1926 – 2013), my second cousin once removed, of Quirindi New South Wales, commissioned Elsie Ritchie to compile a family history of the Cudmore family in Australia: “For the love of the land: the history of the Cudmore family”. This was published in 2000.
  • In 2017 my father published Champions from Normandy: an essay on the early history of the Champion de Crespigny family from 1350 to 1800”. It was a revision and rewriting of his 1988 work “Champions in Normandy; being some remarks on the early history of the Champion de Crespigny family”.
Some of the family history books written by my relatives

I have been able to confirm the family history in these books through access to records such as birth, marriage and death certificates, baptism and burial records, censuses, wills, military records, and other primary records.

I organise my family history in a family tree database, with the most complete database at Ancestry.com. I can attach documents to it, both of records held by Ancestry and also those I upload. My Ancestry tree is a “public” tree, that is, anyone with a subscription to Ancestry.com can view it and the records I have attached. Currently my tree at ancestry.com has 11,533 people with 18,823 records, 2,480 photographs and images, and 357 stories.

I back up that tree to my own computer using Family Tree Maker, which includes software that synchronises Family Tree Maker with Ancestry.com. I also have a copy of the tree at MyHeritage and at FindMyPast.

I also upload my genealogy to WikiTree, a collaborative project intended to produce a ‘singular worldwide family tree’. I hope the research that I have contributed to WikiTree it will be there as a resource for my cousins to use now and in the future, safe, I hope, from accidental and malicious damage. There are several single worldwide trees, including FamilySearch and Geni. In my experience I have found Wikitree the most accurate and carefully compiled. As I add each person I cite sources to show how I know the facts and relationships. Adding my family tree slowly to Wikitree is an excellent way to review my family history research.

This online research journal is archived by the PANDORA archive, established initially by the National Library of Australia in 1996. Its stated mission was: Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia (hence the acronym PANDORA). The National Library states it is committed to ensuring long-term access to all its digital collections, including the PANDORA Archive.

However, I am a great believer in the durable qualities of paper, and I regularly print copies of this blog using an instant print service called Blog2Print (https://www.blog2print.com). I find it easier to read the paper version. So far there are five volumes. My father has a copy.

Many years ago my daughter asked me to compile a family history photo book. I included a family tree up to her great grandparents, including her aunts, uncles and cousins. Photos were briefly captioned.

More recently I used the company MyCanvas to generate a book about the family of my husband Greg. It wasn’t just a matter of pressing a button. I added many photos and also relevant entries from this online research journal to compile the family history, which I later shared with Greg’s brother and sister and their families. The MyCanvas system of compiling books has since changed. It no longer uses Adobe Flash.

Late last year my father and I published a biography and family history of Charlotte Frances nee Dana (1820-1904), my third great grandmother. She emigrated to Australia at the time of the gold rushes with her second husband Philip Robert Champion Crespigny (1817-1889). We wrote about her forebears, her father’s bankruptcy, her first marriage and scandalous divorce, living in the relatively new colony of Victoria amidst the goldrushes, and her grandchildren who lived into the twentieth century.

Publishing a family history is a good way to preserve the research but it is certainly challenging. There are so many facts to be compiled and checked. This online journal is an efficient way to share my research with those of my cousins who are interested in our family history. I have been writing for nearly ten years and have published 584 posts, a considerable body of research.

Amy Johnson Crow, an American genealogist, recently wrote about How to Preserve Your Genealogy Research (https://www.amyjohnsoncrow.com/preserve-genealogy-research). She made the following points:

  1. Organize Your Genealogy
  2. Write and Record Your Family History
  3. Pass It Around
  4. Find the Next Generation
  5. Donate Your Genealogy — with Preparation

The best organising tool I have is to attach documents and photographs to my online family tree database. If I am looking for a document there is a good chance that I will find it there.

My online research journal has been a terrific tool to write and record my family history.

I recently learned that the extensive genealogical research of one of my cousins had been substantially destroyed. After he died, his wife, suffering from dementia of some type, would go through the “papers, time after time, weeding out the bits she thought irrelevant and re-arranging them all. So they are now a lot less substantial and a lot less organised.” Fortunately his conclusions were incorporated into the published research of another cousin but the original sources were unfortunately not noted.

As for passing on the research to the next generation, I talk to my children about our family history but I feel publishing it and sharing it more widely on the web will help to make sure our family history is passed on.

The papers of several of my forebears have been archived:

  • The deeds and documents J G (Gordon) Cavenagh-Mainwaring used to compile his Mainwaring and Whitmore family history were deposited in the Staffordshire archives. One relative who could not find them thought my great aunt Rosemary had destroyed them as she took over Gordon’s study as her sitting room after his death and perhaps consigned Gordon’s papers to the boiler room. Fortunately the important papers in fact survived:
    • Description: Staffs (Whitmore, Biddulph, etc) deeds, family and estate papers Date: 13th cent-20th cent Reference: D 1743
    • Held by: Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/a/A13529956: Staffordshire County Record Office NRA catalogue reference: NRA 25297 Cavenagh-Mainwaring https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/N13803132
    • Staffordshire archives catalogue link: http://www.archives.staffordshire.gov.uk/CalmView/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=K101
    • Description
      • D(W)1743 includes early deeds from c.1275, manorial court records, family settlements, leases, personal papers including appointments to public office and military or naval commissions, legal documents, estate papers including surveys, field books, survey of coal mine, maps (Whitmore, Acton in Swynnerton, Biddulph), rentals, and some later estate administration papers.
      • D5376: Papers of the Mainwaring Family of Whitmore, particularly of Edward Mainwaring (the eighth Edward of a consecutive line). The collection consists of inventories of goods on the death of several family members (1604-1694), land tax assessments for Clayton and Seabridge and Swynnerton (1735), several wills (1756-1770), legal correspondence (1616-1825) and leases particularly in relation to lands in Lancashire (1744-1768).
      • Extent D(W)1743 is 9 box equivalents and 7 maps D5376 is 2.5 boxes, 2 vols

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Tree progress September 2021

In May 2018 I wrote about the progress I was making on my family tree. The previous ten generations of my forebears have a maximum total of 1,023 people. How many of these, I wondered, could I name.

I found that I knew the names of only 319 of these (31%) Today, three and a half years later, I can name 358 (35%), only 39 more.

Ten generations takes your to your 7th great grandparents. Most of my children’s 7th great grandparents were born in the 1700s (where I know their date of birth). I know the names of 86 of the 512 forebears of this generation. I don’t know very much more than the names of 62.

For the last year I have been transferring my research to WikiTree, a collaborative project intended to produce a ‘singular worldwide family tree’.  (The genealogist Kitty Cooper discusses the scheme in a post of 26 April 2019). By contributing my research to WikiTree it will be there as a resource for my cousins to use now and indefinitely into the future, safe, I hope, from accidental and malicious damage.

There are discrepancies between my personal research tree and WikiTree. For one thing, I have names of forebears on my personal tree about whom I know nothing more than their name. These people cannot be added to WikiTree until I have more information about them. When I add a person to Wikitree, I provide source citations: I state how I know the facts being added and how I know about the relationship of the newly-added profile to the existing people on the tree. Adding my family tree slowly to Wikitree is an excellent way to review my family history research.

When looking at the 1,023 individuals of the previous ten generations of our forebears, I have only 258 recorded on WikiTree, 25% of the possible maximum.

A useful challenge that categorises ancestral profiles was posed earlier this year by the Dutch genealogist Yvette Hoitink. She suggests there are six levels of profile beyond ‘Unidentified’ (where not even the name is known):

  1. Name only – perhaps the forebear is named in a child’s record but no other details are known
  2. Vital statistics – know the dates but little else
  3. Occupations, residence, children, spouses – know several key points of information; know when and where they were born, married, and died, but also where they lived between those key dates and what they did for a living; know who their children were, and if they married multiple times.
  4. Property ownership, military service, religion, criminal activity – filled in more biographical details about their lives; researched in court, notarial, cadastral, church and military records, where applicable; if they owned property, how they acquired it, how they disposed of it; whether they left a last will or if they had a prenuptial agreement; for men, whether they served in the army; what religion they were and which church they attended; if they were criminals, what they did and what their sentence was.
  5. Genealogical Proof Standard – Yvette categorises this as ancestors for whom she has finished reasonably exhaustive research and has proven who their parents are; finished researching them in a wide range of records, such as newspapers, town records, and tax records; documented them according to current genealogical standards, analyzed everything properly, resolved conflicts, written up her conclusion, and met the Genealogical Proof Standard.
  6. Biography – Yvette categorises this as ancestors for whom she has not only finished the research, but has produced a biography or family story with historical context from it.

I have started a preliminary review of our tree against these criteria. I have been reasonably conservative in assigning levels: for example, I have written more biographies or family stories with historical context in this online research journal than are shown in this chart.

Surname groups from left to right: Young, Cross, Sullivan, Dawson, Champion de Crespigny, Cudmore, Boltz, Manock.
Forebears where I only know the names (level 1 shown in blue) are not yet recorded on Wikitree, I need more information to record them there.
The chart was generated with DNAPainter.

The chart was generated using DNAPainter and the dimensions facility on the ancestral tree tool. DNA Painter Dimensions are custom categories giving the ability to create and share different views of your direct line. One of the dimensions you can apply to your tree is what stage you have reached for each forebear in the six levels of ancestral profiles of Yvette Hoitink’s level-up challenge. I learned about the addition of this new DNA Painter ‘dimensions’ feature in April. I have been meaning to apply it.

Applying the dimensions to each of the profiles was laborious. I sped it up slightly by applying level 1 (only know names) to all profiles on the tree. I then individually edited each of the other profiles with what I felt to be a fair assessment of the state of my research.

When I finished adding the categories I was able to generate a summary of genealogy facts. For example for the tenth generation (the outermost ring on the fan chart) I could produce the following summary:

7th-Great-Grandparents 86 of 512 identified

Surnames: Way, Bishop, Colling, Way, Bishop, Moggeridge, Morley, Read, Hemsley, Jenner, Whalley, Hague, Gilbert, Trevithick, Huthnance, Ralph, Champion de Crespigny, Fonnereau, Scott, Gough, Trent, Phipps, Phipps, Tierney, Dana, Trowbridge, Kinnaird, Johnstone, Bayly, Holmes, Grueber, Smyth, Snell, Chauncy, Brown, Cosnahan, La Mothe, Perez, Corrin, Quay, Mitchell, Hughes, Price, Plaisted, Sier, Wilks, Wilkinson, Green, Neilson, Taylor, Miller, Cudmore, Apjohn, Furnell, Massy, Gunn, Manson, Harper, Cavanagh, Lane, Orfeur, Kirkby, Palliser, Wogan, Coates, Odiarne, Haffenden, Mainwaring, Bunbury, Latham, Kelsall, Duff, Skelly, Harrison

Research Level

  • Level 1: Names only  62 12.11%
  • Level 3: Occupations, residence, children, spouses  11 2.15%
  • Level 4: Property ownership, military service, rel  10 1.95%
  • Level 2: Vital statistics  2 0.39%
  • Level 6: Biography  1 0.2%
  • Unassigned  426 83.2%

I look forward to more research and exploring and recording my family history beyond collecting the names.

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John and Jane Edwards of St Erth

Who were the parents of Thomas Edwards 1794 – 1871?

Thomas Edwards was one of the 3rd great grandfathers of my husband Greg. He died suddenly, of “congestion of the brain”, on 7 January 1871 at Bungaree, near Ballarat, Victoria. An inquest was held two days later. The coroner, who seems to have been advised by a member of the family,  was the informant on Thomas’s death certificate.

1871 death registration for Thomas Edwards (marked with red star)

Thomas Edwards, born about 1794, was 77 years old when he died. He had been a wheelwright. His parents are recorded on his death certificate as John Edwards and Jane Edwards nee Gilbert. Thomas’s father was a labourer. Thomas had been born in Cornwall and had spent 22 years in Victoria. He had married Mary Gilbart at the age of 33, in about 1827. Eight children – 6 boys and 2 girls – are noted, but their names and ages are not given.

There is only one baptism for a Thomas Edwards about 1794 in south-west Cornwall: Thomas, son of John and Jane Edwards, was baptised on 6 July 1794 at Towednack, a village 5 miles north-west of St Erth.

Thomas Edwards married Mary Gilbart on 14 March 1826 in the parish church of St Erth. If he was 77 when he died in 1871, he was about 32 in 1826 when he married Mary Gilbart. The witnesses to the marriage were John Gilbart and Sarah Gilbart, both of them probably relatives of the bride.

On the 1841 census Thomas and Mary Edwards were living in Bridge Terrace, St Erth. Thomas, a carpenter, was 45 (born about 1796 but on the 1841 census ages of adults were rounded to the nearest 5 years). The household members were Thomas, his wife, and five children; one child was away from home staying close by in Battery Mill, St Erth, with her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Gilbart nee Huthnance.

After the 1841 census Thomas and Mary had a further three children. Altogether they had nine children, but one died as an infant in St Erth. 

In 1849 Thomas and Mary Edwards and their children emigrated to Victoria on the ‘Lysander’. The passenger list gives Thomas’s age as 53.  His occupation was recorded as wheelwright.

The dates on Thomas Edwards’s death certificate are consistent with those on the Lysander passenger manifest and the marriage record. 

Marriage of John and Jane Edwards, parents of Thomas

I am unable to find a marriage for a John Edwards and a Jane Gilbert or Gilbart. Some online trees have John Edwards as the husband of Jane Harvey, with their marriage on 21 June 1788 at Breage. On that marriage John is from Breage and a tinner by rank or profession, Jane Harvey is from Germoe. The witnesses were Thomas Edwards and Thomas Johns. Germoe is less than three miles west of Breage. I think this is the likely marriage of Thomas’s parents and that Thomas’s death certificate incorrectly gives his mother’s maiden name.

Siblings of Thomas Edwards

As stated above Thomas, child of John and Jane Edwards was baptised 6 July 1794 at Towednack, Cornwall. Between 1788 and 1820 there were only two other children baptised at Towednack to parents named John and Jane Edwards:

  • William baptised on 7 August 1796
  • Honour baptised on 21 October 1798

It seems unlikely that the John and Jane Edwards who were married in 1788 had only three children and that the first, Thomas, was born six years after marriage. I looked for other baptisms in south-west Cornwall for parents John and Jane Edwards in the period 1788 – 1820.

The neighbouring parish of Lelant also records baptisms of children with parents John and Jane Edwards. However, because some of these are in 1794, 1797, and 1798, thus overlapping with the children born to the Towednack family, it appears that the Lelant baptisms are for a separate family. 

On 26 December 1805 there is a baptism of a Sarah Edwards to John and Jane Edwards at Breage, 7 miles south-east of St Erth and 12 miles south-east of Towednack. It is also the marriage place of John Edwards and Jane Harvey.

There is a baptism of Charlotte Edwards on 4 May 1810 at Gulval. Gulval is just under five miles south of Towednack and just under 6 miles south-west of St Erth.

Some online family trees suggest a James Edwards born about 1805 is also the child of John and Jane Edwards, however I have not located a baptism for him with a mother named Jane in the indexes of the Cornwall Parish Records (Online Parish Clerk OPC) database. I have found a baptism for James in Germoe on 4 March 1804 with father John and mother Jenifred; Jenifred is possibly a variation of Jane. There was also an Anne Edwards, daughter of John and Jenifred baptised at Germoe on 2 May 1802.

I am puzzled though that there were apparently no children born to that marriage before 1794. However, the list of all Cornish baptisms on the OPC database to parents John and Jane Edwards has no other likely candidates for these baptisms in the period 1788 – 1794.

But there is a John Edwards baptised in Gulval on 23 November 1788. His mother’s name is not given. On 28 November 1790 there is a baptism at Madron, a village two miles west of Gulval, for Francis Edwards son of John, also without the mother’s name. On 24 June 1792 Jane Edwards, daughter of John, was baptised at Madron, again without the mother’s name. On 9 May 1806 Elizabeth, daughter of John (no mother named) was baptised at Penzance. She appears on the Madron register. I think it very likely that these four children are siblings of Thomas. 

Map of south-west Cornwall showing St Erth, Towednack, Breage, Germoe, Gulval, and Madron

To summarise, the possible family of John Edwards and Jane:

Birth yearNameBaptism dateBaptism placeParents
1788John23 November 1788GulvalJohn
1790Francis28 November 1790MadronJohn
1792Jane24 June 1792MadronJohn
1794Thomas6 July 1794TowednackJohn and Jane
1796William7 August 1796TowednackJohn and Jane
1798Honour21 October 1798TowednackJohn and Jane
1802Anne2 May 1802GermoeJohn and Jenifred
1804James4 March 1804GermoeJohn and Jenifred
1805Sarah26 December 1805BreageJohn and Jane
1810Charlotte4 March 1810GulvalJohn and Jane

Two of Thomas’s siblings, James and Charlotte, emigrated to Victoria, arriving in Portland on the Oithona in 1855 with their spouses and some of their children. Unfortunately, the death certificates for James and Charlotte give no details of their mother.

John, Francis, Jane, William, Honour, and Anne Edwards died in Cornwall. English death certificates do not record information about the deceased person’s parents and so will not help to confirm details of John and Jane Edwards.

I am yet to trace whether Sarah Edwards married or emigrated, and when she died.

Deaths of John and Jane Edwards

In May 1817 there was a mining accident at St Ives which killed John Edwards and injured one of his sons. The Royal Cornwall Gazette of 31 May 1817 reported:

A few days ago, John Edwards, of the parish of St. Erth, was killed, and his son for the present deprived of his eyesight by the untimely explosion of a hole in a mine near St. Ives. A person who called at the house of the survivor, was informed at the accident was occasioned by the use of an iron tamper, the powder and quills and a little rubbish had been put into the hole, but it had not been wet swabbed. It is to be hoped that this distressing event will deter all others from the use of such dangerous implements, and induce them to adopt such means of safety as [article ceases]

John Edwards was buried 24 May 1817 at Gulval. His residence was St Erth and he was 54 years old [so born about 1763].

On the 1841 census a Jane Edwards age 75 was living in St Erth in the household of William and Charlotte Thomas; Charlotte was Jane’s daughter. On 10 May 1842 Jane Edwards, age 76, was buried at St Erth.

Conclusion

The 1871 death certificate of Thomas Edwards seems reliable, though his mother’s maiden name appears wrong, possibly confused with his wife’s maiden name. His mother was probably  Jane Harvey who married Thomas’s father John Edwards in 1788. John and Jane Edwards lived in the area of Gulval, Towednack, and Germoe in south-west Cornwall. They had ten children .

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