Charles Kelynack Jacka and Alice Bartle Horswell, the carpenter’s family who headed to Australia

Charles was the sixth of eight children of fisherman Peter Jacco and Catherine Noall Kelynack but unlike his brothers he chose to work as a carpenter rather than on the sea.  He married Alice Bartle Horswell, a mariner’s daughter who was born in Padstow but who was living in Penzance.

Alice’s mother was a farmer’s daughter called Mercy Bartle.  She was born in St Enoder parish, 33 miles up county from Penzance, south-east of Newquay.  By 1826 she was based in Penzance, aged 20, where she married sailor Henry Horswell on 2 January 1827 in Madron parish. When Alice was born later that year they baptised her in July in Padstow, where Henry’s family roots were.  It can’t have been a pleasant journey for Mercy, travelling 47 miles either very pregnant or as a new mother.

St Marys Chapel 1The young family returned to Penzance, and by 1832 were back in Penzance for the birth of their son Henry.  He was not a healthy child: he was baptised on 13 November but buried four days later in Madron, Penzance Chapelry [later Penzance St Mary]. At that time Henry Snr was master of a vessel.   Their third child, Helen/Ellen was baptised on 22 March 1834, also in Madron, Penzance Chapelry, at which time Henry’s occupation was noted as captain of a vessel.

Henry died within the next six years; the 1841 census found Mercy living in Chapel Street, Penzance, with her younger daughter Ellen.  Later that year Mercy re-married, on 6 December 1841.  Her second husband George Hall was a wool comber, son of a wheel-wright.  Mercy had shaved a few years off her age when recording her second marriage!

Together they had a son, George, born c 1844 in Penzance.  However by 30 March 1851 census Mercy is again found without her husband.  She is running a lodging house in Morrab Place Penzance, with Ellen and young George living with her. Ellen was 16 and working as a dressmaker.  Mercy died in spring 1857, aged 51.

1851fradgan_jacoca

Image from 1851 census

In March 1851 Charles and Alice with daughter Wilmott Amelia [thanks so much to Annie for suggesting this name via a comment below this blog post]  were living 2 doors along from his sister Honor in the Fradgan, Street-An-Nowan, Newlyn.  In October they baptised their daughter Mary Jane in Paul Parish Church but sadly their first daughter was not with them much longer: in November 1852 Wilmott Amelia died and was buried back in Paul parish. The following year when their daughter Margaret was baptised in April 1853 the ceremony took place in Madron, Penzance Chaplaincy [the daughter church of Madron].

I couldn’t find them in the 1861 census so assumed they may have emigrated in the 1850s, as hints on Ancestry suggested they emigrated to Australia.

This proved to be the case as in 1859 Charles worked as a carpenter in Prahan [now an inner suburb of Melbourne] but then a young settlement which had only been surveyed for development in 1840[1].  I found a letter from him and fellow-workers in the Argus newspaper, sticking up for a fellow-worker who’d been inaccurately maligned in the paper which had stated he’d been sacked when in fact he’d got a different job for health reasons.

1859-argusletter_re-ill-colleague

Letter in The Argus, from Trove, October 1859

In March 1872 the family was grief-stricken when their younger daughter Margaret died aged only 19.  She was buried in St Kilda Cemetery and the funeral procession headed there from the family home on the High Street.[2]

As I don’t have access to the Australian Census or immigration records it was a treat to find these mentions of the family.  I had just googled ‘Charles Jaco, Australia’ and Google suggested newspaper stories on Trove http://trove.nla.gov.au/  I’d vaguely heard of Trove but had never used it before.  It’s a free online Australian archive of newspaper stories and was fantastic for confirming their stories which previously I’d come across via a ‘probable link’ death record and non-evidenced hints on Ancestry public trees.  Fortunately the name Jaco at that time in Australia was uncommon, apart from Trove search-engine suggestions of ‘Jacob’ and ‘Jacobite’.

Another, happier, story I found on Trove was a family wedding intimation: in March 1874 Mary Jane married “Robert Henry, second son of Jared Graham, Esq, Euroa”[3], and the ceremony took place in the family home on the High Street, Prahan.

The final story I found on Trove was a reference to Charles’ will in 1876, after he died in November 1876 aged 51.  Alice died three years later, in April 1879, aged 49.

Words © Lynne Black.
First published 13 March 2017 at https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2017/03/12/charles-kelynack-jaco/

[1] http://www.victorianplaces.com.au/prahran

[2] The Argus, 4 March 1872, accessed via Trove

[3] The Argus (Melbourne Vic: Wed 18 Mar 1874, accessed via Trove

 

Photo of boat entering Newlyn Harbour

William Jacka and Grace Cotton, play, school, secrets and the asylum

newlynoldharbour01_sep16

Newlyn Old Harbour

William, baptised on 4 August 1819, was the fifth of Peter and Catherine Jaco’s eight children and, like his father and his two elder brothers, would make his living on the sea.

They grew up in the fishing community of Street-An-Nowan, Newlyn, in early 19th century Cornwall.  By the time he was born, eldest brother Peter was 12, and all would have spent their youth around the harbour, playing on the sand and swimming, then later helping the older boys and men by bringing the catch from the ships to the shore.  When William was 6 his brother Peter joined the Merchant Navy, and by the time William was 16 his brother Benjamin was Mate on a schooner.  His eldest sister Jane married a miner and moved away when William was 15, Peter married in April 1838 and William, aged 19, was witness at his wedding in Paul Parish Church.

The first census William was recorded on was the 1841 one, when he was 21 and living at home with his parents in the Fradgan [street area] within Street-An-Nowan.  His sister Honor married when he was 23, but she stayed locally, also living in the Fradgan.

In March 1848, when William was 28, he married local girl Grace Cotton and she must have been blooming as they had their first son William 4-5 months later, who was baptised that autumn, again in Paul Parish Church.  Grace was the daughter of fisherman Charles Cotton and Deborah Pendar, but Deborah must have been widowed when Grace was still young because at the age of 5 Grace was admitted to Penzance Dispensary and noted as a widow’s child.  When Grace met William she had been working as a servant.

Photo of Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Newlyn

Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Chapel with hall, Newlyn, Cornwall

Their second son was born two years later and named John Cotton Jacca.  Unlike his elder brother he was baptised a Methodist, at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel just at the top of the road.

At the time of the 1851 census it appears William was away fishing on the Abner and Grace and baby William at home had her mother Deborah living with them.  I don’t know why baby John Cotton wasn’t recorded; maybe he was asleep in a crib and they forgot about him!

The year after that their next known child was a daughter: Mary.  Mary was born by late summer 1854 and was and was baptised on 8 November of that year, this time in the new Newlyn St Peter church just along the Coombe river in Street-An-Nowan. Perhaps Mary was a sickly baby, for she had died by the time she was 4 months old and was buried on 17 November 1854 in the new grounds up at Paul Cemetery.

In 1855 William’s father Peter died, and the following year his mother Catherine also died.

In 1856 William and Grace had a second daughter, whom they also called Mary.  Mary wasn’t baptised until she was 2 years old in 1858, again in Newlyn St Peter’s parish church.

William and Grace’s children were possibly the first generation to go to school during the week, although attending school wasn’t obligatory until the 1870 Education Act.  However prior to 1854 when a Wesleyan Day School was built in Newlyn, children attending school had to head up the hill to Paul Churchtown where a school had stood on the Green across from the church since 1825.  That National School at Paul was the one pictured in Elizabeth Forbes’ painting School Is Out which was completed in 1889.   [Incidentally a lady called Mrs Enid Hall who lived across from my Granny in Newlyn always proudly told us the boy crying in the photo was her father, although I have seen that same model claimed by other Newlyn familes!]

In May 1860 Grace’s mother Deborah died and was buried in Paul parish.

By the April 1861 census the family had moved house within Street-An-Nowan and were living on Foundry Lane, where they stayed for several years, and where they were living when their son Richard was born; he was baptised in April 1865 in St Peter’s Church. Richard was deaf from childhood, and was to live with his parents and work as a tailor.

The 1871 census found the family living in Strick’s Court, which I believe was near the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Street-An-Nowan.  In 1876 the first of their children to marry, John Cotton Jacka, married fisherman’s daughter Elizabeth Strick but I think the name was just coincidence.  John and Elizabeth had their first child, Mary Jane Jaco, in 1877 and Elsie in February 1882, followed eventually by John (1884), Grace (1890) and William (1892).

Their daughters and grand-daughters went into shop-work.  John, the elder of their two sons, decided to make his fortunate in the USA.  He emigrated to the US on 3 June 1914 on the White Star Line’s Oceanic after booking via a Penzance agent called Messrs Ludlow and Sons.

1914jun11_cornishtelegraph_johnjackaemig

Cornish Telegraph, 11 June 1914, from BNA on FMP

The Cornishman’s Cornish Folk in New York: Letter from Sid Blake feature reports names of those passing though Blake’s Cornish Arms Hotel which was found at 443 West 23rd Street.  On 25 June his column reported “John Jacka, from Newlyn, to Detroit’ had stayed there.  However John ended up in Akron, Summit County, Ohio, USA, where his dream came to an end when he caught Spanish Flu and died on 30 October 1918; he was buried in Glendale Cemetery and his headstone is pictured on Find-A-Grave.  I can’t identify the story of youngest child William who perhaps also emigrated or died in infancy.

By 1881 William and Grace were living in Orchard Place [where my own family lived many decades later] with William, Mary and Richard still at home with them.

Their net-maker daughter Mary Jacka married in 1882; her husband was fisherman William Batten.

William Jnr [William and Grace’s son] married Lavinia Hall in late 1883. Lavinia’s parents, farmer/ agricultural labourer William and Ann Hall, had lived close to Land’s End in St Leven and Sennen parishes and she was the third daughter in large family.  Her story was a bit confusing at first, but after following all the census records through the decades the truth emerged.

In the 1871 census 30-year-old Lavinia had a 7-year-old brother listed called Frederick, although ‘their father’ was 70 and widowed; this was a pretence continued in the 1881 census despite William Hall’s death in the years between.  In the 1891 census, with Frederick listed as head of the family, he refers to Lavinia as his mother and William Jaco as his step-father.  Also in that 1891 census Lavinia had shaved some years off her age, appearing only 6 rather than the actual 12 years older than her husband.

Frederick had married Mary and was working as a cabinet maker although later he became a trader of glass and china.  He moved by 1911 to Torpoint, which is just the Cornish side of the Tamar, across from Plymouth in Devon.  There he continued as a dealer with his wife and two of his daughters assisting in the business. By that time Frederick and Mary had had nine children, of whom 6 were still alive.  Perhaps a clue to his mystery father was the fact that Frederick called his son Phillip Scadden Hall – there were many Scaddens in West Penwith.  The other five surviving children were all girls: Ethel, Lillian, Florence, Violet and Marion.

Lavinia died in 1900.  William died many years later in 1925, in the Penzance area.

Grace Jacka died in spring 1888, aged 64, and was buried in Paul Cemetery on 22 April.

In 1891 William was living with his daughter Mary and son-in-law William Batten.  William’s youngest (deaf) child Richard, who was working as a tailor, was also in the household and they were living in Florence Terrace, Tolcarne.  That is just over the small river Combe from Street-An-Nowan, and is another area which housed many of my extended family over the decades of the 19th century. William had retired from fishing by then and lived on until 1893, when he was buried on 15 March in Paul.

Mary’s story didn’t end happily: in the 1890s she developed a mental illness and was moved to Bodmin Lunatic Asylum 50 miles away [which I believe is Cornwall Lunatic Asylum / St Lawrence’s Lunatic Asylum].  There she lived out the rest of her days until she died on 7 April 1906.  In the 1901 census she had been listed as a pauper patient and a lunatic.  I don’t know why she was listed as a pauper as at that time her drift fisherman husband William Batten was living with his mother in Street-An-Nowan, but all the evidence points to that being Mary Batten nee Jacka.

In 1909 her widower William remarried; his second wife was Catherine Treleven and they lived together in 1911 in Newlyn, with William still fishing.

William and Grace’s youngest child, tailor Richard, had died in spring 1908; their line was carried on through their son John Cotton Jaco.

Census, BM&D info acquired from: Ancestry, FindMyPast including access to the British Newspaper Archive, Cornwall FHS, Cornwall Online Parish Clerks, West Penwith Resources.

Words and photos © Lynne Black
First published 25 February 2017: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/william-jacka/.

Honor Jacco and Samuel Plomer: their family in the Fradgan

Honor was born in 1816 and was the fourth child of Peter Jacco and his wife Catherine Noell nee Kelynack.  She grew up with two older brothers Peter and Benjamin, and a sister Jane in the fishing village of Newlyn in the parish of Paul; she was baptised in Paul Parish Church on 28 August 1816. Later brothers and sisters William, Charles Kelynack, Matilda and Richard were born between 1819 and 1830.

This was in the Regency of the future King George IV. Unlike him his wife Caroline was very popular in Cornwall and when she won her law case against her husband in 1820 the people of Newlyn lit tar barrels around Mount’s Bay and wore celebratory mottoes such as “Queen Caroline Forever” in their hats.  George was crowned in 1821 – leaving his wife Caroline to hammer angrily but fruitlessly on the doors of Westminster Abbey during his coronation.

newlyn-fradyen1

Fradgan, Street An Nowan

The lower area of what is now Newlyn in which Honor grew up was called Street An Nowan and was a settlement of about 300 people[1].  At the time the name Newlyn referred to the area of [modern] Newlyn situated on higher ground above the “small, but commodious pier, capable of containing vessels of one hundred tons burthen; but is chiefly employed by the numerous fishing boats belonging to the place, which exceeds four hundred in number”.  There were 900 people living there in 1820[2].

During her childhood there were storms and hurricanes which tore into Mounts Bay damaging ships[3][4] and tearing up the seafront between Newlyn and Penzance, wet summers and shipwrecks.

In June 1841 she was living in the Fradgan of Street An Nowan, the type of lane area which doesn’t bother with street numbers on the early census records.  She is likely to have been working as a servant at that point as she was seven months later when she married.

paulchurchsep16w

Paul Parish Church

Honor married Samuel Plomer [Plaumer] on 28 January 1842 at Paul Parish Church.  He was a fisherman born in Mullion Cove who was a son of a labourer.

In spring 1844 they became parents with the arrival of their daughter Catherine, who was baptised at the same church on 18 December 1844.  Elizabeth Mary was born in summer 1848 and baptised that November.  In March 1851 the family were living in the Fradgan still and their next daughter Jane was born c November 1853 and baptised on 17 March 1854.

In autumn of the following year her father Peter Jacco died, followed by her mother Catherine towards the end of 1856.

The fourth and final daughter, Agnes, was born in 1857 and baptised on 26 August of that year, again in Paul Church.  In April 1861 the family was living at 9 Fradgan in Street An Nowan.

However their was tragedy for the family w hen their oldest daughter Catherine, who was only 24, died in August 1868, and was buried up at Paul on 2 September.

By April 1871 the family were living in Chapel Street, Street An Nowan, Samuel still fishing.  They were living next to Honor’s older brother Benjamin and his wife Priscilla and their family, including their daughter Catherine, son-in-law James Rowe and grandson Benjamin – all of whom are my ancestors.  It was a small community. Their three daughters Elizabeth Mary, Jane and Agnes were all working as net makers.  Cruelly at the end of that year Honor and Samuel’s second daughter Elizabeth Mary, aged 23, died three years after her sister Catherine, and was buried on 27 December 1871 in Paul.

Their two remaining daughters, however, both married and had families.

Honor and Samuel’s third daughter Jane married a mason’s son from Newlyn called Edward Collins in early 1875.  However the couple moved away to Lancashire where in April 1881 Edward was working as an Assistant Marine Superintendent from their home in Kirkdale. Kirkdale “lies on the river Merrsey, the Leeds and Liverpool canal, the Liverpool and Southport railway, and the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway”[5].

Together they had seven children, of whom four died young.  Jane was born in 1878, Edward in spring 1880, Florence Evelene in late 1890 and Ethel in late 1892.  Ethel was working as a clerk typist in April 1911 and married Frederick Wylie in 1916.

Honor and Samuel’s youngest daughter Agnes married Richard Carne, also from Newlyn, in early 1879.  He was a ropemaker in the Royal Navy, whose records describe him as 5’4” tall, with dark brown hair and dark blue eyes and of sallow complexion.  Richard worked on various ships between 1875 and 1891, several times on the Indus but also the Triumph, the Ganges, the Nankin, the Newcastle, the Valiant and the Bellarophon, with his conduct being consistently described as either Very Good or Exemplary.

Agnes and Richard’s first child, son Samuel Plomer Carne, was born in Newlyn some point in late 1879 or early 1880, but by April 1881 the family were living in Devonport, [Plymouth] Devon, where their daughter Agnes Gertrude had been born ten years after her brother in late 1889/early 1890.  However they must have moved soon after that as on 28 March 1890 Agnes and Richard baptised Agnes Gertrude in Mylor [near Falmouth] in Cornwall where at one time there had been a small RN Dockyard[6].

The following April, 1891, Richard was working on the Ganges in Falmouth Harbour and the family were living in Mylor Bridge.  The 1911 census recorded Agnes and Richard as having had 3 children born alive, 2 still alive and one died.  So I wonder if they’d had a child in the mid-1880s, given the large gap between the birth of Samuel and of Agnes Gertrude.

By March 1901 Richard had retired from the Navy and the family were living in Tolcarne, by Newlyn, with him a Naval Pensioner and son Samuel a carpenter.

In 1902 Richard and Agnes’ son Samuel married Eliza Ethel Jenkin, a Penzance girl. The young couple had a son Ernest in 1903 and a daughter Gerturde Kathleen in 1904 in Penzance but by 1911 they had had and lost two further children.

In 1915 Richard, aged 61, was serving in the Navy again in the First World War, first on the Dreel Castle then the Valid 1 until it was decommissioned in 1916.  After the war he returned to being a Naval Pensioner until he died three years later on 30 August at home in Tolcarne. Agnes lived on until 1935 when she died at the age of 78.  Their son Samuel had served in the First World War in the Labour Corps.

paulcemetery03crop

Sheffield Road Cemetery, Paul

Honor and Samuel lived on in Chapel Street, Newlyn after their daughters had left the area.  In 1891 Samuel was marked as a retired fisherman.  Honor died on 13 March 1893 and was buried on 17 March in Paul’s Sheffield Road Cemetery.  Samuel died two years later and was buried on 19 August 1895.

Photograph of Mullion Cove by Robert.Pittman, Flickr, Creative Commons License, no changes;
Words and all other photos © Lynne Black.
First published 11 February 2017 at https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/honor-jacco/

[1] The History of Mount’s Bay, comprising Saint Michael’s Mount, Marazion, Penzance, Mousehole and &c &cm 1820, P63, Internet Archive

[2] The History of Mount’s Bay, comprising Saint Michael’s Mount, Marazion, Penzance, Mousehole and &c &cm 1820, P63, Internet Archive

[3] London Courier and Evening Gazette – Tuesday 27 May 1828, p3, via BNA http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001476/18280527/010/0003

[4] Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser – Tuesday 18 November 1828, P3, Col 3, via BNA http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001255/18281118/020/0003

[5] John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72) quoted in the Genuki Kirkdale site http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/LAN/Kirkdale

[6] Lake’s Parochial History of the County of Cornwall by J Polsue (Truro, 1867 – 1873), quoted in the Genuki Mylor site. http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/Cornwall/Mylor

Jane Jacco later Casley – moving from fish to tin

Photo of altar of Paul Parish Church

Paul Parish Church

Jane Jacca [Jaco, Jacka] was the third child and first daughter of Newlyn fisherman Peter Jacco and his wife Catherine Noall Kelynack’s eight children.   Baptised on 15 August 1813 in Paul Parish Church, she may have assumed as a girl that her future husband would be a fisherman like her father, brothers and a future brother-in-law.

However it was a miner she settled down with.  Martin Casley and his family lived and worked in St Just in Penwith, a west-coast Cornish town approx. 7 miles west from Newlyn with the legend that it was named after the 6th century saint Justus[1] , although there was reported evidence of ancient peoples and mining[2].

‘The land is bleak, and to a great extent barren.  The rocks are chiefly granite and slate; but they include rich lodes of tin and copper, – contain iron, bismuth, hornblende, tale, garnet, opal, and many other minerals’[3]

St Just is the most westerly town in mainland Britain and one of the oldest mining parishes in Cornwall, until the collapse of the industry at the end of the 19th century saw miners scattering around Britain and overseas.[4]

They married on 12 January 1834 and moved to St Just where Martin, the first of their nine children, was born later that year and baptised in St Just Parish Church on 17 December. He was followed by Richard who was baptised on 19 June 1836. Their third son, named Peter after Jane’s father, was born at the end of 1837 but died in infancy and was buried on 24 September 1839.

Jane would already have been pregnant with her fourth child at that time, and he was baptised Peter Jaco Casley in May 1840.  They were living on Green Lane, in the south part of St Just called Carrallack near Carn Bosavern, the area to which their children were to live in or return to for decades.

stjustmine_flickrccattrib_andymaguire

St Just Mine, by Andy Maguire (andymag), Flickr Creative Commons license

Their next child and only daughter Mary Jane was born c1842, next son George was baptised on 26 March 1844, William was born c 1847 and Thomas was born c 1849.  By 1851 the family was living in Bosavern in St Just and had seven children at home.  Oldest son Martin was working as a 16-year-old tapper miner and so was his 13-year-old brother Richard; the younger children were all at school.  Jane and Martin’s final known and ninth child John was born c 1852.

In 1856 Jane’s fisherman father Peter died from an effusion of the brain, and the following year her mother Catherine also died.

In June 1860 their second son, Richard (a tin tapper) and his bride [and possibly cousin] Jane Casley called banns in St Just Parish Church.  They married there on 4 July 1860.

In 1861 Jane and Martin were still living in Bosavern [Row] but it may be that their son Peter emigrated that year, as in April 1861 the census finds him lodging in Liverpool with [possible] cousin James Casley, and three other men, John Curnow, Arcles Warren and Able Stephens, all marked as tin miners from St Just.  Hints that he ended up in Canada have so far proved to be mis-transcriptions, maybe some day new records will be available and the gaps can be filled in.

In early 1867 their son Thomas died.  He was just 18 and had been working as a tin worker since he was 12. He was buried in the Wesleyan Burial grounds; the first indication that the family may have converted to Wesleyan Methodism; there was a chapel in St Just which seated 2,000 people[5].

In April 1871 Jane and Martin were living again in Carrallack, St Just with Martin, Mary, George William and John home with them.  However further tragedy struck the family in 1873 when eldest son Martin died, aged 38. He was buried on 31 August again in the Wesleyan Burial grounds.

Mary Jane married Thomas Stephens and they were living in Penzance in 1881, after having daughters Mary Jane (1874) and Elizabeth (c1876).  Thomas was originally a miner, as was his father, but perhaps as a result in the slump in the mining industry had become a grocer.  This seemed a bit implausible to me, when I first saw this suggested on Ancestry, but tracking them through to 1901 I find them living in Carrallack Terrace, and with that and other evidence I’m confident it’s ‘my’ Mary Jane.

By March 1878 youngest child John was away working in Lancashire as a miner. He married a Welsh woman called Catherine Williams in Pemberton, Lancashire, which has coal mines and stone quarries[6] which perhaps was where John was working.  There they had their first child in 1878 before moving back to her home county of Glamorgan where John continued to work as a miner, and they had four more sons there.

In early 1877 they lost their fourth son when George died; he had initially worked as a shoe maker (1861) but by April 1871 had become a miner.  He was still living in St Just, in Bosavern Terrace.  He was buried on 9 February in the Wesleyan Methodist burial ground in St Just.

Jane died in October 1879 and was buried in St Just Wesleyan burial grounds on 25 October.  Martin was living alone for the 3 April 1881 census.  He died on 25 June 1885 and his executrix was his daughter Mary Ann.

By April 1891 grocer Thomas and Mary Jane Stephens [Jane and Martin’s daughter] were back in St Just, working in Lafrowda Terrace.  By March 1901 Thomas was recorded as a retired grocer.  They had their daughter Elizabeth living with them; she was by then married to Benjamin Angwin, a miner’s son. Also in the household was Thomas and Mary Jane’s grandson Benjamin Redbers Angwin who was 4 months old.  By 1911 Elizabeth had had a daughter and another son, but her insurance salesman husband Benjamin Angwin died in October 1911; he was buried in the St Just Wesleyan burial ground.

I’d never seen the inside of a Methodist Chapel and it’s so much nicer than I expected.  There is a story about a proposed closure/re-use of the Chapel here with photos, although on its St Just Methodist Chapel Facebook group it is still promoting its prayer session as of today, 29 January 2017.

Thanks to Denize Halliwell, Susan Carey and Stephanie Dawn Smith of the Ancestry UK Facebook group for checking some Canadian posts about Peter Casley for me.

Jane Jacco is my G-G-G-G-G Aunt.

The main sites I used for tracking down records for Jane’s family story were: Ancestry.co.uk ; FindMyPast ; Cornwall Online Parish Clerks ; Cornwall Family History Society

Words and St Paul Church photo © Lynne Black,
Mine photo Andy Maguire, andymag, Creative Commons license,
St Just photo Ed Webster, Ed_Webster, Creative Commons License, cropped.
First published 29 January 2017 on starryblackness blog site: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2017/01/29/jane-jacco/ .

[1] Genuki: St Just-In-Penwith http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/Cornwall/StJustinPenwith which has info taken from Lake’s Parochial History of the County of Cornwall by J Polsue (Truro, 1867 – 1873)

[2] John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72 from Vision of Britain website, January 2017.  http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/393

[3] John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72 from Vision of Britain website, January 2017.  http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/393

[4] Genuki: St Just-In-Penwith http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/Cornwall/StJustinPenwith which has info taken from Lake’s Parochial History of the County of Cornwall by J Polsue (Truro, 1867 – 1873)

[5] Kelly’s Directory of Cornwall 1893 via West Penwith Resources for St Just in Penwith http://west-penwith.org.uk/just93.htm

[6] Genuki: Pemberton, http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/LAN/Pemberton which has info taken from John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)

Peter Jacca and Jane Harvey, fishing in the family

photo of Paul Church

Paul Church

Peter was born on 12 August 1807 in the Cornish fishing village of Newlyn, near Penzance, in the Regency period during the final years of George III’s reign.  His parents were fisherman Peter Jacco and Catherine nee Kelynack.  He was their first child and they baptised him on 26 February 1809 in Paul Church up on the hill above Newlyn.

Peter’s youngest years saw food shortages and were the times of the Napoleonic Wars; he was 7 when Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo.   When he was 10 he may have witnessed this happen to another boy in Newlyn in July:

“On Tuesday last an unusual circumstance was witnessed by several hundreds of spectators. At Newlyn, near Penzance, a swarm of bees suddenly alighted on a boy’s head, and remained there for a considerable time. The boy, almost terrified to death, was required to smoke tobacco, to preserve him from being injured. In the meantime a hive was procured and held over his head for some time; when by degrees the bees all entered it, without inflicting the least injury on the boy.”[1]

At the age of 19, in 1825, Peter joined the merchant service as a seaman.

Maybe he was away at sea a lot, but Peter didn’t marry until he was 30 in April 1838, marrying 23-year-old Newlyn girl Jane Harvey who had been working as a servant.  They married in Paul Church.

By the June 1841 census they had two sons, Peter, baptised on 23 September 1838, and John, c December 1840.  They were living in Navy Inn Street, in the high part of Newlyn above the South Pier [shown in header photo].  Daughter Jane followed, born c1844, son Charles c1847 and Edwin in spring 1850.

On 24 January 1851 Peter was awarded his Master’s Certificate for “26 years in the British Merchant Service in the Foreign Trade.”

He was away in March 1851 on the census night and Jane was home in Factory Row with their five children.  They become parents again with the arrival of Henry who was baptised on 16 April 1854.  Also in 1854 Peter’s father Peter died, with his mother Catherine dying the following year.

Peter and Jane were again recorded in Navy Inn Street in the April 1861 census.  This time he was recorded as working as a fisherman.

In 1870, when Peter was 62, their son Peter, who was a fisherman, married a fisherman’s daughter called Alice Mann Wills.  Peter and Jane became grandparents in 1872 with the arrival of Peter and Alice’s daughter Alice.

Daughter Jane married fisherman Thomas G Cattran in June 1876 and Charles, a fisherman, married fisherman’s daughter Ann Barnes in 1877, all in Paul Parish Church.

newlyngreenst03_sep16w

Upper and Lower Green Street, 2016

In 1881 Peter and Jane were living in Upper Green Street, still above the South Pier.  Son Edwin married Mary Downing in 1882, a year which saw food shortages in Cornwall.

Peter died the following year, at the end of 1883.  Jane lived on, still living in Upper Green Street in 1891, living with her widowed sister Margaret and Jane’s two unmarried sons, Henry and John.  She died in late summer 1897 and was buried in Paul Parish on 6 September 1897.

Words and photos © Lynne Black, 15 January 2017

[1] Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser – Thursday 16 July 1818, P8, Col 2. Via British Newspaper Archive http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000348/18180716/026/0008

William and Alice Rowe: flaming torches, stinky fish and older years in 19C Cornwall pt4

On 20 June 1837 Queen Victoria became queen after the death of her uncle William IV.  At that time shoemaker William and Alice Rowe were settled with a large family in Street-an-Nowan, Newlyn, Cornwall. You can read the earlier part of their story here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

That year their eldest son John, by then working as a mason, married Sarah Sampson in neighbouring Penzance; her father was a butcher with a shop and home on Market Jew Street.  In 1839 William and Alice became grandparents when Sarah and John had their first of eight children, Elizabeth.

On 6 June 1841 the census recorded shoemaker William and Alice living in Street-an-Nowan.  Grace and Alice were both at home and working as female servants; Patience (11) and Elizabeth (9-10) were still children.  Youngest child James wasn’t with his parents that evening.  I haven’t confirmed a location for eldest son John for that particular night but his family were living in neighbouring Penzance on Market Jew Street where his wife and daughter were living in her butcher father’s house.  Maybe he was away looking for work as a mason.

tolcarneinnsq

Tolcarne Inn, Newlyn

In June 1841 their oldest daughter Mary Ann had been a servant in the Tolcarne Inn over the Combe; on 21 May 1843 she married a fisherman called Thomas Rowe (no relationship known) in Paul Church.

Pigot’s Directory 1841 reported about Newlyn that in addition to fishing pilchards and mackerel “A valuable lead mine is in the parish, as are several chalybeate springs.  There are two annual fairs held here—on the first Tuesday in October and 8th November”.

Early in spring 1844 Alice became ill with Phithesis: ‘pulmonary tuberculosis or a similar progressive wasting disease’.

However there was happiness in summer 1844 when their daughter Alice Daniel Rowe married fisherman Bernard Victor in Trinity Wesleyan Chapel, Newlyn on 10 June. She moved to neighbouring Mousehole where Bernard lived and fished. Their oldest child, Gamaliel ‘Gift of God’ Victor was baptised on 24 November 1844 in Paul Church.  Bernard had an interest in the Cornish language and spoke with local old people to record words for posterity as the language was dying out.

mouseholeharbour01_sep16w

Mousehole Harbour

Around about this time (c1844) William’s eldest son John and his young family moved to Wales for him to find work as a mason.

On 9 March 1845 Alice, William’s wife of 33 years and mother of his 9 children, died in Newlyn aged 51.  Their youngest son, James Daniel Rowe, was only 10 at that time.

In March 1851 William had his three daughters Grace, Patience and Elizabeth living with him in Foundry Lane, Street-an-Nowan. Grace had become a straw bonnet maker, so perhaps she’d enjoyed working with her father as a girl and/or preferred making bonnets to being a female servant as she had been ten years before. Patience and Elizabeth were still living at home but with no profession recorded.  Youngest son James was working on the Brittania fishing boat in neighbouring Mousehole.

That was the year of the Great Exhibition at Chrystal Palace London.  A local woman, 84-year-old Mary Kelynack of Tolcarne, became famous nationally by walking nearly 300 miles to London to see the Exhibition, carrying a basket on her head.  There she met the Lord Mayor and took tea – preferring that to wine – with the Lady Mayoress; she was presented with a sovereign.   She was also presented to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

paulchurchsep16w

Paul Church

Two years later William’s daughter Patience Daniel Rowe married mariner Thomas Tonkin Tremethick on 23 January 1853 in Paul Church; William’s first Tremethick grand-child Joe was born on 8 December 1853.

A curious midsummer custom went on in Mount’s Bay in June[1]. On 23 and 28 June tar barrels were lit and flaming torches swung in the streets.  Bonfires were lit in Marazion, the Mount, Newlyn and Mousehole so the Bay “glows with a girdle of flame”.  Young people played ‘Thread-the-needle’ along the streets:  “Lads and lasses join hands, and run furiously through the streets, vociferating “An eye – an eye – an eye!” at length they suddenly stop, and the two last of the string, elevating their clasped hands, form an eye to this enormous needed, through which the thread of populace runs, and thus they continue to repeat the game until weariness dissolves the union.” Unsurprisingly the following day was a lot quieter, with people idling with music on the water (called ‘having a pen’orth of sea’).”

boasest2w

Boase Street, Newlyn, with mid-path drain

Newlyn at the time may have been scenic but smelt rather overwhelming[2]:  “They are a colony of fisherman, with narrow paved lanes, glistening with pilchard scales in the season – with external staircases and picturesque interiors, of which glimpses are obtained through an open doorway or window.”   However they “may call to mind the semi-barbarous habitations of some foreign countries – such as Spain. The perfume of garlic fills the air, and other odours not so sweet hasten the step of the traveller. These arise from little enclosures which front every cottage door. They are neatly bordered with stones or shells, and consist – not of a flower-bed, but of a dunghill, formed chiefly of the refuse of fish, in which the process of decay is hastened by the activity of many unhappy-looking fowls and pigs.”

On 7 October 1859 William’s youngest son James Daniel married Catherine Jaco. She was a Newlyn girl and the daughter of Master Mariner Benjamin Jaco.  They had the first of their 8 children in January 1860, Benjamin Jaco Rowe [my ancestor].

A few weeks later William became a great-grandfather when John’s oldest daughter Elizabeth had a daughter out of wedlock in Wales – she and the baby’s father Phillip Tripp later married in Madron on 20 March 1862.

foundrylane01_sep16

Looking up Foundry Lane

On 2 April 1861 William, still working as a shoemaker, was living at 2 Foundry Lane, in the Street-an-Nowan area of what is now Newlyn. His dressmaker daughter Grace was still living at home with him.  Another daughter, Patience D Tremethick, was living next door at number 3 with her merchant mariner husband Thomas and their five young children; the oldest being 7 and the youngest just 10 months old.

Oldest son John had been widowed in the early 1860s and he remarried on 17 December 1865 in Madron; his wife was a widow called Cecilia Paynter Stevens who had children of her own and lived for a few years in New Zealand.  Around 1866 John’s daughter Elizabeth and her husband Philip Tripp moved away; she died, he put two youngest boys in an orphanage where they lived for many years until the family tracked down the surviving son.

In 18 Sep 1867 his grand-daughter Mary Wright Victor [Alice and Bernard’s oldest daughter] married naval carpenter Edward Albert Kelynack in Newlyn St Peter. Mary stayed in Newlyn for the first years of her marriage while Edward was away at sea, living with her aunt, bonnet-maker Grace Daniel Rowe, William’s second daughter.

William saw his grandson Joe Tremethick start with the West Cornwall Railway in Penzance in 1868; Joe ended up working his way round England with the Great Western Railway.

paulcemetery03crop

Paul Cemetery

William died on 15 December 1869 of old age and exhaustion. His caring eldest child Mary Ann Rowe was present at his death and she registered his death the following day.[3]  He was recorded as 81, although on balance of the evidence of baptisms and the 1841 census he was probably only 76.  William was buried on 19 December in Paul Cemetery up above Newlyn.

Words and photos © Lynne Black, 1 October 2016

[1] Murray’s Handbook for Devon and Cornwall 1859, P185

[2] Murray’s Handbook for Devon and Cornwall 1859, P189

[3] Death certificate 1869, Penzance registration district, Cornwall, entry 494.

William and Alice Rowe: shoemaking, family, storms and wrestling in 19C Cornwall pt3

William and Alice, both born c1793, grew up in West Penwith district, just a few miles from Lands End, Cornwall. You can read the story of Williams’ childhood in
William Rowe 1793 pt1: Boyhood in a poor Cornish fishing town and their early married life here in part 2: William Rowe, Cordwainer of Newlyn and Alice Daniel of Sancreed.

Photo of Foundry Lane, Newlyn

Foundry Lane, Street-an-Nowan, Newlyn

William and Alice’s son and fourth child James was baptised on 16 June 1822 but died young. Their daughter Alice was baptised on 31 October 1824 and sixth child Thomas was baptised 19 August 1827. Next came Patience Daniel who was baptised on 15 March 1830, all were baptised in Paul Church.

Times continued to be hard for the ordinary people; the summer of 1823 was a wet one with the rain delaying the gathering in of hay and beating down corn so it would not ripen.  However signs were good for the pilchard harvest.

In April 1827 there was the ‘melancholy circumstance’ when ‘A very fine and fast-sailing-fishing-smack, named the Blucher… manned by six men and a boy’ left Newlyn for Bristol but the weather worsened; they were heading for Padstow but the smack and her crew were lost when the boat ran onto the Dunbar Sands and “Five widows and eighteen children are left to lament the disastrous event that has deprived them of their natural protectors; the unfortunate deceased were all men of excellent character”.[1]

On Monday 24 September 1827 there was local excitement when a wrestling championship was held in a field on the Newlyn-Penzance road with two champion wrestlers “Mr [John] Polkinghorne, the champion of England, and Mr Richard Saundry, in his day the champion of the west, were the well-chosen umpires.”

The very enthusiastic Morning Chronicle reporter wrote that “At twelve o’clock the sight was very imposing – some thousands of the most athletic young men that the world can produce (each of whom would have honoured Leonidas at the Straits of Thermopylae, Bonaparte in passing the Bridge of Lodi, or even Wellington himself in the battle of Waterloo), seated or standing in perfect silence and order, and with intense interest, to witness and participate in a sport for which their ancestors were so justly renowned.  It was impossible for any man, deserving that name, to behold the spectacle of so many manly youths assembled on such an occasion, without emotions of admiration and delight, and without congratulating himself as belonging to the species.  It was a sight and occasion, as connected with the maintenance of strength, courage and agility, among the people, worthy the countenance, presence, encouragement, and support of Majesty itself.”[2]

Another heavy storm in Mounts Bay was reported in November 1828 and the Dove broke its moorings and made for Newlyn: “A boat was launched at Newlyn, but only three persons could be found to venture out; these were Mr Pearce, the agent for Lloyd’s at Penzance; Lieut. Hearle of the Preventive Service at Mousehole, and Mr Nicholas, carpenter of the Dove, who was on shore on duty.  This being the case, the boat could not be got off, and the spectators hastened to the beach, where the crew of the Dove strove to get a line on shore but were unable to do so, in consequence of the offset of the waves.

“The fisherman brought the ropes of their nets, and after great efforts, a rope was thrown on board by Mr Pearce, at the eminent risk of his life.  The connexion once secured, other ropes were got from the vessel to the shore, and in about half an hour the whole of the crew were rescued from their perilous situation.  Lieut. Stocker was the last person who left the vessel.  As it was supposed that one of the crew was missing, Mr Pearce volunteered to go on board to see for him, which hazardous enterprize he effected, having been twice washed from the gunwhale by the tremendous sea that was running.  No person being visible, he returned, and afterwards it was ascertained that all the crew were safe.”[3]

On 26 Jun 1830, in his gilded world, George IV died and his brother became William IV.

Meanwhile back in Newlyn, in December 1830, another storm pounded Newlyn and the Sherborne Mercury reported that “Gwavas Quay, the road of communication between Street-on-Nowan [SIC] and Newlyn Town [the two parts of what’s now Newlyn] is quite beaten down, and the road from Penzance to Tolcarne has been overflowed in such a manner as to be rendered totally impassable.”[4]

William and Alice’s daughter Elizabeth was baptised on 5 December 1832 and their ninth and final child, my ancestor James Daniel Rowe, was baptised on 30 March 1835 in Paul Church.

The final part of William and Alice’s story is written here.

Words and photos © Lynne Black, 14 August 2016

[1] Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle – Sunday 15 April 1827, P1, BNA

[2] Morning Chronicle – Tuesday 02 October 1827, P3, BNA

[3] North Devon Journal – Thursday 27 November 1828, P3, Col 4, BNA

[4] Morning Post – Thursday 09 December 1830, P4, Col 4, BNA