Aisle of Paul Church, Cornwall

Peter Jaco – a Gentleman’s son? – and Catherine Noall Kelynack (pt1)

Peter was born at the end of the 18th century in the Cornish fishing village of Street-an-Nowan (Newlyn), 7 miles from Land’s End. He was baptised on 11 November 1787, in the years before the kept census returns and a time when it suddenly becomes a lot harder for a family historian to piece together their life stories remotely, being largely dependent on the transcriptions of kind devotees to history and the local area.

Photo of Newlyn, Old Harbour, at low tide

Newlyn, Old Harbour, low tide

His father was a fisherman named Benjamin Jaco and his mother was Mary Downing.  Benjamin was 10 years older than his wife and married aged 34, with their honeymoon baby Elizabeth being baptised on 15 November 1785. Peter was baptised on 11 November 1787. Little Elizabeth must have died infancy for their third (and final known) child was also named Elizabeth, baptised on 12 December 1790.

The family were comfortably off, with Benjamin’s will, written in November 1793, leaving property to his son Peter and a sum of £40 [£3,000 2018 equivalent] to daughter Elizabeth with his ‘dear wife Mary’ to live in their house until death or remarriage as long as she kept it in good repair.[1]

Peter was born in the reign of George III, with the Colony of New South Wales being established when he was a babe in arms, the French Revolution breaking out when he was just a toddler, and his teens and twenties were the times of the Napoleonic Wars. However he had family battles to fight until he was about 30 years old when he finally claimed his inheritance.

Benjamin died within a couple of years of making his will when his family was still young but for reasons unknown they were not able to prove his will for many years. Therefore it appears that instead of staying in the house they lived with Benjamin [possibly Lyndale in Orchard Place, Street-an-nowan?] Mary needed to take her children and live nearby, down the hill nearer the harbour, in Fradgan [street], Newlyn.[2] On 7 January 1796 she signed a 99-year lease on behalf of her and her son, for some land held by George Blewett Esq of Helston to build a fence or buttress to protect her house against the sea.

Peter was recorded as a fisherman, and signed his wedding register on 20 March 1807 when he, aged ~20 years, and local girl Catherine Noall Kelynack, married in Paul Parish Church; Catherine marked the register and her father was one of the witnesses. She had been baptised in Paul Parish Church in August 1786. Her parents were Charles Kelynack and Elizabeth Richards. I have no record of Charles’ profession but given it was a fishing village it is likely to have been on the sea, or in some linked profession (one of Catherine’s brothers was a shipwright).

Catherine is described on most documents as being from Paul parish, but the 1851 census described her as having been born in Madron, the adjacent parish.  I suspect she was born in Tolcarne which is immediately next to Street-an-Nowan so her parents chose to worship at Paul Parish Church.  She had five known brothers and sisters.

The first of Peter and Catherine’s eight known children born over the next 23 years was baptised on 12 August 1807, named Peter for his father, and after him came Benjamin after Peter’s father, baptised on 1 November 1810. Next came two daughters, Jane (bpt 15 August 1813) and Honour (bpt 28 August 1816). William was baptised on 4 August 1819, Charles Kelynack (for Catherine’s father) on 1 February 1822, Matilda on 19 September 1826 and Richard Richards (for Catherine’s mother’s family) on 1 December 1830. All were baptised up the hill in Paul Parish Church.

Finally in 1816 Peter was able to inherit the land and property left to him in his father’s 1793 will.  Both the Executors Francis Hitchens Jacka, John Jaco, and Charles Jacka having all died before it was proved and on 20 September 1816 Peter swore a canonical oath and affidavit and was able to inherit, providing he carried out a complete inventory for the court by the end of December 1816.

Words and photos © Lynne Black
First published 11 November 2018 on https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/

[1] Archdeaconry of Cornwall, Probate Court, Cornwall County Archives ref AP/J/2241

[2] Cornwall County Archives ref X573/114

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Photo of Newlyn Beach, Cornwall

Elizabeth Kelynack later Gill – the Bugle Inn’s Cornish Innkeeper

paulchurchsep16w

Paul Parish Church

Ending up the widowed innkeeper 300 miles from her Cornish home town was probably not a path Elizabeth Kelynack had expected as a young girl growing up in the last decade of the 18th century.  She was born in the parish of Paul, probably in the fishing village of Newlyn, and was baptised at Paul Church on 20 July 1790, she was the third of seven known children of fisherman Charles Kelynack and his wife Elizabeth Richards. Elizabeth is my 6x Great-Aunt [AKA 5th great grand aunt].

However, Hampshire man Richard Gill sailed into town with the Merchant Navy; a man 2 years older than herself, they married on 20 July 1810.

Perhaps he was away from Elizabeth a lot at sea as I’ve found no records of any children until daughter Sally was baptised in 1825, 15 years after their marriage.  Daughter Mary Ann was born c 1826 in Hampshire, and Julia Ann was baptised on 16 September 1832 in Hamble.  Fourth daughter Emma was born c 1834 in Hamble and fifth and final known child, their son Charles, was born in spring 1839. In 1836 Richard Gill of Hamble has been reported in Merchant Navy records [accessed via Find My Past] as being Master of the Palmyria of Southampton.

Hamble-le-Rice [Hamble for short] is an old village in Hampshire between Southampton and Poole on the south coast of England. The earliest recording of its river [as Homelea] was in 720 AD[i]. Although the village wasn’t recorded in the Doomsday Book, a priory was established there in 1109[ii][iii].

In June 1841 the family was living in Hamble near the Victory Inn and sharing their home with baker Henry Bath, his wife Jane and baby Sarah.  Sadly I can’t find any records about Elizabeth and Richard’s son Charles after the June 1841 census.

Three years later Elizabeth was widowed, in February 1844, and Richard’s burial took place in Hamble on 6 February 1844.  He was aged 54.

Later that year their second daughter Mary Ann married Thomas Price on 24 September 1844. He was working in 1851 as a Beer House Keeper in Portsea [Portsmouth].

Oldest daughter Sally married courier James Corin (also Cornish-born and living in Hampshire) on 14 February 1848 and had three children, Julia (c1852 later a draper’s assistant, later Smart), James (c May 1859, later a surveyor in Wandsworth) and Sarah Margaret (c 1862 later Rowse) in Southampton, Hampshire.

Whether or not it was coincidence that her son-in-law Thomas Price was a Beer House Keeper, by March 1851 Elizabeth herself was working as a victualler at the Bugle Inn in Hamble.  Emma, her 21-year-old dressmaker youngest daughter, was living at home and they had lodgers, two oyster merchants named George Williamson and William Ost(?).  Her oldest daughter Sally and Sally’s husband James Corin were visiting.  A servant named Charles Hurst who worked as a waterman completed the household that day.

Julia Ann, Elizabeth and Richard’s third daughter, married her first husband, William Alfred Ayling in spring 1850 in Portsea Island and they lived in Hamble-le-Rice until his death in early 1858.  He had been working as a fishmonger and together they’d had four children, Ellen, Margaret, daughter J..?… and James Richard.  Julia Ann remarried in 1861, her husband was Yorkshire-born stone-mason William A Marsden, and they moved away to Lambeth, Surrey, before April 1871 after their son William had been born in Hamble c1862.

Elizabeth’s youngest daughter, dressmaker Emma, married her first husband, mariner John Vant, in summer 1852 aged 18.  Together they had four children, John, William, Albert and Emma, before John died in spring 1865.  Emma married a widowed Hamble man called Truman Riddett, a mariner, on 27 November 1869. Emma had had a daughter, Elizabeth Vant, c 1869 just before they married, so possibly baby Elizabeth was Truman’s daughter. Truman also had a 10-year-old daughter Louisa and 8-year-old son Frederick to complete their household.

White’s Directory of 1859[iv] lists “Gill Eliz., Bugle Inn” in Hamble which is then “a small village and parish of 443 souls, and only about 600 acres of land”.  I also found a summary of the history of the Bugle Inn[v] via the Hamble Local History Society site – what a genealogy treat!

In the 1861 census Elizabeth is recorded in Hamble as Inn Keeper although annoyingly the census page doesn’t specify the address.  In her household are her married daughter Mary Price, a young visitor called Margaret Ashby, Elizabeth’s Water Man Charles Hurst again and a bricklayer from Birmingham who was lodging with her that night called Thomas Collington.

The 1871 census finds her occupation described as a ‘Widow of a Captain MS’ [Merchant Service]. She was her own 1-person household but in the same building was the household of Truman and Emma Riddett (her youngest daughter) with Truman a sailor and a shell-fish smack worker [shell-fish was a local industry]. Emma’s five Vant children were living with them, with 14-year-old John a servant and the younger children at school.

By April 1881 Elizabeth was living with Emma and Truman Riddett in Back Street, Hamble and after years of solo innkeeping was recorded as an Innkeeper’s Widow.  She died in 1882 at the grand old age of 91.

Websites used:

Words copyright Lynne Black
First published at https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/elizabeth-kelynack-newlyn/ on 3 January 2018

[i] Hamble Local History Society, accessed 31 December 2017  http://www.hamblehistory.org.uk/community/hamble-local-history-society-12978/hamble—brief-history/

[ii] British History Online, accessed 31 December 2017 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/hants/vol3/pp469-471

[iii] Hamble Local History Society, accessed 31 December 2017  http://www.hamblehistory.org.uk/community/hamble-local-history-society-12978/hamble—brief-history/

[iv] White’s Directory 1859, accessed via Hamble Local History Society, 31 December 2017 http://www.hamblehistory.org.uk/shared/attachments.asp?f=92f85852-4a70-491b-9ebb-f1f6379b1f1a%2Epdf

[v] Hamble Local History Society, history of the Bugle Inn, Accessed 31 December 2017 http://www.hamblehistory.org.uk/shared/attachments.asp?f=11895498-c343-4ffb-bb5d-a2ae08a1cc9e%2Epdf

Photo of boat entering Newlyn Harbour

Simon Downing and his Argentinian family: discovering argbrit.org

paulchurchsep16w

Paul Parish Church

My distant aunt Mary Richards Kelynack grew up as a fisherman’s daughter but her descendants were to end up criss-crossing the south Pacific between Argentina and England.

She was born in Newlyn in Cornwall, probably in the first half of 1792, when George III was on the throne. She married John Downing, a local man and also a fisherman, and together they had 7 children.

Generally the family seemed to be like many of my other Newlyn fishing families I’ve looked at recently, where children were born to fisherman, fished or made nets or worked in the home, then had fisherman sons and daughters who married fishermen and stayed in the parish, usually Newlyn itself: in Mary’s case they were called Simon, Grace, Benjamin, Mary, Henry, Jane and John.  So it was a surprise, when looking at their oldest child Simon’s story, to find that in 1881 he and Elizabeth his wife had a grand-daughter with them on the night of the 3 April census. And she had been born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

When trying to find out more about her on Ancestry and FindMyPast files were unavailable with my UK package, although Ancestry kept suggesting records I may be interested in but whose names I didn’t at that point recognise.  So I asked for help in the Facebook group Ancestry UK [no relation to the Ancestry UK company] and a couple of kind members give me info on a census record, and also gave me the link to the site www.argbrit.org which has been invaluable in providing the missing pieces of the puzzle of Simon’s descendants.

Simon married local girl Grace James on 30 December 1838 and their son John James Downing was baptised 10 months later, in Paul Parish Church above Newlyn, where the majority of my family’s life-marking events took place. Sadly she died in early April 1841 and was buried in Paul parish, with her son less than 2 years old.  She is likely to have been in her mid to late 20s.

Simon re-married; he and Elizabeth Curnow Kelynack (no known relation yet), a 22-year old servant who marked her wedding register, married at Paul Parish Church on 18 January 1846. On 30 March 1851 on census night he was fishing on the Conquerer under William Payne with Elizabeth at home in the Fradgan [a winding street rising up from the harbour] in the Street-An-Nowan area of Newlyn with her niece staying that night, perhaps because her husband was away.  Simon’s 11-year-old James [by his first wife Grace] was with his grandparents Mary and John Downing.

The 1861 census found Simon and Elizabeth round the corner in Chapel Street, and the 1871, 1881 and 1891 censuses found them 5m walk away in Clifton Terrace.  A normal fishing couple’s story apart from the fact that their marriage produced no children but the 1851 and 1891 censuses show they were part of a larger family network.  Simon died in 1895 and Elizabeth died in 1898.

Palacio_Barolo_(postal) public domain image

Palacio Barolo (postal); Unknown – Tarjeta, (public domain)

Before August 1864 Simon’s only child John James Downing, a carpenter, must have sailed for Argentina, perhaps for adventure, perhaps for work, for he was witness to the marriage of George Reeves and Margaret Wolf at that time so presumably would have needed time before then to make friends and acquaintances.

In February 1868 his wife Hannah Jane (b1845) gave birth to their first child Elizabeth Agnes Downing who was baptised in St John’s Church in Buenos Aries on 12 May 1867. I have not found the record of their marriage in either England or Argentina.  Their names also appear in the records as witnesses to the baptisms of the Van Domselaar girls: Bertha in November 1867 and Charlotte in September 1869.  The second daughter Grace Alice Downing was born on 2 April 1869. On 28 January 1872 their third daughter, Charlotte Downing, was baptised; at that time they were living in the Bararcas al Norte area of Buenos Aries with Hannah identified as his wife.

I haven’t found any records of Hannah’s death and burial, or return to England; I suspect she died in Argentina and John returned home with their three young daughters.

On 26 September 1877 John married his second wife, Jane Frances Pentreath (nee Oats) in Paul Parish Church. She was the widow of a master fisherman living in nearby Moushole (1 mile west of Newlyn) but had been born in neighbouring parish Sancreed.

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Mousehole Harbour, photo copyright Lynne Black

The April 1881 census found the couple living in Mousehole with six children: Elizabeth and Charlotte from John’s first marriage, Benjamin and William Pentreath from Jane’s first marriage, and two new children together: John and Orpah.  (Babies John and Orpah had been baptised together on 14 November 1880.)  John’s second daughter Grace Alice was living with her grandparents Simon and Elizabeth Downing in Newlyn on the night of the census, which was the initial intriguing discovery that had sent me on the transatlantic record search.

 

At some point in the 1880s Grace [Johns’ daughter by his first 1st wife Hannah] had moved back to Buenos Aries and settled down with Thomas Franklin Andrews. Their first child Elsie Maud was born in April 1890, then son John in November 1891, Doris Ethel in November 1893 and Ivy May in January 1896. All were all baptised at St John’s Church.

Her father John’s second wife Jane died in March 1905 in Newlyn and was buried on 24 March in consecrated ground in Paul.

On 22 December 1905 John and his daughter Orpah [by his late 2nd wife Jane] sailed on the Margarita from Newport to Bahia Blanca, Argentina.  Orpah met an engine driver called Charles Thomas Matthews and they had their first two children in February 1907 (Eliza Jane) and in June 1908 (Thomas Charles); both were baptised in St Andrew’s Scots Presbyterian Church, Buenos Aires on 21 June 1909. Harold Reginald was born on 25 March 1910 and Edward Douglas was born on 6 September 1911; again two children were baptised together on 10 May 1914.

It’s not known how long John stayed in Argentina at that time; he married for a third time in spring 1910 and he and his younger wife dressmaker Janie (nee Rodda later Harvey) were living together in April 1911 in Heamoor, a town above neighbouring Penzance.  Jane was a butcher’s daughter who married a widowed mariner/Trinity Lighthouse Keeper/RN Reservist called Richard George Harvey in 1876. He’d died in 1884; it appeared that he had recently taken up the role of Victualler in Penzance – unexpected but the info all matches.

I was surprised that there was no further mention of his wife Janie, and was shocked to find out that she had been buried in April 1924 in Bodmin after dying in the County Asylum, 47 miles away up county.

At some point John moved back to Clifton Terrace as he died there on 20/21 May 1924 aged “85 years of age, was a well known and respected inhabitant, and had spent a number of years in Buenos Ayres [SIC]”.  He was buried in Paul Cemetery on 23 May 1924 (as described in The Cornishman newspaper on 28 May 1924) with a floral cross from his daughters [Grace and Orpah] and grandchildren in Buenos Aires. His probate was heard in January 1927 in Bodmin and he left his effects to his two widowed daughters.

Sites used: Ancestry, FindMyPast including their BNA Archive, Facebook group AncestryUKArgbrit.org , Cornwall Family History Society, Cornwall OPC database, West Penwith Resources, FamilySearch.org, Wikepedia.

Words and UK images copyright Lynne Black
First published on starryblackness on 8 October 2017

Photo of Newlyn Beach, Cornwall

Benjamin Jacca and Priscilla Tonkin – hurricanes and shipping disasters in 19C Newlyn

My G-G-G-G Grandfather Benjamin Jacka arrived in the world on Thursday 1st November 1810. He grew up in tumultuous times, both literally with storms, hurricanes and food shortages, but also politically in the time of the regency and the Napoleonic wars.

Benjamin was the second of eight children of fisherman Peter Jacka and his wife Catherine Noell nee Kelynack and grew up in the Cornwall fishing village Newlyn. He was baptised at the age of 24 days in Paul Parish Church, up the hill above the village.

When he was 12 an event happened which eventually became enormously significant to the lives of Cornishmen for centuries: hundreds of miles away in Warwickshire William Webb-Ellis picked up a ball in a game of football and ran forward with it, inventing the game rugby, named after the town in which he lived.  Allegedly[1][2].

Another sport popular locally was wrestling and in 1827 when he was 16 a top-name tournament was held by the Newlyn Road near Penzance with wrestling champions James Polkinghorne and Richard Saundry as umpires. “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.”[3]

Photo of Newlyn, Old Harbour, at low tide

Newlyn, Old Harbour, low tide

As boys Benjamin and brother Peter, who was 3 years older than him, and the other local boys would have spent a lot of time mucking about down by the harbour, swimming out to boats to help the men bring in the fish. Later brothers and sisters were Jane, Honor, William, Charles Kelynack, Matilda and Richard.

When Benjamin was 14 his brother Peter joined the Merchant Navy, and Benjamin did too, a few years later, c1838 when he was 18.

On Sunday 18 December 1831, aged 21, he was the first of his brothers and sisters to marry.  His bride was Priscilla Tonkin, the fifth of nine children of Mousehole fisherman Philip Tonkin and his wife Anne Jasper [Mousehole was the next village].  Benjamin and Priscilla had their first child, Benjamin, in the spring of 1834. Sadly the baby died in infancy and was buried on 12 August up at Paul.

The following year, Benjamin was recorded[4] as working on the Lady Rowley, a “a 114 ton schooner built in the Port of Plymouth in 1833. It was mastered by ……. Captain Robert Horatio Harvey”[5] and possibly named after the wife of “Admiral Sir Charles Rowley GCB GCH (16 December 1770 – 10 October 1845) [who] was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth.” [6]  On 19 April 1836 she was in Falmouth: “the Lady Rowley, together with from 10 to 12 Neapolitans, had arrived to load; the Lady Rowley was to come here for orders.”[7]

photo of Paul Church

Paul Church

Benjamin and Priscilla’s daughter Susan was born in early 1837 and baptised on 14 May, and her sister Catherine [my ancestor] on was born on 27 April 1839 and baptised on 20 May 1840.

Benjamin was home with Priscilla and their daughters in the Street-An-Nowan [lower] area of Newlyn on the night of the 6 June 1841 census.  They were living in Chapel Street, where they lived for the rest of their lives.

The birth of their second son, also called Benjamin, was registered in early 1842 and he was baptised on 10 April that year, and third son Nicholas was baptised on 11 May 1845.

A few weeks before that, on 23 April 1845, Benjamin had been up at Paul Church, witnessing the wedding of his sister Matilda to tailor John Ellis Nicholls.

Their sixth child and third daughter Priscilla was born c1848.

Newlyn-SAN-OrchardPl5ChapelStw

Looking up Orchard Place, Newlyn

On 30 March 1851, the night of the census Priscilla and her five children Susan, Catherine, Benjamin, Nicolas and Priscilla were home in Chapel Street but Benjamin, by then a master mariner, was likely away on ship as he wasn’t recorded at home.

In 1855 and 1856 Benjamin’s parents died: on 23 September 1855 his father Peter died of an effusion on the brain and on 20 October 1856 his mother Catherine died of dysentery, a long-term condition of hers.

On 20 April 1858 Benjamin was again a witness, this time when his eldest daughter Susan married fisherman John Hosken Tonkin. Susan and John went on to have four [known] children:

  • Susan (1861);
  • Elizabeth (c1865);
  • John J (c1868); and
  • Prissilla (1870, later Mitchell).

On 7 October 1859 Benjamin and Priscilla’s second daughter Catherine [my ancestor] married fisherman James Daniel Rowe and they had eight children together, including Benjamin Jaco Rowe [my ancestor].

On the night of the 1861 census Benjamin and Priscilla were home at 13 Chapel Street with their three youngest unmarried children Benjamin, Nicholas and Priscilla.  Also in the house but recorded as a separate household were their daughter Catherine – now Catherine Rowe – and her baby Benjamin. Those three unmarried children had all married before the 1871 census.

On 13 May 1866 his carpenter son Benjamin married Caroline Polglaze. However he died before his wife; Caroline re-married in 1879. Her second husband was Thomas H Hobbs, a blacksmith late of the police force.

On 11 November 1867 their daughter Priscilla married mariner Andrew Williams. Together they had six children:

  • Andrew (c1878, died young);
  • Eliza (c1881);
  • Nicholas (c1883);
  • Ernest (c1885);
  • Rhoda (c1888); and
  • Andrew (1891, also died young).

By 1911 Priscilla was a widow (with Rhoda still living at home) and making ends meet by taking boarders.

Youngest son Nicholas became a Master Mariner like his father, and the 1871 census found them both on the Joseph Carne in Falmouth Harbour.  Nicholas married Margaret Ann Williams in spring 1870 and together they had 9 children, many of whom were baptised as Methodists:

  • Annie Margaret (c1871, School teacher, later James);
  • Priscilla (1872, later Morris);
  • Jane W (1875, school teacher, later Liddicoat);
  • Mary Williams (1877 later Lugg, later Eddy);
  • Zilpah (1878, learner of telegrapy, later Leggo, farmer’s wife);
  • Elizabeth (1880, school teacher, later Davey);
  • Nicholas (c1883, a schoolmaster);
  • Elsie (c1885-1893); and
  • Charles Williams (1888, a Post Office worker/postman).

Nicholas died in March 1915.

On 2 April 1871 Benjamin, by then 60, was away on the Joseph Carne in Falmouth with his son Nicholas among the crew.  However three months later he was home. His wife of 40 years Priscilla was dying of cancer and she passed away on 29 July, aged 60.  She was buried up in Paul Cemetery on 2 August 1871.

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Paul Cemetery, Sheffield Road, Paul

Benjamin began fishing around this time.  He lived on to the age of 81 but, fishing being a dangerous profession, had a couple of near misses.

On 13 October 1880 a destructive gale raged.  “Among those which had succumbed to the storm were the Emily, owned by Mr Benjamin Jacko” in Newlyn Harbour”.  The Cornishman paper noted that “Altogether the loss will amount to too large a sum, and those who were wise enough to insure in the Mount’s Bay Insurance Club (and we believe there are several) will now reap the benefit of their prudence”[8] – I don’t know whether Benjamin was prudent in that way or not.  Possibly not as soon after that he was crewing for John Roberts on the Cyrus, although perhaps he had decided to just take a step back from owning his own boat.

On 23 November 1882 the Cornish Telegraph reported: “in September last” [1881 or 1882?] the lugger Cyrus sank in Mount’s Bay after being hit by the T.E.C. when pilchard fishing near Penlee Point – neither vessel was displaying lights despite it being thick and hazy with rain as this was customary when fishing in shallow waters. The T.E.C. struck the Cyrus which sank as soon as all the men had climbed aboard the T.E.C..  Benjamin had been aboard the Cyrus, the owner and master of which was John Roberts, and was a witness in the enquiry in November 1882. “Benjamin Jaco had held a certificate for thirty years, and had been master of a small vessel of 180 or 190 tons. He knew the rule of the road at sea. He had been fishing about ten years.  He had never seen the red or green lights carried in a fishing boat.  He had been in large open boats which never showed the red and green lights, but he had never been away from this locality.”

The ship had an experienced crew of four of whom “the eldest of the crew of the Cyrus on the occasion was over 70 and the youngest was 59” and had neither a boat in the vessel or side lights (no lantern with green and red slides) although “in the pilchard fishery it was not the custom to do so.” The Court found amongst specifics of complying/not complying with various Articles of the regulations that “Both the master of the Cyrus and the master of the T.E.C. are to blame for not carrying lights … but the Court finds that the immediate cause of the collision was the disregard by the master of the T.E.C. of the rule of the road at sea.”  Both solicitors “intimated that their respective clients intended to comply with the law with regard to carrying red and green lights on their vessels.”[9]

In 1885 the foundation stone was laid for Newlyn’s new South Pier; the North Pier was built in 1888, hopefully both of these afforded more protection for future gales than for the 1880 gale which saw the loss of the Emily.

In the 3 April 1891 census Benjamin was recorded as a Retired Master Mariner and was living alone in Chapel Street.  He died the following year, on 31 March 1892, and was buried on 3 April in Paul Cemetery.

Words and photos © Lynne Black
First published 8 May 2017 on https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/

[1] RugbyFootballHistory.com http://www.rugbyfootballhistory.com/webb-ellis.html accessed 9 April 2017

[2] The Rugby History Society, http://therugbyhistorysociety.co.uk/didhe.html , accessed 9 April 2017

[3] Morning Chronicle – Tuesday 02 October 1827, P3, BNA http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000082/18271002/014/0003

[4] FindMyPast’s Britain, merchant seamen records 1835-1857

[5] He [Martin Wright] was later the owner of a ship named the Lady Rowley a 114 ton schooner built in the Port of Plymouth in 1833. It was mastered by his future son-in law, Captain Robert Horatio HARVEY.   http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/gartrell/264/ accessed 31 Dec 2016.

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Charles_Rowley,_1st_Baronet Accessed 31 Dec 2016

[7] BNA Maritime news, 22 April 1836 via FMP http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0001258%2f18360422%2f061

[8] Cornishman, 14 October 1880, P7, via BNA on FindMyPast:  http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000331%2f18801014%2f061

[9] The Cornish Telegraph 23 November 1882, P7, Col 1, via BNA on FindMyPast: http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0001617%2f18821123%2f132

Richard R Jaco, Catherine Richards, Job and the hapless Clifton Grove

Richard Richards Jaco [spellings vary] was the youngest of the 8 known children of Peter Jacka and his wife Catherine Noell Kelynack, a fishing family living in Newlyn, Paul parish, Cornwall.  He was baptised on 1st December 1830 in the first year of the reign of King William IV.  Like his father he became a fisherman.

Although the youngest of 8 brothers and sisters – Peter, Benjamin, Jane, Honor, William, Charles Kelynack and Matilda – Peter and Benjamin would have been away often in the merchant service, and his sister Jane had married and moved away to St Just when Richard was just three years old, so there wouldn’t often have been 10 people in the house.

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Paul Parish Church

His future bride was Catherine Richards whom he would have seen round the village all his life, and they married at Paul Parish Church on 16 April 1850 when he was 19 and she 18 [assuming they were baptised soon after their births]. She must have been quite far gone, as by late summer they were parents of their first child, Richard Richards Jacka, handily named after both his parents. Dad Richard was perhaps at sea on 30 March 1851 when the census was taken as Catherine was staying with her son at her mother’s house in the Fradgan street in Street-An-Nowan [the lower part of Newlyn]. Sadly baby Richard died in infancy.

Their second child was baptised on 5 September 1852, another Richard Richards Jacka, and followed by Susan, baptised on 6 April 1855.  Sadly Susan died in infancy too, in November 1857.  Charles was born c 1857 and baptised on 31 October 1858, and fifth and final known child Job was born in early 1860 and baptised on 17 October 1860.

Richard’s father Peter Jacko had died in 1851, living in the Fradgan, and his mother Catherine in 1856. His brother Charles had emigrated to Australia c 1853.

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The Fradgan, Newlyn

The 7 April 1861 census finds Richard and Catherine, with sons Richard, Charles and Job, living in the Fradgan still,  which was almost entirely fishermen’s families, with a couple of carpenters/ shipwrights and dressmakers living there too; this included his married sister Honor and her fisherman husband Samuel Plomer before they moved up round the corner to Chapel Street. His brother William and his wife Grace lived two minutes away in Foundry Lane

In December 1864 there was more grief for Richard and Catherine when oldest surviving son Richard Richards died.  Catherine herself died five months later, in May 1865, aged only 33.

In April 1871 Richard and his two surviving sons Charles and Job were living in Upper Fradgan still, although Job was recorded as John. Charles, aged 14, was working as a labourer but this is the last record I can find for him.  Richard died in 1874, aged 43.

In 1881 Job was still living in the Fradgan, living with his Uncle John and Aunt Mary Richards and was working, aged 19, as a fisherman.  However soon after that he must have joined the Merchant Navy. On January 1884 he joined the crew of the coasting ship SS Clifton Grove.

In December 1885 the crew, including Job, appeared in court in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, for not paying duty on foreign tobacco which they had bought for themselves in London; the tobacco was confiscated from the men, no penalty inflicted, and they were set at liberty.  Job was in possession of only 4oz[1].

I lost track of Job after that, although if he stayed on the Clifton Grove I saw it mentioned a few times as it seemed to literally get in a lot of scrapes.

The Shields Daily Gazette of 09 August 1887 reported that en route from Llanelly [maybe via Newport] to Rochester with coals she arrived in Portland where she needed condenser and air pump repairs[2].

Late on the evening of 23 August 1887 the Clifton Grove was involved in a fatal collision on the River Avon with a stone-carrying barge called the Sarah Ann near the Port and Pier Railway Station; one of the barge men was drowned.[3][4]

27 July 1888 the SS Clifton Grove grounded on the flat of the Eish Strand and their re-float was ‘assisted’ by salvagers – whose authority to do this was hotly contested – and who were awarded £2 in Falmouth Borough Police Court in fees to be shared amongst them rather than the salvage fees they claimed of £200[5].

The year after that, in September 1889, she grounded in Trouville [Normandy, France] but was docked and found undamaged[6].

On 21 February 1891 it was reported about the SS Clifton Grove that on Thursday [12th February] “A Dangerous Reef in the Solway – The master of the SS Clifton Grove, bound from Llanelly to Workington, reports that whilst proceeding up the Solway Firth on Thursday morning at seven o’clock, engines dead slow, tide six hours ebb, his vessel suddenly took the ground on Mossbay Bank, a dangerous ridge of rocks running north and south of the Firth for a considerable distance, and remained stranded one hour and a half, the vessel making a quantity of water. This reef is very dangerous and misleading to mariners; more especially on very high spring tides, when the tide ebbs for a considerable distance, thereby leaving very little water on the ridge. It is suggested that a buoy should be fixed to indicate the position of the reef, which should also be marked on the chart with the correct soundings at high and low water during spring and neap tides.” [7]

On 27 and 28 February the Board of Trade held an inquiry “into the circumstances attending the stranding of the British Steamship “CLIFTON GROVE,” of Bristol, on or near Moss Bay Patch, near Workington, on or about the 12th February 1891.” And found “the stranding was caused by the negligent navigation of Mr. Edward Morgans, the master of the “Clifton Grove,” in that he allowed the vessel to proceed in thick weather in close proximity to the land without taking proper means to ascertain from time to time the exact position of the vessel, by taking soundings and by verifying the distance she had run. The Court finds the master in default, and suspend his certificate, No. 97,914, for six calendar months from this date. The Court also finds the managing owner, Mr. W. H. Butler, to blame, for the undermanning of the ship.”[8]

In October 1895 it was reported that the “Clifton Grove of Bristol, bound for Chatham with a cargo of coals has been detained in the entrance channel in consequence of something having gone wrong with the propeller. The steamer dried on the mud, effected repairs and proceeded to her destination on yesterday morning’s tide.” [9]

Despite searching several sites I have no idea where Job ended up, but I hope he had more luck than the SS Clifton Grove.

Words and photos © Lynne Black
First published 17 April 2017 at https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/richard-r-jaco/

[1] Gloucester Citizen 11 December 1885, P4, BNA via FMP http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000325%2f18851211%2f018

[2] The Shields Daily Gazette 09 August 1887, P4, BNA via FMP http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000287%2f18870809%2f058

[3] Cardiff Times 27 August 1887, P5, BNA via FMP: http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000921%2f18870827%2f086

[4] Western Daily Press 24 August 1887, P5, BNA via FMP: http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000264%2f18870824%2f019

[5] Cornishman 09 August 1888, P5, BNA via FMP http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000331%2f18880809%2f052

[6] Shields Daily Gazette 26 September 1889, P4, BNA via FMP http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000287%2f18890926%2f035

[7] Carlisle Express and Examiner 21 February 1891, P5, BNA via FMP: http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0001875%2f18910221%2f083

[8] Wreck Report for Clifton Grove, PortCities, http://www.plimsoll.org/resources/SCCLibraries/WreckReports/15967.asp?view=text

[9] South Wales Daily News 12 October 1895 , P7, BNA via FMP: http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000919%2f18951012%2f160

Matilda Jacca, John Ellis Nicholls and the story of Mary Kelynack

Matilda was the sixth of seven children, and the youngest daughter, of fisherman Peter Jacka and his wife Catherine Noall nee Kelynack.  Born c1827, she grew up in the first half of the 19th century in the Cornish fishing village of Newlyn, 9 miles from Land’s End. Her brothers and sisters were Peter, Benjamin, Jane, Honor, William, Charles Kelynack and Richard.

Matilda married in July 1845 when she was 18 and working as a servant; her bridegroom was John Ellis Nicholls, a tailor, and they spoke their vows at Paul Parish Church.

Their first son, Richard, was born early the following year and William Curnow was baptised two years later in January 1847.  Andrew was born c1850.

Newlyn-Fradyen4

The Fradgan, Newlyn, with drain in the middle of the street

In 1851 they were living in the Fradgan in the area of lower Newlyn known as Street-an-Nowan and the street on which Matilda had grown up and on which various family members were still living.

At that point in time Newlyn was in the parish of Paul parish, the main villages in which were Newlyn (both Street-An-Nowan and Newlyn Town), Mousehole and Paul itself. “The population [of the parish], in 1851, was 5,408; and the acreage is 3,433.”[1]

1851 was the year of Queen Victoria’s and Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace, London, and the name of local woman Mary Kelynack would have been on everyone’s lips in Paul parish:  “On Tuesday, September 24th, among the visitors of the Mansion House was Mary Callinack, eighty-four years of age, who had travelled on foot from Penzance, carrying a basket on her head, with the object of visiting the Exhibition and of paying her respects personally to the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress.” [2]

She was later presented to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

”Our portrait of the Cornish fish-wife has been sketched from life at her abode, Homer Place, Crawford Street, Mary-le-bone. She was born in the parish of Paul, by Penzance, on Christmas Day, 1766, so that she has nearly completed her eighty-fifth year. To visit the present Exhibition, she walked the entire distance from Penzance, nearly three hundred miles; she having ‘registered a vow’ before she left home, that she would not accept assistance in any shape, except as regarded her finances.
“She possesses her faculties unimpaired; is very cheerful, has a considerable amount of humour in her composition; and is withal a woman of strong common sense, and frequently makes remarks that are very shrewd, when her great age and defective education are taken into account. She is fully aware that she has made herself somewhat famous; and among other things which she contemplates, is her return to Cornwall, to end her days in ‘Paul parish,’ where she wishes to be interred by the side of old Dolly Pentreath, who was also a native of Paul, and died at the age of 102 years.”[3]

Back in Newlyn, sadly Matilda and John’s second son William died and was buried on 5 October 1852 up in Paul, aged approx. 5 years old.

They had their first daughter in late 1852 and baby Elizabeth was baptised on 2 January 1853.  While doing this they caught up with the baptism of Andrew – he was baptised the same day, aged 3 years old.  Their next child, a second William was baptised on 5 April 1855.  He was followed by Anne, who was baptised on 27 November 1859.

At the time of the 1861 census the family were living at 5 Fradgan.  Their next child, Matilda, was born c November 1861 and baptised on 24 May 1863.  Sadly young Matilda died later that year, in in November 1863.  Her mother Matilda must have been pregnant again at the time, for when she had her next child in early 1864 she named her new daughter Matilda after herself and her lost daughter.

Time passed, prime-ministers changed with frequency, but by 1871 they were still living in the Fradgan with John still a tailor.

It appears their son Richard married a woman called Mary c 1872 and they had 3 children together of whom two survived infancy: Richard in February 1873, a second Richard in July 1875 and Mary in November 1877.  There was a Mary Nicholls of Paul who died aged 31 in January 1881 who would match.  After that, details on Richard’s family and life (including probable second marriage to Elizabeth and children John, Elizabeth and Thomas together) remain confusing as there were a few Richard Nicholls born around 1875 & 1876.

In summer 1873 their eldest daughter, net-maker Elizabeth Mary, married.  Her groom was fisherman Francis Curnow Badcock and the first of their four known children, Catherine Kelynack Badcock, arrived in 1874, followed by Richard, Bessie and John.

Matilda and John’s youngest daughter Matilda hadn’t been baptised when she was a baby, I discovered it as she was baptised age 14 on 25 April 1878.  Horrifyingly there was a reason: it must have been a death-bed baptism for she died that same day and was buried 3 days later up at Paul, Matilda and John losing their second Matilda.

Cornishman25Apr1895_NichollsTailor

Advert from the Cornishman, 1895 via BNA collection on FMP

The family were living in Gwavas Quay by April 1878 and were still there in the 1881 census – with 3-year-old grand-daughter Bessie Badcock (Elizabeth’s daughter) having run down the hill from Orchard Place to see her grand-parents and be listed in two household census returns. They had a full household that day as in addition to John and Matilda, both now in their mid-50s, they had unmarried Andrew and widowed Richard (both fishermen) and Richard’s two children Richard and Mary living at home.

Matilda and John’s son William b 1855 wasn’t present in 1881, and neither was young Anne, who would have been 22 in 1881 and for both the trail has gone cold.

In late 1883 there was more loss for poor Matilda and John when their [probably] only remaining daughter Elizabeth Mary Badcock died aged only 31, leaving her husband and three surviving young children ranging from age 7 to 3.  Catherine had been followed by Richard, who was born early 1876 but died about a year later, Bessie c1878 and John Nicholls in March 1880.  Catherine went on to marry fish-hawker James Green, Bessie married a coach-body maker from Liverpool called Henry Warburton and moved away, and John married fisherman’s daughter Janie Pentreath.

Matilda and John were living in Gwavas Quay in April 1891.  Matilda died on 30 May 1898; John moved back to the Fradgan and lived on until [probably] spring 1907.

Words and photos © Lynne Black.
First published 1 April 2017 at https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/

[1] Kelly’s Directory 1856 via Cornwall OPC: http://west-penwith.org.uk/paul56.htm

[2] Illustrated London News, Illustrated London News, October 26th, 1851, via BNA

[3] Illustrated London News, Illustrated London News, October 26th, 1851, via BNA

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