Four Cornishwomen: Portugal, Penzance & Scilly pt 3 – Jane and Emma

This is the 120-year story of a line of four Cornishwomen: Elizabeth, Rosanna, Jane and Emma. This time I’m featuring Jane and Emma.

Emma was the bride of a distant cousin of mine, John Wright Rowe Jnr, and grew up on a small island in the Isles of Scilly, off the south west of Cornwall. When I had a look at her story I found that not only did the family flit between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly, but that she had exotic genes from her great-grandfather Bernardo Peyshott.


St Martin’s Island, Isles of Scilly, by Jeremy Pearson, Flickr, Creative Commons license

Rosanna and William’s older daughter Jane Nance is Emma’s mother.

Jane Nance, George Payne and Edgar Wingate

Jane was born in late 1849 in Penzance, Cornwall but she, her mariner father, tailoress mother Rosanna and sister had moved to the Isles of Scilly in the late 1850s before she was 12, and in April 1861 she was living in small St Martins near her father’s family.

When she was 20 she married fair skinned hazel-eyed sailor George Payne on 5 June 1870 on the Isles of Scilly.

George had been born inland in Bovey Tracey on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon, in June 1837. After his father George died, his mother Amelia had re-married Henry Lowton in 1840 and they had a daughter together. After being widowed a second time she had married a John Davy/Davis and had two more children; she was working as a bonnet maker in 1851. George was mining at that time, aged 14.  He eventually made the change from mining in his late 20s and joined the Navy.  George was 12 years Jane’s senior and when they met he was half-way through his ten year Royal Navy service. He had a tattoo of a crucifix on his right arm and one of a man and a woman on his left arm and had served on the Achilles as his first posting. [Info from Navy records on Ancestry.]


Porth Conger, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly, by James Stringer, Flickr, Creative Commons

On 2 April 1871 George was working as a coastguard on neighbouring St Agnes island, although Jane, a tailoress like her mother, was on St Martins with her parents. This may be because she was blooming: their first child, son George, was born that spring and baptised on 9 July 1871. [Info from Cornwall OPC.]  He was followed by Rosanna ‘Rosa’ born on 14 September 1872 on St Agnes, Jane c1876 and Emma c1878, both back in St Martins.

Jane’s younger sister Rosanna married a farmer called Thomas Woodcock in 1874 (later described as a gentleman) and also had several children on St Martins, she lived up in Lower Town.

George died aged 42 in late April/early May 1880 and was buried on 5 May on the Isles.  A month later Jane gave birth to their fifth child, a girl named Georgina for the father she would never meet. Jane was now a 30 year-0ld widow and mother of five children.

By the following April [1881] she was working as a grocer in Higher Town on St Martins. Her mother Rosanna died in 1886.  Despite these losses her daughters did well for themselves as teachers, suggesting she was aware of the importance of hard work and making the most of what you’ve got.

Jane got re-married – to another Merchant Navy and coastguard man – in spring 1887. Her husband Edgar Wingate, who’d been born in Milton, Hampshire, was 21 years her senior and they didn’t have children.

Edgar was a widower. Eliza, his first wife, had been born in Epping, Essex, and after their 1857 marriage they’d lived in Sheppey (Kent), Bangor (Caernarvonshire) and St Agnes where she had died in early 1887. There are just a few months between Eliza’s death and Edgar’s remarriage, Jane must have snapped him up quickly! Perhaps she was the talk of the islands! Maybe they’d met years before through her first husband’s George’s coastguard work, it wasn’t that big a place.

Her father William died the following year, in late 1888.


Penzance Harbour by Liz Pycock, Flickr, Creative Commons

By April 1891 Edgar and Jane had moved to the mainland. Disconcertingly, for me on a personal level, they had moved to Newlyn (the next village to the west of Penzance) and were living in the Street-An-Nowan area of Newlyn in the road next to my Granny’s house, although they are absolutely no relation. My great-great-grandparents owned the bakery at the top of that lane.

Jane and George’s first child George Payne grew up on St Martins but by the age of 20 in 1891 after the family had moved to the mainland was working as a butcher in Newlyn. However by 1901 he was working as a stone mason. I can’t find confirmed records for him after that.

Jane’s daughter Rosanna ‘Rosa’ Payne married Trinity Service man John Williams  in 1894 and they settled down and raised a family in Penzance.

Middle child Jane Payne became a pupil teacher (1891) and by 1901 was a teacher in Penzance. I know of no marriage for her but in 1911 I find her a schoolmistress in Saltash, Cornwall, with her sister Emma and family visiting.

Youngest daughter Georgina Payne also became a schoolmistress. She married another teacher, Charles Hodge, in 1905 and together they moved to Cadeleigh in Devon where they were employed by the council. In April 1911 Charles was an Assistant Teacher, and Georgina a Head Teacher by the age of 31, which I think is great for over 100 years ago. Charles enlisted in 1917 and served in the Army Pay Corps where he was promoted to Corporal; after the war he went back to teaching.

By March 1901 Edgar and Jane had moved to Lescudjack Road, Penzance. Edgar died in Penzance on 29 April 1904, Jane died in early May 1925.

Jane’s fourth child (third daughter) was called Emma Payne.

Emma Payne and John Wright Rowe

The fourth child of George and Jane Payne, Emma, grew up in St Martin’s island in the Isles of Scilly, but was living on the mainland in Newlyn by the age of 13, where even at that young age was working as a dressmaker. After that she moved to Penzance but no occupation was recorded for her in 1901.


Market Jew Street, Penzance, postcard sent c1910

The following year she married  John Wright Rowe in Penzance. John, a couple of years older than her, had also started work young: at the age of 14 he had been an errand boy at the docks in Penzance. John’s father Thomas Henry Rowe may not have been around much when he was young, or may even have died, but his trade had been that of a mason. His mother Phyllis was a laundress and mother of four.

By 1902, when he was initiated into the Penzance Mount Sinai Lodge Masons, John was working as a builder and this continued to at least 1907, the last record I have of him.

Emma and John had two children: Emma Doreen in 1903 and George Raymond in autumn 1907, both registered in the Penzance area. In April 1911 on census night they were visiting Emma’s older sister teacher Jane in Saltash, Cornwall, which is just at the border with Devon, across the Tamar from Plymouth.

Main Sources:
Ancestry; FindMyPast; Cornwall Online Parish Clerks; Genuki, Flickr.

Text © Lynne Black,  13 March 2016
Isles of Scilly panorama and St Agnes photo by James Stringer, Flickr, Creative Commons license
St Martins sunset by Jeremy Pearson, Flickr, Creative Commons license
Penzance Harbour by Liz Pycock, Flickr, Creative Commons license
First published:

13 thoughts on “Four Cornishwomen: Portugal, Penzance & Scilly pt 3 – Jane and Emma

  1. Pingback: Four strong Cornishwomen: Portugal, Penzance & Scilly – pt 2 – Rosanna Peychott | starryblackness

  2. Pingback: Four Cornishwomen: Portugal, Penzance & Scilly. Pt1: Elizabeth Hessell | starryblackness

  3. Pingback: March 2016: Celebrating Women’s History Month in New Hampshire | Cow Hampshire

  4. Mike Hocking-Gill

    I have just stumbled across this article during a search for my ancestors. I was wondering if you could help me, my grandfather was Robert William Thomas Hocking 1912-1994 I believe he was born in Penzance or the Parish of Penzance and his mother’s maiden name was Starks.
    He was brought up in Marazion as a young child but I believe his family moved to Bournemouth.
    My dad has always said about our Portuguese roots that his dad used to mention, and my Ancestry DNA test did indeed come back with a small amount of Portuguese!
    On ancestry it is suggesting that my 3rd great grandparent is William H Peychott born 1817! I can’t believe that after all these years we may be on to something.
    Any help would be so hugely appreciated.
    Michael Hocking-Gill

      1. Michael Hocking-Gill

        Hi Lynne,
        Yes thanks for that, you mentioning Catherine’s marriage to Thomas Hocking b1864 certainly confirms the information that I found this week, and indeed confirms the link to our family.
        I absolutely loved reading your four articles on the Peyshott family and it is amazing to finally be able to put a name and a few stories to our Portuguese ancestor and his family.
        By the way if you have additional information on Catherine’s husband Thomas Hocking (eg their year of marriage or his year of death) I would really appreciate it as I have come to bit of a dead end on that one.
        Great writing, thanks again!
        Mike Hocking-Gill

      2. starryblackness Post author

        Sure, this looks prime suspect for marriage; Catherine is a few years older than Thomas:

        Name: Catherine Peychot
        Registration Year: 1884
        Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar
        Registration District: Penzance

        And this for birth:
        Name: Catherine Peychot
        Registration Year: 1851
        Registration Quarter: Apr-May-Jun
        Registration District: Penzance
        Name: Catharine Paychot
        Gender: Female
        Baptism Date: 10 Jun 1851
        Baptism Place: St Mary, Penzance, Cornwall, England
        Father: William Henry Paychot
        Mother: Mary
        FHL Film Number: 1796106
        Reference ID: p 204

        1891 Census as Howken:
        Name: Thomas Howken
        Gender: Male
        Age: 27
        Relationship: Head
        Birth Year: 1864
        Spouse: Catherine Howken
        Child: William Thomas Howken
        Barnardo Howken

        1901 census:
        Ecclesiastical parish: St Mary
        County/Island: Cornwall
        Country: England
        Street address: 15 South Terrace
        Registration district: Penzance
        Sub-registration district: Penzance
        ED, institution, or vessel: 27
        Thomas Hocking 38, Head, Marr, Cab driver / Groom, born Penzance, Cornwall
        Catherine Hocking 40, wife, Marr, born Penzance, Cornwall (inconsistent date?)
        Willie Hocking 16, son, unmarr, carpenter, born Penzance, Cornwall
        Barnard Hocking 13, son, born Penzance, Cornwall
        Mary Hocking 5, daur, born Penzance, Cornwall
        Mary Peychot 85, m-in-law, born Penzance, Cornwall [might be worth searching for Mary Bucket!!!]
        Elizabeth Peychot 48, S-in-law, born Penzance, Cornwall
        I found them via Mary Peychot.

        1911 in 27 Chapel Street, Penzance, Cwll, both still alive with family.
        Thomas Hocking 47
        Catherine Hocking 57
        Barnardo Hocking 23
        Mary P Hocking 15
        Elizabeth Peychot 60
        William Henry Knight 26

        Enjoy 🙂

      3. starryblackness Post author

        Name: Thomas Hocking
        Gender: Male
        Marital status: Widowed
        Birth Date: 17 Sep 1861
        Residence Year: 1939
        Address: 34
        Residence Place: Penzance, Cornwall, England
        Occupation: Nil Pennioner
        Line Number: 21
        Schedule Number: 122
        Sub Schedule Number: 5
        Enumeration District: WAPU
        Borough: Penzance
        Household Members:
        Bernards Hocking – Bernardo?
        Annie J Hocking
        Richard T Hocking
        Diania C Hocking
        Thomas Hocking

        and his final record:
        Name: Thomas Hocking
        Death Age: 83
        Birth Date: abt 1862
        Registration Date: Jan 1945
        [Feb 1945]
        [Mar 1945]
        Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar
        Registration District: Penzance
        Inferred County: Cornwall
        Volume: 5c
        Page: 271

      4. starryblackness Post author

        And in 1981 he may be this servant in the Prince of Wales Inn, Market Jew Street, Penzance:
        ame: Thomas Hocking
        Age: 20
        Estimated Birth Year: abt 1861
        Relationship to Head: Servant
        Gender: Male
        Where born: Penzance, Cornwall, England
        Civil Parish: Madron – Penzance
        County/Island: Cornwall
        Country: England
        Street Address: 109 and 110 Market Jew St (Prince of Wales Inn)
        Employment status:
        View image
        Occupation: General Servant (Inn Serv)
        Registration District: Penzance
        ED, institution, or vessel: 14
        Neighbors: View others on page
        Piece: 2345
        Folio: 83
        Page Number: 16

  5. Mike Hocking-Gill

    Thanks Lynne, this and a West Penwith births/deaths/marriages website helped me to find loads of information and plug in lots of gaps. Amazing!

      1. Michael Hocking-Gill

        …however, I have drawn a blank with good old Bernado Peychot…much more difficult with him as it’s dealing with Portuguese baptismal records etc…it seems his name was anglicised to Peychot but was originally Peixoto. Weird that there’s no death records of him in Cornwall. I wonder if he died at sea?
        A very long shot but if you found any more info on him since your original post I’d be very interested!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s