Annie was born in Penzance, Cornwall, England in early 1852. However her father John Rowe, a mason, had moved (probably for work) to Pembrokeshire in Wales, by the time she was seven.
She was the sixth of seven children of John and his wife Sarah Sampson, but Sarah is likely to have died while Annie was 9 or 10 as by the time Sarah was 13 her father was remarried (by then back in Penzance) to a widow with three children called Cecilia Paynter Adler. In that decade she saw her two older sisters Elizabeth and Catharine marry and move away, and older brother Thomas marry and settle down locally.
When Annie was 21 she married a Newlyn fisherman called John Pascoe Blewett, on 30 March 1873 in St Mary’s Church, Penzance. They had their first of their nine children that summer, a son named John Pascoe for his father and grandfather, and he was baptised on 30 September in Penzance, St Paul’s church. I’ve found no later records for him so he may have died in infancy.
Unexpectedly the two next children I found, William (1878) and Beatrice (1880), were both born in Killamarsh. At that time the booming Killamarsh was recorded as Yorkshire, but appears now to be in Derbyshire, and it’s on the border between these two counties.
It’s extremely unlikely that John was working as a fisherman in land-locked Killamarsh, although it was on the River Rother, and from 1881 onwards John is described in sources as a labourer or a sawyer.
After Beatrice’s birth the family moved back to Penzance where twins Ethel and Edgar were baptised on 19 August 1882 in St John’s parish. However they may have been sickly or impoverished, and Edgar died c August 1883 and Ethel in early 1884. That spring they had another son, his name was James Dees Alder Blewett, named for Annie’s step-brother. Their next child, Sarah Jane, was born on 11 September 1885 but the family were bereaved again when she died the following spring.
During the 1880s and 1890s the family lived at several addresses in Penzance, many close to Penzance harbour, and I think times must have been hard for them. In April 1891 John was still working as a labourer in a sawmill.
On 21 September 1887 Thomas Henry was born, and their final child, Catherine Anne was baptised on 6 December 1889 in St Mary’s Church.
Annie was widowed before the 31 March 1901 census. She was living with her married daughter Beatrice at that time; Annie’s son, grocer’s store boy Thomas and daughter Catherine, aged 9, were also in the household. I can find no confirmed date of her death.
It’s been hard following the lives of their children and I fear that grimly up to 8 of her 9 children may not have survived childhood. The only one I can find who married was Killamarsh-born Beatrice (others may hopefully also have had their own families, I haven’t been able to account for them all). They were poor so the only records I’m likely to find for them are census, registration and possibly at some point school records.
Beatrice married Archibald Thomas in late 1896 in Penzance, aged 16; he was a fisherman’s son from neighbouring Newlyn. They had a son called John D c1898 and a daughter c1900 whom they called Dorothy T. In 1901 the young family were living in an end-terrace house in 48 Leskinnick Terrace, just five minutes walk down to Penzance Train Station and [at that time] the harbour, with Beatrice’s mother, brother and sister plus two borders living with them.
Their next child Beatrice Annie was born on 8 January 1903, by July 1904 they are living in Churchtown, in adjoining Madron parish and unexpectedly Archibald is working as a miller. I can’t currently find any 1911 census entries for any of them, so hopefully they’re living together in a mill somewhere…
I would love to find out the end of Annie’s and Beatrice’s stories.
Text © Lynne Black, 20 March 2016; Logs image from MorgueFiles
First published: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2016/03/20/anne-sampson-rowe/