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

 

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

  1. Pingback: Honor Jacco and Samuel Plomer: their family in the Fradgan | starryblackness

    1. starryblackness Post author

      It’s hard to tell – I’ve not come across any Wilmots in the family but it’s one to bear in mind as a possible middle name in case there was a local minister or friend of the family. Maybe the family mumbled Margaret and the recorder was totally confused!

      Reply
    2. starryblackness Post author

      Hi Annie, I’ve checked back and you’re a genius! Because of your suggestion I’ve confirmed a third daughter for Charles and Alice, 1849 – Nov 1852, not a happy ending granted, but I like including the forgotten people so that means a lot to me. Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  2. Michael

    Fascinating to see the ups and downs that happen over the course of our ancestors’ lives. An interesting read. And always great to find newspaper articles that help illustrate the story.

    Reply
    1. starryblackness Post author

      Thanks Michael. Sorry for the delay in replying, I only noticed your comment when I loogged on this morning.
      Finding articles is always so useful, although as you say there are ups and downs in life. so the stories can have their moments.

      Reply
  3. Robert Hoskins@aol.com

    My current family name is Hoskins. My great grandfather was buried as Archibald Hoskinson. Am interested in the connection to ur reference to Hosking. Any info related to immigration to the colonies in late 1500 early 1600 to Virginia appreciated.

    Reply
    1. starryblackness Post author

      Hi Robert, sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I’ve not been on WP since your enquiry.
      I wish I had got that far back with my research! I’ve not gone back further that the 1770s unfortunately.
      Lynne

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Matilda Jacca, John Ellis Nicholls and the story of Mary Kelynack | starryblackness

  5. Pingback: Richard R Jaco, Catherine Richards, Job and the hapless Clifton Grove | starryblackness

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