As the examples in the previous blog showed, some of the children in our Victorian Lives database did not move far beyond the confines of the district in which they grew up. Others, for a variety of reasons, broke away and by the time they were 40 their childhood landscapes were just fond memories (or … Continue reading Miner’s cottage, manor house and famous neighbours
For many men in Victorian Cornwall freewill must have been a remote concept. With predictable regularity son followed father into the father’s occupation, generation after generation. Social mobility may have been an alien idea for the vast majority but some men broke the bonds and switched jobs. But who? William Francis Burnard grew up in … Continue reading Davidstow: free will or predestination?
Cury is a small, rural parish on the Lizard peninsula, four to five miles south of the market town of Helston. We might expect some of those growing up in Cury to be attracted to their nearby town. And so they were. Ann Thomas for example grew up in a farm labourer’s family in Cury. … Continue reading The Thomases go to town
Cubert is a small parish between Perranporth and Newquay which supplied five children for the database. One has not yet been traced beyond 1861; the others all left the parish at some point but three of them only moved within the confines of mid-Cornwall. Cubert churchtown As an example, we can take James Edwin Hubber, … Continue reading Cubert: local moves and global migrants
Thomas Laity was born into a large mining family in the village of Praze in Crowan. His father William was a miner, as was his oldest brother while two grown-up sisters worked as bal maidens. There is some suggestion that his parents had migrated during the depressed years of the late 1840s, as his sister … Continue reading Praze people
In the early nineteenth century Crowan was a booming mining parish. Its population rose from just under 2,600 in 1801 to peak at over 4,600 in the mid-1840s. Well over half of the households with a male head were working in or on the mines in 1851. While the slumps of the later 1860s and … Continue reading ‘Away in America’
Some of those in our Victorian Lives database had parents with backgrounds that were more out of the ordinary than others. Alfred Preston was one. We meet Alfred’s mother, before Alfred had been born, in Bodmin Jail in November 1848. Mary Ann Preston, then aged 22, and her brother Thomas, a 19 year-old sawyer, were … Continue reading The long arm of the law
Creed is another in a run of smaller parishes in mid-Cornwall that remind us that Cornwall in the mid-1800s was not all mining. Creed was a rural parish of 55 households in 1851 next to the small borough of Grampound with two thirds of those households dependent on farming or farm labouring for their livelihoods. … Continue reading A clerk from Creed
Elizabeth Jane Jolley was the first child of John and Elizabeth, a young married couple living at Trevallack in St Columb Minor in 1851. By 1861 John and Elizabeth together with Elizabeth Jane and three other children, were living at Trewolla in Crantock, to the west of Newquay. Short moves were frequent, as the presence … Continue reading From Crantock sailor to Camborne grocer?
Cornelly was one of Cornwall’s smallest nineteenth century parishes. Tucked away between Truro and St Austell on the edge of the Roseland peninsula, its population peaked at 170 in 1831, fell abruptly in the following decade and had almost halved by the end of the century. Viewed as too small to be viable, It was … Continue reading An Irish connection