Sunday, January 13, 2019

John Hurrell - Dueling to his death

In my continuing research of my Hurrell family, I uncovered this sad story of John Hurrell, dying at age 18 from injuries sustained in a duel.

There was quite a bit of news coverage for the day - I found at least 3 articles regarding the duel and inquest.


The following article delves into the motivations and consequences......truly sad.



Update:  His father and the Demelweeks were acquitted in March 1831 at Plymouth



Thursday, January 10, 2019

2 new John Hurrells, short but interesting lives.....

Stumbled across 2 new HURRELL ancestors today through very different avenues.  Some ancestors slip through the cracks, are born between census's, died young, or disappear for no reason.  And some come to light through non-traditional research methods! 

I found 2 different John Hurrell's today. 

The first John, I came via a new record set on Findmypast for Misc Devon records.  When I put in the name Hurrell, there was a Coroners Inquest with "Manslaughter" listed.  There were additional Hurrell's being interviewed or providing statements at the same date.  In looking at names, and then looking at the British Newspaper Archive for 1830, I found an article that shed some light on what happened.




In August 1830 there was a duel between 2 young fisherman, Hurrell and Demellwick, and their Fathers were Seconds.  It appears Hurrell died, as there is a Coroner's record for John Hurrell on Sept 6 1830, with the notation Manslaughter. 
There are accounts by John Hurrell of West Alvington, Richard Hurrell of Loddiswell, and William Hurrell, Mariner (no residence listed).
I also found this reference 1/703/59 from National Archives site:  
Date: 1830
Letter to W F Wise esq, Mayor of Plymouth from William Hurrell, Joseph Demellweek and Joana alias Joseph Demellweek the elder who are charged with the manslaughter of John Hurrell asking if they can be detained in the prison at Plymouth until they receive a decision to their application for bail
With rules of court for admitting prisoners to bail
Also a letter from Richard Jago Squire, Coroner re the warrant for the commitment of the abovementioned who are charged with manslaughter

It would seem William is the Father, and John and Richard would be William's brothers.  All of this squares up with my Family Tree and helped place this John as the son of William.  I had a John, son of William b 1812, and had no further record of him......his death in 1830 makes sense, and I never would've found him without these records, as it's before Civil Registration and Censuses.

The Second John Hurrell I discovered today was a new son to Richard Hurrell and Elizabeth Sampson, that I did not have.  I found him while looking at the National Archives site also.  I put in the name John Hurrell as part of my searching for the other John Hurrell who died in the duel.  I came across this John as being admitted as a student to the Greenwich Hospital School.  On this record it lists his birth date as 10 Feb 1843, and his parents as Richard Hurrell and Elizabeth Sampson with a marriage date of 22 Dec 1831 in East Stonehouse, Devon.  This marriage date was new information -- I had the couple, but only had their first child born in 1839, so assumed the marriage was around then.  I did not have John as a child of this couple, as Richard was a Mariner or in Royal Navy and seemed to be around the Isle of Wight (based on some of his children's birth). So doing a bit of searching I found a birth for John Hurrell on 26 Feb 1843 at Isle of Wight, on his Naval Service Record.  Sadly, his Naval Service Record also show that he was "discharged dead" from the Nary in 1876.  The Civil Registration entry is in East Stonehouse, Devon -- so likely he was in port. His ship at the time was the HMS Warrior.  

So even though these 2 John's led relatively short lives, they still fill out some details in my Hurrell family.  They deserve to be remembered and I'm glad that I discovered them and their interesting stories!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

My GG Grandfather Thomas White's death at Levant Mine


On a visit to Cornwall this Summer, I revisited the Levant Mine, to further explore the place my GG Grandfather worked and died at.   A few years ago, I found his wife's obituary which mentioned that she had been widowed for almost 50 years after her husband was killed in an accident at the Levant Mine.  I knew he had died relatively young, but didn't realize it was from an accident. I quickly checked the British Newspaper Archive for the death date and found an article detailing his rather gruesome death.  The detail is amazing (and a bit morbid).



With this information I wanted to see if the Levant Mine had an records about his death, so brought all my info with me and during a break in my tour, I asked the Guide.  He was fascinated to hear that my ancestor had worked there and said he would pull the pay books after the tour!  Genealogy Gold!!



The Pay Books show payments paid out, not necessarily for regular wages, but for other payments as well.  In looking through the books for the approximate years my GG Grandfather would've worked there, we found an entry showing that he was a Tributer (so had his own patch of the mine to work), and a payment of 7 shillings for hauling a load of ore to the quay in Penzance!


Now to try and figure out who the Nicholas White, listed below him is......not a son, probably a cousin who may have worked with him.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Double 6th Gt Grandparents

Well, I suppose it was bound to happen.......my Cornwall ancestry is from about as far West as you can go, in the parishes of West Penwith.  I can trace my family back to the mid 1500's here, so I suppose it isn't surprising that with that small of a gene pool, that I have discovered that 2 of my 5th Great Grandfathers are brothers!  Thus their parents, William James and Ann Perrow are my double 6th Great Grandparents!

Edward James line goes down into my WHITE line, and his brother William James goes down into my RODDA line.   Eventually Thomas WHITE marries Elizabeth RODDA in 1833, these are my 2nd Great Grandparents.

I've been going back through my direct lines, and realized I hadn't fleshed out the JAMES line, as there had always been a question in my mind about my WHITE family connection to the JAMES.  After finally accepting that ANN JAMES and THOMAS WHITE were the parents of my 3x Gt Grandfather EDWARD WHITE, I decided to go back up ANN JAMES line -- this is what led me to the discovery of ANN's father EDWARD JAMES, who turns out to be a brother to my already known 5x Gt Grandfather WILLIAM JAMES.

This caused no end of confusion as I kept seeing that EDWARD JAMES parents were WILLIAM JAMES and ANN PERROW.  And I just knew I'd seen those names before!!  Luckily I use capital letters to designate my direct ancestors, so I found them in my tree -- and then put it all together.

Sometimes these double relations can throw you for a loop, or you believe you are off a generation, but upon closer review, it's a case of Pedigree Collapse!

And now back to tracing the rest of the JAMES family!


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Toulson - Civil War Soldier, say what?!?


My Toulson line is from Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire as far back as 1650. Very few ever left England (less than 10 in my research), and the earliest I knew of was about 1856 to Iowa.  So imagine my surprise when I got a DNA match to a Toulson in Georgia, who had an ancestor who was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War!!!

I knew there were Toulson's in Georgia, but had always assumed they were slave descendants of a early Colonial Toulson settler (from the London branch).  There is a cluster of African-American Toulson's in Maryland, Washington DC and New Jersey area that seem to descend from this Toulson's slaves. 

I had never done any research into the Georgia Toulson family, and hadn't even looked at census returns to validate my theory that they were slave descendants.  So, when I looked at the DNA match, and started to trace his family back for generations, they were all white, and the Civil War soldier states he was born in England in 1827.  He was W. H. Toulson (William). 

Who on earth is he? I don't have a William H Toulson, b 1827 in Lincolnshire in my tree. It's well before Civil Registration, so that doesn't help. I don't have any baptisms in my tree that match up, and it appears he emigrated early and married in the USA.   The DNA shared matches indicate that this William is in my direct line up to Michael Toulson and Jane Mell.  Due to this, I can only surmise that he is a bastard son of one of Michael's sisters. The year of birth would be in the right range, and it would make sense that the child would be born to a servant girl, and without much support or future - he emigrated to the USA.

His Civil War records don't give many clues, and the naming patterns don't seem to help either......so it is left to conjecture......but the DNA doesn't lie, he's related to me!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Rachel Pearse....found at last!

Back to the Genealogy --  after a long summer of traveling and dabbling in the Family Tree, it's finally Autumn and with the shorter, darker days I've turned to genealogy again.

I have an elusive PEARSE/PEARCE family that seems to delight in changing the spelling of their name, and straddling the Cornwall/Devon border.  Common name, two counties to search, and lots of folks disappearing into the Royal Navy!  It's no wonder I dabble briefly on this line and then get frustrated and move on.

Today I had another look at Rachel Pearse, my 3rd Great Aunt.  She was born in 1827 in Callington, Cornwall.  Her Father William Pearse is my GGG Grandfather, born in 1789 in South Brent, Devon.  Rachel is named for her Grandmother, William Pearse's mother Rachel Codd.

I had some notes that Rachel had married a John Brown in 1850 in Stoke Dameral, Devon.   John was a Royal Marine.  I don't know how or why I decided that this was my Rachel, other than her Father's name is correct on the marriage certificate and she's about the right age and in proximity to her birthplace (most young women at this time headed for Plymouth for work and married military men there). 

I can't find Rachel and John in 1851, so they are likely with the military somewhere outside of Devon.   This is where my dead end was, couldn't find any evidence of them for 1851 or thereafter.

So today in doing some research there was an online tree that had a Charlotte Court attached to Rachel as a daughter.......HMMMM, who was this, and where did the name Court come from?  So in searching for Charlotte, I found her marriage, which listed her maiden name as Bazley. Then found her in the 1871 Census, with Mother Rachel Bazley!!!  Then found Rachel Brown marrying John Bazley in 1858 in East Stonehouse, Devon! 

So it appears John Brown died sometime between 1850-1858, his wife Rachel Pearse goes on to marry John Bazley!  They had four children:  Sarah, Charlotte, Thomas and John William, and lived in Bridgwater, Somerset.  After John's death in 1889, Rachel ends up living with Charlotte and family in Swansea, Wales and dies there in 1904.

The name Bazley (spelled in a variety of interesting ways), comes down through the descendants as a middle name.

Now on to find 2 siblings of Rachel's that have also proved elusive:  Thomas Betty Pearse (b 1831) and Elizabeth Ann Pearse (b 1833).....more common names to work with!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Breaking down Irish brickwalls - Faherty and Nee

For years I've had two primary brickwalls in my Irish family tree.  On two separate lines, I have Great Grandmothers that I can't trace.  Female lines are always a bit difficult to chase -- especially this early in Ireland.  Naming patterns and baptismal sponsors of the children can "help", but alot is guess work and supposition.  Now, with the advent of DNA testing, additional clues are added to the mix.

My brickwall Great Grandmothers are:

Mary Nee born about 1820, married Patrick Walsh of Muckanaghkillew about 1839

Catherine/Kate Faherty born about 1835, married to Patrick Toole of Glantrasna about 1853


Oral history is very important in Connemara (County Galway, Ireland) -- as official records could be scarce due to Irish language, lack of Catholic records, etc.  For a researcher from overseas, like myself, the connection to cousins, still in Galway, is vital to sorting out our families.  Thankfully Facebook and other social media platforms have enabled many of the Irish diaspora to connect. 

From some recent hints, coupled with oral history and new DNA hints, I'm getting closer to connecting all the dots..... it's still a work in process, but I have more and more confidence that I'm closing in on my ancestors on these two lines.

Mary Nee.....from baptismal sponsors, there is a Barbara and Mary Nee (sisters/cousins of Mary?) and Rev Thomas Walsh (the parish priest of Rosmuc).  From DNA matches, it seems the Nees trace back to Rosmuc, and to the Glencoh and Knockadav area.  A local Glencoh cousin tells me that there is a Nee family in this area today, and they are near the fishery across the road from the village of Glantrasna (where I have Connolly connections).  Logically this makes sense.  There are many Nee families in Rosmuc Parish, but other local knowledge states that the Island Nee's had Denis as an ancestor, and the Mountain Nee's (mine, I assume as Knockadav is mountainous) have Dudley as an ancestor.  From the trees I've traced of DNA matches, Dudley appears in the descendants, and Denis does not.

All of this is an educated guessing game.....but about the best you can do with Irish research from this era.  These people survived the famine and emigration, the records are thin, and the Parish priests spelling is often suspect. It is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle with lots of missing pieces.

My Faherty family is another story......for years I believed the name was Flaherty, but have recently been told by two different cousins that the name was Faherty, and that the family came from Camp Street, Oughterard.  These two clues have led me in an all new direction. I posted on the Oughterard Heritage page, and a local said there were Faherty children with Toole baptismal sponsors from Tullyvrick, Oughterard.  This was a wonderful clue that led me to look there, and bingo, I had DNA matches to this family and their descendants on Ancestry.com!!!

From baptismal sponsors for Kate Faherty and Patrick Toole's children, it would appear that Kate had sisters Mary and Bridget Faherty (as they sponsor several of the children)

There is also some oral history that we have a relation named Mixie McGawley -- and in searching the Faherty's of Tullyvrick, the only other family in this townland is McGawley, and there are lots of marriage between Faherty's and McGawley's.  So there must be something to all of this!  The other common name in this area is Molly -- and we were told years ago by a cousin that we had an ancestor named Mary Molloy.  We were chasing the wrong line at the time, and now I think that possibly Mary Molloy married John Faherty and they are my GGG Grandparents (parents of Catherine/Kate Faherty).  Not sure I'll ever prove this.....

So many puzzles to solve.....