kerbent on Family Tree Circles
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On John Bassett’s death certificate (died in Eaglehawk, Victoria, Australia) in 1868 his age was 80 and his parents were William Bassett and Mary Unknown. Therefore we deducted that he must have been born in circa 1788.
Research turned up a John Bassett christened 27 March 1788, St Izzey, Cornwall his parents were William Bassett and Mary Symons. At this point we felt very excited that we had found our John. However, after further research a descendant was found in Roma, Queensland, Australia who refuted our claim of kinship – in the nicest way possible.
The following information was forwarded for us to digest:-
John Bassett [son of William Bassett (1761-1831) & Mary Symons (1767-1832)] Christened 27 Mar 1788 in St Izzy, Cornwall who died 7th Oct 1851 in Fairwater House, Taunton Somerset.John was a lunatic confined to Fairwater House Lunatic Asylum for many years admitted July 1828 having previously been a patient at a similar establishment near Tauton, Fivehead House since 25 Oct 1822.This was a wholesale move and transfer of license from the one to the other asylum by the same surgeon/owner. Private patient. Cause of death peritonitis and effusion in the chest (Somerset RO 1/5/87).
This therefore couldn't be the John Bassett who married Martha Carbis as he died in England in 1851 whereas our John died in Eaglehawk, Victoria, Australia in 1868
So it was back to the drawing board, until a second promising John Bassett was unearthed, who was also born in Madron
John Bassett christened 5 September 1790, Madron, Cornwall Unfortunately only one parent is given, the father, in the Madron Parish records see below
"5 Sep 1790 John s/o William Bassett, pauper at Madron"
On John Bassett's death certificate1 in 1868 his father is listed as William, a farmer, and his mother is listed as Mary unknown, a farmers wife.
Another conundrum perhaps John's parents had in the past been farmer but had become paupers just before John was born?
It would seem highly likely that the descendants in Australia had no clear memory of who John's parents were, or what their occupations were. Australia is a long way away and death certificates are not the most reliable source of information.
So until someone comes along to prove something different I've decided to lay claim to this John, at least for the momment.
John Bassett and Martha Carbis, married in the Paul parish in 1812, and lived in St Hilary from 1815 to 1820. The couple moved from St Hillary and then lived in various places in Breage between 1820 and 1851 before leaving the area.
Evidence of where they were lived in Breage can be found in two of the local parish churches and also in the 1841 and 1851 census records
Parish Church Records
A list of John & Martha’s children who were christened in Breage are found in the following parish churches are as follows:-
the Germoe church:-
*John 1820 (IGI)
*Francis 1823 (Transcribed from the Parish Records by the On line *Parish Clerk)
*Anne 1826 (IGI)
*Martha 1828 (IGI)
*Samuel 1838 (Transcribed from the Parish Records by the On line Parish Clerk)
the St Breaca church:-
*James 1833 who was also burried in this church in 1833 (Transcribed Parish Records by a fellow researcher)
*James 1834 (Transcribed from the Parish Records by a fellow researcher)
(It appears as though these churches were quite close together, according to the Parish Locator program about 2 miles apart, why the family had various children christened in two different churches is unknown. According to Genuki “Germoe has been considered as a separate parish for many years, but the Church has been subordinate to that of Breage. It is located in the far south-west of Cornwall, sandwiched between the parishes of Godolphin and Breage. This was eminently a mining parish, but it also had some good farms. Originally, the houses and shops were built to satisfy the needs of miners digging for tin and china clay”)
In the Census records the family can be found residing in the following places
Blowing House Stamps, Breage
(HO107/136/3, Folio:64, Page:19)
1. John Bassett, aged 50, Tin Miner, born Cornwall
2. Martha Bassett, aged 45, , born Cornwall
3. William Bassett, aged 25, Tin Miner, born Cornwall
4. John Bassett, aged 20, Tin Miner, born Cornwall
5. Ann Bassett, aged 15, Dressing, born Cornwall
5. Martha Bassett, aged 12, Dressing, born Cornwall
6. James Bassett, aged 8, born Cornwall
Godolphin Mine, Breage, Cornwall
(HO107/1913(11) Folio 245 Page 14)
The following list of people were recorded as living in the house -
1. John Bassett, Head, aged 60,Tin Dresser, born in Madryn Cornwall,,
2. Martha Bassett,Wife aged 57, born in Paul Cornwall,,
3. James Bassett,Son, aged 16, Tin Miner, born in Breage Cornwall,,
4. Martha Bassett,Dau, aged 22,Tin Dressing, born in Breage Cornwall
In the 1861 the family havd moved out of the area to Fraddam, Gwinear also in Cornwall
In summary it appears that they lived in Breage in the following places
Troon Tanner - between 1820 and 1833)
(which I believe was tenement in Breage according to An Index to the Historical Place Names of Cornwall
During this period the following children were born John (1820), Franics (1823), Anne (1828), Martha (1828), James (1833) who was also buriied the same year, James (1834), although not all were christened in the same church.
Percolly, Germoe – 1823
According to Francis Bassett’s christening records the family appear to be living in Percolly. Percolly could be the name of a house in Toon Tranner or a small villiage however at this stage I am not sure, more information is needed.
Godolphin Downs - Betweeen 1833 and 1839 the family (according to their sons James’ christening record and Samuel’s burial record,)
Godolphin – 1839
this could be the same place as Godolphin Downs, which was listed on Samuel’s christening record
Blowing House Stamps - by 1841
Godolphin Mine - by 1851
The family had moved out of the area by 1861.
I would like to sort out the various places where the family lived and I would like also to determine if these places are one and the same such as blowing House Stamps and the Godolphin mine and how Percolly fits in? The more details I get the more information I need to make sense of it all.
After John Bassett and Martha Carbis got married by Banns in the Paul parish church on the 15 Mar 1812. Their first born, John, arrived sometime in 1814, however I have not yet been able to locate where he was christened but I do know that he died in 1815 at the age of one and was buried in St Hillary. It would appear soon after that a second son was born in 1816, William, he was christened in St Hilary at the time the family were living in a tenement called Rosedown. He was their only child to be christened in the St Hilary parish church. William was christened in a private ceremony. The next time I find the family is when they have moved out of the area to Breage (by 1820), perhaps to seek work in the mines there. I am thinking that the family were in St Hilary between 1815 and 1820.
If any one has any information or any theories as to why they moved when they did to various places eg mines closing down, new mines opening up or any information on the family and/or why they were in St Hilary would be great. I would also be interested in information about the tenement called Rosedown
I also seem to remember that if a christening was done in a private ceremony, it had to be paid for and this was somehow significant but I can’t remember why, so I am hoping that perhaps someone can let me know
The first firm record that I have of John Bassett and Martha Carbis living in Cornwall is their marriage Banns. The marrage that took place in the Paul parish church on the 15 Mar 1812. Both appear to be of the Paul parish "John Bassett Sojouner of this Parish and Martha Carbis of this Parish"
It is most likely that at least Martha was christened in the Paul parish church as it was the custom of the day that marriages took place in the brides's church. This assumption is reinforced by the 1851 & 1861 census returns where Paul is listed as Martha's birthplace.
In the same census returns John was listed as being born in Madron,a neighbouring parish of Paul.
I also know from their eldest son William's christening record that the new family moved and was living in the St Hilary parish in a tenement called Roseudgeon. The next time we find the family they have moved out of the area to Breage (by 1820), perhaps to seek work
in the mines there.
• Has anyone been able to find the record of the baptism of Martha Carbis born Cir 1793-1794 possibly in the villiage of Mousehole? (I think my original conclusions were drawn from a gedcom that someone had sent me and/or through the IGI which I'm only just trying now to verify.)
Martha Carbis is my 3 x great grandmother, on her Australian death certificate it states that her father’s name was Richard Carbis and her Mother was Ann unknown. Her father was a Mariner according to the death certificate. Martha married my 3 x great grandfather in 1812 in Paul, Cornwall.
As death certificates are not a reliable source of information, John Carbis (from the U.K) who runs the One Name Society Data for Carbis World Wide, was contacted as another possible source of information. He had in his possession the Marriage Banns entry for John Bassett and Martha Carbis of Paul Parish. On inspection of the Banns entry it was discovered that one of the witnesses on the Banns was a Daniel Drew.
Further research was then conducted to try and find a Carbis family whose mother’s maiden name was Drew. When searching the IGI I used the First name of Ann married to a man with the surname Carbis to look for possible children. Eventually I found a William Carbis who had married an Ann Drew who had amongst their children a Martha Carbis who had the same year of birth as my 3xgreatgrandmother.
William Carbis and Ann Drew had six children
i. Ann Drew CARBIS (1784- )
ii. Jane CARBIS (1786- )
iii.William CARBIS (1789- )
iv. Martha CARBENCE (1792- )
v. Martha CARBIS (Cir 1793-1882) (my 3xgreatgrandmother)
vi. Richard CARBIS (1797- )
The idea that my 3xgreatgrandmother Martha’s father was William Carbis rather than Richard Carbis is supported by the following 3 points:
1.The change of her fathers christain name was an attempt to hide family Convict connections.
A family story through the generations was that one of the early Bassett brothers (which generation this concerned was not clear) was charged for horse stealing in Cornwall but managed to escaped to France/America and was never caught. Following this lead led us to look for some evidence of criminal activity.
In an article that appeared in the “The West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser” and another article on the 7th April 1815 in the “Royal Gazette” on the 22nd April 1815 it appears that William Carbis Martha’s father was involved in sheep stealing in 1813.
“William Carbis, sen. William Carbis jun. and Francis Bassett, a father, son and son-in-law, were indicted for stealing two ewe sheep belonging to Miss Borlase, of Madron, in December 1812”
"The bill" was found by the Grand Jury in the Crown Bar durring the Lent Assizes in 1813. However the proceedings were suspended.as the all the accused had absconded. According to a report in the "West Briton & Cornwall Advertiser", when the constables went to arrest them they were unable to execute their warrants, as all three men had gone to sea.
The real story turned out to be much more interesting than the family ledgend after all.
Based on the newspaper story we were able to to link Martha together with her family as demonstrated below
William Carbis (in the newspaper refered as William Carbis sen.) who had six children with his wife Ann Drew
i. Ann Drew CARBIS (1784- ) who married Francis Bassett brother of the husband of his sister John Bassett (in the newspaper refered to William Carbis’s son-in-law)
ii. Jane CARBIS (1786- )
iii.William CARBIS (1789- ) (in the newspaper refered to William Carbis’s son-in-law)
iv. Martha CARBENCE (1792-)
v. Martha CARBIS (Cir 1793-1882) – my Martha Carbis who married John Bassett brother of Francis
vi. Richard CARBIS (1797- )
This probably wasn’t her father’s first fray into criminal activity (as Martha got married 9 months before this event took place) and perhaps the shame was so great for Martha that she changed her father’s name using her youngest brother’s first name so she wouldn’t forget the “white lie”. The white lie helped to distance herself from her father’s misdeeds(?). Once in Australia people were unaware of her families criminal and convict connections and only a vague tale of horse theft remained atributed to no-one in particular as a small reminder of what had been left behind.
2. Naming Patterns of the times as explained below were common practice between 1700 and 1875. Both the Carbis and Bassett families seem to have used them as evidenced by certain names recurring down through the generations. Using these patterns working back from the children of John Bassett and Martha Carbis it is quite possible that Martha’s fathers name is William Bassett.
Naming Patterns 1700-1875
The first Son was named after the father’s father (Martha’s oldest son is John)
Second son named after mother’s father (Martha’s second son is William)
Third son named after the father
Fourth son named after father’s eldest brother
First daughter named after mother’s mother
Second daughter named after father’s mother
Third daughter named after mother
Fourth daughter named after mother’s eldest sister
Exceptions to the pattern occur when the naming system produced a duplication of names.
In that case ,the name was taken from the next on the list.
Another break in the pattern could be caused by a death.
If a child died in infancy, then the parents would name the subsequent new born the same name
Taken from: Tracing your Origins. By Angus Baxter.
3. The informant for the death certificate was not a family member, and would not have knowledge of the background of Martha Bassett nee Carbis.
Based on the above evidence I have come to the conclusion that Martha’s parents were most likely William Carbis and Ann Drew of the Paul Parish, Cornwall.
I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has anything to add to my conclusions or wishes to dispute them. It would be great to add something more. Establishing connections between families and generations is very challenging, its very easy to make jumps in logic before i've realised what I'm doing.
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