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John Bassett and Martha Carbis married in Paul, Cornwall 1812

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.

Questions arising:
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 Carbiss parents and her family of Origin

Martha Carbis is my 3 x great grandmother, on her Australian death certificate it states that her fathers 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 mothers 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 Marthas 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 Marthas 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 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 Carbiss son-in-law)
ii. Jane CARBIS (1786- )
iii.William CARBIS (1789- ) (in the newspaper refered to William Carbiss 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 wasnt her fathers 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 fathers name using her youngest brothers first name so she wouldnt forget the white lie. The white lie helped to distance herself from her fathers 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 Marthas fathers name is William Bassett.

Naming Patterns 1700-1875
The first Son was named after the fathers father (Marthas oldest son is John)
Second son named after mothers father (Marthas second son is William)
Third son named after the father
Fourth son named after fathers eldest brother
First daughter named after mothers mother
Second daughter named after fathers mother
Third daughter named after mother
Fourth daughter named after mothers 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 Marthas 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.

3 comment(s), latest 4 years, 10 months ago

Bassetts in the Eaglehawk Cemetery Register, Victoria, Australia

These are entries that I transcribed many years ago from the Eaglehawk Cemetery Register, before there was a website database, while looking for my Bassett ancestors. Martha and John who are marked with an * are my 2x great grandparents.

Several of the other Bassetts also listed are also be related. There appear to be 3 distinct and unrelated Bassett families in the area in the 1860s to the early 1900s . More Bassett names can be found in the Bendigo area including the Eaglehawk cemetery at The Bendigo Cemeteries Trust at link text

Bassett Entries in the Eaglehawk Cemetery Register 1864-1969
Entries with the Surname Bassett
Forename, date of death, age at death, Religion, Occupation, Address, Grave Location
Ada Isabella, 8.11.1907, 19, , Child of widow, Pine St, 354/A2
Martha, 15.8.1897, 81, , Widow, Sailors Gully, 50/G
Maragret, 6.4.1906, 6 hours, , Child of farmer, Sebastian, 21/L
Richard, 5.1.1898, 67, , Miner, Californuua Gully, 12/D
Samuel H., 25.10.1901, 3, , Child of a miner, Pine St., 354/A2
Annie Robina, 27.2.1918, 8 mths, Meth, Child of a miner, Thorpe St., 339/12
Christopher, 15.3.1878, 13 mths, , Child of a miner, California Gully, 12/D
Elizabeth, 15.8.1921, 74, CE, Widow, Simpsons Rd, 66/A
Ethel, 22.4.1886, 3 mths, , Child of a miner, Sailors Gully, 275/K
Eva, 15.12.1887, 6 mths, , Child of a miner, Lightning Hill, 354/A2
Francis D., 263.12.1927, 85, CE, Mining Manager, Simpsons Rd, 38/A4
George, 4.7.1957, 74, CE, Farmer, Hamelin St White Hills, 109/A4
Henry R., 27.9.1929, 46, Meth, Miner, High St., 339/B2
James , 31.1.1866, 1yr 9mths, , Miners Child, Sailors Gully, 15/G
Male child, 13.8.1877, , , Child of miner, Eaglehawk, 275/K
John, 25.11.1868, 80, , Miner, Sailors Gully, 34/G
John, 29.1.1917, 40, , Miner, Hodgson St., 15/G
Lillian M, 18.1.1934, 46, CE, Wife of a farmer, Sebastian, 109/A4
Madeline L., 6.10.1908, 21, , Dressmaker, Kirkwood St., 240/A3
Margaret E., 31.8.1911, 52, , Wife of a chaff cutter , Sebastian, 31/l
Marjory, 25.11.1912, 6 days, , , Sebastian, 21/L
Martha, 22.3.1882, 89, , Widow, Sailors Gully, 34/G
Mary, 20.4.1867, 24, , Domestic servant, Sailors Gully, 50/G
Mavis, 10.10.1924, 14 Days, Meth, Child of Miner, Mt. Korong Rd, 18/K4
Phillip J.C., 5.5.1925, 49, Meth, Miner, Mt. Korong Rd, 15/K4
Robeina, 9.4.1930, 81, Bapt., Widow, Mt. Korong Rd., 12/D
Robina, 3.12.1908, 3 mths, , Child of a miner, California Gully, 12½/D
Samuel A., 30.6.1904, 39, , Miner, Pine St., 354/A2
Samuel, 27.5.1927, 71, CE, Farmer, Campbell St.,, 13/A4
Susan C., 23.7.1943, 78, CE, Widow, Echuca, 5/5A
Thomas, 4.1.1874, 15 mts, , Child of Miner, California Gully, 12/D
William, 31.12.1865, 6mths, , , Sailors Gully, 15/G
William, 21.1.1869, 52 yrs, , Engine Driver, Sailors Gully, 50/G
William, 12.1.1880, 1, , Child of miner, California Gully, 12/D

My Irish Williamsons

My 2x great grandfather John Williamson lived for 19 years in Victoria before he died, after emmigrating at the age of 23 in 1853/4 from England. His wife Louisa died in 1901. John & Louisa were married in Oct 1853 in England and migrated shortly afterwards to Australia. Both are buried in the St Kilda General Cemetery.

I had always assumed that they were of English origin so I was very surprised when I found that John, his parents and siblings were born in Belfast, Ireland. As I have been unable to find any record of them in the 1841 census I am assuming that left Ireland for England after 1841 and arrived before the 1851 census.

I was able to locate the family in the 1851, and although John came out to Australia before the 1861 census I was able to locate the remaining family members in England in the 1861 and 1871 census.

1851 (Series HO107 Piece: 2435; Folio: 561; Page: 11)
Wood Street, Maryport, Cumberland, England, UK
1. Thomas Williamson, aged 54, Dock labourer
2. Jane Williamson, aged 50,
3. John Williamson, aged 19, Tailor apprentice
4. James Williamson, aged 15, ship carpenter apprentice

1861 (Series RG9, Piece: 3942; Folio: 17; Page: 27)
Nelson Street, Maryport, Cumberland, England, UK
1. Thomas Williamson, aged 60 Labourer
2. Jane Williamson, wife aged 58
3. Jane Williamson, daughter aged 40 unmarried
4. James Williamson, son, aged 23, Ship carpenter
5. James Williamson, gson, aged 8, scholar

1871 (Series RG10, Piece: 5246; Folio: 77; Page: 35)
8 L Court, Nelson Street, Maryport, Cumberland, England, UK
1. Thomas Williamson, aged 70, labourer
2. Jane Williamson, aged 69

His younger brother must have moved out of home between the 1861 and 1871 census
As I found them in:
1871(Series RG10 Piece: 5246; Folio: 85; Page: 52 & 53)
Maryport, Cumberland, England, UK
1. James Williamson, aged 33, Shipwright, Labourer at present
2. Ann Williamson, aged 29
3. Mary Williamson, aged 6, scholar
4. Thomas Williamson, aged 3
5. Annie Williamson, aged 10 months

1881 (Series RG11, Piece: 5181; Folio: 95; Page: 4)
25 Collins Ter, Dearham, Cumberland, England, United Kingdom
1. James Williamson, aged 42, Foreman Of Blast Furnace
2. Annie Williamson, aged 38
3. Mary Williamson, aged 16, Pupil teacher
4. Thomas Williamson, aged 13, scholar
5. Annie Williamson, aged 10, scholar
6. John Williamson , aged 8, scholar
7. Jane Williamson, aged 6, scholar
8. James Williamson, aged 6mths
9. Elizabeth B. Cartmer, aged 17

1891 (Series RG12, Piece: 4306; Folio 20; Page 35)
1. James Williamson, aged 51
2. Annie Williamson, aged 20
3. James Williamson, aged 10

Johns father Thomas was born between 1797 and 1801 based on the various ages he gave in the 1851, 1861 and 1971 English Census. We think he died in 1872 in Whitehaven, Cumberland, England. There may have been more children who did not come out from Ireland with John and his parents Thomas and Jane when they came to England but I are not sure.

The question Is like to ask is how do I go about finding out about the family in Ireland. Im not sure where to start and with such common names as John, Jane, Thomas and James its difficult to know how to preceed.

It would be great to hear from anyone with any ideas, further information or even better still someone who has a connection with the family.


2 comment(s), latest 7 years ago

Thomas Crump in Australia

Thomas Crump lived in Victoria, Australia for 32 years before he died of a Disease connected with the heart and an Inquest was held on the 14 April 1874. He married Selina Wheeler in 1850, at that time there was no mention of Thomas having a previous marriage. On his death certificate however there is mention of a previous marriage partiuclars of first marriage unknown.
It is still unclear when Thomas came to Australia although it does appear that he was born in 1815 in Kent England, although we have been unable to find proof of this, and there has been some mention that he may have imigrated to Australia on MARQUIS OF HASTINGS arriving 04 02 1841 in Botany Bay, (SR NSW Film AL 2134) which has yet to be verified. [the AL code indicates that his name may have been found on an Agent's Immigration Lists, (lists of immigrants in private ships))

Thomas was a brickmaker, he lived and worked in an around Melbourne.

If anyone can offer any further information or suggestions as to where to head next in my quest for information I would most greatful.


Walter Todman

Walter Todman is my great grandfather. He lived most of life in Victoria, Australia. It appears he was possibly born in Essex, England and migrated to Australia sometime before 1891 when he married Martha Sarah Ellis in the All Saints Church, East St Kilda, Victoria, Australia. He died suddenly of acute heart failure in 1929 at around 63. Who Walter's parents were is not clear

Before his marriage where and who Walter is almost a complete mystery.

However in my quest to find my grandfather I have found two possible Walter Todmans who could in fact be the same person.

In 1890 a Walter Todman registered a patent in NSW for shearing equipment. In 1892 a Walter Todman is getting married to a Martha Sarah Ellis in Victoria.
The question then becomes are these two Walters the same person?
I have been unable to find either of them coming into Australia nor what happened to the Walter Todman who started off in NSW.

My research so far has focused on the following
Establishing where my great grandfather Walter Todman was born through his childrens birth certificates:-
1894 on his daughter's Martha's birth certificate he was born in Essex, England
1895 on his daughter's Ivy Florence birth certificate he was born in Stepheney, London
1897 on his son's Walter Victor birth certificate he was born in Surrey, England
1903 on his daughter's Hazel May's birth certificate he was born in Essex, England
1906 on his son's Lincoln James birth certificate he was born in Essex, England
1908 on his daughter's Charlotte Mary birth certificate he was born in Norfolk, England
1910 on his daughter's Alma Dudley birth certificate he was born in Norfolk, England

On all birth certificates the informant was Martha Todman, mother (& Walter's wife); although the place listed for the fathers (Walter's) birth is always different his age is always consistent with being born in 1866.

A second Walter Todman?
There is a Walter Todman who fathered a Walter Todman in 1890 in New South Wales Australia with a Jane Levey. This Walter Todman was born in Norfolk, England who was 25 years old at the time therefore being born c 1865. A possible match for my Walter. (note Walter and Jane were not married)

The address listed was 9 Bailey Street, Newtown

Pros as to why this might be the same person as my Walter Todman
* the potential birth date of both Walter's is almost the same
* Norfolk is listed as one of the possible birth places of our Walter and is listed as the birth place of this second Walter Todman
* He is also a blacksmith
[We have been unable to find the marriage or death of a Jane Levey or her son Walter Todman in N.S.W or Vic; perhaps Jane did marry or take some elses name and changed her son's name to that surname also?]

[Efforts to try and establish whether these two Walter Todman's are the same person
I have tried to locate the Walter Todman in NSW after/before 1892 particularly at 9 Bailey Street, Newtown. By following his movements I was hoping that we would be able to distinguish between the two Walter's if they weren't the same person
Records that we consulted while in NSW were:-
1. 1891 NSW Census - taken on 16th April 1891. 9 Bailey Street Newtown was uninhabited. This could indicate a number of things, that after Walter Todman son of Jane Levey and Walter Todman was born the couple moved from the house either together or separately.
2. Sydney Sands Postal Directory - 1888 - 1890 did not list a Walter Todman at any location. In 1890 the person living at 9 Bailey Street, Newtown was Miss Mary A Currey. This could mean that Miss Currey lived by herself or was incharge of a boarding house or ??. If the dwelling was a boarding house or similar Walter and/or Jane could have lived there as well. There were Todmans listed in the Directory including a George F Todman and in 1890 a Herman Todman, neither of these were living near Newtown.
3. In the Sands Directories: Sydney and New South Wales, Australia 1891 there was a Walter Todman listed at 9 Bailey Street, Newtown, New South Wales, Australia
3. Electoral Role 1889 - 1890 no Walter Todman listed. In 1889 a George Todman was listed (not mine as far as I can establish)]

A Jane Todman shows up on Sand and Macdougall directory in Coburg, Victoria in 1907 only. This may only be a coincidence - but if this was infact Jane Levy, her son Walter would have been about to turn 18 perhaps she had appeared to collect his share of his inheritance or something.

*why would you call a second son by the same name? i.e. Walter Victor Todman by the same name as your first son?

With a bit of luck someone can give me a clue on where I should head next or perhaps even have further information to help shed light on the mystery.