New Growden marriage discovery

I’ve found a possible marriage in FreeBMD for Elizabeth Ann Growden (RIN 3976), my great-grandfather’s older sister.

Marriages Mar 1869   (>99%)
GROWDEN     Elizabeth Ann          Bodmin     5c    122
Kendall           Nicholas Dunn     Bodmin     5c    122
PARSONS     Elizabeth                Bodmin     5c    122
Sturtridge          Thomas                Bodmin     5c    122

It seems to be confirmed by FreeCen 1871:

Piece: RG10/2268 Place: Mevagissey -Cornwall Enumeration District: 1
Civil Parish: Mevagissey Ecclesiastical Parish: -
Folio: 13 Page: 18 Schedule: 105

Where her age fits with Elizabeth Ann Growden (b. 1849)

They are in the 1871 Census as Kendall, but in the 1881 Census the spelling is Kendle, which appears to be an enumerator’s or transcriber’s mistake. I could find no trace of them in the 1891 census — perhaps they had moved away, or it hasn’t been fully transcribed yet.

My great-grandfather, William Matthew Growden (he later used the spelling Growdon, as did all his South African descendants) came to the Cape Colony in about 1876 to build the railway line from East London  to the interior.

At the time of the 1861 Census he was living at 3 Higher Bore Street, Bodmin, aged 10, with his father Matthew, aged 61, his mother Christiana, aged 51, his step-brother Thomas Pope, aged 23, his sister Elizabeth Ann (12), and brothers Mark (7) and Simeon (5).

Higher Bore Street, Bodmin, Cornwall (Photo taken 5 May 2005).

His brother Simeon died a couple of years later at the age of 8, and Mark died at the age of 28, within a few months of his marriage to Elizabeth Dymond. So I didn’t expect to find any relatives from that generation, so it was quite exciting to find a possible marriage for great-grand aunt Elizabeth Ann, and they appear to have had four children by the 1881 census, so there are possibly more third cousins just waiting to be discovered!

Not far from Higher Bore Street is Scarlett’s Well, where the family lived at the 1851 census, and I can imagine the children playing in these leafy lanes after school, or helping their father gather wood (which, as a woodman, was how he earned his living).

ScarWell

Near Scarlett's Well, Bodmin

Calling all Growdens

Here’s a call to all members of the Growden / Growdon family to help us find links between our families.

If you go to the Growden discussion forum you can find a database where we are trying to collect Growden links.

If you have any Growdons or Growdens in your family, please try to enter at least one parent-child link in the database. If you don’t want to enter your own information there because of privacy concerns, please at least add some dead relatives.

Tim Growden, on the Growden Group on Facebook, recently asked: “Is there a chance that we could figure out some sort of family tree, i know my dad would appreciate it”.

Well, here is a way to figure out some sort of family tree — if every Growden/Growdon contributes to the database.

I’m doing a one-name study on Growden/Growdon, and I hope to link the major family branches together before I die.

You will have to join the forum before you can see the database or add to it. If you are already a member of the forum, you can see the database here.

Linking the Growdens

I spent another few hours in the LDS family history centre in Johannesburg yesterday looking at marriage registers for St Neot, Cornwall.

I knew that some Growdens came from there through my third cousin once removed, Monica Louise Deragowski of New Orleans, USA.

When we started researching our family history we didn’t know anything about the Growdens (though ours all used the spelling Growdon) beyond the fact that my great grandfather William Matthew Growden came to the Cape Colony from Cornwall and worked on the railways, first as a platelayer, and then as a permanent way inspector.

I found some British phone books in the Durban public library, made a list of the Growdons in Cornwall and Devon, and wrote to them. I got a reply from a Mrs K. Growdon in Brixham, Devon, and she said that she had had a letter from Monica Louise Deragowski asking about the Growdon family. So I wrote to her, and we corresponded for about 15 years until she died in 1993. She had written to Growdons all over the world, and sent me some information from a Sylvia Reebel in Pennsylvania, who had traced her Growden ancestors to the St Neot and Warleggan parishes in Cornwall.

Sylvia Reebel was connected to them, but her family didn’t seem to be connected to ours. What was interesting was that they had the same names, almost.

On Sylvia Reebel’s side there was a William Growden who married Ann Cocker and had children

William born 1784
Joseph born 1789
Jane born 1790
Matthew born 1792
Elizabeth born 1795
John born 1797
Thomas born 1800

On our side there was William Growden who married Elizabeth Saundercock at Cardinham, and had children:

Jennifer born 1793
William born 1794 (Monica Deragowski’s great grandfather)
Joseph born 1796
Thomas born 1798
Matthew born 1800 (my great great grandfather)
Ann born 1802
Joanna born 1804
Jenifer born 1806
Elizabeth born 1807
John born 1811

The boys’ names match — there was

William, Joseph, Matthew, John and Thomas in one family
William, Joseph, Thomas, Matthew John in the other

There are similarities in the girls’ names too, though not as great. The similarity might, of course, indicate nothing more than that those were popular names at the time, but it could also indicate that they were family names perpetuated down the generations.

There might have been difficulty telling them apart in later life had the first lot not emigrated to Pennsylvania and married and died there.

What I’m trying to do is put all the Growdens and Growdons I find into one Growdon file, and gradually link them up. I’ve got a long way to go yet, but if we collect all the snippets of information together, eventually we might join together different parts of the jigsaw puzzle.

If you’re a Growden or a Growdon or have Growden relatives, please consider joining our Growden forum, and trying to make the links.

Growdon graves in Durban

My grandfather William George Growdon died 60 years ago, and today we visited his grave in Stellawood Cemetery, Durban for the first time in more than 30 years. My grandmother, Janet McCartney Growdon, born Hannan, had died two years earlier, and they were buried in the same grave as my Uncle Willie, whom I never met, who was killed in a motorbike accident before I was born.

Growdon grave in Stellawood Cemetery, Durban

Growdon grave in Stellawood Cemetery, Durban

William George Growdon (known as George) was born in Cornwall and came to the Cape Colony at the age of 3, where his father William Matthew Growdon worked on the Cape Government Railways as a platelayer in the Eastern Cape. George became an engine driver on the railways, until he was injured in an accident at Drummond, Natal, after which he worked in the railway stores at Greyville.

Janet McCartney Hannan was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and met George Growdon in Transvaal, and they were married at Waterval Boven in 1909. Their grave is very near the highest point of Stellawood cemetery, and it seems that the dead have one of the best views in Durban.

Looking for William Growden, born c1764

Today I went to the LDS family history library in Johannesburg, and looked at the microfilmed parish register of St Neot, Cornwall. I was looking for my ggg grandfather, William Growden, who was born about 1764, and married Elizabeth Sandercock (or Saundercock) at Cardinham, Cornwall, in 1792.

I didn’t find him. There were some Growdens there but they too seem to have come from nowhere — a Joseph Growden who married an Elizabeth Cocker. Perhaps Joseph and William were brothers, but until we can find their birth and parentage, there’s no way of knowing. The film was fairly uneven. The middle of the pages was easily legible, but the top and bottom were dark, with poor contrast, and so it would be quite possible to miss an entry.

I also found a few Sandercocks, who might be related — i still have to check for possible connections.

Marty Growdon participates in AIDS Lifecycle 7

I don’t know if this Marty Growdon is related to us, or which branch of the Growdon family he belongs to, but maybe someone will know.

Marty Growdon participates in AIDS Lifecycle 7
July 22, 2008. Originally, Westwood resident Marty Growdon committed to participate in AIDS Lifecycle 7 for a week of cycling along the California Coast with his son, Mark, the first week of June. However, when his son was injured while training and had to drop out, Growdon decided to ride alone.

Although he didn�t have a riding buddy, it was not a lonely endeavor. The seven-day, 545- mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles had 2,500 participants and 500 support staff. According to the event mission statement, its purpose in part is to raise money to support HIV/AIDS services, increase awareness and knowledge of the disease and provide a positive experience for people affected and infected with HIV.

New Growden cousin

Jackie Seaman recently joined the Growden family discussion forum, and has sent me a chart of the descendants of William Growden and Elizabeth Sandercock she had managed to trace, which shows that she is my fourth cousin once removed.

She has quite a few descendants that I don’t have, and I have some that she doesn’t have, so we’re going to have fun over the next few months comparing notes.

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