My great grandfather William Matthew Growden or Growdon (1851-1913) came to the Cape Colony with his family in 1876. They came from Cornwall to work onthe railway from the Eastern Cape to the interior, and several more children were born in the Eastern Cape. He retired to a farm near Bethulie, then sold it and moved to Queenstown, where he was killed when the cart he was driving overturned. Many of his descendants are still in South Africa, while some are now living in Canada, Australia, and even back in the UK.
William Matthew Growdon had two younger brothers and an older sister. One brother, Simeon, died young. The other, Mark Dyer Growdon, married Elizabeth Dymond on 1 Jan 1882 and died the following November. They do not seem to have had any children.
The elder sister, Elizabeth Ann Growden (1849-1871), married Nicholas Kendall, a sailmaker of Mevagissey in Cornwall, and had one daughter, Elizabeth Kendall, before she too died. Nicholas Kendall married another Elizabeth and they then had three more kids (that confused me for a while — I thought all the Kendall kids shown in the 1881 census were related, until I discovered the elder Elizabeth had died).
So Elizabeth Kendall, born about 1870, would have been my closest Growden relative left in Cornwall. She would have been about 6 when her uncle William Matthew Growden and all her cousins departed for the Cape.
And today I discovered that she married William Henry Barnicoat in St Austell, Cornwall, in 1895.
I haven’t yet discovered if they had any children, but I hope they did. See Update below! That opens the possibility of more cousins on the Growden side of the family that would be closer relatives than all the others left in the UK after William Matthew Growdon left there. All the other Growdens that remained were descended from William Mathew’s uncles. We’ve been in touch with some of them over the years.
I hope that if any descendants of William Henry Barnicoat and Elizabeth Kendall see this, they will get in touch.
There remains one other interesting possibility.
In 1824 a Joseph Growden married a Ginney Barnicote. He was a member of a Growden family of Warleggan and St Neot, and some of the descendants of that branch moved to Sheffield in Yorkshire. Perhaps there’s a link somewhere that will show the connections of both families.
Update 23 Nov 2010
I’ve discovered that William Henry Barnicoat and Elizabeth Kendall had at least two children:
- James Growden Barnicoat (born 1897)
- William Ronald (or Roland) Barnicoat (born 1901)
They were my mother’s second cousins, the only second cousins she had on the Growdon side, and I wonder if she even knew of their existence. She never mentioned them, to my recollection.
Filed under: family history, Growden family, Growdon family Tagged: | Barnicoat family, Cornish emigrants, Cornish families, Cornwall genealogy, family history, genealogy, Growden family, Growdon family, Kendall family