Tombstone Tuesday: Greenaway in St Breward

Though our Greenaway family lived at St Breward in Cornwall (and in nearby Blisland), we are not sure of the link between this George Greenaway and our family.

Grave of George Greenaway in St Breward Churchyard

Grave of George Greenaway in St Breward Churchyard

We are not sure whoch of two George Greenaways this one might be, because there were at least two George Greenaways born around 1834.

One was born at Cardinham, son of Thomas Greenaway and Elizabeth Pearse, married Mary Jane and had nine children, the youngest, Horace Oscar Greenaway, being born at St Breward shortly after this George Greenaway died, so that makes it seem likely that his father is the one buried here.

The other George Greenaway was also born at Cardinham, the son of George Greenaway and Marianne Matthews, and is related to us (the elder George Greenaway was born at St Breward too), though we don’t know who this George Greenaway married, or where he lived. He was the right age ot have died in 1883, but the other George seems more likely to be the one buried in the grave.

Does anyone have any more information about these families?

Tombstone Tuesday: Greenaways in Blisland

William Ead Greenaway

William Ead Greenaway

Our Greenaway family came from Blisland and St Breward in Cornwall, England, so when we visited Cornwall on 5 May 2005 we took photos of any Greenaway tombstones we saw, whether or not we knew if they were related.

This one was in Blisland churchyard. We don’t know if William Ead Greenaway was related to us… yet. But if anyone who was related to him sees this, please get in touch!

My great great grandfather was Richard Greenaway, born in Blisland in 1817. He married Mary Ann Tilly (or Tilley) in St Breward in 1842 and they had seven children, two of whom are known to have died young.

Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth Greenaway (1842-1927), married William Matthew Growden, and they came to the Cape Colony in the mid-1870s. Elizabeth’s younger brother William Greenaway (1848-1912) also came to South Africa.

Blisland Church, 5 May 2005

Blisland Church, 5 May 2005

We do know a little more about William Ead Greenaway, though. From the parish registers we know that he married Bessie Long on 11 June 1898, and that his father was George Greenaway, and they were both teenagers when they married.

In an earlier period the parish priest appears to have had the fixed idea that Greenaway should be spelt “Greenway”, and entered their names in the register with that spelling, even though, when they could write, they signed the register as “Greenaway”.

FreeCen and researching Cornwall families

Thanks to the hard work of volunteer transcribers, the FreeCEN and FreeBMD web resources are a boon to people researching British genealogy.

Having another look at my Greenaway family from Cornwall, I decided to follow up some of the descendants of brothers and sisters of my ancestors, and FreeCEN made it easy.

FreeCEN means free census lookups and the volunteer transcribers are busy transcribing all the 19th century British censuses from 1841 to 1891.

In the case of Cornwall, the transcription is complete, and if you go to the FreeCEN site you can find charts that show what progress has been made on transcription for the various counties. You might even like to volunteer to transcribe some entries, and so help fellow genealogists.

Anyway, here’s what I did with the Greenaways yesterday. You might find this method useful in your own research.

My great great great grandparents were Richard Greenaway and Mary Michell. From the marriage register of St Breward, Cornwall, I knew that their daughter Mary Ann Greenaway married John Joel Wiliams on 27 December 1852.

So I went to the FreeCEN Search Page and entered just a few items:

Year: 1861
Surname: Williams
First names: Mary
Age or Birth Year: 1832 (with +/- 2 years)
Birth County: Cornwall
Census County: All Counties
Census Place: All places

After getting a list of possible hits, I chose the one born at St Breward, and clicked on “Household” to see who was there, and having noted the information, clicked on “Revise Query”, and changed the census year to 1871, 1881 and 1891.

In the space of about 40 minutes I had a picture of the family at ten-year intervals over a period of 40 years. I discovered the names and other information about their children – John George born on the Scilly Isles about 1857 (I’d never have thought to look there!), and Augusta, born at St Beward in 1861.

Before FreeCen I would have had to order a census microfilm from the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and travelled 70 km to Johannesburg to read it in the local library, and trawl through the whole film in the hope of finding the whole family. I might have managed to do that once a month or so, so it would have taken me 6 months or more to trawl through all the films for each census.

And if I had belonged to an earlier generation of family history researchers, I’d have had to travel to London to look at the original census records, and 30 years ago only the 1861 and 1871 ones woudl have been open for public viewing. Truly, this generation of researchers has never had it so good!

I did the same thing with the next generation. Mary Ann Williams’s brother was my great great grandfather Richard Greenaway who married Mary Ann Tilly (or Tilley).

Among their children was a Mary Jane who married Richard Pascoe, also at St Breward, in 1869. So there were only three censuses to look at, but following the same procedure, I’d found them all within about 20 minutes, and, again, new information: the names of their children.

  1. Edith, born at St Breward in 1871
  2. Martin, born at Barrow, Lancashire, in 1877
  3. George, born at Stoke Climsland, Cornwall, in 1882
  4. Richard, born at Budock, Cornwall, in 1885

Who says ancestors didn’t move around?

So my grateful thanks to all the volunteers who trasncribed the census records for FreeCEN. Even if I want to check the originals or the microfilms, just to make sure there are no transcription errors, I now know where to look.

Greenaway and Michell additions

I was looking in search engines for the Greenaway family and came across a new cousin, I think.

My 3 great grandparents were Richard Greenaway and Mary Michell, who lived on Bodmin Moor (mostly in the adjacent villages of Blisland and St Breward). So when I came across a web site that had both names, I looked more closely, and found that Muriel Trendell was indeed researching the same families as me, and had taken my family tree back a could of generations back on the Michell side, adding Lego and Gelly branches to my family tree, which I had not known about before.

That was quite exciting, and finding new cousins is always interesting. But some family mysteries remain.

Muriel’s web side shows a Caroline Greenaway, born 1814, as a daughter of Richard Greenaway and Mary Michell. There is a Caroline, aged 26, staying with the Greenaway family in St Breward in the 1841 census. That census unfortunately does not show relationships in the household, but it looks as though she was more likely to have been a niece or some other relation. There was also a baby, apparently hers, named Reynold Greenaway. The only likely candidate on Free BMD seems to be a William Reginald Renney Greenaway, born at about the right time.

In the same census and in the same household there are a Thomas, aged 12, and a George, aged 6. Trying to find their families in subsequent censuses and other records is not easy, however. It appears that there were two Thomases born in St Breward about the right time, neither of whom was baptised there.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in these families, and trying to solve some of these mysteries, please get in touch.

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