View Full Version : Cornish Girls migrating to Lancashire.
08-08-2007, 1:57 PM
My ggg-aunt Hannah Maria JAY was born in St Martins by Looe but sometime between 1871 and 1874 she moved to Lancashire. She married John SWEETMORE in Haslingden in 1874, the family moved around a little but were in Milnrow in 1901.
Was their recruitment for the cotton mills taking place as I have noticed that Hannah was the only girl from that part of Cornwall to end up there.
Her niece also Annie Mildren JAY also migrated to Lancashire between 1891-1900. She was one of about 16 children and it is entirely possible that she went to live with her aunt. Annie married Harry Nesbitt SCHOFIELD in Milnrow in 1900.
These ladies have aroused my curiosity.
08-08-2007, 3:34 PM
Did Hannah Maria leave St Martins on her own or with her family? The period she migrated in was certainly a time without trouble for the cotton industry. There had been the Cotton Famine of the 1860s due to the American Civil War and the blockade of the raw material needed for the industry, but the 1870s seemed to relatively trouble free. I did study the industry when I lived up there and cannot recall a specific need for recruitment, other than in the 1960s.
The reason I ask the initial question is that there are areas in a few Lancashire towns known as Little Cornwall, the one that springs to mind is my own home town of Burnley. Haslingden is less than ten miles from Burnley and Cornish miners were needed in the coal fields of East and South Lancs. Now being the son of a St Martins-by-Looe man myself, I know that there is little by the way of mining action in that area...but perhaps a relative from the other side of Liskeard was already up there?
My own father made the same move as Hannah in the 1950s when he was recruited for labour by the Mullard Company (later owned by Philips Electricals). It still goes on!
08-08-2007, 4:51 PM
the rest of her siblings remained in Looe and Morval, the furthest any of the others went was Devonport (a married sister). Hannah's brother (my gg-grandad) was daring and went all the way up to Menheniot and married a Quethiock girl. A couple of my gg-uncles went off NZ but apart from that the family stayed in the Looe area
This is why Hannah has got me so interested, I can understand if maybe a group of Looe/Liskeard girls travelled up together. But as you say it wasn't an ideal time to be travelling to Lancashire especially the cotton mills.
Interesting thread! Several of my ancestors moved from Cornwall to Lancashire and Yorkshire in the mid to late 19th century. One lot went en-masse as a family for about ten years or so, another went with her husband (both related to me) and stayed.
09-08-2007, 12:40 PM
It just shows how sometimes you overlook what is right in front of you. I was discussing the ideas of this thread with my wife last night and I got to thinking that my own great-grandmother Sarah Jane CARLYON (b 1858 St Martin-IN-MENEAGE!) must have moved from Cornwall to live in Settle, Yorkshire as a single woman. While there she married Charles RICHARDS, from Camborne who himself had moved away from Cornwall as a child with his widowed mother, Biddy RICHARDS (she too must have moved away from Cornwall for work as a single woman).
The children of Sarah Jane RICHARDS would eventually move to Lancashire and work in the cotton mills of Brierfield, near Burnley and that's where I come from on my mother's side.
It must be that there was a lot of this moving for work and it may not have been as much a drive for recruitment as the dire necessity of desperate people. One thinks back to the literature of that time, there were stories told of many young women who were procured a position in some far off place (which inevitably led to their downfall or fortune). Perhpas it was more common than we think?
09-08-2007, 12:57 PM
I suppose if the alternative was field work or going into service the Cotton Mills might well have seemed attractive. The work was fairly steady and the girls from the cotton mills had a lot more independence than girls in service. Yes, it was hard work, but then so were the alternatives.
09-08-2007, 7:24 PM
There is one reason I have come across for younger people moving around the country and even abroad, although it probably doesn't apply in this particular case.
Children being supported by the parish, particularly orphans but not always, would often be sent great distances to institutions who would undertake to support the child. I have details of a brother and sister, orphaned before they were aged 10. The girl was sent from Southampton to an orphanage in Bristol, the boy to a shoeblack school in Liverpool; this was at some time between 1871 & 1881!
I've also seen records of a whole group of children, some whose parents were alive but unable to support them, who were sent at parish expense to Canada to live (1872).
09-08-2007, 8:36 PM
I too have come across orphans being moved around the country. I remember tracking down some sisters from Plymouth to an orphanage in Gloucestershire. Only one member of the family returned to Plymouth. The other girls settled in Gloucestershire.
Hannah was living with her family in 1871, the rest of the family who were of working age were in employment. There are no signs of extreme poverty although like many farm labourers they were far from well off. Most of her siblings were working out on farms or in service. This was probably due to the numbers involved. So far I have traced 16 baptisms, although not all survived to working age. I have seen the cottage they lived in, & it's tiny.
One possible reason I can think of for Hannah being in the Workhouse during the intervening years is if she had an illegitimate child although I must say one hasn't come to light so far.
10-08-2007, 6:27 PM
It might be worth putting this thread on the Lancashire forum to see if it generates any feedback
13-08-2007, 9:05 AM
Hi Graham I have already posted queries regarding the Schofield and Sweetmore families that Hannah and Annie married into. I'll see if they get any answers of the next few days. If not I'll post this thread over there to see if anyone has some suggestions.
13-08-2007, 9:34 AM
Not that it will give you an answer, but a couple of things that you may like to consider.
1) I see no evidence that Hannah went straight from Cornwall to Lancashire. Her husband is born New Mills, Derbyshire, and is still there on the 1871 census. It is, therefore, equally possible that she went to somewhere in that neck of the woods, met him there and went up to Lancashire when he moved.
2) You mentioned that her brother "went all the way up to Menheniot and married a Quethiock girl". Now, you didn't give his name, but unless my powers of deduction have hit an all-time low, this is the fellow who, as "Edward", is already in Menheniot in 1871, with his future wife, Quethiock Bessie, being a servant at the same farm as him, yes?
So, Hannah, who, in 1871, with her father dead, is at an age when she might reasonably be expected to get out and earn a living, may, thanks to his presence, have got a job in Menheniot, or may simply have been in the habit of visiting her brother in Menheniot. Either way, she may have had good friends there.
Menheniot is a different kettle of fish. There were a number of lead mines in that patch, the two principal ones being Wheal Mary Ann and Wheal Trelawny. The latter closed down in 1871 - Mary Ann took over the sett and kept the pumps going to avoid their own mine being flooded, until they, too, closed down in 1874, but that was all. That put a good number of people out of work, some of who doubtless left the area - and if a family who Hannah was close friends with was among them, she could have either gone with them or, on hearing from them after they'd moved and being told of a work opportunity, followed on shortly afterwards.
13-08-2007, 10:46 AM
Thanks for that reply, it's certainly given me food for thought.
Yes Edward JAY in Menheniot is my gg-grandfather John Edward JAY. This is the only time he was referred to as Edward, possibly there were so many Johns working in and around the farm that they found it easier to call him by his second name.
I had assumed that Hannah met John in Lancashire purely because she married him there, it is entirely possible that she went to Derbyshire first.
There are a lot of Cornish families in Higher Booths in 1881, they are from the traditional mining areas but working in the cotton industry.
(I checked Beard but there are only a couple of people Cornish born in either census)
You reminded me of the mining in Menheniot and it has occurred to me that maybe Hannah travelled up with one of these families.
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.3 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.