Moving Away

              As well as people moving into Ashburton, there have always been people moving away.
Above: 'A General Map of the World, or Terraqueous Globe, with all the New Discoveries and Marginal Delineations, Containing the Most Interesting Particulars in the Solar, Starry and Mundane System.' Samuel Dunn, 1794.
By Thomas Kitchin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

                                                         The Newfoundland Connection

From the 1500s, West Country people sailed to Newfoundland in search of cod. They made the hazardous crossing in spring,  sailing into the still-frozen waters in small wooden ships. The fish they caught was dried and salted; they returned home in the autumn. At different times ports such as Plymouth, Dartmouth, Teignmouth and Topsham were heavily involved in the trade.

http://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/society/west-country.php - Accessed 23-7-2016
http://www.discoverdartmouth.com/visitor-information/about-dartmouth/history-of-dartmouth - Accessed 23-7-2016

Sir Humphrey Gilbert, a half-brother to Sir Walter Raleigh, claimed Newfoundland for Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1583.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/immig_emig/england/devon/article_2.shtml - Accessed 23-7-2016

Dartmouth was particularly important. 'The principal ports in England from whence the Newfoundland fisheries are carried on are Pool and Dartmouth...
...400 sail are sent from Great Britain, the tonnage of which amounts to 36,000 tons, and 2000 shallops, making 20,000 tons more; that 20,000 men are employed, 12,000 of which return to Great Britain and Ireland: that they are obliged to carry out every year one man in every five, who is what they call a green man, or one who has never been at sea before, by which means the British fishery raises 3,000 fresh seamen every year; that they catch about 600,000 quintals of cod fish...'
Other commodities mentioned are: cod oil, seal oil and a few seal skins (the duty on the last named was high).
Statement by Benjamin Lister to the House, The Parliamentary History of England to 1803, vol18, 1774-77, London 1818 p426ff

Above: 1853 Andrews map of the Maritime Provinces, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland
By Creator:Israel de Wolf Andrews [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
                                                       

'The inhabitants [of Dartmouth] are chiefly employed in the Newfoundland fishery...'
Stanfield's Coast Scenery, Clarkson Stanfield, London, 1836, p16

Fishing was the major trade, but there were also many other trading opportunities. 'There was also a brisk export traffic in the cloth manufactured inland at towns such as Ashburton'

http://www.discoverdartmouth.com/visitor-information/about-dartmouth/history-of-dartmouth - Accessed 23-7-2016

'Large quantities of shoes, made at Ashburton, Kingsbridge and Dartmouth, are sent to Newfoundland.'
A Topographical Dictionary of England, Samuel Lewis, vol 2, London 1831, p41

'C___ next thought of sending me to Newfoundland, to assist in a storehouse. For the purpose he negotiated with a Mr Holdsworthy of Dartmouth, who agreed to fit me out. I left Ashburton with little expectation of seeing it again...'
William Gifford, quoted in The Portfolio, Oliver Oldschool Esq., vol2, 1802, Philadelphia, p300


'Mrs Kenney...was born in the old house, still existing, in the Duke of York Street*, alias Kenny's Lane, which had formerly been the "First Government House". This house...[was]..something of a more durable and expensive character than the ordinary wooden buildings of the time, as the oaken beams, still visible, can testify...From the lease and receipts in possession of the Kenny family it appears that in the year 1795 it was rented by Father O Donel...and Dr Ogden, MD, for Mr Brine, father of Mrs Kenny. The property is called "Mart Stripling's Plantation" and consists of a "house and garden". It belongs to "Mary Stripling, of Ashburton ini County of Devon, Kingdom of Great Britain, spinster", the rent was 5 15s for twelve months.'
Ecclesiastical History of Newfoundland, Michael Francis Howley, Boston 1888, p210
*In St John's - now York Street. http://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/society/19th-century-health.php

It seems likely that the Mary Stripling above is the same Mary Stripling, singlewoman of Ashburton, Devon, who left a will dated July 1st 1836. It can be seen at (or downloaded from) the National Archives.
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk ref PROB 11/1864/478

Inevitably many people stayed in Newfoundland - 35% of known English immigrants came from Devon. A large proportion of these came from the ports, but a sizable group came from the market towns of the county. Ashburton was one such town.
http://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/society/west-country.php - Accessed 23-7-2016


                                                                    
Anglican Cathedral of St John the Baptist, St John's, Newfoundland.
Marriages 1743-1782:
December 31st 1759, James Daw, Ashburton, Devon, married Mary Brown, widow

Marriages 1825-1834:
November 17th 1825, James Moore, bachelor of Ashburton, Devon, married Rebecca Marshall, a spinster of St John's
November 18th, 1834, Edward Penny, bachelor of Ashburton, Devon, married Mary Lacey, a spinster of St John's
December 7th, 1834, Jonas Croker, bachelor of Ashburton (Devon?) married Ann Jenkins, a spinster of St John's

Marriages 1835-1844
June 9th 1836, Emmanuel Leviton, bachelor of Ashburton, Devon, married Mary Holloway, a spinster of St John's

                                                                         ***
In 1829 the death was reported of Thomas Matterface, at St Lawrence, Newfoundland. He had died on January 26th in his 33rd year, and was the eldest son of J Matterface of Ashburton.
Dorset County Chronicle 21 May 1829, p4 col3

                                                                      *******

The Bearns family.
See more about the Bearns family under Individual Families

William and Susanna Bearns had 7 children, probably all baptised in Ashburton (the spelling of the surname varies):
William Barnes, son of William and Susanna, baptised in Ashburton on June 30th 1796
Susanna Barnes, daughter of William and Susanna, baptised on November 8th, 1797
Sarah Bearns, baptised in Ashburton in May 1799
George Holditch Bearns baptised in July 1801
Elizabeth Holditch Bearnes baptised in 1803
Thomas Bearnes baptised 1806
Harriot Bearnes, baptised 1808.
Parish records

From Karen Bearns in Newfoundland: 'Two brothers and two sisters came here, circa 1829: William, Thomas, Sarah and Susanna. One of the brothers was listed as a shoemaker and a merchant. Both girls married Methodist clergy here, and Sarah went to St Kitts where she died 5 years after leaving England. William died the same year in Newfoundland. That left Thomas, my 3x great-grandfather, and Susanna. She and her family returned to England. Thomas' father was William Bearns, and the grave of William and his wife is in Ashburton.'
Many thanks to Karen for the above account.

William Bearns (Jnr) of Ashburton, Devon, married in St John's, 1829
Royal Gazette 1 September 1829, quoted in Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, E R Seary, St John's, Newfoundland, rep 1988, p30

Susanna had returned to England and was living in Holsworthy at the time of the 1861 census. Her husband was George Ellidge, Wesleyan minister, and they had a 17 year old daughter, also named Susanna, who was born in Newfoundland.
By 1871 Susanna and her daughter were in the Isle of Wight with her 31 year old son, George Wesley Ellidge, as head of the household. Like his sister, he was born in Newfoundland.
1861 census RG09, piece no 1508, folio 44, p13
1871 census RG10, piece no 1165, folio 65, p10

                                                                        *******

Above: The photograph of two men with a bear was sent to Mr Butler of the Sun Inn. Entitled Ashburton Farm, it was sent from somewhere in Canada (the address is indecipherable). Reference is made to Mabel and Minnie being grown since the writer last saw them - Mabel Butler, the youngest, was born in 1899.
http://www.freebmd.org.uk
'Dear Jack, this PC is of my friend he is joining me and myself he shot this bear last sumer and it is a brute 6 feet long. Jack you will excuse this as I have not got any writing paper here we are waiting for a parcel [?] train to come in then I will send you a long letter and tell you all about the country and what it is like. I have settled down.....on a nice piece of ground of 160 acres and I think I shall do all right on it for this ground is good and I have plenty of good water here of course I don't know anything [or 'Many things'] about farming but I shall soon learn and then I can show you what a miner can do for himself if he likes.....give my love to Mabel and Miny and Mrs Butler but I suppose the girls would not like to kiss me now for they are grown a lot since I saw them last I would like a picture of you all I will send a good one of myself when I can get....to send it on Truly yours, Sam S.....'
From my own collection

In 1949 George Holden Pinkham visited from Boston, Massachusetts, and told how his direct ancestor, Ephraim Pinkham (Pingum), left Ashburton in 1631 and sailed to America from Plymouth. Ephraim had married Mary Brown, whose father Peter* had gone across on the Mayflower.

Western Times 30 September 1949 p5 col5

* A Peter Browne does appear amongst the Mayflower passengers - see http://mayflowerhistory.com/mayflower-passenger-list - Accessed 02-05-2015

In May 1842 John Mann Kingwill sailed from Plymouth for Quebec (on board the Priscellia ?), and wrote back to his parents in Ashburton. in his diary and letters he mentions the following people on the voyage,  presumably also from the area: I. Easterbrook* ; J. Easterbrook ;  J. Mann 

'Some of our passengers are very ill. They have not been on deck since we left Plymouth...'

When the ship docks at Quebec, John visits Mr Woodley and family - George Luscombe is lodging with Mr Woodley. He also sees Richard Soper, Richard's wife and brother.

W Honeywill, J. Martin and J Macdowell 'went on to Boston or New York'

R Edgecombe and T Woodley 'all enquiring of friends..'

*This may be a mis-transcription, as only J Easterbrook is mentioned again.

Transcript by J M Sherby, New York, 1980s?

The whole transcript can be read at http://www.scribd.com/doc/44088180/John-Mann-Kingwill-journal-and-letters


1847 The Mersey arrived safely in Quebec with some passengers from Ashburton. It had left Torquay in April.

Western Times 19 June 1847 p7 col5


In 1851 James McDowell's son, John, arrived home in Ashburton from California. John had been working the Liverpool to US packet ships for 20 years, and had crossed the Atlantic seventy four times.

In 1849 he had gone with thirteen others from New York to the gold diggings in California, and brought home some large nuggets of gold. One in particular, from the Spanish Low diggings, weighed 10¾ ounces. This and other finds ensured him a comfortable future, although he was not yet 34 years old.

Western Times 8 February 1851 p7 col4


In 1853 the ship Spermaceti also made the trip from Plymouth to Quebec, arriving on August 30th: her commander was Captain Moon. Several passengers were from the Ashburton area.

Western Times 24 September 1853 p7 col4

The Spermaceti was also mentioned by John Mann Kingwill, above

In 1853 William Ireland, an Ashburton builder, set off for America with his family, via Bristol and Liverpool. A large number of Irish passengers were aboard the ship, the Emma Fields, and a 'raging fever' broke out before they reached New York. Mr Ireland was one of those who died.
Western Times 15 January p7 col4

1854. People were about to leave Ashburton for America, embarking at Plymouth. They were sailing on the ships Lady Peel and Rose.

Several people from Ashburton were also about to leave for Melbourne, Australia, to try their luck at gold digging.

Letters had also been received from Toronto, Canada, where some Ashburtonians were now living. Wages were described as being high, 'and provisions cheap'.

Exeter Flying Post 13 July 1854 p3 col5

Western Times 9 September 1854 p7 col5

When the emigrant ship the John was lost in 1855, 'much excitement' occurred in Ashburton and other towns in the area, because local people were aboard. The towns included Bovey, Newton, Lustleigh, Chudleigh, Teignmouth, Staverton and Totnes.

Western Times 12 May 1855 p7 col1

In 1870 Captain's Steward Ashmore died when HMS Captain was lost at sea. He left a widow and two children in Ashburton.

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 16 September 1870 p8 col4

The National Maritime Museum Greenwich holds details of William Ashmore, captain's servant. The collection includes a certificate of service, a discharge certificate and memorial cards. There are letters to his widow, Annie Ashmore, about the Captain relief funds and pension warrant, together with photographs of the Ashmores and of HMS Captain survivors

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/archive/objects/512626.html - Accessed 8-1-2015


Above: Items from the collection in the Royal Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Re-used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) licence

In 1871 Annie Ashmore, a widow aged 24, is living with her parents Thomas and Sarah Squires, near the 'Arch at the back of North Street'. With the family are Mary aged 2 and Bessie, 9 months, shown as the grandchildren of Thomas. As the 1871 census was taken on April 2nd, this means that Bessie was born round about May/June 1870. William died in September.

1871 census RG10, Piece 2080; Folio 54; p19

The 1891 census shows Mary and Bessie Ashmore, aged 21 and 20 respectively, living in Union Street, East Stonehouse. Born in Ashburton, they are with their mother Annie and their step-father William H. Northcott.

http://www.freecen.org.uk/

http://www.freebmd.org.uk/
In the north transept of Westminster Abbey is a stained glass window and memorial brass to those who were lost when the ship HMS Captain sank. The brass memorial reads:"The stained glass window above commemorates the foundering of HMS Captain on Sept 7 1870 when Capt. Hugh Burgoyne V.C. Capt.Cowper Coles C.B. with 49 officers and 402 men and boys perished off Cape Finisterre in the service of their country. The names are recorded on brasses in St Paul's Cathedral"


File:HMS captainWilliam Frederick Mitchell.jpg
Image: HMS Captain by William Frederick Mitchell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
There was some controversy about  the ship, which had been designed by Cowper Coles. When returning from Gibraltar the ship sank in 'a moderate squall' - there were only eighteen survivors.

http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/people/hms-captain - Accessed 8-1-2015

A court martial was held on the loss of HMS Captain, with much discussion about the stability of the ship, built by Laird Brothers. Mr. Reed, 'late chief constructor' of the navy, had noticed the large area of sails, and had drawn it to Mr. Laird's attention. He considered that Captain Coles and Mr. Laird were the people responsible for the design and construction,  not
Admiralty officials. Mr. William Laird said that additional weight had been added to the ship at Captain Coles' request.

Nottinghamshire Guardian 7 October 1870 p3 col4

Investigations concluded that 'pressure of sail' in conjunction with 'heave of the sea' had caused the ship to capsize. No blame was attributed to any of the survivors, nor to Mr. Reed's department, but regret was expressed that the final construction of the ship varied from the original designs.

Leeds Times 15 October 1870 p7 col1

                          

1873 The White Star Line's steamship Atlantic was wrecked off Halifax: James Baskerville, a quarryman from Ashburton, was amongst the passengers. At the time of the Exeter Flying Post's report, the numbers of dead were uncertain.

Exeter Flying Post 9 April 1873 p7 col4/5

1884 Under 'Hotel personals' the following announcement was made in a US newspaper: 'Dr. Gervis of Ashburton, County Devon, Thomas W. Windeath* of Totness, Fabyan Amory** and John S. Amory, all of England, arrived at the Ebbitt House on the late train last night from New York.'

* Probably Windeatt

** Should be Amery

National Republican 17 September 1884 page unknown col3

Available through http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov

In 1889 Mr. R. C. Luscombe of Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales, wrote back to Ashburton, after nearly 40 years. The fourth son of Richard Luscombe, builder, he spoke highly 'of the prospects of gold mining.'

Western Times 2 May 1899 p3 col4

1892 The West Country Men in Natal held their annual dinner in Pietermaritzburg. The guests included Col. Tucker C.B.; L C Bastow; A H Foaden and Sergeant Bowden (11th Hussars), all from Ashburton.

The food included squab pie, apple dumplings, clotted cream and junket, and the toast was 'Ye West Countrie.'

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 20 April 1892 p6 col2

Several members of the Endacott family settled in America around the turn of the 20th century.

See Musicians, Poets and Artists, under Famous Ashburtonians.

1911 A large number of both men and women were leaving Ashburton for Canada

The Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 3 March 1911 p11 col3

Several members of the Wills family emigrated to Canada at the beginning of the 20th century

See the Wills and Eales family, under Individual families

In 1891 William R Townsend, 'horse man' and his wife Amy are living in North St., with George Leaman, a cow-keeper (thought to be Amy's father - her maiden name was Leaman). They had married in 1879 and already had 5 children, and by 1896 had at least one more - Charles Stanley Townsend. According to the Carnamah Historical Society and Museum's website Charles fought in the First World War, and emigrated to Australia in 1922. He was a passenger on the steamship Osterley, arriving in Fremantle in March of that year.

http://www.freecen.org.uk/

http://www.freebmd.org.uk/

For more on Charles' life in Australia, see Carnamah Historical Society and Museum's website at http://www.carnamah.com.au/ - Accessed 10-11-2015



The SS Osterley was built in 1909 by the London and Glasgow Eng and Iron Shipbuilding Co.
http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/viewship.asp?id=8149 - Accessed 11-11-2015

Left:
The steamship Osterley at sea.

With thanks to the State Library of South Australia PRG 280/1/3/365


Mr William Joint died in 1894. He had been born in Ashburton, but had settled in the United States in 1856. He had served in the C 14th Massachusetts Infantry Cavalry during the civil war, until injured from a fall from a horse. He left shoemaking* and established a successful grocery business, and married twice.
Totnes Weekly Times 1 September 1894 p2 col6
*This may or may not have been his original trade


Some BMDs (births, marriages and deaths) from Australian newspapers can be found in Some BMDs under People and Properties.