CORNISH-L Archives

Archiver > CORNISH > 2009-12 > 1259871664

From: Catherine Quayle <>
Subject: Re: [CORNISH] emigration
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2009 12:21:04 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <99947315B743494F962938AD9A1D3EB5@JD0923091737>

Hi Jan -
I can only speak for my own family.  My Mom's father's family were Harrys from Godolphin Cross and were miners.  My GGgrandfather, Charles, had died at age 38 in a fall in Wheal Vor mine, where several of his sons already worked in the surface dressing operation.  Of a family of six brothers, all later left Cornwall for America and only the eldest returned after a few months.  He returned to care for their widowed mother, but as Wheal Vor had closed, he turned from mining to shopkeeping and did well with a little general merchandise store run out of the front of his home.  What heartbreak for a mother to see all her sons go, knowing she would likely never see them again. 
Mom's mother's family were Lorys, farmers in the St. Keverne area on the Lizard.  They owned several farms and very considered "gentry."  My GGgrandfather John, however, seems to have been a bit of a rascal and may have been "encouraged" to emigrate, either by family or the local constabulary.  The rest of the family remained in St. K and several of the farms are still farmed today, though not by people bearing the surname Lory.  I have been to several and they have a definite air of prosperity to the solid stone homes, barns and the lush gardens.  My Rouse's were sent to Brazil by the mining company the husband worked for in Cornwall and from there they went to New Almaden.
I am sure people's reasons for leaving Cornwall varied according to circumstances and ads in various newspapers encouraged folks to go to the gold fields or farming areas with glowing promises of a better life.  Brave souls to have set off into the unknown.
--  Kitty

--- On Thu, 12/3/09, Jan Davis <> wrote:

From: Jan Davis <>
Subject: [CORNISH] emigration
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009, 9:42 AM

I have a question. What was the attitude of the people in Cornwall in the 1800s when it seemed like everybody wanted to leave for greener pastures? Did the local governmental powers try to discourage families from leaving or did they encourage their departures? What did they think would happen to the local villages if so many people left? Why didn't EVERYBODY leave if things were so bad? What made some people decide to stay and tough it out? Obviously a lot of people did stay or it would be a giant ghost town, like so many of our old mining areas here in the American West.
Jan in San Diego
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