Salt Spring Island Archives

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Brenda & Frank Cornwall

This tape is part of the SSI Historical Society Collection, and comprises an address given to the Society meeting.

Mr. and Mrs. Cornwall talk extensively about the theory and practice of genealogy here and abroad, mentioning their own families.

Accession Number Interviewer Address Historical Society
Date January 14, 1986 Location Salt Spring Island Archives
Media Audio CD
ID 28 Location Central Hall
Restrictions none Detailed Tape Guide no
Topic geneaology




Unknown Speaker 0:00
Their ancestors work. And I myself was one of these people. My husband started with the Cornwall's, and I, myself couldn't care less who I was, and I just wasn't interested, then all of a sudden, I kind of like thought, well, maybe I should find out a little bit about myself. And then you kind of like, get hooked into this. And you have to trace this one back and not one and go as far back as you can. Myself, I've only gone back on my side of the family to about 18 139. But it gets to be like a little bit of an Agatha Christie. Mystery after a while, because sometimes you come to a dead end when you're looking through these land registry, looking for the registry office in England. And then you go to the Census office, and the census offices. In England, you can trace back to an address of where people lived, who you were your relatives, and it has the mum, mother and father, and all the children, their ages and exactly what they did. Also, sometimes there'll be a name of a lodger, or somebody who was there and you assume that that man was larger, could be somebody else. But myself, I was in Louis, and it was quite interesting with myself to find out that I think I'm Welsh. About five generations ago, some Welsh food must have left there and come to London. And that's why I've had all those views. But one of the things of my own family was that what they did for a living, some of my great grandfather's were worked on the railway. They were coached trimmers, silk weavers, cabinet makers and wine Porter, who didn't drink any. And one was a waiter in a clubhouse in London right beside the strand. And I thought, Wait, you're in a clubhouse. What's that? But he was remember in England, they had these very, very private, snooty clubs. And I think that was one that he was. One of them was a milliner. Man was a milliner. And I also have another relative who was a servant. And I think that's kind of nice, too. We're not I am. And I think it's really quite interesting if people do wish to find out about themselves. On Saltspring island now, I've put up a little over here about the early pioneers that was given to me. And also there are to the BC genealogy society. They do have people that go around some cemeteries and list and make notes of the gravestones and the names of the people who are there. Because you possibly could have had an uncle up in Fort St. John. And you think I wonder what happened to old uncle song so who it was, and you can yourself by one of these lists of the senators out there and maybe might find him and then maybe you might find something about him from the people in Fort St. John. The other thing I did was it was interesting to me it was Mr. Bullock, as a you had previously owned the creamery when I lived there. He was kind of like fascinated Brian Roberts

Unknown Speaker 3:43

Unknown Speaker 4:01
Those are difficult. And then his father was a vicar in chaplains in Peter, which is a little little country village outside of London on the west side. And from my husband, I went there, and we've got some little photographs of this new church. And unfortunately, it was closed. It was a Monday and the church was closed so we couldn't get to ask anybody about certain details off the books. And next thing getting around to the Cornwalls. The Cornwalls are frank, can you help me with this thing?

Unknown Speaker 4:43
Over here is a big list of the Kormos and

Unknown Speaker 4:47
right 50,000 virtual machines and they were all ready to kick back to that place. It was interesting And typically because of the government, then we have to join the society back to the formal we get into the library, actually Part

Unknown Speaker 5:35

Unknown Speaker 5:42
Magna Carta King John had to sell. One was Henry, who became Henry again. And the other one was Richard, who was a different corner. And the Duke of Cornwall had a wife, their names on that chart over there. And they had no they had one son, and he had no children that survived. But the system and no favors I don't think it's changed the heck a lot of rich people have girlfriends. And by the girlfriend, he had three children, Walter, Richard, and Isabella. And as they were very politely informed, natural children not in a different way. They could not take the family name, which was planned tragic. So they were known as deportable upon children of camo. And that is how the family name continues on down for that. One, Walter, the Commonwealth with the Sheriff of London for 1288 to 1300, and suddenly practice and well, the whole chart carries on down there now what happened with my family, you may wonder why I'm not loaded. Because I came from this family. Well, what happened was this about the 1600 and something one, Thomas Cornwell really let the family down and I'm never gonna forgive him for this loss over family money. His son inherited nothing. His name was Francis, which I am named after. And that's the house a built there that picture the house he built in a village in Shropshire called 10. Very well. It is incidentally ever going to be the bed and breakfast but nonsmokers. But anyway, he had four brothers, Edmond, a Richard, and James and a George. Now, apparently, according to this chart there in 1823. James never survived, because he is not named in his art will. The other three children Edmund, Richard, and George, named in the answer will, and from George, this is where we descend. Now. Unfortunately, at the same time, George and Richard and Edmund came on the scene. The Congress had no money and made George here. I was talking to her husband who comes from this area, or they both did come originally from this area. And I couldn't understand why. My pillow a bit originally, eventually ended up in London. Well, what happened was coming to this area when he was about working age, in the 1780s, they started to dig a canal. And I would suspect that that is now online. And Tesco ended up by digging around from there to wherever and eventually ended up in London. He eventually he didn't live too long in London. He died at a very early age of 45 years of age. And he is buried in a district of London called Camberwell, which in those days in 1815, was an extremely pretty little village because I've got pictures I went to the library and I've got pictures of this and I've got Elizabeth and macro camera well I have Georgian macro candle on I have a Victorian metal cameo and it was very quiet, although it's not that way anymore. It was at that time and extremely nice for the village and that's how we eventually got hooked on to como I'm I plotted along and all those that are written in my hand are the ones that I found out the other chart here were written up by a vicar who was employed in the employ of Lord Liverpool. How he became employed To find out what Liverpool was the fact that one of the Cornwall girls, woman by the name of amaranth, Cornwall, married the Charles Jenkins, now Charles Jenkins was the grandfather of Look, Lord little. He was a an officer in the army. And I guess he did pretty well on talking about 1617. He did pretty well. And I would imagine you've got some 30, from the troops there and everywhere. And that's how Jenkins became the Lord. So he commissioned this, there is a beautiful book in England called the House of Cornwall. And I've been trying for nearly a year and a half to get a copy of it, it was printed in 19 108, in the city of Paris, and so far, no much, but there is a copy of it in the British Library. And there is also a copy of the Genealogical Society. In the Genealogical Society in London, they have, they have an incredible collection of stuff, like, I've sent him everything I have found out about myself. And so. So if you, if you have family that originated from that part of the world, you go there, they chose to come on out, or it's about 15 pounds to become a member. So it's up to you, whichever way you work, and on the fourth floor of the library building, and they have, they have shelves and shelves of papers that people have submitted on their families. And you walk in there and this is how come I came upon this Cornwell family through one as I say the first one was done in 1823, in that time was brought up to date and 1814 something and that one that appears to be tight. I have a feeling that was done in the 1850s. But I'm not absolutely sure that somebody has been keeping up. When I joined the Genealogical Society in London, they asked you to submit a Godfrey, which is all the family names that you happen to know. And I had done this and I was contacted by a fella who is a colonel in the Royal Artillery and stationed in Germany. Funny enough, he had just come from a visit to the army base in Alberta, farm cannons in Canada before we went back to Germany. And he asked me if I knew anything about that particular line family and Oh, that is the marason had to get away a tiny Harriet Cornwall. And as luck would have it, because I've been to the Genealogical Society, you will see on that chart over there is Fanny Harriet, and it takes her right back to the year. You know, there's a note, there's no breaks, none at all. And she goes, and so of course, this last one, the point I'm trying to make is, once you're joining in a local society, you should be very willing to exchange information. A lot of people are very reluctant. I have met people that have meetings of Genealogical Society, because they paid $40 or something. And now because somebody could look for this for them, they are reluctant to give you this information. Now, even though it may be the same family name, I have a lady give me a perfect example. My great great grandfather moved marriage twice. The first lady who married was a lady by the name of Sarah and Wallace, who is an in one book three, the lady in California who has this very gem named Cornwell and Wallace and I've written to her three times with what information I asked for her to exchange information and she will not talk with her information. Now maybe she's found that one of our ancestors got harmed and she doesn't want to me that I was worried years ago kid but but this is what I found a lot of people are quite reluctant to do. And even when I've contacted people with same family name, they are reluctant to do so it's you either get get hooked by it or you don't I suppose in a lot of people just don't seem to want that but they're all of course you're gonna want to make an ionic and talk about the stuff from the British Isles because if I'm to believe this chart, my my answer to that is within the Congress, and through his daughter comes first and so therefore I know that they by immigrant ancestors arrived in England, a bit of a struggle, the arrival but nonetheless I don't think there were any more welcomed in the end. Whether it's right now, but so I can't talk about anything else. But there are a lot of places the census office in London is just an incredible place, they really have been very helpful in that.

Unknown Speaker 15:15
They have sensors gone right back to 1841. Every plate every town and village in England back 80 and boils back at 41. If you're from Scotland, you have to go to Edinburgh a village, that's where they are kept there. The sanctions. And I must tell you something about Scottish mother, I found it Scottish. But I thought that some Scottish thing, they were great for detail, they actually put the very minute the child was born. I mean, the actual Minister, the child was born in Scotland, they put it down, it's 11, seven p not 15. Or even just to play it right on the minutes. And I don't know why they were talking to them. But and then if you if your family came from the London area as for 200 years might have there is a place called the Greater London Records Office. And it's located at 14 Northampton Street. And they have every church record there is in the greater London area. I mean, everything, you can actually go and put your hand you have to make. First of all, you look on microfilm, find it, and then you go to mass to actually have a look at the original book. And it takes about a half hour and they go down to the basement and they bring you up that book. And there is your relative who signed something in 200 years ago, they're at rubbing up a pen mark, you know that that is 200 years old, and that that your ancestor was scratching that piece of paper? To me that is a charge? No. I mean, I really I think that's great. You're, again, they are extremely helpful people. And then once you get up to that the count is like 200 years ago, my ancestors came from all different parts of the country, then you have to go to the whatever the county seat is like, I have some answers to some benefit. Sharon was there because the captain said you have to be again, it's time. But we have we've got very lucky in this part of the world. We have a religion religious group here called the moment. Now the moment I've done some incredible work on on genealogical I believe it's nothing to do with a religion about to get your if you become a Mormon, you can get your ancestors Chris and even though they've been dead 100 years, you can get them rechristened as Mormons. I believe that's why I'm not absolutely sure. So if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Okay. But that over in Victoria, and our Facebook man Street is the Mormons genealogical library. It is open from Tuesday to Friday, Thursday night, it's open to seven o'clock. It's open from 11 to three. And they have all of their birth certificates and records from just about every patient and thing. I mean, Poland, Iceland, you name these guys, you know, and they are very helpful, very helpful people. And what you can do there, they have everything on microfiche, and you look through the microfiche until you find one of your ancestors, you take the numbers down, and then you can write for an actual photocopy of his birth certificate or marriage certificate from Salt Lake City. This unfortunately takes about two months. This is one of the problems get involved. And this is the fact that once you stop, and you wait two months for this record to come back and you've sent to the wrong John Smith, then you have to start looking around for the next John Smith and then for the time to count into another two months that leaks gone by. So this is one of the things that's wrong with being as far away. But as I say Mormons are extremely helpful and UT of the moment is that their records are cheap. They are 15 to 25 cents each. So if you make a mistake, you wasted 15 or 25 cents. If you make a mistake in England as Brenda and I have done, I can assure you you're looking at five pounds which dogs each record that you make a mistake. And I unfortunately have about 20 of those mistakes. That's why I wish I'd taken the trouble to go to Salt Lake City. Apparently in Salt Lake City they have just an incredibly open It's seven o'clock in the morning and closes about nine o'clock at night. And you can just plow where it's really supposed to be. But what else

Unknown Speaker 20:14
about Ireland?

Unknown Speaker 20:15
Oh yeah. In our world, you're going to have some problems apparently. Currently when the state in the 1840s I think it was the, they wanted to take all the records and put them in one central place, which was done in Castle and the priests, the local priests in the villages, objectives, this at least this is a story I don't, I'm not a historian. But apparently, they did stir up some feelings about this. And a big riot took place and a whole bunch of people broke into Dublin Castle, and set fire to all the record. As a consequence, the few that was saved, have a very hit and miss. As luck would have it, I have some Irish ancestors, and I've managed to get a half a dozen of them back into the Cork in Ireland. But I don't think I'm gonna get much back farther than what I have which is 1830 are so afraid if you're Irish, you're gonna find you're gonna run into a lot of frustration. But the English one is just incredible. You know, when you go there, the just, just incredible. We granted I walked into the streets of London Records Office and we looked at a one church lamp of St. Mary's pole, which is right onto the houses and just flip the page over and there's all families have brothers and sisters, everybody just just suddenly was all before. A little interesting thing about this neighbor St. Mary. I had a pup came from across a coffee over a marriage circuit of my great grandparents and I couldn't find it the London registry when I got there, this St. Mary's Lambeth, I felt for sure that the church was there. And I thought, well, perhaps that part of London had gone pretty bad perhaps which actually got destroyed. So we rented a car and the brand of water so the church just on the banks of the Thames. I can't think of a name but let's stop there at Lambeth and see if they know where St. Mary's at Lambeth is. And when we got to this place, we pulled up and this in fact, this was the Church of St. Mary's Atlanta. And again, as luck would have it, because it was no longer a church then taken over by Historical Society very much the same as yours. And they have this beautiful building, you know, to hold their beacons in and when we walked in, they were having a faith to raise funds to help their society going to traditional society. John Podesta apparently was one of King Charles the First to harness the wind all over the world bringing all these exotic plants into England. That's what that's when I got in there and talk to people directly like it made us feel really made to sit down and photocopy old the old records and they now have a minute and baby and also in the yard. Several problems buried there are memorials local church. And I know walking around in the graveyard, lo and behold my favorite seat Captain Captain glide of the bounty who was he gets buried right thing remains somebody loving my kinda guy

Unknown Speaker 24:00
after we went to this Genealogical Society in London, was directed by Michael I wish he was the carnivores apparently what had happened was this lady they were they were named, I would say the family started off into legitimate children of this second stuff. And when the by the logic for that Henry the Fifth around about 13 happens and something came upon the scene one fall by the name of faith. Now, fortunately, none of this has come up in our family but he was seven feet three inches tall. And he was one of the Henry's of his soldiers when I would go up and I have a mental picture this guy seven foot three in a suit of armor sitting on a show apples charge and at some follow from I don't know, but actually what I think I've been back for cars pretty good And they still have his Polacks in the tarot. And they have an effigy to him. Oh, anyway, I'm getting to him, I believe went into this. This tape and after the back of it and of course he had done so well was given 6000 acres of land on what they call the marches, which is the Welsh border. And the little village called tenbury Wells is part of what was the original sextile trinkets. The church the next quote is not a village, it's just the church. Now, I hope everybody gets this, this bit of luck, but I went into this church stuck in the middle of it has been maintained absolutely beautifully. That place was just absolutely incredible brands, and a whole bunch walked in. And the walls are covered with the name of for me, everywhere I looked was Carlos. And the amazing thing is how, unbeknown to us, throughout our family, we have repeated the names. We just didn't know. I mean, my wife has she told him her maiden name was Louis. So we thought we would pull out first, Louis quando we felt we believe what 1400 was something Louis was fair. And another thing is I have a Pro Bowl, Brian jump, which I thought was different. But Lewis combo was made guardian of Brian Cornwall, who inherited some land, who was a minor. And the names that have repeated through our families through the hundreds of years. It's just for me, that's, that's another thing that goes on. I know for a fact that none of my my relatives knew anything about these people. So anyway, we went into this lovely little church, and it is a gorgeous church. They haven't there's this day they have this effigy of Edmonds Olson put three of them laying down the center of the of the aisle of the church. And they have what they call a triptych. I I'm a planner, I just found this out this this last trip we went and they have a beautiful panel of doors on the wall and they have the 12 apostles beautifully painted only go and open and you open the door. And on both doors you open up all the family crest hundreds and there is a painting of this Edmond known as a strong Baron and his mother and father and honestly I'm not kidding here but it looks exactly like my grandfather. My grandfather was unfortunately gone with one of those notices that Jimmy Duranty would have been proud last Eggman standing there with this nose kind of a strange feeling but fortunately I got the Irish side but anyway, then we were where the family's 6000 acres of land they had the first part of the deal was they had to control the border to keep the Welsh terrorists in the castle that and over the years up until 1700 When this Thomas was in terrible state that the castle eventually collapsed to like a complete like they have to pass a special act of parliament because because of the title of is involved you know there's no longer any type of going to anybody because I don't understand all the rules and regulations. And a Member of Parliament bought the land and tour what was left the castle down and built a big house there. The house was built in 1740 that is still there is now owned by a gardening family or treasures and treasures specialized information and so this whole area now is coming from it naturally I bought some seeds but nobody ever works with the farmer but anyway we that's how we got started and I'm I've now changed over the other branches down to Hampshire and Essex.

Unknown Speaker 29:41
And one thing frankly, when they did

Unknown Speaker 29:44
leave that part of the job they

Unknown Speaker 29:48
eat as London, UK and New Day was the previous decade. So China's piece of their shoes Monster got into such depth and in England all type of combat like it's pretty simple and Now bear in mind that

Unknown Speaker 30:17
that's how we take you through vendors got started in that time frame rally and all these grand rounds in that ballpark because that's the other part too they got from New York and Frankfurt back to me but as the cat and mouse if anybody is

Unknown Speaker 30:47
using more than one thing I don't worry about the series I got the microfilm sheets

Unknown Speaker 31:00
right why did I do it? I'm not sure if it's going to come back in a long while but it gets so fascinating. When you get into the other sectors. We find your next door and townhouses down the street for you find the one you'll find a name and that name was just a marriage and family

Unknown Speaker 31:29
funny little thing well I thought it was funny that my relatives in England did not find it as a problem using Monterrey and the president he his ancestors came to England from our and they started a little soap making business in southern now at the time my ancestors that just down the road in Ewing which is if you look at an old map of London London Bridge, it's just south south and then next one is new and then the next place is Campbell. Okay, so anyway, Mr. Mr. Regan, the original guy he married lady I think the night was over and they had a whole bunch of children and of course they all went into sofas and naturally as well like Brenda says when going through the senses this is I thought this was funny in the fact there was a one of Reagan's children a distant relative of running live next door to my ancestor and I thought this was just a perfect thing to see like a chimney sweep one side and the sort of makeup the other side

Unknown Speaker 32:38
what I what I wrote I wrote his name was and I didn't think it was funny though. I'm not running answers to the state of Illinois, new thinking because Margaret Thatcher's joke nobody

Unknown Speaker 32:58
really questions ready to look at this marvel is one of the vendors that recognizes everybody all over the world even Russia is not a complete index Walmart though like when you're three years ago I remember like that but the moment

Unknown Speaker 33:27
we went ship, knock on your door and go away. But actually what they were doing also going around all the countries in the world trying to spread that word, the gospel but also they often record everything and lay it there and you have no one to talk to you both cases the world comes that there will be a record of

Unknown Speaker 34:03
getting less than five of the driver putting up their branded balls on either side for gaming. You've seen the door and both are all back his mouth

Unknown Speaker 34:18
Okay, well that's why you don't want to be in

Unknown Speaker 34:29
1.1 Church search on Sunset hours, how would you recommend and basically when you're going to try and take the first day we will definitely too much about several challenges and how to use them Right

Unknown Speaker 35:06
But another thing is once we got into the London and France was not my choice way or the other there are so many ways

Unknown Speaker 35:35
that come with maple leaf sites you know your imaginations run wild Have you had that

Unknown Speaker 35:46
much of a sudden because going hog wild this whole record office is just rolling on the floor I was actually going to spend five down to get a copy of that man most of them again but I never met

Unknown Speaker 36:07
the gentleman was asking about Of course, they also put out a computer program

Unknown Speaker 36:20
called roots which uses the data Mormons records so you can set up your own genealogical records I have a copy of that also coming next week at a high school

Unknown Speaker 36:54
should you belong to the society in the province retrace your? Well, like I've traced my back three generations to back East. And I've been thinking that perhaps I should join in that province. Physical talks about pass the mountain to be conquered in British Columbia, why don't I go to Vancouver, it's every second Wednesday of the month. And that's in the church. We meet all kinds of people. And here they're telling you about the stories that you get. If you're a British Columbian, you want to find out which is very, very interesting.

Unknown Speaker 37:46
Is it better to join VC mentors? Or? Yeah, I would say yeah, because the VC one has a big house down. Guys, they have a fantastic library. And they have these are the books from just about every provinces, Genealogical Society. And they have several from Germany, from England, from Ireland, from Iceland, and you know, you name them, they've got little books in there. And it's a very nice library. They have just incredible. They have, for instance, the ships registered of when ships arrived and what the name of the emigrant was, you know, so you may even get lucky and find out that the actual they say, two years ago, your ancestor arrived in this country, you know, what ship we came on and everything. And by, by by looking through some of the ships, registered things, you can maybe find out where they came from the old country, which again, then helps you that. It's really, it's really great. Like Brenda said, it's just like an Agatha Christie novel, you know, you're going along, and suddenly you see a nail and I'm, like, I have one of my ancestors. She was 85 years of age and she died, which is incredible, in my opinion. She died. I don't know if any many of you know London, but where the Houses of Parliament are. Middlesex Guild Hall, which is right up to the statue of products at Westminster Abbey, that used to be called massive Parker Street, in the old days, when I'm talking about and that's where she was. That's where she was going she got and so, when I looked at the death certificate, I saw a witness and I knew that she had a daughter called and and there is an actual event and spirit for the man was on the witness with an Stuart. So then went back to the Hampshire records, to find out if any and spearing, married somebody by the name of Stuart, and I found their marriage certificate. So he said Have it like that it just goes on and on I've got a four foot by four foot model Chuck desk at home and it is piled high with the outside

Unknown Speaker 40:17
this is what the British Columbia This is the government claims of a few instances and then tell you what they actually did and how much money which is kind of interesting and yet they have an entitlement system will

Unknown Speaker 40:40
actually add some of the people names to people that are in jail so you may not want to find out

Unknown Speaker 40:51
very well Tony and myself

Unknown Speaker 41:04
yeah it was all perish

Unknown Speaker 41:12
How about yes it has included some areas people want to know how to get shipped to the cabinet this is back to me like that that's what I was doing baby you had any dates this week

Unknown Speaker 41:50
goes back to 1894 I think it is about 94 It starts takes you up to 1960 Yes yes a little before his time I think there's some beston signatures on there but 90 To

Unknown Speaker 42:17
celebrate kind of yes I know but that was the 120 Nobody died no record of it

Unknown Speaker 42:28
you know

Unknown Speaker 42:38
when you do go back to Dallas like I found an opportunity to get pizza breakfast online show up in many guises READ IT room paper and she can remember way back when it came out

Unknown Speaker 43:06
you want to get smaller and wonderful questions. Yeah, right. What is that what a pacifier

Unknown Speaker 43:18
if you're interested we have

Unknown Speaker 43:28
that right. Yes, in fact floor and the other part is like I think it's been taken over by the City of Vancouver. Been like overcompensating for one night where you got to talk for all kinds of people by donation by our library

Unknown Speaker 44:08
Yes, I'm here Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 44:27
Okay, well thank you very much Brenda and thank you for this has been a fascinating entertainment

Unknown Speaker 44:45
the meeting is adjourned tea and coffee. Next meeting is February the 12th 12th of February here, two o'clock.