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21 Mar 2015

A Cornish Mine Agent in 1850s Jamaica

A quick google gives a shade more info on 3xgreat-grandpa Henry Lowry who spent one or two years in the Port Royal Mountains of Jamaica, in a little settlement named Silver Hill, as a mine agent or adventurer.

We have the attached letter, and reference to a book owned by him in Jamaica published 1851 is found via Google. Now a London paper takes up his desperate story for more money.

Lowry was a miner from Truro, arriving 1853, and seemingly leaving 1855, dying 1861.

London Daily News 24 August 1855
The directors of the Port Royal and St. Andrew's Copper Mining Company have received a report from Mr. Henry Lowry, upon his return to this country, in which he observes as follows : The English staff consists of 11 men and your mining agent. Captain Ciernes, Labour is generally abundant, and the natives are likely soon to become tolerably efficient workmen. It is my decided conviction that the operation, at Silver Hill ia particular, will result favourably ; the lode is the only quartz lode (I have brought specimens for your inspection) which I have seen in Jamaica, and is in every respect promising as could be desired. I believe nothing but a little perseverance will be requisite to make Silver Hill an important and profitable mine. As the operations have proceeded, nothing has occurred to alter my convictions ; the continuity of the lodes and branohet has been established from level to level, and nothing can exceed the regularity and compactnett of the formation in No, 2. I think any company would be warranted in spending a much larger amount of capital than has already been spent in the operations here, if it should be required, and I have no hesitation in recommending you to to effectual and complete development of the mineral ground.

8 Mar 2015

Cousins laid to rest

My aunt was sure cousin Eva married the bus driver and settled in San Francisco. I combed through all the 1940 census and found a husband who was a railway carriage cleaner. Everything matched up, and to my delight the San Francisco marriage indexes, now in image form on FamilySearch, confirmed this.

Rumoured to be illegitimate, it was certainly a surprise to note she survived her father 93 years, and was nearly the last of her generation. Thank goodness my great-aunt was around to forestall this awkward eventuality.  Her father passed away of tuberculosis in Wood Green not that far from me some time before the first world war.

It really is odd she survived so long. We had a phone call in the 1940s to tell us her older sister had died, exhausted by finding money at all hours of the day - and still another sister was confined to Colney Hatch lunatic asylum in the thirties. So hats off to Eva for clawing her way to the end of the century.

Another of the cousins disappears off the face of the earth in 1964 having proved her mother's will. She was then living in Surbiton. It now turns out she used the money from the estate to buy her own cottage just outside Henley.  But she only enjoyed the cottage for two years before passing away herself. The person with whom she occupied the cottage survived another 29 years however.

Firstnames across England

The following firstnames were popular in the stated counties in the Victorian era:
Cornwall - Margaret, Catherine, Martin, Matthew, John, Henry, Thomas, William, Edward, Kate, Jane, Eliza, Mary
Somerset - James, Thomas, Elizabeth, William, Grace, Sarah, Mary, Stephen, Richard, George, Ann, Joseph, Mark
Norfolk - Robert, William, Susan, Henry, Rosa, Sarah, Martha, Samuel
Northcountry - Jonathan, Ralph, Margaret, Hannah
Derbyshire - Joshua, Joseph, Luke, Esther, Ellen, Jane, Anthony, Sarah, James, Titus, Nathan, Hannah

Further comments welcome

Marital Status

My seven great-aunts each had a subtly different marital status: divorced, widowed, unmarried minor. Unmarried adult (spinster), married, separated, and ... annulled. Perhaps the last one should read 'femme sole'.

The divorced aunt also squeezed in a common-law relationship, changing her name but not walking up the aisle, and changing it back when the relationship ended.

The aunts furthermore spanned three centuries. The firstborn was a Victorian, while three made it into the twenty-first century.

7 Mar 2015

Beating Google's Cache to find old PDFs still online

I was frustrated not to be able to get copies of this carehome newsletter, 2005, anywhere:

By luck and not really much thanks to any advice published on the internet, I found this link:

Hey presto, full details about my relatives who lived at Lowton near Warrington.