Family Names

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Martha's Convict Connections - hiding the truth

Martha Carbis is my 3 x great grandmother.  On her Australian death certificate it states that her father’s name was Richard Carbis and his occupation ‘mariner’. Her Mother‘s name was Ann maiden name unknown.[i]   Martha married my 3 x great grandfather John Bassett  in 1812 in Paul, Cornwall.[ii]
As death certificates are not a reliable source of information, other clues were sought to verify Martha’s parent’s names. On inspection of the Banns entry it was noted that one of the witnesses on the Banns was a Daniel Drew.
Further research was then conducted to try and find a Carbis man who married a woman whose maiden name was Drew. Eventually a William Carbis who married an Ann Drew was located.[iii]  Amongst their children was a Martha Carbis who had the same year of birth as my 3 x great grandmother.

William Carbis and Ann Drew had five children, all were baptised in the Paul Parish Church
  1. Ann Drew CARBIS 14 Nov 1784[iv]
  2. William Carbice 10th May 1789[v]
  3. Martha CARBENCE 7th October 1792[vi]
  4. Martha CARBIS 5th October 1794[vii] (my 3xgreatgrandmother)
  5. Richard CARBIS 17th August 1797[viii]


 
Figure 1 Steve Rigg, The Parish Church of St Pol de Leon, 2005.   Source Wikimedia Commons. Accessed 13 September 2016. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/34895 © Copyright (CC BY-SA 2.0) 

The idea that my 3 x greatgrandmother Martha’s father was William Carbis rather than Richard Carbis is supported by the following 3 points: 

1.       The change of her father’s Christian name was an attempt to hide family Convict connections.
A family story through the generations was that one of the early Bassett brothers (which generation this concerned was not clear) was charged for horse stealing in Cornwall but managed to escape to France/America and was never caught. Following this lead led us to look for some evidence of criminal activity.
The real story turned out to be much more interesting than the family legend after all.
In an article that appeared in The West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser   on the 7th April 1815 and another in the Royal Gazette on the 22nd April 1815 it appears that William Carbis  was involved in sheep stealing.
William Carbis, sen., William Carbis jun., and Francis Bassett, (a father, son and son-in-law), were indicted for stealing two ewe sheep belonging to Miss Borlase, of Madron, in December 1812
"The bill" was found by the Grand Jury in the Crown Bar during the Lent Assizes in 1813. However the proceedings were suspended as the accused had absconded. According to a report in the "West Briton & Cornwall Advertiser", when the constables went to arrest them they were unable to execute their warrants, as all three men had gone to sea. 
Figure 2 Richard Croft, Aerial view of Paul and Mousehole, 2010. Source Wikimedia Commons. Accessed 13 September 2016. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1961122 © Copyright (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Based on the newspaper story we were able to link Martha with her family as demonstrated below through their connections with William Carbis (in the newspaper referred as William Carbis sen.)  and his five children with his wife Ann Drew the 3 connections are confirmed.
It is hard to know if this was her father’s first foray into criminal activity. Martha was married 9 months before this event took place  and perhaps the shame was so great for Martha that she changed her father’s name, using her youngest brother’s first name to conceal her relationship? The white lie helped to distance hers from her father’s misdeeds (?). Once in Australia people were unaware of the families criminal and convict connections and only a vague tale of horse theft remained attributed to no-one in particular as a small reminder of what had been left behind. 

2.       Naming Patterns of the times as explained below were common practice between 1700 and 1875. Both the Carbis and Bassett families seem to have used them as evidenced by certain names recurring down through the generations. By using these patterns in tracing back from the children of John Bassett and Martha Carbis it is quite possible that John’s fathers name is William Bassett and as confirmed Martha’s fathers name is William.
Naming Patterns 1700-1875[ix]
The first Son was named after the fathers father (Marthas oldest son is John)
Second son named after mothers father (Marthas second son is William)
Third son named after the father
Fourth son named after fathers eldest brother
First daughter named after mothers mother
Second daughter named after fathers mother
Third daughter named after mother
Fourth daughter named after mothers eldest sister
Exceptions to the pattern occur when the naming system produced a duplication of names.
In that case, the name was taken from the next on the list.
Another break in the pattern could be caused by a death.
If a child died in infancy, then the parents would name the subsequent new born the same name 

3.    The informant for the death certificate was not a family member, and would not have knowledge of the background of Martha Bassett nee Carbis. 

Based on the above evidence I have come to the conclusion that Martha’s parents were most likely William Carbis and Ann Drew of the Paul Parish, Cornwall.

Links
Learn more about Martha’s Ancestral family
  • ·         To see clippings of the baptismal records for the children Click here 
  • ·         To find out more details about Martha’s fathers life after being transported to Australia in 1816 Click here 

Edit History
  1. This article was originally published in Familytreecircles on 23 Oct 2007 at   (and was updated on 13/09/2016)
  2. A shorter extract was also published on my blog here on Saturday, 12 January 2013 

Sources

Images
Figure 1 - Steve Rigg, The Parish Church of St Pol de Leon, 2005   Source Wikimedia Commons. Accessed 13 September 2016. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/34895 © Copyright (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Figure 2 - Richard Croft, Aerial view of Paul and Mousehole, 2010. Source Wikimedia Commons. Accessed 13 September 2016. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1961122 © Copyright (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Documents


[i] Death certificate of Martha Bassett, died 20 march 1882, Registrar if Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria, 1295/1882
[ii] FamilySearch, Marriage Banns for John Bassett & Martha Carbis, married 15 March 1812 St Paul’s Church, "England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010," Marriage banns, marriages, 1754-1813, Paul, Cornwall, Cornwall Records Office, Truro. Accessed 14 April 2015 (image 141 of 143, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11130-159580-8?cc=1769414)
[iii] FamilySearch, Marriage Banns for William Carbis & Anne Drew, married 29 September 1783, St Paul’s Church, "England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010," Marriage banns, marriages, 1754-1813, Paul, Cornwall, Cornwall Records Office, Truro. Accessed 14 April 2015 (image 65 of 143, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11130-158740-54?cc=1769414 )
[iv] FamilySearch, Baptism of Anne Drew Carbis baptised 14th November 1784, St Paul’s Church, "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," Baptisms, burials, Paul , Cornwall 1776-1812, Cornwall Records Office, Truro Accessed 14 April 2015 (image 13 of 82, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-137203-30?cc=1769414)
[v] FamilySearch, Baptism of William Carbice baptised 10th May 1789, St Paul’s Church, "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," Baptisms, burials, Paul , Cornwall 1776-1812, Cornwall Records Office, Truro Accessed 14 April 2015 (image 18 of 82 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-140471-83?cc=1769414)
[vi] FamilySearch, Baptism of Martha Carbice baptised 7th October 1792 St Paul’s Church, "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," Baptisms, burials, Paul , Cornwall 1776-1812, Cornwall Records Office, Truro Accessed 14 April 2015 (image 21 of 82 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-146403-25?cc=1769414)
[vii] FamilySearch, Baptism of Martha Carbis baptised 5th October 1794 St Paul’s Church, "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," Baptisms, burials, Paul , Cornwall 1776-1812, Cornwall Records Office, Truro Accessed 14 April 2015 ( image 26 of 82 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-144620-24?cc=1769414)
[viii] FamilySearch, Baptism of Richard Carbis baptised 17th August 1797 St Paul’s Church, "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," Baptisms, burials, Paul , Cornwall 1776-1812, Cornwall Records Office, Truro Accessed 14 April 2015 (image 30 of 82 at https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DTJ7-DXZ?i=29&wc=3CBW-PYM%3A138123201%2C140206301%2C1582895306%3Fcc%3D1769414&cc=1769414)
[ix] Baxter, Angus. 1983. Tracing your origins: a complete guide to discovering your English, Welsh, Scottish & Irish ancestors. North Ryde [N.S.W]: Methuen Australia.. 

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The Ebbott Family Farm in the Parish of Fryers

The Ebbott Family owned property in the parish of Fryers, Victoria from 1858 to 1867. They were living in nearby Glenluce (sometimes spelt Glenluse) at the time only 3 miles away. Where they lived in Glenuce is not clear, but when John Ebbott purchased his fourth property in 1859 he was still identified as “John Ebbott of Glenuse” in the paperwork.[i]

John Ebbott purchased the first three lots of land from the crown for the sum of £38-26s-3p near Fryerstown.[ii] The three properties highlighted in yellow were purchased in 1858.



Purchasing an adjoining property

 In 1859 John advertised the sale of 50 head of cattle.[iii]

Soon after selling 50 head of cattle he purchased his last property in 1859 marked on the above map in orange.[iv]


The Challenges of Developing his property

As the purchaser of Crown land John Ebbott would have secured uncleared land. His first task would have been to clear the land, and fence it before deciding the type of farming he was going to conduct. The struggle to develop the farm must have been great as we see him going into debt possibly buying equipment from McMillan & Padley.



Perhaps it was a case of misunderstanding as a month later he became “one of the trustees of the land reserved for the use of the Wesleyan Church in Chewton”[v]

Farming life was very harsh as alluded to in his biography after his death “a great trial of affliction, when the plague devoured his cattle, and fire consumed his homestead”[vi] It must been heartbreaking to survive the death of his cattle only to have the fires come through in 1865. Not alone he was “among those who were burned out on the “Black Monday” of 1865.[vii] In a letter sent to the Mount Alexander Mail concerning the Black Monday Fires in 1865 the author talks of Mr J Ebbott’s farm, “seven years' hard labor in improving a farm, ..... fences, stockyards, hay-stacks, corn, &c.,”[viii]
Sadly John died two years after the fires. In spite of his hardships John Ebbott was a much revered figure in the community and “has been mentioned before as a class leader and spiritual father, at Chapel Hill” in Frysterown.[ix]



It is difficult to know whether John Ebbott and his family ever lived on this property although once the farm became established after a few years they may have moved from Glenluce onto the property.

After the sale and settlement of the land his widow Sarah "Sally" moved to Eaglehawk and purchased property allotment 116 Section M in California Gully, Eaglehawk.[x]


Links


This story is part of the NFHM Blogging Challenge - Week 4



[i] Victorian Crown Land Purchases, County of Talbot, 1859/50915, John Ebbott
[ii] Victorian Crown Land Purchases, County of Talbot, 1858/50914, 1858/50908 & 1859/50915, John Ebbott
[iii] Advertising (1859, May 27). Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 1. Retrieved August 27, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199049272
[iv] LAND SALE AT CASTLEMAINE. (1859, July 22).Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 5. Retrieved August 27, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199050151
[v] GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. (1861, October 5).The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved August 28, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154899510
[vi] Biography Mr John Ebbott, (1867) The Wesleyan Chronicle for the Year 1867,: 2nd Series:Vol. VII. Vol.X. from the commencement. P.unkn
[vii] MONTHLY LETTER (1865, March 24). Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 2. Retrieved August 28, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207001730
[viii] CORRESPONDENCE. (1865, March 28). Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 2. Retrieved August 28, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207000884
[ix] THE GAZETTE. (1861, October 5). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5704750
[x] Annette O'Donohue & Bev Hanson, Eaglehawk & District Pioneer Register Volume 2 -D~I (Maiden Gully, Vic. : A.M. O'Donohue, 1995<1998>), Pioneer #2342 p.330. .... Victorian Land Title, Volume 238 Folio 12 Jul 1873.

Bibliography

Advertising (1857, May 20). Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 3. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197085718
Advertising (1859, May 27). Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 1. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199049272
Advertising (1867, July 1). Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 3. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198647987
Annette O'Donohue & Bev Hanson, Eaglehawk & District Pioneer Register Volume 2 -D~I (Maiden Gully, Vic. : A.M. O'Donohue, 1995<1998>), Pioneer #2342 p.330, John Ebbott
Biography Mr John Ebbott, (1867) The Wesleyan Chronicle for the Year 1867,: 2nd Series:Vol. VII. Vol.X. from the commencement. P.unkn
COUNTY COURT. (1861, September 27). Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 5. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197096893
CORRESPONDENCE. (1865, March 28). Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 2. Retrieved August 28, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207000884
F.E. Hiscocks & Co. 1874, F.E. Hiscocks & Co.'s new Victorian counties atlas, 1874 together with map of Victoria, indicating roads, distances, relative position of counties, &c G. Robertson, Melbourne page 14, viewed 27 August 2016 http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-231008711 (Original Image - Public Domain; cropped & Annotated to highlight Glenluce, Chewton & Fryerstown) (CC BY-SA 4.0)
GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. (1861, October 5).The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved August 28, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154899510
LAND SALE AT CASTLEMAINE. (1859, July 22).Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 5. Retrieved August 27, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199050151
MONTHLY LETTER (1865, March 24). Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 2. Retrieved August 28, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207001730
Parish Map of Fyers, source not known, cropped and annotated
Victorian Crown Land Purchases, County of Talbot, 1858/6166, John Ebbott
Victorian Crown Land Purchases, County of Talbot, 1858/50908, John Ebbott
Victorian Crown Land Purchases, County of Talbot, 1858/50914, John Ebbott
Victorian Crown Land Purchases, County of Talbot, 1859/50915, John Ebbott
Victorian Crown Land Purchases, County of Talbot, 1859/50915, John Ebbott
Victorian Land Title, County of Talbot, Volume 238 Folio 47448, Sarah Ebbott