I have held off on paying to have my DNA test done because I have most of our lines so far back that I really didn’t think it would tell me much that I didn’t already know. There were a few families that we know were from Ireland, but not sure exactly where. Those were the only facts that I wondered if a DNA test would clear up. My sisters and I discussed going in on the price of one test and having one of us take it. Shortly after that discussion, there was an article about how DNA tests can vary between siblings. My sister, Lois, volunteered at that time to pay for a test for herself. I looked forward to seeing her results.
As a genealogist, I’ve poured over death records and sometimes they really get to me. I hate to see a family lose all of their children in infancy, or an entire family get wiped out due to illness. With that in mind, I couldn’t help but think of the members of my family who died from Tuberculosis over the years when I saw this article posted yesterday by one of my favorite Historical romance novelists, Candice Hern The article titled How a generation of consumptives defined 19th-century Romanticism got me thinking that there was probably a disconnect between the Romantic poets and artists and what the “common man” went through because of this terrible disease.
*Note: This is a post from my old blog. I was able to re-create here.
As a genealogist, I love reading stories or watching films that are set in places my ancestors lived. “The Bride Sale” by Candice Hern is one of my all time favs because it’s set in Cornwall and some of the minor characters have surnames in my family history. Now, to be honest, I’d watch “Poldark” just because it’s a period piece staring a good looking Irishman, however, when I realized it was set in Cornwall.. I knew I’d have a personal connection.
My Rundle and Clark families were old Cornish families. They came from the Liskeard and St. Neot areas of the county. While “Poldark” is set closer to the coastline, and St. Neot is inland, there are still enough similarities to capture my attention. The nearest “Market Town” was Liskeard, where my Clark family was from. When looking at the views of St. Neot and Liskeard, I can easily imagine the “Market Days” scenes in “Poldark”.
The Rundles originally lived in Antony, Cornwall prior to 1600. Antony is along the south east coast of Cornwall. John Rundle settled at Hole Farm in St. Neot right around the turn of the 17th century. Hole Farm is still standing and is a working farm. I was lucky enough to be in contact with Richard Crow who bought the farm in the 1960’s. He was interested in the farm’s history and so ended up doing some wonderful research on the farm and the families that lived there. The Rundles lived at Hole from 1600 to the mid 1800’s.
When I watch “Poldark”, I can’t help but be reminded of Hole Farm when they show Ross’ home. Here are a couple of images of Hole Farm in modern days.
While the Rundles started off as tanners and farmers, Beginning in the early 1800’s they owned and worked in copper mines. My Great Great Grandmother, Agnes Clark, of Liskeard was a “mine girl” at age 14. She worked above ground at the mouth of the mine, sorting the ore and rocks as the miners brought it up. I always find this amusing because after moving to the US and doing well for themselves, the Rundles were not happy when their son, George, married my Irish Catholic Great Grandmother, Jane Smith. They disowned their son upon his marriage to “Jen”. Agnes was known to tell family members that “George can come home anytime he wants, as long as he leaves that Irish girl at the bottom of the hill where she belongs”. Watching “Poldark” I think of the fact that, Cornwall, Agnes was basically on the same social level as “Demelza”, but obviously forgot her humble beginnings once she moved up in the world.
Here is a page from Richard Crow’s research that shows images from the mines on the Rundle property. I found it interesting to note that the man on the left in the top image is ” W.A. Pascoe” . Pascoe, an old Cornish name, is the surname of the bankers that Ross Poldark wants to use, instead of the evil Warleggans.
So while watching “Poldark” I will continue to think of my Cornish ancestors.. even though I doubt any of them looked like Aidan Turner.
In the mid 1800s in New Haven, CT, there was a Catherine Bannon and her son, Joseph, living in what I call the “Bannon Family Compound”. I was not sure about Catherine’s relationship to the family. She was either a sister or a sister in law. Recently I was going back over the Enniskillen, Fermanagh Parish Records and came across the baptism record for Catherine’s son, Joseph, on 26 January 1841. The father is listed as Robert Foster. The interesting thing is that while all of the other records list the parents with just their first names and only the husband’s surname, this record lists Joseph’s parents as “Robert Foster and Catherine Bannon”. In the screen cap I left a couple of other records so you can see the difference. To me, that fact coupled with the fact that Joseph used the name Bannon, leads me to believe that Catherine never married and is in fact a sister rather than sister in law. Continue reading Bannon Update: Info on Father of Catherine Bannon’s Son