Tremayne and Crowan

Between Tremayne and Crowan

On my third day in Cornwall I avoided the usual tourist traps entirely, because I was in search of my ancestors' home: a tiny little place called Tremayne, which is towards Land's End, in the hundred of Penwith. To get there I caught a train to Camborne, then a bus to Praze-an-Beeble (no, really!), and then walked along a winding country lane with no footpath and some very high hedgerows. Luckily I didn't get run over, as that would rather have spoiled what was a beautiful day.


This is the turn-off into Tremayne. There's no actual sign saying 'Tremayne': I don't think it's big enough to warrant one! (It doesn't show up in Google Maps, but it is on the Ordinance Survey's ones, along with Tremayne Farm, North Tremayne and Carn Tremayne.)


The main street. In fact the only street.


Some of Tremayne's buildings look like they could have been there when my mob left.


And I don't know why they did leave. I know they go back to at least 1732 there, or near there, when James Holman was born, my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather (I think that's the right number of greats!) His grandson, John Holman, emigrated with his wife, Millicent (nee Hodge), and their eight children to the new colony of South Australia in 1839. Six other children had died in Cornwall, which suggests a grinding poverty. Their passage was assisted, so they certainly had few means at their disposal.


John Holman's application for assisted passage listed him as a farmer (Tremayne, incidentally, means 'farm by stones' in Cornish). And farming is what he did for the rest of his life, first in Prospect Village, then in Willunga.


South Australia was itself only founded in 1836; so we were there pretty early. It attracted many Cornish emigrants, not only for the economic opportunities (later, especially due to copper strikes) but because of its freedom. Firstly, it was not a penal colony, so it was free of the convict stain. Secondly, it had no state religion, and indeed welcomed Nonconformists. Cornwall was a Methodist stronghold, but the Church of England still had legal and financial privileges which non-Anglicans would have found offensive: landowners had to pay tithes to the (Anglican) parish church, which is also where banns of marriage had to be read, and so on. I'm not actually sure whether the Holmans in Cornwall were Methodists, but at least one was a Methodist lay preacher in South Australia, and John Holman's second wife was buried in a Methodist cemetery. So they may well have been.

Between Tremayne and Crowan

If they were Methodists, it looks like the nearest chapels were in Praze (though it depends on what denomination they were). But the parish church in nearby Crowan is where many Holmans from the district were baptised, married and buried. So from Tremayne I set off in search of Crowan.

Between Tremayne and Crowan

There was a public footpath, which I immediately managed to lose and trespass my way through a field and a barbed wire fence. But I did find this surprisingly sturdy bridge. I wonder why a simple crossroads wouldn't do? Maybe it was for mine traffic.


This is the church at Crowan, dedicated to Saint Crewenna. It was built in the 15th century but restored extensively in 1872.


Saint Crewenna was an obscure 5th century missionary from Ireland, a companion of Saint Breaca, who herself was a disciple of Saint Brigid.


The church was locked, so I looked around the churchyard instead.


Except for it not being dark and wreathed with fog, it's just what you want from a churchyard: lots of old tombstones, some broken and tumbledown.


I didn't find any ancestors, but I did find some probable relatives.


are deposited the mortal remains of
Jacob Holman
Tremayne in this parish
September 4, 1834 Aged 18 Years.
Oh! Fatal stroke that rent my heart
I little thought so soon to part,
But since tis so weep not for me
Hope in heaven to meet with thee.


So Jacob was a miner (probably copper) who died at work. Maria could have been his sister. Either way it's unclear what relation they are to John and Millicent, despite living in the same tiny place, Tremayne, at the same time: Jacob died less than five years before they emigrated. I do know the names of John and Millicent's children, and there are no Jacobs or Marias: however there a James and a Mary, both of whom died in Cornwall. These are cognate names: perhaps they were treated as interchangeable, or used as nicknames?


Who Died
March 6th 1891.
Died April 5th 1869.

Francis senior was a stonemason. At the time of the 1841 census he was living at Tremayne, with several siblings and his father, Jacob. Not the same Jacob as above, obviously, but the shared names and the Tremayne connection suggests that they're all part of the same bunch as me. (And John Holman's father, also named John, had a brother named James -- Jacob?)

I'm going to stop there before my brain melts!


After that it was back to Truro, via Tremayne, Praze and Camborne. I wish I'd been a bit better prepared -- if I had been, perhaps I would have known about the former Methodist chapel in Praze, or found the address of the Holmans (if not my Holmans) in Tremayne from the 1841 census. But it was still very evocative to see where some of my forebears came from. And I can always come back when I know more!

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95 thoughts on “Tremayne and Crowan

  1. peter dillon

    I used to have free access to for more than 4 years via a back door they accidently left open (I didn't dare tell anyone, in case others blabbed it out on mailing lists and the like as they always do, so that Ancestry would find out and fix it) but a free promotion late last year saw them inadvertantly close it on me when the promotion was finished because the usual redirection when without a subscription suddenly kicked in for a change which it hadn't been doing. The free Ancestry Library Edition available from terminals at libraries doesn't include the Family Trees section unfortunately, therefore I'm stuffed for doing my usual tricks there. It was good while it lasted.

    Out of choice I gave up my annual subscription to Genesreunited (I know, I'm mean, it's dirt cheap) after about 4 years there too. I can't message any more but I can still be contacted and search the indexes free. I made many breakthroughs there with more than 800 researchers contacted roughly 50% of whom had material of interest of which a generous proportion are actually related to me. Mind you I've got a genuine database of 40,000 on my computer represented by a skeleton database of past generations of about 4000 at Genesreunited. If you haven't joined before (I can't see a Brett with HOLMAN born at Crowan in his database) then I suggest you do because there are a number of researchers there with databases that include your people. When I was paying the cost for a full membership was about NZ$20 per annum, but registration is free and so is searching the indexes if you just want to have a look. Currently there 253 hits for HOLMAN born at Crowan from the year dot to 1917. 9 people have a John HOLMAN born 1795 at Crowan in their trees and the number gets larger if you add the ones a few years either side. Genesreunited is good for exploring branches you haven't got much on but most importantly it's great for contacting long lost relations attacking things from the point of view of say Simon or Eliza or Ann or William etc just as you are doing from John's end. You can't view someone else's database if they don't give permission, so it's a lot more private than They tend to be more serious researchers than those who upload trees to Ancestry which can often be tripe.

    The 'search all trees' facility is what you want.

  2. peter dillon

    Ooooooh, check this out

    The same researcher who posted the information about Simon Holman IVEY at has posted information there about James HOLMAN who married Susanna ATKINSON in which she says that many of Ann IVEY nee HOLMAN's children emigrated to Australia with your crowd after her death, so she obviously thinks that Simon et. al. went to South Australia first.

    She also has a Phillip HOLMAN born 1790 died Australia but I am wondering if she is mixed up with Phillipa who married the senior Sampson BASTION.

    Or has she truly has found a brother Phillip to your John which would be rather interesting to say the least.

    She thinks that William died 1884.

    I sent an email to Glenda yesterday but there's been no reply yet.

  3. peter dillon

    I found the passenger list of the Sir Charles FORBES here
    but I can't see any IVEY on it let alone Simon Holman IVEY.

    Regarding the colonisation scheme and assisted passages - Edward Gibbon Wakefield the South Australia colonisation mastermind also helped establish colonies in New Zealand including Nelson where my DILLON ancestors arrived on 01 Feb 1842 on the ship FIFESHIRE which is recognised as the first settler ship to Nelson (although three ships had actually arrived beforehand to set things up for the settlers). My great grandfather Thomas Harford DILLON was born during the voyage on 21 Dec 1842 in the Indian Ocean near the islands of St Paul & Amsterdam. The captain was Harford ARNOLD.

    The ship SIR CHARLES FORBES which you know so well brought settlers to Nelson a couple of months after the FIFESHIRE in May 1842.

    Wakefield was also tied up with the Canterbury settlement several years later when my DILLON ancestors arrived at that settlement's port of Lytelton in 1851 on the ship CORNWALL, the 18th settler ship to that colony about a year after the so-called 'first four ships.' Thomas Harford DILLON and two younger brothers were baptised during the voyage of the CORNWALL. If you think it was a job and a half discovering that Thomas was born on the FIFESHIRE and then baptised on the'd be right.

    Descendants of the First Four Ships to Canterbury can get a bit sniffy and precious about it sometimes. I once spoke to such a person regarding family history, and in answer to her query about when my ancestors got to Christchurch I said that my DILLONs had arrived in December 1851. The old biddy in a condescending way started going on about her lot's arrival on one of the first four ships and didn't stop. Eventually I shut her up by pointing out that my DILLONs actually arrived in new Zealand many years before hers!

    What happened was that the nelson settlement took a long time to come right after a slow start due a lack of sufficient land at the beginning, absentee landlords and a brush with the Maoris in a land dispute (because of the lack of land) including the fearsome Te Rauparahau who had got hold of muskets and laid waste to enemy Maori tribes in the days of the traders and whalers prior to organised settlement by the Europeans. The DILLONs arrived 1842 at Nelson but by the end of the decade were back in England. By the 1851 census they were in the Blackfriars area of Southwark south of the Thames just before they had their second go at New Zealand to the new Canterbury settlement. They arrived at the Port of Lyttelton and settled in the new town of Christchurch. By the mid 1860s the DILLONs had all gone from Christchurch. The only reason we are here now is because my father after the war was unsettled and didn't want to take on the family farm at Opouri Valley which is at the top of the South Island. He stopped in Christchurch for a bit because lots of his old army comrades were there, met my mother, and that was that.

  4. peter dillon

    I've forgotten that Eliza HOLMAN the sister of John near Willunga had a son Simon.

    Philippa HOLMAN who was baptised 1814 to John & Susannah at Crowan was probably buried 1816 at Crowan age 2 which leaves Philippa who married John PETERSON at South Australia in 1839 as probably the daughter of John at Willunga.

  5. peter dillon

    Simon HOLMAN was at Crenver in 1851 and 1861.

    His likely brother William was at Crinver/Crenver in 1841 and 1851.

    Their parents John & Susannah were at Crenver Common when their last child Philippa was born.
    Crowan baptisms 1814
    Born: 13 Jan
    Whem baptised: March 29th
    Child's Christian Name: Philippa
    Parents: John & Susannah HOLMAN
    Abode: Crenver Common
    Quality, Trade or Profession: Miner
    By whom the ceremony was performed: Thos TREVATHAN

    The above baptism was entered in a new book on a printed page with a space for the abode which was duly entred . Prior to 1807 the sheets were fully handwritten and the abode doesn't appear more's the pity.

    Two further PETERSON children:
    South Australian Birth, Marriage & Death Directory
    PETERSON Christian born 1840-02-28 at Pt Adelaide, father PETERSON John, mother HOLMAN Philippa
    South Australian Birth, Marriage & Death Directory
    PETERSON Elizabeth Jane born 1841-05-29 at Albert Town, father PETERSON John, mother HOLMAN Philippa

  6. peter dillon

    The problem of Simon HOLMAN in the 1841 census age 15 being born before the marriage of William HOLMAN & Mary WALTERS in 1830 isn't a problem because instead he was the son of William HOLMAN & Ann THOMAS. William married Ann THOMAS in 1826, Simon was baptised 1827, Mary Ann was baptised 1828, Mary Ann was buried 1829, Ann was buried 1829 and William remarried to Mary WALTER in 1830. William and Mary had a number of children baptised at Crowan parish, then had three children baptised in the Methodist church, then for their last child reverted to Crowan parish for his baptism. A daughter Elizabeth Jane baptised 1840 may have been called Elizabeth in the 1841 census and Jane in the 1851 census. A son John baptised 1838 was buried 1840 and another son John was born 1842.

    groom's name: William HOLMAN
    bride's name: Ann THOMAS
    marriage date: 03 Apr 1826
    marriage place: Crowan,Cornwall,England
    indexing project (batch) number: M02226-2
    system origin: England-ODM
    source film number: 246797, 246799, 246800, 90243

    name: Simon HOLMAN
    gender: Male
    baptism/christening date: 04 Feb 1827
    baptism/christening place: CROWAN,CORNWALL,ENGLAND
    father's name: William HOLMAN
    mother's name: Ann
    indexing project (batch) number: C02226-1
    system origin: England-ODM
    source film number: 246797, 246798

    Cornwall OPC
    Date: 01 Mar 1828
    Parish: Crowan
    Forename: Mary Anne
    Surname HOLMAN
    Father: William
    Mother: Anne
    Residence Crowan
    Father's Rank Profession: miner

    Cornwall OPC
    Date: 02 Aug 1829
    Parish : Crowan
    Forename: Mary Ann
    Surname: HOLMAN
    Age: 2
    Residence: Crowan

    Cornwall OPC
    Date: 23 Aug 1829
    Parish: Crowan
    Forename: Ann HOLMAN
    Age: 24
    Residence: Crowan

    groom's name: William HOLMAN
    bride's name: Mary WALTERS
    marriage date: 31 May 1830
    marriage place: Crowan,Cornwall,England
    indexing project (batch) number: M02226-2
    system origin: England-ODM
    source film number: 246797, 246799, 246800, 90243

    name: Mary Ann HOLMAN
    gender: Female
    baptism/christening date: 29 Jan 1832
    baptism/christening place: CROWAN,CORNWALL,ENGLAND
    father's name: William HOLMAN
    mother's name: Mary
    indexing project (batch) number: C02226-1
    system origin: England-ODM
    source film number: 246797, 246798

    name: Caroline HOLMAN
    gender: Female
    baptism/christening date: 12 Oct 1834
    baptism/christening place: CROWAN,CORNWALL,ENGLAND
    father's name: William HOLMAN
    mother's name: Mary
    indexing project (batch) number: C02226-1
    system origin: England-ODM
    source film number: 246797, 246798

    name: William HOLMAN
    gender: Male
    baptism/christening date: 07 Aug 1836
    baptism/christening place: CROWAN,CORNWALL,ENGLAND
    father's name: William HOLMAN
    mother's name: Mary
    indexing project (batch) number: C02226-1

    name: John HOLMAN
    gender: Male
    baptism/christening date: 25 Dec 1838
    baptism/christening place: CROWAN,CORNWALL,ENGLAND
    father's name: William HOLMAN
    mother's name: Mary
    indexing project (batch) number: C02226-1
    system origin: England-ODM
    source film number: 246797, 246798

    The above John must have died young.

    name: Elizabeth Jane HOLMAN
    gender: Female
    baptism/christening date: 02 Jul 1840
    baptism/christening place: CROWAN,CORNWALL,ENGLAND
    father's name: William HOLMAN
    mother's name: Mary
    indexing project (batch) number: C02226-1
    system origin: England-ODM
    source film number: 246797, 246798
    Crowan Burials 1840
    John HOLMAN, Crowan, 20 Jul, 2.

    06 Jun 1841 Census of England & Wales
    Piece: HO107/141/6 Place: Penwith -Cornwall Enumeration District: 3
    Civil Parish: Crowan Ecclesiastical Parish: -
    Folio: 34 Page: 4
    Address: Crinver
    HOLMAN William M 35 Miner Cornwall
    HOLMAN Mary F 35 Cornwall
    HOLMAN Simon M 15 Cornwall
    HOLMAN Mary F 10 Cornwall
    HOLMAN Caroline F 07 Miner Cornwall
    HOLMAN William M 05 Cornwall
    HOLMAN Elizabeth F 01 Cornwall

    Jane HOLMAN - Elizabeth Jane was baptised 1840, She could be Elizabeth in the 1841 census and Jane in the 1851 census. Can't find a baptism for a Jane.

    name: John HOLMAN
    gender: Male
    baptism/christening date: 27 Mar 1842
    baptism/christening place: CROWAN,CORNWALL,ENGLAND
    father's name: William HOLMAN
    mother's name: Mary
    indexing project (batch) number: C02226-1
    system origin: England-ODM
    source film number: 246797, 246798

    name: Martha HOLMAN
    gender: Female
    baptism/christening date: 21 Aug 1843
    baptism/christening place: CROWAN,CORNWALL,ENGLAND
    father's name: William HOLMAN
    mother's name: Mary
    indexing project (batch) number: C02226-1
    system origin: England-ODM
    source film number: 246797, 246798

    Cornwall OPC
    Baptism Circuit Crowan, Wesleyan-Methodist
    Forename: James
    Surname: HOLMAN
    Sex son
    Father Forename: William
    Mother Forename: Mary
    Residence: Crenver
    Parish: Crowan
    Date 22 Feb 1846
    Age 2y 2m
    Where Baptised Horse Downs Chapel

    Cornwall OPC
    Baptism Circuit: Crowan, Wesleyan-Methodist
    Name: Grace Surname HOLMAN
    Sex dau of
    Father Forename: William
    Mother Forename: Mary
    Residence: Crinver
    Parish: Crowan
    Father: Rank Profession: N/R
    Date: 01 Aug 1848
    Age: 1 yr 9 mo this day
    Where Baptised: Nancegollan Chapel, Crowan

    Cornwall OPC
    Circuit: Crowan, Wesleyan-Methodist
    Name: Maria Louisa HOLMAN
    Sex: N/R
    Father Forename: William
    Mother Forename: Mary
    Residence: Crinverth
    Parish: Crowan
    Father Rank Profession: N/R
    Date:23 Oct 1849
    Age: 20/11/1848
    Where Baptised: Nancegollan Chapel, Crowan

    name: Thomas HOLMAN
    gender: Male
    baptism/christening date: 22 May 1852
    baptism/christening place: CROWAN,CORNWALL,ENGLAND
    father's name: William HOLMAN
    mother's name: Mary
    indexing project (batch) number: C02226-1
    system origin: England-ODM
    source film number: 246797, 246798

    30 Mar 1851 Census of England & Wales
    Piece: HO107/1913 Place: St Keverne -Cornwall Enumeration District: 1c
    Civil Parish: Crowan Ecclesiastical Parish: -
    Folio: 452 Page: 1 Schedule: 3
    Address: Crenver
    HOLMAN Wm Head M M 47 Agriculture And Copper Miner Cornwall - Crowan
    HOLMAN M T A Wife M F 44 House Wife b. Cornwall - Crowan
    HOLMAN M T Dau U F 19 At The Mine b. Cornwall - Crowan
    HOLMAN Caroline Dau U F 16 At The Mine b. Cornwall - Crowan
    HOLMAN Wm Son U M 14 At The Mine b. Cornwall - Crowan
    HOLMAN Jane Dau U F 10 At The Mine b. Cornwall - Crowan
    HOLMAN John Son U M 09 At The Mine b. Cornwall - Crowan
    HOLMAN Martha Dau U F 07 b.Cornwall - Crowan
    HOLMAN Jas Son U M 06 b. Cornwall - Crowan
    HOLMAN Grace Dau F 04 b. Cornwall - Crowan
    HOLMAN Maria L Dau F 02 b.Cornwall - Crowan
    HOLMAN Thomas Son M 1m b. Cornwall - Crowan

  7. Post author

    Don't worry about the errors, it's so easy to do. I made one myself above, when I said that the Elizabeth Holman listed on the assisted passage register was actually Eliza. No, she was Elizabeth, so I owe the clerk who wrote that an apology!

    Cornwall opc have lot of gaps for Crowan OPR but that's only because the transcriptions of Cornwall parish registers are nowhere near finished yet. The gaps are filled by the online scans of the register pages at Familysearch which are currently the source of their transcriptions, so you can view the missing marriages there.

    Sure, but the point is that there are gaps in the coverage across Cornwall, not to mention gaps in the records themselves, transcription errors and the possible systematic problems I mentioned (eg the Stamp Act, the Methodist thing). It's not so hard to search the digitised images for a short period for one parish, but they could have been elsewhere in Cornwall, not just Wendron. Not finding somebody in the records doesn't prove much at this period. I'd prefer to infer from positive evidence than negative evidence.

    The old boy you found in the 1841 census at Crowan age 81 – he is probably John HOLMAN who was buried at Crowan in 1842 age 82.

    Yes, that's what we have.

    Why would Simon name a child Elizabeth Ann in 1835 if he already had a child Elizabeth unless the first one died?

    The first daughter was definitely Eliza, not Elizabeth. She's easy to track because of her Gibraltar birth (though in the 1881 census her birthplace is given as Crowan for some reason). The 1851 census has her as 'Eliz.a' (with the a as superscript) , which can just be distinguished from a 'Eliz.h' further up the same page, so I think that's pretty clear. In later censuses she is always just Eliza.

    In fact I am confident that all the Simon HOLMAN entries at FreeBMD are just two Simon HOLMAN and the second one is his nephew. The second one married in 1888 and died 1907.

    Yes, we have this other Simon Holman as Simon Vivian Holman's nephew; though not his marriage or death dates.

    Notice below that in 1841 William has a son Simon HOLMAN age 15 and that the family lived at Crinver / Crenver. That's where Simon HOLMAN the soldier lived in 1851.

    Yes, Crinver or Crenver pops up a few times in our tree. Note that the 1844 (Cotter) director I cite above has a John Holman farming at 'Section 255, Cranver'. Cranver (or Crinver or Crenver) doesn't appear in Trove Newspapers (apart from a bad OCR) or in Google as a South Australian placename, so it's presumably a farm or house name, and another piece of circumstantial evidence linking John Holman of Willunga to the family of John Holman and Susannah George, as they (and perhaps he himself at some point) lived at Crenver Common in 1814 when Phillippa was born (before moving to Tremayne by 1832, the name of another farm or house name associated with a Holman at Willunga). It was a tiny hamlet, looks like only four households in 1841 (one Holman, another Ivey), down to one in 1851 (Holman). So I think this is unlikely to be a coincidence.

    There is in fact a third Simon born at Crowan with Holman as part of his name. He was Simon Holman IVEY and was born at Crowan in 1828. He had issue in New South Wales, California and Oregon before settling in Canada and is reputed to have gone to Australia with family of his mother after his mother died.

    Yes, we have Simon Holman Ivey as the son of John Ivey and Ann Holman and hence the grandson of John Holman and Susannah George. We don't know when he arrived in Australia, but he didn't come with John Holman and Millicent Hodge's family as he is in the 1841 (UK) census living with his father and siblings, by which time they were already in South Australia. The earliest trace we have of him after that is a possible arrival in San Francisco in 1852 but by 1854 he was in Australia (where he seems to have fathered a child out of wedlock and later married another woman). I don't think he could have come with William Holman's family (if they did come out here) either, as he was already in South Australia by then (see below).

    I can't for the life of me find William and the rest of his large family in the census after 1851, except maybe for a couple of possible daughters of the right age in 1861, so I wonder if he took most of his family to New South Wales and Simon Holman IVEY as well?

    We can find some of them in Cornwall after 1851, but not all. Two of the children died in the late 1850s, so before the next census. In 1861 the eldest daughter, Mary Ann Holman, lived with her husband, Richard Scaddan, and three of her siblings. Another daughter had married by 1861, but after that we have nothing, so maybe they emigrated. So it's possible that William Holman and Ann Walters emigrated c. 1860 with their three youngest children, while the three eldest children not yet of marriageable age stayed behind with their eldest sister, who was now married and settled. But a couple of the emigres may have come back to Cornwall (as sometimes happened) as we have them back there later in the century (including William Holman himself, dying in 1879 in the Redruth district; but that's only from the BMD index so it could be wrong).

    It appears he didn't have issue till the mid 1870s

    The child out of wedlock I mentioned before was born in 1854 (Elizabeth Jane Ivey, to Harriet Lampshire) but otherwise his first child seems to have arrived in 1868 (Mary Ivey, though we only have that from the 1880 US census).

    This next web page has Philippa, the youngest daughter of John HOLMAN & Susannah GEORGE, deceased in 1856 in South Australia but maybe instead she might be the eldest daughter of John HOLMAN & Millicent HODGE.

    Yes, we have the Phillippa (two ls in the baptism record) Holman who was the daughter of John Holman and Susannah George dying in 1816. The one who died in 1856 was, as you suggest, the daughter of John Holman and Millicent Hodge (and did indeed marry John Peterson).

    The problem of Simon HOLMAN in the 1841 census age 15 being born before the marriage of William HOLMAN & Mary WALTERS in 1830 isn't a problem because instead he was the son of William HOLMAN & Ann THOMAS.

    Yes, that's what we have too.

    The above John must have died young.

    Yes, in July 1840.

    Thanks for the tip about Genes Reunited. As I said above, I'm not the one doing the research, that's my mother; I'll pass it on to her.

  8. Post author

    Yes, we've got her in the tree too (though we didn't have her parents, which that site does). We're not sure if or how she is related to the other Scaddans we have -- for one thing her name is spelt differently (hers is Scadden, theirs is Scaddan, though it's obviously essentially the same name). And she was born in Helston whereas Richard Scaddan was born in Gwinear, which is the other side of Cornwall. But a connection may well turn up.

  9. William John Holman

    Re; James Holman, born 1762 to J. Holman and Rachel Medlyn in Crowan. It has been 'posted" on some sites, that this James Holman was the one that married Mary Rodda in Crowan on June 09,1795. Do you have or do you know anyone that might have any documentary type proof (other than merely a name on a document)that this WAS THE James Holman that married Mary Rodda. I am looking for a birth date, age, parents name, etc. associated with the marriage license, etc.
    I believe that I am one of the "other" Holman family members, in Crowan, from the 1650 era from John(1820);John(1798);John(1745); Jacob(1708); Alexander(1680s; Stephen(1650s); etc. I believe that it was John's son, James, born in 1772, that married Mary Rodda. I have discussed this,in November, with Peter Dillon. I have also written to you but I did not receive a retrn resposne.

    Thank You
    William J. Holman

  10. Post author

    That could be the case, actually. No, I don't think we can definitively tie the James Holman who married Mary Rodda to the James Holman born to John Holman and Rachel Medlyn. Marriage records of this period just don't have the level of detail to do that, as they didn't record the parents or even the age of the people getting married. The only clues besides the name are the occupations and maybe the names of the witnesses. You can see the record of the marriage banns here and of the marriage itself here. There's not much help here (occupation miner and spinster, witnesses Henry Ogder -- who is the witness for many Crowan records from this time and so probably was no relation to the couple -- and Matthew Bennaths (? Bennetts) who doesn't appear in our tree). So I can't really help one way or the other, I'm afraid.

    Incidentally, we're starting to wonder ourselves if the John Holman/Rachel Medlyn connection is a red herring, because we can't even find much circumstantial evidence for it. If we disregard them it might make it easier to connect our Holmans (i.e. the family of the John Holman who emigrated to South Australia) to your 'other' Holmans. They both lived in Tremayne which was and is a tiny hamlet, in fact I think in the 1841 census the two Holman families made up more than half the population, and in 1832 three of its five voters (two John Holmans and Jacob Holman). It seems very unlikely that they weren't related somehow, though it is of course still possible.

  11. William John Holman

    Hello brett
    I am a direct descendant of the "other" Holman family from Crowan, Cornwall; from the 1650's onward. I and other descendants, have been researching "our" Holman lines since the 1980s. The James Holman - Rachel Medlyn family are totally distinct from my Holman line. Their son John (1760) did marry Susannah George, in Crowan in 1794. Their son James (1762) per best available information, DID NOT marry Mary Rodda, in Crowan, in 1795.
    Since being contacted by Peter Dillon in early November, 2012, we have re-engaged our inquiry concerning the marriage of James Holman, born in 1772 to John Holman and Ann Rodda. He was the spouse of Mary Rodda (born about 1775 era), on June 9, 1795. Jmaes Holman and Mary Rodda, factually had 11 children. Their child, Ann Holman, born in 1813, died in 1817. Another child was born in 1818; and she also was named as Ann Holman. The first child born to James Holman and Mary Rodda was John Holman. I am descended from him. The second son was James Holman, born in 1798. That James married Grace Eustis in 1821. Grace Eustis was also a descendant of the Rodda families.
    Mary Rodda was a daughter of John Rodda (born in 1744, Crowan)and probably a Grace John(s). John and Grace Rodda also had a son named Matthew, born in 1773. Grace Rodda died in 1777. I have very recently obtained the 1809 Will of John Rodda and the 1851 Will of Matthew Rodda. John Rodda, in his Will, specifically names "my daughter Mary, wife of James Holman." John also names his son Matthew and John's second wife Jenifer "Jenny" Simons Rodda (married in 1788. In 1809, John, Matthew and Jenny Rodda were residing at Clowance Wood, Crowan. Per John's Will, after his death, Matthew could remain at that residence with Jenny. Jenifer Rodda died in about 1831. In about 1832, Matthew Rodda married Eleanor Eustis. They resided at the Clowance Wood home.
    In the 1841 British Census, Matthew and Eleanor are residing at Clowance Wood. James Holman (listed as 69 yrs. old) and Mary, his wife (listed as 66 yrs. old) are residing at Horse Downs, Crowan; a short distance from Clowance Wood. The age for James Holman would confirm a birth in 1772. James Holman died in 1846.
    In the 1851 British census, Mary Holman, "widow, 76 yrs. old, was residing at #48 Horse Downs, Crowan." Matthew and Eleanor Rodda were now also residing at Horse Downs, Crowan. Matthew Rodda died in 1851 and Mary "Rodda" Holman died in 1852.
    In his Will, Matthew Rodda specifically named his spouse Eleanor and also "his sister Mary (Rodda)," wife of James Holman. Also, in his Will, Matthew Rodda specifically advised that, if anything happened to Eleanor Rodda and/or Mary Holman, his property should be equally divided between Mary Holman's sons John and Matthew Holman.
    It can also be noted that John Rodda, born in 1744, was the brother of Ann Rodda, born in 1746. Ann Rodda married John Holman in 1769 era. They were the parents of James Holman, born 1772, that married Mary Rodda. John Rodda and Ann Rodda's parents were Matthew Rodda and Mary Davey.

    To date, there is very little available information on a James Holman, born in 1762 to James Holman and Rachel Medlyn. Other than sinilarities in their names, I have not seen any other information that would presently support a conclusion that Jmaes Holman, born in 1762, married Mary Rodda.

    I do have additional information on the family of James Holman and Rachel Medlyn. I also have substantial information on the family of John Holman and Ann Rodda; and their descendants. John Holman, the son of Mary Rodda and James Holman, was born in 1795 era and married Elizabeth Pollard, in Gwinear, in 1820. In the latter 1840s, John and Elizabeth Holman, and some of their children, emigrated to Cobb-Linden towns, Iowa County, Wisconsin, USA. A large area for Cornish emigrants at that time.
    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email at

  12. Post author

    Thanks, William. That's a lot to absorb -- as you know genealogy can be hard to wrap your mind around! I'll pass it on my mother. It's encouraging that you've found some useful information from wills -- that's an avenue we haven't explored yet. Did you get those from the Cornwall Record Office?

  13. William John Holman

    Yes, I received the copies of the Wills from the Cornwall Record Office on January 7, 2013, via mail..

  14. William John Holman

    Re: John Holman married to Susannah George,1794, Crowan, Cornwall. We had previously "thought" that the John Holman that married Susannah George was born in 1760 and was the son of James Holman and Rachel Medlyn. A researcher in England, that had previously been of assistance to me in the matter involving James Holman, born 1772. and Mary Rodda, outlined in detailed previous messages to you, has very recently notidfied me that there is an error in the belief that John Holman, born 1760, son of James Holman and Rachel Medlyn, was the spouse of Susannah George. That is an error. The correct spouse of Susannah George was John Holman, born in 1770, the son of John Holman and Ann Rodda. In turn, that John was the brother of the James Holman, born 1772, that marri3ed Mary Rodda in 1795 Crowan.
    The John Holman, born 1795 era, that married Millicent Hodge was the son of John Holman, born 1770, and Susannah George. John, Millicent, and their surviving children, immigrated to Australia during the late 1830s. I believe that your mom may trace her ancestry to that line. I and other USA Holman's, trace their ancestry to James Holman, Mary Rodda, John Holman and Ann Rodda; back to 1740s Crowan families.
    If, as believed, your mom traces her ancestry to John Holman, Millicent Hodge, John Holman and Susannah George, and now to John Holman and Ann Rodda, we would all be now directly related to identical ancestors. My cousin, Sandy Kent, advises that she is in communication with your mom and that your mom has made the above changes/corrections to her genealogical lines.
    Additional: The John Holman, born in 1760 to James Holman and Rachel Medlyn, is believed to have married Mary Roberts, on Nov. 15, 1784, in Wendron, Cornwall. They had nine children : James, John, William, Stephen, William (#2), Mary, Rachel, Grace, Jenifer; between 1785 and 1800.

  15. Post author

    Thank you for the update, William. I haven't spoken to my mother about family history recently but I see she has made this change on Ancestry, and she's not easy to convince. So James Holman and Rachel Medlyn are out and John Holman and Ann Rodda are in! This does at least solve of the mystery of half of tiny Tremayne being from two unrelated Holman families, i.e. because they actually weren't unrelated. It also looks like we now can trace these branches a century farther back, into the late 17th century (e.g. Alexander Holman, b. 1681 at Gwinear).

    You're correct, I (not my mother, she's not a Holman by birth, but a McCormick and a Platt, so ultimately Irish) trace back through John Holman and Millicent Hodge; they're my 4th-great-grandparents. John Holman and Susannah George are my 5th-great-grandparents. They emigrated to South Australia in 1839, only a couple of years after the colony was founded.

  16. William John Holman

    There is now a re-visiting going along concerning the "actual parents" of the John Holman that married Ann Rodda, the parents of John & James. So, the family history back from that John, including Jacab, Alexander, Stephen etc (back into 1600s) are now on hold. The John Holman and Ann Rodda forward are believed to be correct. However, as noted, we are re-evaluating the parents of John Holman; that was earlier listed as born in 1745. As that info becomes more clearer, we will let you know.

  17. Leslie Carter

    Bear with me, as I'm writing this at the moment purely from memory - I'll refer to my more detailed notes if anyone requires the info. My own family line descends from Simon Vivian Holman (b. 1807), through his daughter Elizabeth (who married John Carter, at Newport in 1860). Simon Holman is buried in Gwinear Churchyard (I haven't found a transcription of any headstone, but I've seen the record of his burial there). His first marriage was to a Margaret Flanigan, while he was stationed at Winwick in 1831, but she seems to have died early on, as he was a widower by 1851. I don't know whether army personnel were accompanied by their wives while on postings overseas, but if so, she may have died in Canada. My ancestor Elizabeth Holman seems to have become estranged from her father - not surprisingly, as she turns up regularly in newspaper reports during the 19th century (including two news reports in The Times) having been taken to court for dressing up as a man in order to gain pay parity while working as a track layer on the Exeter railways. In the first incident, it was revealed that she had borrowed a pair of army boots from her 'husband' (a soldier named 'Pearce' - Pearce having been encouraged to enlist in order to secure the boots - by whom she appears to have had two children). This was during the mid 1850s; the children's names are unknown, and there is no record of them, or indeed any further clue to the identity of 'Pearce' by the time of her marriage to John Carter. Later press reports for Elizabeth, include a story about her and John in court for remonstrating publicly with a man who had dangled a young boy over a pigsty in Birkenhead (Cheshire). Her place of birth is repeatedly changed around in census returns - and later on (1891, 1901) her birthplace is given as 'Ireland'. The most likely candidate for her at the time of her presumed death (after 1911, Liverpool), is an 'Elizabeth Carter', an old aged pensioner and widow, stated on the 1911 census as having been born in Gibraltar (i.e. having presumably appropriated her sister Eliza's details). Why all the subterfuge down the years, I don't know! Simon Holman left no will that I can find any record of, although as an 'out Chelsea Pensioner' there must be further personal details on him recorded somewhere.

  18. Post author

    Thanks for that, Leslie (are you named after another descendent of Simon Vivian Holman, Leslie Carter Fenton, or is that just a coincidence?). We only came across Elizabeth Ann Holman's story a few months ago. It's quite a remarkable one -- it even made the papers out here in Australia (here, here).

    What you have on Elizabeth Ann Holman matches up with what we've got quite well. We haven't found her children with Pearce either. We've also connected her with the Elizabeth Carter claiming to have been born in Ireland in the 1891 and 1901 censuses, though I don't think we've got the 1911 one born in Gibraltar. I note that when arrested in 1855 on suspicion of burglary (of which she was innocent), before her cross-dressing was discovered she gave her name as Simon, i.e. her father's name. She said she was pretending to be a man to earn higher wages as a labourer, but I wonder if there was more to it than that. That might fit with your suggestion that she was estranged from her family (is that because she had left home by the 1851 census, when she was 15 but her older sister had not?) I could see her changing her names (and leaving Cornwall, and presumably her first husband and their children) to put her troubled past behind her.

    You're right about Simon Vivian's Chelsea pension files -- his WO 97 file is available at the National Archives (in London), though you can also get it online through (if you subscribe, which I don't so I haven't seen it). A WO 97 will have the following information (according to here):

    The records usually give particulars of age, birthplace, service (including any decorations), information about physical description, previous occupation on enlistment and the reason given for discharge to pension [...] The types of document that have most commonly survived are :

    discharge forms, which were issued when a soldier left the regiment;
    attestation forms, which are the documents signed by the new recruit;
    the proceedings of a regimental board and record of service, which was a later variety of discharge form;
    a variety of supporting correspondence;
    questionnaires of past service, which an applicant for an in-pension completed if others documents had not survived;
    affidavits, which out-pensioners outside London made every quarter to state that they were not drawing on other public funds.

    As an out-pensioner the last might apply, though according to there are only 9 pages of documents so probably not.

  19. Leslie Carter

    You're spot-on with the Leslie Fenton observation, Brett! He was my father's first cousin. My dad was named after Leslie Fenton, after Leslie travelled back from the US to visit some of his Birkenhead relations, and - according to family tradition - visited my grandparents at the time of my grandmother's pregnancy, and asked that if the child was a boy he be named Leslie. I, in turn, was named after my father. Whether this is apocryphal or not I don't know, as I can't find any records of Leslie Fenton being in the UK during the time in question (1927-8). What I can say, is that I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of the last surviving of the Fenton brothers (Howard and Ronald) towards the end of their lives, and was the grateful recipient of many hugely informative letters, documents and photos, which offered me a deeper insight into the family's history.

    I made the same pilgrimage to Tremayne and Crowan as yourself (about 13 years ago now). Personally, I couldn't resist having a pint in a pub in a place with a name like Praze-an-Beeble. Crenver itself, as I recall, was a cul-de-sac of ancient farm buildings and sheds at the end of an isolated track. I have the pictures filed away somewhere.

    Two of the homes once occupied by Elizabeth Ann Holman are still standing; 8 St. Anne's Grove, Birkenhead (1881) and 9 Nimrod St, Liverpool (1891). Tantalisingly, both she and husband John were visiting at the time of the 1901 census, so I haven't been able to find where they were living. I do feel she is the same individual who turns up, as a widow, on the 1911 census, living as an old aged pensioner at 53 Smith St, Kirkdale, L'pool - and suggested as having been born ca. 1838. Apart from the name, age and locale, there is that mention of the link with Gibraltar which hasn't turned up in any other records for likely candidates in all my perusings of the census returns (1841-1911). The census states that she has had 14 children born alive, with two still living. The only thing I can't work out (if it is indeed Elizabeth Ann Holman), is how her daughter, Elizabeth, came to leave her widowed mother behind when she emigrated to the US with her husband Richard Fenton in 1909. Not that Elizabeth couldn't have fended for herself, she must have been quite an indomitable character! If I turn anything further up of interest, I'll let you know.

    As for Simon Holman, there is an unexplained anomaly in his military record where, for whatever reason, he seems to drop down a couple of ranks, before ending up as Colour Sergeant once again. Unfortunately, I've drawn a blank on the fate of his first wife, Margaret Flanigan, but I'm sure the details of her death must have been recorded by the 43rd Regiment of Foot archivists somewhere.

    1911 Census
    Registration District: West Derby
    Reg. Dist. No. 455
    Enumeration District: 23
    Piece: 22466
    Page 166

  20. Leslie Carter

    'He was my father's first cousin'

    First cousin, once removed - to be precise.

  21. Post author

    Thanks, please do drop by with any more information about Elizabeth Ann, she's certainly one of the more intriguing figures in the family!

    Colour sergeant is quite a high enlisted rank, so for Simon Vivian to have made it there twice suggests he must have had some real ability. It would be interesting to know what his transgression was; given his otherwise steady progression up the ranks perhaps it was a momentary lapse in judgement of sort.

    It's hard not to love a name like Praze-an-Beeble -- I was on a tight schedule or else I would have stopped to spend some money there too! Your description does fit the aerial view of Crenver here -- I didn't make it that far, maybe next time.

  22. Leslie Carter

    Brett (regarding Simon Holman):

    I can confirm that he was stationed in Montreal on August 12th 1843, as not so long ago, on the internet, I found a report of a letter he sent to the editors of the Dublin Weekly Register, regarding its reporting of the political situation at that time in relation to the army. I can only presume that he was writing in response to the newspaper's stance regarding Daniel O'Connell's proclamation in favour of the Repeal of the Act of Union. The article reads:

    (From the Register)
    We have received a letter from one of the regiments in Canada. which, as it is intended to be exemplary, we think it right to lay before the public. It is from Simon Holman, Colour Sergeant of the 43rd Light Infantry, and on the back is inscribed the name (if we accurately decipher it) of J. Fosbery, Lieutenant Colonel commanding. The epistle is couched in the following words:

    Montreal, August 12th 1843

    SIR, - I am directed by the sergeants of the 43rd Light Infantry to request you will, on receipt of this, discontinue forwarding the Dublin Weekly Register to the sergeant's mess, we having determined, during the present state of affairs in Ireland, not to admit papers of such politics as your journal advocates into our mess-room. You will have received the amount of the year's subscription ere this reaches you - Your obedient servant,

    SIMON HOLMAN, Colour Sergeant of the 43rd Light Infantry, President Sergeant's Mess.

    The Editor of the Dublin Weekly Register.

  23. Post author

    Thanks, fascinating! Since he was president of the sergeant's mess, which seems to have been an elected position, that suggests he carried some weight among the regimental NCOs (though as colour sergeant he would have been one of the highest ranking ones anyway). Whether he was the instigator or just carrying out the mess's wishes we can't say, but it collectively suggests a pro-Union patriotism or at least the desire to display such (again, not really surprising for the Army). Presumably the mess carried the paper mainly to cater for its Irish members but no doubt others (like Simon) read it too, to pass the time or keep informed.

    Do you remember where you came across it? A quick Google doesn't turn up an online archive of the Dublin Weekly Register, and neither Irish Newspaper Archives nor the British Newspaper Archive appear to have it.

  24. Leslie Carter

    Hello Brett, unfortunately I've always been very sloppy when it comes to noting sources accurately, so can't remember exactly where I found the document. I have it as a pdf file, so if you want to supply me with an email address, I could forward it to you (it's 1.2mb). It has a British Library Board copyright notice at the foot of the page, which at least indicates the whereabouts of the original stored file.

  25. William John Holman

    Below is follow up information to the messages I sent to you from january to March, 2013. As earlier listed, john Holman, born in 1795, married Millicent Hodge, in Cornwall, England. During the late 1830's, john, Millicent and their surviving children, emigrated to Australia. You, and other Holman's in Australia areas, are descendants of that john Holmam and Millicent Hodge.. John's parents were John Holman, born in 1770 and Susanna George. the parents of that john Holman (also james Holman, b. 1772 m. Mary Rodda)were John Holman and Ann Rodda.
    Further research reveals the following :
    John Holman, married to Ann Rodda on July 22, 1769, was born in 1751

    His parents were John Holman, born about 1706, and Elizabeth Rogers

    Parents of the John Holman, born in 1706, were Alexander Holman, born in 1681, and an Alice, born ABT 1684. John Holman married Elizabeth Rogers in Sithney, Cornwall, on Nov. 2, 1728. their children included: Francis, born ABT 1729, Alice, born ABT 1731, John, born ABT 1751.

    Alexander Holman was buried on june 13, 1748 in Crowan, Cornwall. His Will was proved on October 4, 1748. That Will mentions:
    His eldest son, John Holman.
    His grandson, Francis holman.
    His granddaughter, Alice Holman.
    His youngest son, Alexander Holman.
    His daughter, Eleanor Hossgood. (executor)
    Her son, John Hossgood.
    His son, Jacob Holman (executor).
    His granddaughter, Deborah Holman.
    His grandsons, Jacob & John Holman, sons of his son, Jacob Holman.
    reference is made to Estates in Trethanas (Trenthannos) and Tremayne.
    Witnesses were William adams and Hannah Adams.

    Based on the above Will, John Holman, born in 1706, was the brother of Jacob Holman, born in 1708/09. Therefore, Jacob Holman was the uncle of the John Holman, born 1751, that married Ann Rodda in 1769. Jacob's sons, Jacob and John were cousins to that John, born in 1751.
    It was initially thought that it was Jacob's son, John, that had married Ann Rodda.

    The above listed Alexander Holman, married Alice, in Crowan, in August, 1705. their children included: John (1706), Jacob (1708/09). Eleanor (1711), Alexander (1717) Deborah (1720).

    The father of Alexander Holman, born in 1681, was John Holman, born ABT 1652. That John had married an Eleanor on June 23, 1678 in Gwinear, Cornwall. Their children included: Mary Holman (c: Feb. 02, 1678), Alexander Holman (c: Nov. 01, 1681), Blanch Holman (c: Jan. 1683/84), Francis Holman ( born ABT 1686) Margery Holman (born ABT 1689) John Holman (born ABT 1694 in Crowan).

    It is also now believed that the John Holmasn, born in 1652, was the brother of Stephen Holman, born in 1655.

    The above information was compiled by Tony Bennett, a researcher in England.

  26. Post author


    Thanks so much for that. Alexander's will is a great find; it pins down the relationships between the various Johns and Jacobs and ties them to Tremayne. Is it in the Cornwall Record Office or elsewhere? Do you have a reference for it? It would be great to have a look at it.

  27. Roz Holman

    I have just come across your website. I quickly skimmed it looking for William Holman supposedly born to John Holman and Mary Holman ( Marys maiden name is Holman also, it is specifically listed as her maiden name on Williams Death and marriage certificate from Australia). William was born sometime between 1826 and 1832, Dying in NSW in 1894. He was born in Truro Cornwall. I am wondering if you have come across him. I have had no luck locating him.
    Many Thanks

  28. Post author


    Sorry, I've looked but I don't believe they're in my family tree -- we don't have many from Truro (not that it's very far from Crowan in Australian terms!) Good luck.


    Please drop me an email as I have press cuttings about Eliza Holman which you will love.

  30. Leslie Carter

    Re: Simon Holman
    The following is a precis of his discharge report, compiled in order to assess his suitability for a military pension:

    '43rd Regiment Light Infantry
    Lieutenant General The Honourable Sir H. R. Pakinham, KCB (Colonel).
    Newport, Monmouthshire. 10th November 1847.
    Discharge of No. 551 Simon Holman (Colour Serjeant), by trade a miner.
    Attested for the 43rd Light Infantry at Falmouth, 13 September 1826 (received ten shillings).
    Service: 21 years and 41 days
    Served: 14 years and 6 months overseas:
    Gibraltar - 2 years 8 months
    Portugal - 1 year
    North America - 10 years and 10 months
    Discharged as considered unfit for further service.
    Conduct: His conduct has been that of a good and efficient soldier, seldom in hospital, trustworthy and sober.

    Service Record/43rd Regiment:
    Private: 13 September 1826 - 13 November 1828 (2 years and 62 days)
    promoted Corporal: 14 November 1828 - 29 January 1830 (1 year and 77 days)
    reduced Private: 30 January 1830 - 14 February 1833 (3 years and 16 days)
    promoted Corporal: 15 February 1833 - 11 March 1833 (25 days)

    Tried by Regimental Court Martial for having been drunk returning off duty, when sent in charge of a party to look for an absentee. Sentenced to be reduced to Private and given 14 days imprisonment.
    Reduced and imprisoned Private: 12 March 1833 - 29 March 1833
    To Duty Private: 30 March 1833 - 14 October 1838 (5 years and 199 days)
    promoted Corporal: 15 October 1838 - 30 June 1839 (259 days)
    promoted Serjeant: 1 July 1839 - 10 November 1847 (8 years and 133 days)
    appointed Colour Serjeant: 7 July 1841.

    Medical Officer at Chatham's Report:

    Disability: double hernia. Has originated in the service, and may fairly be attributed to his military service. It has not been caused by misconduct. The disability (illegible script) him for the active duties of a soldier.

    Final Description:
    Height: 5ft 11"
    Hair: Light Brown
    Eyes: Blue
    Complexion: Fresh
    Trade: Miner
    Intends to reside at Launceston'

  31. Post author


    Thanks! That solves the mystery of his reduction in rank -- or at least one of them, he made corporal three times before going on to make colour sergeant. Is this from his WO 97?

  32. William J. Holman

    Hello Brett
    Have not communicated since 2013; when I left multiple posts about John Holman, b.1770 era, married to Susanna George (parents of John Holman. b.1795, that married Milicent Hodge and emigrated to Australia during the 1830s. I also detailed information about the James Holman, b. 1772 era, that married Mary Rodda in 1795. Their son John married Elizabeth Pollard in 1820 era and emigrated to Wisconsin, USA area in late 1840s era.

  33. William J. Holman

    Continuation of previous message/comment
    The John Holman, b. 1770 era, and the James Holman, b. 1772 era were brothers. Their parents were John Holman, b. 1751 era, and Ann Rodda, b.1746 era. I am descended from James Holman and Mary Rodda.
    I had reviewed the details supporting that information with your mother back in 2013. She was in agreement with those facts and re-adjusted her genealogical files. To date, I have mot received any inquiry or communication from any other "Australian: Holman linked family; who would also be jointly linked to the Wisconsin, USA linked Holman families.
    Please feelfree to provide my email address to anyone wishing to commmunicate with me.

  34. Post author

    Thanks, William -- nice to hear from the American side of the family again! Yes, my mother is still doing the family history; the Wisconsin branch of the Holmans are firmly ensconsced within it. I'm descended from John Holman, the brother of the James Holman you are descended from; thus our last common ancestors are their parents John Holman and Ann Rodda, my 6th great-grandparents.

  35. Ben Thompson

    Hey Brett,

    I know I'm jumping on this several years later but am doing some research prior to a trip to Cornwall with my mother next year.

    My ggg grandparents are Thomas Williams and Jane Holman and we have loved reading about the Holmans, your story and the comments.

    I am reading conflicting things on Thomas Williams. One
    suggesting he was born in Helston circa 1824 and died in 1863 in NZ, with Jane marrying two further men that also died.

    The other with him being born in Lelant circa 1823 and dying in Broken Hill, NSW in 1917 having remarried in 1863 and had further children?

    For me, that may be the only lead to his parents.

    Would love to know if you have any further info, and completely understand if you have moved on.


  36. Post author

    Glad you enjoyed my post -- hope you enjoy Cornwall!

    It looks like the Thomas Williams we have is closer to the first one. We don't have his parents either, and only that he was born in Cornwall in 1825 (probably a guess from his age at marriage or death). He married Jane Holman (my 4th great-aunt) at Adelaide on 25 February 1850, and we have him dying in New Zealand in 1867 (but I can't see what the evidence for that is). Jane was born in Crowan in 1828, and as you say, married two other men, Nicolaus Luhning (1869) and John Bell (1873), and died in Footscray in 1915.

    It looks like we also have the other Thomas Williams, who died in Broken Hill in 1917, I think because his mother was a Holman (Jenefer - my 1st cousin 6 times removed), father Richard Williams. But while we also have him being born in Lelant, that was in 1833. We also have the 1863 marriage for him, to Constance Williams (no relation?!) in Kapunda.

    So it all turns on which Thomas Williams Jane Holman married. It looks like our source is only the marriage index, not the marriage certificate itself, so I suspect we just have the name. So it might not be right! If the birthdates are correct, then it might be that we assigned Jane to the one born around 1825 rather than 1833 because their ages were closer, since she was born in 1828. So that's not definitive.

    Happy to give you further details if I can.

  37. Donna Holman

    Hi All, fascinated by all the information you have all got. I have loved reading it. So, I am a descendant of James Holman 1732 -1814 and Rachel Medlyn. I , by marriage am a Holman. My maiden name is Watters. Through some amature family ancestry hunting I found out my great uncles middle name is Holman ? And in continuing the search both my husbands fathers family and my fathers family came from Willunga S.A. My husbands connection is with the same ancestor. Our ancestors were sons of James Holman and Rachel Medlyn. Me through Stephen Holman 1759-1842 m. Nora Moyle and my husband through John Holman 1760-1842 m. Susannah George. What are the chances. Both of us born in different states NSW and SA and met in QLD. Now the information I have is off and I am not claiming dates and names to be correct. But I feel it's pretty close .

  38. Post author

    The chances are slim but I suppose it must happen sometimes! If you've got any firm information about James Holman and Rachel Medlyn that would be great; we used to think they were in our tree but it doesn't seem like it now (see the discussion in the comments).

  39. Kerry

    Hi Brett,
    I found your 2009 web page on Tremayne today and it sparked my interest. My 3xgreat grandparents, James and Rachel (Holman) Faull were at nearby Trenoweth, which like Tremayne, now only appears as a farm on maps. Two of their sons, Samuel and James, emigrated to South Australia in the 1860's. Like Donna, in the post above, I believe I am descended from James Holman and Rachel Medlyn. If either you or Donna have family trees, I would love to swap notes with you, as the further back I research, the less certain I am of the family members.

  40. Karen Chugg

    Hello Brett
    I've also enjoyed the discussion here, having stumbled upon it researching Crowan in relation to family history. I have a family link to one of the Holman lines via Christopher Temby and his wife Grace Holman, daughter of John Holman and Mary Roberts. Christopher and Grace are believed to have lived at Trenoweth Farm near Crowan and 4 of their sons immigrated to South Australia. One of these, Nicholas, was my great great grandfather, who ended up in Victoria. It was fascinating to see the photos, I'd very much love to get over there and explore myself in the next couple of years. I'll have to check out the Ancestry tree!

  41. Val Dawson

    Hi All, I have also enjoyed reading about the Holman family. I am a descendant of John Vanstone from his first marriage to Mary Ann Vear. John and Eliza are buried in the Brentwood cemetery and I have a photo of the headstone. If anyone would like a copy please contact me.

  42. Post author


    I hope you do get over to Cornwall, it's a beautiful place even apart from the family connection!


    Thanks for the offer; we do already have that, but somebody else might take you up on it.

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