St. Gennys, Cornwall

Trewins, scenes of Cornwall, and ‘Doc Martin’

Remains of Tintagel Castle, legendary birthplace of King Arthur public domain Uploaded by: Archibald Tuttle from Wikimedia Commons (original source)

Cornwall scene: Remains of Tintagel Castle, legendary birthplace of King Arthur; public domain; Ookaboo (uploaded by: Archibald Tuttle from Wikimedia Commons (original source))

Cornwall, 1830 Map; Talland can be seen closer to the northeast corner

Cornwall, 1830 Map; courtesy of David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

Port Isaac. The Doc's house/office stands on the hill to the left of the big stone house. (Wikimedia Commons: public domain by Sbeech)

Port Isaac. The Doc’s house/office stands on the hill to the left of the big stone house. (Wikimedia Commons: public domain by Sbeech)

Port Isaac; 1989 |Author: Manfred Heyde Wikimedia Commons: Public domain under GNU Free Documentation License)

Port Isaac; 1989 |Author: Manfred Heyde Wikimedia Commons: Public domain under GNU Free Documentation License)

It was two summers ago that I discovered that my Trewin family roots go back to a 16th century Cornish gentleman hailing from the seaside village of St. Gennys. I wrote about it in one of my posts. It was a wonderful discovery to make, especially since I had taken my mother on a tour of Cornwall in the mid-1990s, and we had both found this southwestern-most county of England to be absolutely charming–lovely people, stunning landscapes, breathtaking seaside vistas, and quaint villages.

Minack Theatre, Cornwall (Wikimedia Commons: contribute by Chef)

Boscastle, Cornwall (Wikimedia Commons: contributed by JUweL)

Boscastle, Cornwall (Wikimedia Commons: contributed by JUweL)

All those great memories made us want to go back to experience it all again, something not really possible now that mom is a nonagenarian. The next best thing would be to find a film of some kind that could transport us across the seas. And so I began to peruse Netflix… and that was when I discovered the Doc Martin television series about a cantankerous British surgeon who develops a fear of blood and moves to the seaside Cornwall village in which he’d spent happy days as a child visiting with his aunt. There he becomes the village’s local GP. His lack of bedside manner can be horrifying, but he is such an astoundingly capable physician that the villagers learn to put up with him. Each episode includes some kind of medical mishap or mystery, and part of the fun is watching the Doc sort it all out, alienating some and rescuing others in the process. And then there is the on-again, off-again romance / attraction with the village school’s headmistress Louisa, a relationship that alternately delights, entertains and frustrates the heck out of you. Other characters add to the chaos: the village pharmacist, policeman, radio DJ, plumber-turned-restauranteur, and office receptionist, among others.

The series takes place in a picturesque village called ‘Portwenn’ which in real life is the village of Port Isaac, some 20 miles south of St. Gennys. We ordered series 1, and within a few episodes we were completely hooked. Series 3-4 followed, and we watched episodes practically daily until the source of all our fun dried up.

Eventually, Mom was missing the series so much, I went out and bought it on DVD so she could watch it anytime she wanted to. Then, oh happy day, series 5 came out and we snapped it up on DVD. We devoured those episodes and loved how season 5 ended. Then, sadly, another long drought was upon us. (They don’t film the series annually as is common in the US.)

The local PBS station picked up the first few years of the series, but they weren’t showing episodes in any particular order (or so it seemed to me anyway) so it was not quite as fun. Plus of course we’d seen them all before—at least twice!


Yes, we’ve got them all now!

Thankfully, season 6, which was shown on TV last spring in the UK, just came out on DVD here—it was THE perfect gift for mom this past Christmas. The first two episodes have been thoroughly fun and enjoyable. So if you are looking for something to entertain you this winter season and you have not discovered Doc Martin already, I recommend you give it a try. Those with Cornish roots or who just simply love Cornwall and marvelous multi-layered characters may find it as irresistible as we do!

Categories: St. Gennys, Cornwall, Trewin | 1 Comment

Linking our 18th-century William Trewin to John Trewin (b. cir. 1530)

In a late-February post, a commenter left a message saying that most Trewins hailed from a group of families who resided near Bude, Cornwall.  Discovering recently that William & Alice Trewin’s children were born in Launcells and  Poughill (1779-1791) confirmed a link to that area.  “The majority [of those Trewins],” he said, “descend from a John Trewin who was from St. Gennys Parish and moved to Week Saint Mary prior to 1569 where he died in 1606.”

Well, I “googled” the name of one of William’s children, Joshua. I picked Joshua because the name was a departure from the common Trewin names, e.g. Thomas, William, and John. One of my search results brought me to the Ancestors of Robyn Bray website; here the existence of 700+ Trewins is documented. And without too much trouble, I found all the links back to the “original” John Trewin of St. Gennys Parish.

Bude area of Cornwall, 1794. See locations of Kirkhampton, Week St. Mary, Bude Haven, Poughill, St. Gennes [St. Gennys]. Map credit below.

Having not seen all the records myself, of course, I can’t say that all the details are accurate. But this website owner has put a ton of research (and  her obvious passion for genealogy) into this site and has provided copious documentation of her sources, so I am inclined to trust this information and, over time, will attempt to review the actual transcribed records on a site like FamilySearch. Laying eyes on the original records may take a lot more doing.

One site I came across in the process of researching the locations of some of these Bude-area hamlets was Cornwall Online Parish Clerks; it’s packed with useful information for anyone interested in Cornish genealogy. One item of interest to me was information regarding family naming patterns, and it helped explain why I have come across so many Thomases, Williams, and Johns. From their website:

Over the centuries, some families used the following naming pattern:

  1. The first son was named after the father’s father
    The second son after the mother’s father
    The third son after the father
    The fourth son after the father’s eldest brother
  2. The first daughter after the mother’s mother,
    The second daughter after the father’s mother
    The third daughter after the mother
    The fourth daughter after the mother’s eldest sister

Others named children after people who had been influential in their lives, such as friends and neighbours. Not everyone adhered to the above patterns, especially if some family relationships were “strained”! Biblical names were also popular for some time, as were those of famous heroes such as Napoleon and Nelson.

For children, it is very important to check for burial records as, when infant mortality rates were high, if a child died the next child born in the family (of the same sex) was often given the same name. These apparent duplications are very common.

When the use of second (middle) names became more common (sometimes due to the increasing population and the necessity to distinguish between individuals) the maiden name of the mother was often used. Therefore, a name such as Henry Yeo Trewegen gives a very good clue to the mother’s maiden name.

The site also discusses what happened with regard to naming the children of unmarried mothers.

Well, this post has gone on long enough, so, without any further ado, below are the first 11 generations of our Trewin line, leaving off with our ancestors who came to the US in 1857: Thomas & Mary Anne Trewin and their children, Thomas, William, & Emma. (To view the extended tree, which includes brothers & sisters of these newly discovered grandparents, click on the “S-U” page at the top of this blog page. There is still more to be added to it.)

1-John Trewin b. Abt 1530, St. Gennys, Cornwall, England, d. 29 Nov 1606, 
 St.  Mary's Week,  Cornwall, England
|--2-John Trewin b. Cir 1561, d. 14 Jun 1636, Week St. Mary, Cornwall, England
|   +Jone d. 8 Mar 1625, Week St. Mary, Cornwall, England
|  |--3-John Trewin b. 1582, Cornwall, England, d. 14 Jan 1636, Week St. Mary 
|  |    Cornwall, England
|  |   +Unknown 
|  |  |--4-John Trewin b. 7 Sep 1606, Week St. Mary, Cornwall, England, d. 27 
|  |  |    Aug 1692, Week St. Mary, Cornwall, England
|  |  |   +Katherine Bond b. Jul 1603, St. Dominic, Cornwall, England, d. 1 Feb 
|  |  |    1693, Week St. Mary, Cornwall, England
|  |  |  |--5-John Trewin b. 2 Mar 1636, Week St. Mary, Cornwall, England
|  |  |  |   +Jane Tucker b. Cir 1640, d. Bef 21 Feb 1663, Week St. Mary, 
|  |  |  |    Cornwall, England
|  |  |  |   +Mary French 
|  |  |  |  |--6-George Trewin b. 1 Oct 1668, Week St. Mary, Cornwall, 
|  |  |  |  |    England, d. 30 Jan 1747, Week St. Mary, Cornwall, England
|  |  |  |  |   +Agnes Mildren b. 13 Mar 1662, Week St. Mary, Cornwall, 
|  |  |  |  |    England, d. 19 May 1713, Week St. Mary, Cornwall, England
|  |  |  |  |  |--7-Thomas Trewin b. 9 Jun 1702, Week St. Mary, Cornwall, 
|  |  |  |  |  |    England, d. 1 Apr 1774, Kilkhampton, Cornwall, England
|  |  |  |  |  |   +Joan Johns b. 23 Mar 1717, Kilkhampton, Cornwall, England, 
|  |  |  |  |  |    d. 28 Jan 1788, Kilkhampton, Cornwall, England
|  |  |  |  |  |  |--8-William Trewin b. 10 Feb 1750, Kilkhampton, Cornwall, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |    England
|  |  |  |  |  |  |   +Alice Walkey b. 18 May 1752, Trevalga, Cornwall England
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |--9-Thomas Trewin b. 11 Jul 1785, Launcells, Cornwall, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    England, d. Bef Nov 1857
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |   +Sarah Larcom b. 1791, Pool, Dorsetshire, England, d. 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    After 1851
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |--10-Thomas J. Trewin b. 12 Aug 1817, Woolwich, Kent, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    England, c. 7 Sep 1817, Wesleyan Methodist Church, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    William St, Woolwich, Kent, England, d. 19 Sep 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    1875, Elizabeth, Union, NJ, bur. 22 Sep 1875, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, Union, NJ
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |   +Mary Anne Phillips b. 1820, Deptford, Co. Kent, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    England, d. 30 May 1878, Elizabeth, Union, New 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    Jersey, bur. 2 Jun 1878, Evergreen Cemetery, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    Hillside, Union, NJ
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |--11-Thomas John Trewin b. 31 Dec 1839, 9 Powis 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    Street, Woolwich, Co. of Kent (now Greater 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    London), d. Jul 1913, bur. 31 Jul 1913, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, Union, NJ
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |--11-William Trewin b. 21 Mar 1847, Hardin Street, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    Woolwich Dockyard, Co. Kent (now Greater 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    London), England, d. 4 Dec 1916, Elizabeth 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    General Hospital, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    bur. 7 Dec 1916, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    Union, NJ
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |--11-Elizabeth Trewin b. 12 Apr 1848, 18 Maxey Rd., 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    Plumstead, Charlton, Co. of Kent, d. Bef 1857
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |--11-Emma Trewin b. 4 May 1850, Campbellwell, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    England, d. 9 Jun 1933, Elizabeth, Union Co., 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    NJ, bur. 12 Jun 1933, Evergreen Cemetery, 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |    Hillside, NJ

MAP CREDIT: David Rumsey Historical Map Collection:
Cary’s New Map of England And Wales, With Part Of Scotland. On Which Are Carefully 
Laid Down All the Direct and Principal Cross Roads, the Course of the Rivers And 
Navigable Canals … Delineated from Actual Surveys: and materially assisted From 
Authentic Documents Liberally supplied by the Right Honourable the Post Masters 
General. London: Published Jun 11th 1794 by J. Cary, Engraver & Map-seller, 
No. 181 Strand. TMC 43, pp 40-47.
Categories: Bude, Corwall, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Kirkhampton, Cornwall, Launcells, Cornwall, Poughill, Cornwall, St. Gennys, Cornwall, Trewin, Week St. Mary, Cornwall | Leave a comment

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