The Rosetta Stone of Cornwall, England

As I continue to pursue connecting as many Cornwall Babbs as possible, I came across a record from the 1851 Census that demonstrates a connection between Cornwall Pedigree 02 & Cornwall Pedigree C.

It isn’t an exact connection but shows that the families are related so that we know they belong together, even though the right slot isn’t readily apparent.

The record shows that James Babb was born in Lewannick, Cornwall, England and had lived there all his life.

This single record is responsible for a significant shift in our understanding of the Cornwall Babb Families. We started with 12 disparate trees and little understanding of what transpired there. Recently several descendants of this family stepped forward and with additional information have conducted Y-DNA tests and we have already made several connections between the Pedigrees 02, 04 & E (the letters represent small fragments of trees that likely match up to the larger numbered trees).

I’ve spent the last week combing through records looking for something to allow me to link up some of these trees and was about to give up when I came across this curious record.

As I mentioned, James is living in Lewannick with his wife and two other Babbs that aren’t listed as his children. Instead they are listed as Servants. This was curious. They aren’t of the right age to be their children and seem too young to be their Grandchildren.

The clue came in their birth place, which is listed as Northhill (North Hill), which is just 3.2 Miles (5.1 km) south of Lewannick. I recalled this cities name and started to compare. I easily found these two children (Jane & Samuel (remember his name) in the Master Tree.

They are the children of of Thomas & Elizabeth (Popplestone) Babb. Thomas had died earlier in the same year and his family was apparently cast to nearby relatives, which was common in the day.

The reason this is interesting is that Thomas belongs to Cornwall Pedigree 03 and James to Cornwall Pedigree C and demonstrates that there is a family connection between the two trees, though just how isn’t yet readily apparent. James’ tree is merely a fragment, but this set forth a chain of events.

Emboldened and curious I set about finding more about James. Certain Genealogists have tried to cast his birth to Mawnan on the very opposite end of the county just because no other baptism record was present. There was also a theory we pursued about him having been born in Bradstone just across the county line of Devon.

Eventually, I realized the importance of the Census Record stating that he was born in Lewannick and did some further research about the Babbs of this tiny village. You would be forgiven for thinking that was all this record had to offer. I didn’t see it at first either.

I pulled Baptism Records for the town I found baptisms for Sarah (1776), Samuel (1778) and Robert (1780). This fits in perfectly with James’ Date of Birth of about 1781 and also for that of John Babb of Pedigree D (born before 1789). This is the only family in the village and they were actively pursuing a family.

Who were the parents you ask? Samuel (remember I told you to recall this name) & Sarah Babb who were listed in Pedigree A.

Had these children not come to live with one of our problem children we would not be able to tell this story. So, at this point we have merged Cornwall Pedigrees 03 with A & D. As I mentioned earlier we merged 04 & 02.

What happened next?

I looked through other trees to see about finding more connections. Cornwall Pedigree G is also based in Lewannick and a quick scan of FamilySearch.org provided a baptism record for James as the son of our James in the 1851 Census record above. That was almost too easy.

This leaves us with a known connection between 2 & C and only 4 other disparate trees to continue to connect. All but one of those is most certainly connected.

And then what?

This document lead to a secondary Rosetta Stone, which I’m referring to as the Rosita Stone. Cornwall Pedigree H has a census record that includes John Babb (born 1801 in Egloskerry, Cornwall, England). He and his wife had a child living with them that also doesn’t exactly align to their family unit. Louisa Babb is 6 years old in 1851 and living with them. She is his niece and there is no further detail about her in this record. But the connection is enough to provide another connection. The baptism record for Louisa shows her full name as Louisa Kitts Babb.

A search of Egloskerry records shows a Mary Ann Babb married to Phillip Kitts 3 years after Louisa’s birth and a sister by the name of Eliza Kitts born the year after the wedding in 1849. The father Phillip Kitts dies in 1850 and once again the family is distributed to various family members to share the burden.

This knowledge allows me to make the next connection. Mary Ann Babb is the daughter of Samuel & Margery Babb, which would mean that Samuel Babb (Pedigree H) is also the son of Samuel & Margery of Cornwall Pedigree 02. That would be true, except that she is actually his Great Niece. Those nuances were lost on people prior to the 20th Century and they casually threw around relationship titles just like this. Regardless he is the Brother of her grandfather.

What does the landscape look like after all of this?

We now have:

Cornwall Pedigree 01 (397 members)
Cornwall Pedigree 02 (961 members)
Cornwall Pedigree 03 (28 members)
Cornwall Pedigree B (3 members)
Cornwall Pedigree C (20 members)
Cornwall Pedigree F (6 members)

The 6 others have now been merged and retired.

2 Comments

  1. Jack Babb

    How do I learn which pedigree, if any, I belong to? I find your research very interesting and have loved following family history in a backward movement from a very early age.

    Thank you in advance for your response.

    Jack Babb

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