Saturday, May 15, 2010

Surname Saturday: Tregoning - Gwennap, Cornwall to Victoria

Surname Saturday is a daily blogging theme suggested on the geneabloggers site. I intend to use my Surname Saturday posts to highlight, briefly, each of my male great-great-grandparents and their families. All information presented should be considered a work in progress, requiring further research and verification.

William Tregoning

The surname Tregoning (or sometimes, Tregonning) is strongly associated with Cornwall. In 1841, 384 of the 400+ Tregonings in the England census were enumerated in Cornwall. Of these, 92 were in the civil parish of Gwennap.*

William Tregoning was among them. In 1841 he was 15 years old and like so many others living in Gwennap he was working as a copper miner. He lived in a household with his parents, John and Mary, and twelve other young Tregonings. I'm still in the process of confirming that they were all his siblings, but so far it appears the family had a remarkable infant survival rate.

William married Elizabeth Martin, the daughter of a stonemason, in May 1848 and later that year they had a son, William Henry Tregoning.

William, Elizabeth and their son remained in Gwennap long enough to be enumerated in the 1851 census, but only by a few months. In September they arrived in South Australia. I only recently found a transcription of the shipping record, and have yet to look up the original passenger list myself, or to try and learn more about their time in South Australia.

What I do know is that their stay in South Australia was not long. By 1855 they were living in Amherst, Victoria, looking for gold. Life could not have been easy. Three of their five children died young, and Elizabeth herself died in childbirth in 1860. My great-grandmother, also named Elizabeth, was just two years old when her mother passed away.

William remarried quickly. His new wife was another Elizabeth - Elizabeth Hill. The couple had one daughter, Mary Ellen Tregoning. The family remained in the Victorian goldfields area (Avoca), taking up farming. Elizabeth passed away in 1878, and William in 1887.

* Total census counts were taken from FindMyPast on 30 April 2010. Cornwall and Gwennap census counts were taken from FreeCEN. FreeCEN claims 100% coverage for Cornwall in 1841.

Please get in touch with me if you are connected to this family!

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