Puffs & Pops

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Some Cornish Ancestors

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My great grandparents arrived in Mendocino County in 1904, coming from St Agnes parish in Cornwall. Alberta Butson Williams and Thomas Joseph Williams brought with them their four Cornish born children.

Thomas and Alberta Williams family in Ukiah 2.9 MB jpg file

Thomas Williams had two brothers, one older and one younger – James Henry Nicholls Williams and John Jarvis Williams. “Uncle Jim” was a Methodist minister in northern California and Nevada, Uncle Jarvis was a dentist in Pacific Grove, California, and Thomas Joseph was a blacksmith in Ukiah, California.

Three Williams Brothers

Their father, James Barkle Williams had been a mining engineer in the deep earth mines of Nevada City and Virginia City, who later became a Nevada State Assemblyman from Storey County. He lived to see his eldest son complete his ministerial training in England, and come to Nevada to start his career. However, James Barkle Williams had by then contracted tuberculosis, and went home to Cornwall to die in 1890.

James Barkle Williams and James H.N. Williams 872 KB jpg file

James Barkle Williams had married Catherine Nicholls of Perranzabuloe parish in 1859, and their two year old daughter, Tryphena, died of “teething”, probably an infection hastened by malnutrition, in 1863. Apparently at this news, James B Williams came back from working in the California mines to console Catherine, and then brought her with him back to California.

Catherine and Tryphena Williams circa 1862

Catherine Nicholls Williams and James Barkle Williams are buried in the Perranzabuloe parish churchyard in Cornwall, near the graves of Catherine’s parents and siblings. I found the graves of her parents, my great-great-great grandparents, there in 1993.

Puffin1 with Nicholls family grave in Perranzabuloe


Written by USelaine

January 30, 2008 at 9:17 pm

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