Facts and Events
||17 Jun 1778
||St Ive, Cornwall, England
||19 Oct 1808
||Saltash, Cornwall, EnglandSt Stephen by Saltash
to Mary Ann Tucker
||6 Jun 1841
||Saltash, Cornwall, EnglandBack Lane
||30 Mar 1851
||Saltash, Cornwall, EnglandBack Lane
||1 Nov 1855
||Saltash, Cornwall, England
John Harry was baptised on 17th June 1778 at St Ive in east Cornwall, son of Sarah Harry, formerly Grubb, and her husband Robert Harry. He was the eldest of the couple's eight children. The first seven children were all baptised at St Ive, although the seventh, Samuel, died as a baby in 1797. After Samuel's death the family left St Ive and moved ten miles south to the town of Saltash, where the youngest child was born. John's sister Mary stayed behind in the St Ive area, marrying at neighbouring Quethiock in 1801, but the rest of John's surviving siblings seem to have moved to Saltash or Plymouth Dock (which was renamed Devonport in 1824) on the opposite bank of the River Tamar in Devon.
In 1808 John married Mary Tucker at St Stephen by Saltash, the parish church just outside Saltash which covered the town. The marriage was witnessed by his brother Richard and Richard's future wife Susan Ellery. Mary was from Saltash. In 1811 John was one of the witnesses to his brother Robert's marriage at Stoke Damerel (the parish church which covered Plymouth Dock).
John and Mary had six children baptised at Saltash between 1812 and 1827, although their third child, Marianne, died as a baby, and their fifth child, Richard, died as a boy of three years old. After his death they gave their youngest son the name Richard as a middle name. From the children's baptisms John was described as a labourer in 1816, a waterman in 1818, and a labourer again in 1821 and 1827. It could be that he was working as a waterman the whole time but the clerk classed that as a form of labouring; in 1814 John had been described as "ordinary man" showing the slightly condescending attitude of the clerks at Saltash to the working classes. Certainly John later described himself as a waterman in the 1841 census.
Saltash had many watermen. Its ferry across to St Budeaux on the Devon bank of the River Tamar was one of the main crossing points from Devon to Cornwall, plus Saltash also functioned as a port for sea-faring vessels, although it had been gradually losing such trade to Devonport and Plymouth for many years.
Of John and Mary's four children who lived to adulthood, Elizabeth married in 1837 in Plymouth, John married in 1838 in St Budeaux, Mary Ann married in 1840 in Plymouth and William Richard married in 1850 in Plymouth. None of them stayed in Saltash. John's first known grandchild, his daughter Elizabeth's son Henry John, was born on 4th March 1839, and thus John became a grandfather at the age of 60.
The 1841 census finds John and Mary and their youngest son William Richard living at Back Lane in Saltash. John and Mary were still there in 1851, although by this time John was described as a gardener, a common occupation for elderly men at the time. John's brother Robert was living next door but one to John and Mary at this time.
Over in Devonport, John's eldest son John died aged 41 in 1853, leaving a widow and two small children.
Back in Saltash there was much upheaval in 1853 as work began on the Royal Albert Bridge carrying the railway across the Tamar. As the Navy had stipulated that the bridge should be 100 feet above the high tide surface of the river most of the line through Saltash is carried on tall pillars towering over the town below. Construction of the line and bridge took six years.
John did not live to see the work complete. He died on 1st November 1855, aged 77. His cause of death was recorded as "old age, exposure to cold, 8 hours". Mary survived him and appears in the 1861 census living on Fore Street in Saltash.
- ↑ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks , Primary quality.
ch. 17 Jun 1778, St Ive: John son of Robert & Jane Harry / Harvy?
This baptism has been linked to the John Harry who married at Saltash in 1808 on the basis that in 1811 John appears to have witnessed the marriage of a Robert Harry, who then also appears at Saltash in the censuses, living next door but one to John in the 1851 census. Whereas John's place of birth in the 1851 census is recorded as St Ives (a town nearly 70 miles from Saltash), Robert's is given as St Ive, a rural parish only ten miles away, which is rather more likely. The witnesses to John and Mary's marriage in 1808 were Richard Harry and Susan Ellery, who would go on to marry each other the following year. Richard and Susan also appear in the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses living in Saltash, and Richard also gave his place of birth as St Ive. Looking at baptism records from St Ive there is a sequence of children baptised there following the marriage of Robert Harry and Sarah Grubb in 1777, up to 1797, after which the family have not been found again in St Ive. Instead they appear to have moved to Saltash, having their youngest child, Ann Maria, baptised there in 1800. We therefore conclude that John, Robert, Richard and Ann Maria (and the other children baptised at St Ive) were siblings, and that John's place of birth in the 1851 census was one letter out and should have said St Ive not St Ives. This is further supported by the fact that in the 1841 census Robert's daughter Sarah was living with John's daughter Elizabeth, showing a connection between the families.
Although the 1778 baptism at St Ive gives John's mother's name as Jane, given that it was only seven months after the marriage of Robert and Sarah and the sequence of children born to Robert and Sarah continues from 1780 to 1800 with no sign of any other Jane, nor remarriage of Robert we conclude that "Jane" is either misrecorded or mistranscribed and should be Sarah.
- ↑ General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) HO 107/1-1465 Census Returns: 1841 Census Schedules, Class HO107; Piece 135; Book 13; Folio 33 Page 60, 6 Jun 1841, Primary quality.
Address: Back Lane, Saltash, Cornwall
John Knight, male, 55 [1781-6], Waterman, b. in county
Betty Knight, female, 50 [1786-91], b. in county
Samuel Knight, male, 20 [1816-21], Ag lab, b. in county
John Harry, male, 60 [1776-81], Waterman, b. in county
Mary Harry, female, 50 [1786-81], b. in county
William Harry, male, 14 [1826/7], b. in county
- ↑ General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) HO 107/1466-2531 Census Returns: 1851 Census Schedules, Class HO107; Piece 1900; Folio 473; Page 79, 30 Mar 1851, Primary quality.
Address: Back Lane, Saltash, Cornwall
John Harry, head, married, 73 [1777/8], Gardener, b. St Ives, Cornwall
Mary Harry, wife, married, 63 [1787/8], wife of Gardener, b. Saltash, Cornwall
John Knight, head, widower, male, 74 [1776/7], Waterman, b. St Mellion, Cornwall
Maria Harris, daughter, widower, female, 42 [1808/9], Pauper, b. Saltash, Cornwall
Mary J. Harris, granddaughter, unmarried, female, 13 [1837/8], At home, b. Saltash, Cornwall
William Harris, grandson, unmarried, male, 7 [1843/4], Scholar, b. Saltash, Cornwall
John Harris, grandson, unmarried, male, 3months , b. Saltash, Cornwall
- ↑ Death certificate, in General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration. (London: General Register Office), Primary quality.
|Registration District St Germans|
|1855 Death in the Sub-district of Saltash in the County of Cornwall|
|No.||When and where died||Name and surname||Sex||Age||Occupation||Cause of death||Signature, description and residence of informant||When registered||Signature of registrar|
|179||First November 1855|
|John Harry||male||77 years [1777/8]||Gardener||Old age|
Exposure to cold
|X The mark of Charlotte Sleep|
Present at the death
|Third November 1855||William Spicer Porter|