m. 5 Nov 1777
Facts and Events
There are 2 vital records available on MyHeritage for John Harry, including birth records, marriage records, and death records. Vital records are historical records that are typically recorded around the actual time of the event, which means they are likely accurate. Vital records include information like the event date and place, and the person's occupation and residence. Vital records also often include information about the person's relatives. For example, birth and marriage records include names of parents and divorce records list the names of children.
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.