Family History


Photo of  Kate Killick



Since around 1997, my cousin Kate has somehow found the time amongst her many other hobbies and pursuits, to carry out detailed research on our familyís history.

There is absolutely no way I could possibly do all her hard work suitable justice on this website, because the incredible amount of information she has obtained is just too detailed to reproduce in a concise way or a style presentable on a web page such as this.

However, I really do wish to somehow acknowledge all the many hours she has devoted to the family - all her hard work and dedication - so I have endeavoured to take a logical and relevant (to this website) path through just one small line of our family, back to the earliest relative Kateís research had discovered.

This path happens to be on my maternal grandmotherís side of the family, and this "snapshot" identifies 11 generations over a period of 400 years! From Ray Poole in 2002 back to Henry Bone, who was born, married, worked and died in Cornwall in the earliest part of the 17th Century - at a time before the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague or the execution of Charles I by Oliver Cromwell.

To add variety and flavour to the whole thing, I have inter-dispersed some historical events that were relevant to the times. Whether our Cornish relatives were concerned or even aware of many of these landmark events is obviously unknown!

Thank you, Kate, for the remarkable job youíve done so far - I know that your project is very much an ongoing one. I wish this web page to be a tribute to the hours youíve dedicated to researching the origins of our family.


The story begins in the far south west of England, at Lanhydrock in Cornwall around the year 1600 - it may have been a little before as no record has been found of the birth of Henry Bone and his wife, Bridget Cressell. However, we do know that they were married on 18th August 1623, so it is certain that during their childhood, Elizabeth I died and was succeeded by James I (1603), Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators failed in their attempt to blow up Parliament (1605), the "Union Jack" became our national flag (1606) and the first American English Settlement was established in 1607.

Lanhydrock was the home of this branch of our earliest family for two centuries, so I wonder whether they knew any of the Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the Atlantic from the West Country to America in the "Mayflower" in 1620.


During the period between Bridget and Henry's marriage and the christening of their daughter, Mary, in February 1633, Britain and Spain went to war (1624), and Charles I ascended the throne (1625). In the same year the plague swept London, killing 41,000 people. In the meantime, many more Britains settled across the Atlantic in Massachusetts.
Later, in 1642, the English Civil War started, and income tax was introduced for the first time (I don't think the two were linked in any way - on the other hand......). Oliver Cromwell won the upper hand in the Civil War, and on his orders, Charles I was executed in 1649. Four years later, Cromwell became Lord protector of England.

Mary Bone married Richard Green on 25th May 1668 - in Lanhydrock, of course, while 8 years previously, Charles II became King upon the Restoration of the Monarchy. It is very likely that Mary & Richard continued to live in the village all their lives, because they both died there. However, many deaths were recorded in 1665 when the Great Plague hit Britain. In 1666, the Great Fire of London occurred which helped end the plague.

Bone-Green      Jane-Halye

Richard & Mary's daughter, Mary Green, was born in Lanhydrock and christened there early in 1668. Before Richard died in 1705, surviving his wife by 19 years, James II became King of England (1685), the Bank of England was founded (1694) and the infamous Window Tax was introduced! (1696). In the months preceeding Richard's death in 1705, the "Grand Alliance" of England, Holland & Austria - originally formed in 1701 - defeated the enemy (France, naturally!).

Green-Jane      Collins-Menheir

Shortly before Richardís death, daughter Mary married Thomas Jane in Lanhydrock on 10th June 1704 - and the surname Jane becomes the continuous link in this thread through our familyís history until my maternal grandmother, Susannah married in 1908.

A son was born to Thomas & Mary Jane on 22nd June 1708, barely a year after the Act of Union united England & Scotland - and months before Abraham Darby used coke to smelt iron for the first time. The son was named "Green Jane", his Christian name being his motherís maiden name! Green only lived to see his 39th birthday. George I became King of Britain in 1715, a year after Thomas Jane had passed away. In the same year, the Jacobite Rebellion started north of the border - a long way from where the young Green was growing up. In 1721, Robert Walpole was chosen as Britainís first Prime Minister, and George II ascended the throne in 1727.

Most of our family are, or have been, Methodists for several generations, so it is fascinating to note that the Wesley Brothers started Methodism shortly before the time of Mary Janeís death (1732) and Greenís marriage to Agnes Collens in 1733. At around the same time, 10 Downing Street became the home of British Prime Ministers, and John Kay invented the Flying Shuttle.


So, Green Jane married Agnes (who hailed from Lanivet) in Lanhydrock, and produced a son, Thomas Jane, who was christened in the village on New Years Day 1739. When he was barely 5 years old, war erupted between the age-old adversaries, Britain & France. Only a couple of years later, England finally defeated the Jacobites at the historically significant Battle of Culloden. These were very war-like times, for 8 years after Greenís early death in 1748, the Seven Years War erupted (I wonder who that was against!).

Agnes Jane died just before Christmas 1764 - 18 months after son Thomas had "tied the knot" with Janefer Pugh and at about the time France gave up Canada to end the Seven Years war. I wonder whether Thomas & Janefer had sandwiches at their wedding reception, as the famous Earl created the delicacies in 1762!


Itís about this time that this branch of the Jane family's association with Lanhydrock comes to an end, for Thomas & Janefer married in Lanlivery and their son, William Jane was christened there on 10th June 1772.

Historically, this was a significant period in British history. James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny (1767), James Cook charted the east cost of Australia (1769), the Boston Tea Party occurred to protest British taxes (1773), the American War of Independence began (1775)and James Watt developed the first steam engine (1777). Wow - and we think we live in changing times!!! Thomas Jane died on 24th April 1789 shortly after the first fleet of British convicts arrived in Australia.


William Jane met Mary Copplestone and married the 26 year old at St Winnow in Cornwall in 1800, just two years after Nelson defeated the French at the Battle Of The Nile. The Act of Union united Britain with Ireland a year later. Nelson was at those French yet again in 1805, this time triumphing at the Battle of Trafalgar - and less than a year later, Mary Jane presented husband William with a son, Samuel, who was christened on 9th February 1806 in Lanlivery. Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807.


No records have been found confirming the deaths of William & Mary Jane, but Kate has discovered that their son Samuel married Mary Ann Nicholls of Calstock, Cornwall on 28th December 1839 (at the time the Penny Post was introduced in Britain) so in the period between his birth and wedding many more significant things were occurring in the wide world. The Peninsular War began in 1808, the Luddite riots began in 1811, Napoleon & Paris surrendered in 1814 - he returned to power a year later but was defeated by the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo. George Stephenson built train locomotives and passenger rail services began in 1825. Samuelís formative years were momentous ones, naturally, and two years before he married, the Victorian Age began with the Queen ascending the throne.

There was now a major move by this branch of our family. They had been firmly rooted in Cornwall since before 1600, but now Kateís research has shown a departure for pastures new - to South Wales. All the copper mines in Cornwall had closed and at the same time, rich Welsh coalfields were discovered. So, many miners emigrated to South Wales, including the Janes (in the 1870's). Samuelís union with Mary Ann produced a son, Thomas Jane, born on 15th April 1856 in Highway, Tywardreath, Cornwall. But Samuel (in 1881) and Mary Ann (in 1912 at the grand old age of 93) both died in Troedyrhiw, and son Thomas married Mary Ann Coles (a native of Taunton) at the High Street Chapel, Merthyr Tydfil, on 7th May 1877. The second "Mary Ann" was born on 31st January 1859 in Taunton to parents Charles Aplin Coles (born 23rd March 1834) and Susannah Morrell (born in Milverton, Somerset in 1836).


During their upheaval of the move to the mining community of Merthyr, the world continued to change. The Corn Laws were repealed in 1846, the Great Exhibition opened in London in 1851and the Crimean War began 3 years later. Charles Darwin wrote his "Origin of the Species" in 1859, William Booth founded the Salvation Army in 1865 and the age of voting (for MEN!) was lowered to 21 in 1884.

So, we begin to draw near the time of relatives actually known and remembered by those of us in the family still alive today. At the turn of the century, the Boer War began, the Labour Party was founded and King Edward VII succeeded the Queen to bring down the curtain on the Victorian Age. My grandmother, Susannah Jayne (note the change of spelling), daughter of Thomas & Mary Ann was born on 6th October 1884 in Troedyrhiw, Glamorgan. I entered this world at her home in Cyril Street West , Taunton in 1945, and Gran lived for a further 20 years with my uncle, aunt & cousin in Exeter, Bristol & Taunton before passing away on 10th July 1965.


Susannah married William Stephens at the Temple Methodist Church in Taunton on 26th December 1908, a year after Baden-Powell started the Boy Scout Movement. William was a 26-year old, born at Tarr, Lydeard St Lawrence, Somerset on 31st August 1882. Susannah gave birth to six children, my mother, Doreena Mary Stephens, being the first born, on 24th March 1910, in Taunton. In 1911, George V became King and the Great War started in 1914, lasting four years. After a short period living with her Aunt Edie in South Wales, my mother returned to Taunton and worked at Dellers Cafe in Bridge Street before meeting my father, Robert Joseph Samuel Poole. Dad was a Tauntonian, born on 1st April 1901. He worked as a clerk in the Vehicle Taxation department of the Somerset County Council. My parents married at the Temple Methodist Church on 10th August 1936.


These were troubled times and the inevitable war broke out in September 1939. Three months later, my grandfather, William Stephens, passed away on 7th December. Dad was called up to the RAF, but being an "older" conscript was allocated to the Pay Corps and spent the war in various home-based camps (Preston, Paignton & Blackpool being just two). In March 1945 - the day the last German doodlebug (flying bomb) fell on London - Raymond John Poole was born to Doreena and Robert (Dorrie & Bert to all), and he (ah - me!) returned home with his parents who were living with Samuel Poole (my paternal grandfather). The Second World War ended just a few months later.

Doreena died on 2nd April 1979 and Robert on 26th August 1980. I am still in the land of the living!


So, that completes the story - the "Footsteps Into The Past". As I wrote earlier, it really is just a small "branch" of the extensive family tree that Kate has chosen to research so extensively, and commit to paper. I have not named all the many other relatives on each step back through successive generations, but I hope that the story has been an interesting one.

What it has done for me is to bring alive some of my familyís distant past. It has, of course, left many questions unasked - and unanswered. It cannot possibly convey all the everyday occurrences, the tragedies, trials and tribulations, as well as joys, that each life undoubtedly had. But, thanks to Kate, I have established a tangible link, here in the second Elizabethan Age, with Henry Bone, a man who had lived his life in the farthest fields of this green and pleasant land, in the earliest days of the 17th Century - the first Elizabethan Age, when the world was such a completely different place than it is today. I wonder what sort of man Henry was?

Many thanks, Kate. We look forward to more revelations to come in the future. I, for one, just cannot wait!

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