According to information passed down in my mother’s ANDREW family, Charles S Andrew - my mother’s great-grandfather - was born 1 May 1821 in Kilkhampton, a small town on the rugged north coast of Cornwall England close to the Devon border. In this rural area, most people made a living by mining or farming. Some were involved in ship building in nearby Bideford Devon to the north east. The ANDREWs, who appear to be new to the Kilkhampton area, were farmers.
No one knows what Charles' middle initial “S” stands for. According to baptism records, he was simply "Charles Andrews", one of 7 children born to yeoman William Andrew and his wife Honor Grigg: Thomas, William, John, Richard, Elizabeth Ann, Charles and Flora. Their father William died in April 1833 at the age of 52 before all his children were grown; Charles would have been almost 12. By 1841 the family seems to have disbursed, as their mother Honor Andrew was working as a nurse for the Venning family in Moorwenstow Cornwall, and none of her children were with her.
“… to Canada, sailing on the brig "British Lady" on April 8, 1842, landing at Yeo's Shipyard, Bideford River, PEI on May 20, 1842. Arrived at N. St. Elearnors, PEI on May 21, 1842 and established a home on the "Broad" farm, then owned by the Hon. James Yeo and more lately by Alfred Simpson. By life's end, Charles and Mary owned 422 acres which became the farms of Harry C. Andrew and Raymond Andrew, Fred Barrett and Samuel Beaton.” [from the booklet Sketches of Old St. Elenaor’s - Prince Edward Island, Canada”]
Passenger lists prior to 1865 are hard to come by, although I did find a notice online of the “British Lady” sailing a year later out of Bideford with 42 passengers (not itemized). Nevertheless, we're sure that Charles and Mary Andrew traveled to PEI with a young daughter, Mary Ann Andrew, who according to the 1901 Canada census and her birth certificate, was born on 14 Aug 1841. So it would appear that she was born in England before her parents' marriage, although luckily Charles is identified as the father (not the norm in these circumstances). When I first received family research from my relatives back in the 1980s, they stated that Charles and Mary were married in England on 9 Dec 1940, a convenient 9 months prior to Mary Ann’s birth. So it seems that Charles and Mary decided to reinvent some details of their past when they made a new start in PEI. In 1881, Mary Ann is unmarried and age 40, living with her parents in Lot 17, PEI, Canada, so we know she belongs to this family.
This was obviously a time of huge upheaval and life changing decisions for both Charles and Mary. Although such "dalliances" were not uncommon, there was usually a lot of shame and ridicule associated with them, and often the expectant mothers were shunned by their families and sent away to other relatives or even workhouses to give birth. By the time of the 1841 census, Mary Hopgood would already have been pregnant, although still a teenager, so it is no surprise that I can’t find her with her father William and family. There was a baptism for a Mary Hopgood, daughter of John and Ann, on 28 May 1826 in Kilkhampton, making her about 15 in 1841 (she was not living with her parents), but neither the parents nor the age match. Family sources say our Mary Hopgood was born 25 Dec 1823 but so far I have not found any evidence to support this (but if true she would have been 17 at the time of the 1841 census). At this point I’m not even certain that her father’s name was William, as information on marriage certificates aren’t always reliable in such circumstances. So there were likely 2 different Mary Hopgoods who were close in age and away from home in 1841.
It’s important to find out more about Mary and where she was in the 1841 census to learn about her proximity to Charles and gain clues to both their lives at this time. Charles, of course, was busy working as a farm laborer for the Wicketts in Launcells Cornwall. There are several possibilities for Mary. For now I am discounting the ones born in Hampshire and Wiltshire. Ages were often rounded down to the nearest 5 or 0 in this census, making age an unreliable factor for matching purposes and our task more difficult.
- There was a Mary Hopgood (15) working as a servant for Samuel Vanstone, farmer and his wife Mary at Cranford Village, Woolfardisworthy, Devon near Bideford, Devon. Their neighbour was a Joseph Andrews (29) and his family - the last name hints at a connection although I don’t yet have a Joseph in my tree.
- There was another Mary Hopgood (20, born Devon) working as a servant for a Charles Cutcliffe, surgeon, and family. Next door was Mary and William Cutcliffe who had a Fanny Hopgood (65) working in their household. Perhaps Fanny was a relative of Mary, who got her a job next door? Fanny is not yet in my tree either.
But somehow Charles and Mary met up again in Stratton and married in the Spring of 1842. They quickly set sail for Canada (perhaps from Bideford Devon) with their young daughter in tow, leaving all behind. How traumatic! I do not know of any relatives who traveled to PEI before them, so they were likely on their own. Charles might have saved up a bit of money while working on the farm, and perhaps he even had a bit of an inheritance from his yeoman father, but these are merely guesses; no will has been found. What we do know is that Charles, Mary and Mary Ann arrived safely in PEI and took up farming, occupying (if not immediately buying) property in North St Eleanors in Lot 17, Prince County.
Between 1844 and 1863, Charles and Mary had 8 more children. Early PEI records are very scant so most details have come from family sources and published memoirs. In the 1861 census, Charles is listed as a farmer in Lot 17. In 1862 their young son Albert died as a toddler. This segment of a 1880 plot map shows the locations of 3 Andrew properties - Charles had waterfront property! By 1881, only 2 children were still at home: Mary Ann (40) and George (16). Their other children - John, Charles, William Elizabeth Ann, Thomas, and Flora - had all left home but still remained in PEI.
By 1901 Charles was a widower, living in the household of his youngest son George and family, along with his unmarried eldest daughter Mary Ann. From a 1906 published biography of his son William, it says that Charles purchased the Hope farm and located on it at about the time his son William turned 21 (1869) and married (1870). However, the same article says that ...
“Charles Andrew came to Prince Edward Island in 1842 and located at North St Eleanors on the property on which he now resides, on which he has since been successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits. The place is one of the choice farms of the locality and here Mr. Andrew is enjoying life to its utmost. At the age of eighty-five years, he is a fine specimen of strong, rugged manhood, being in the enjoyment of excellent health aside from slight rheumatic troubles. He has become the father of nine children, six sons and three daughters.” [from the book “Past and Present of Prince Edward Island”, page 315, published about 1906 in PEI - I wonder which relative wrote and submitted these words?]
Charles’ health must have quickly taken a turn for the worst because on 20 Oct 1906, Charles passed away at the age of 85. His obituary, which was published in "The Daily Patriot", says he was 86. Looking back on his life, Charles seems to have thrived after his new start in PEI, making the most of his improved circumstances and becoming a respected and productive member of his new community. And if his descendants are anything to go by, he also nurtured a caring family.