On the first day of November, at the historic Fowey Hotel, we ate lunch in sunshine watching the river and looking across to Polruan, Cornwall. We were visiting for a couple of days holiday, but also on the trail of ancestors of my Grandfather, Sydney Bartlett, who lived here for many generations.
After lunch we took the little vehicle ferry across the river to Bodinnick, by Daphne du Maurier’s house, and negotiating steep, narrow wooded lanes, we came to the ancient church of St Wyllow at Lanteglos -by -Fowey, Polruan.
Generations of Pearns dating from 1645 appear in the records for this Parish, all family of Sydney’s great great grandfather William Pearn. In 1792, Willam Pearn, mariner, married Hannah Leavis. Sadly William died only 8 years later, and Hannah was left a widow, although she later married again to a Richard Cossentine. This is me standing by Hannah’s grave – my 4 x great grandmother (I look worried, but I was quite chuffed to have found it!)
” Beneath this turf lies the mortal remains of Hannah the beloved wife of R. Cossentine and widow of Wm. Pearn who died the 6 of July 1828 aged 55 years. In justice to her memory it can be truly said that SHE Livd belovd and died regretted. A tribute of respect to a dearly beloved wife and a tender MOTHER”
Two generations later William and Hannah Pearn’s grand daughter, Catherine, married William Bartlett, a young carpenter. The Bartlett family had also lived in this area for many generations, and the next stage of our exploration was to search for clues for this part of the family.