Christopher Bennett and Rose Michell

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Grandparents    Christopher Bennetts (b 1643, d 1716

Parents          Richard Bennett             Anne

Christopher Bennett (b 1720, m Rose Michell, d 1794}
    Sidwell Bennett (b Camborne 1768, m  Henry Eva 1793 Camborne)
        Catherine Eva (b Camborne 1798, m Stephen Vine (Snr) 1818 Camborne)        
            Stephen Vine (Jnr) (b Camborne 1827 m Lavinia Ford 1855 Beechworth Vic, d 1894 Williamstown Vic)
                Hannah Vine (b 1866 Spring Creek, m Richard Reid Roach 1890 Flemington Vic, d 1915 Kew Vic)
                    Liela Muriel Roach (b 1893 Rosebery Sydney, m Ernest Harold Mitchell 1914 Kew, d 1972 Wodonga)  
    Christopher (b 1775)
    Christopher (b 1777, m Anne, d 1842)
    Anne (b 1780)

This page is thanks to an email from Ross Williams in 2021, which confirms Tony Bennetts suggestions in 2009
Quoting in full
Tony Bennett's email of April 2009 comes down on the side of Christopher Bennetts, son of Christopher and Rose, probably being Sidwell's parents.
I think I have proof of that in Rose's Will .

Rose died in July 1803 and mentions bequests to Sidwell, and to Sidwell and Henry's children, in her Will viz.

"First I give to my Son Richard and to my Daughter Sidwel the Wife of Henry Eva One Shilling each and also to my three Grand Children the children of my said Son Richard and to my three Grandchildren the Children of the said Henry Eva the sum of Twenty Shillings each..."
 (You will notice that the Will also mentions her other surviving children, Richard, Christopher and Ann and the six grand-children who were alive at the time she made her Will in July 1802. She is a widow, so her husband Christopher is dead and Christopher and Anne, her 2 youngest children appear to be un-married at this stage. Her husband Christopher had died, intestate, in January 1794 and Rose was granted Administration of his estate 21 may 1794 - there was no Inventory.)
I think this clearly establishes Christopher and Rose as Sidwell's parents.

Then there is the issue of which Christopher Bennetts is Rose's husband and Sidwell's father.

Tony has suggested Christopher, son of Richard
, baptised 13 Aug 1720. Again I think I now have the evidence to support that, based on 2 sets of facts.

The names of this Christopher's children follow the Cornish naming convention very closely;
        The first born daughter, Sidwell, is named after Richard's mother Sidwell
        The first born son, Richard is named after Christopher's father
        The next born daughter is named after Rose's mother Anne Michell (or Mitchell).
            She died shortly after birth, and Anne is used again for a daughter born in 1780.
        The next born son Christopher, is named after his father .He is baptised in 1775, but does not appear to have survived (I can't find a burial) and a second Christopher (my ancestor) is baptised 20 July 1777.
        Their youngest son Samuel appears to have been named after Christopher's uncle, Richard's eldest surviving brother.
    (The only major departure from the Cornish naming tradition is that Sidwell is used before Anne i.e. the father's mother before the mother's mother.)

The other evidence for Christopher, being the son of Richard is based on Richard's tenancy of a "small estate" at Camborne Vean. This first appears in the inventory of Richard's estate, which mention 2 small estates, one in Bolenno (Bolenowe) and the other in Camborne Vean. I was first alerted to this by Tony Bennett's research, and because my ancestor, Christopher Bennetts (1877-1842), Sidwell's brother, is shown as living with his family at Camborne Vean in the 1841 Census, it immediately piqued my interest as a possible way of linking Richard to Rose's Christopher and their children and solving the "which Christopher" puzzle. I had hoped to go back to Cornwall and check the Tehidy Manor records to investigate this, but recently COVID had me thinking that my chances of international travel had all but disappeared and short of using the research services at Kresen Kernow, at who knows what cost, I would never get the opportunity to test this theory. But, I recently came across an advertisement in The Cornwall Royal Gazette of September 1837, where "that Tenement and Farm called Camborne Vean" comprising a little over 17acres "now in the occupation of Christopher Bennetts and his under tenants" is advertised as being for sale. The advertisement, which lists some 35 tenancies appears in 3 editions of the paper, on 15, 22 and 29 September 1837. Christopher was then 60 years

I think, taken together, the names of Christopher's children and the passing of the Camborne Vean property from Richard, through Christopher to his son Christopher (1777-1842) is pretty compelling, though perhaps not as black and white as the evidence for Rose being Sidwell's mother. What do you think?

I then have Christopher Bennetts (1643-1716) as Richard's father. His Will and Inventory show him as the tenant of "a house and garden on one life of about 70 yrs". One day, I might be able to investigate whether this is also the Camborne Vean "estate. It is tempting to think it might be, on the basis that the tenancy in the 1837 advertisement for Camborne Vean is "on a life of 69 years". And, if so this might take us back through further generations. Interestingly, the name of Christopher's other son, also mentioned in his Will, was Samuel. Like Sidwell's, both names have come down through the generations.

Just a bit of background on Christopher 1777-1842 and his family. Christopher was a blacksmith, probably employed by one of the mining companies or foundries, most likely Camborne Vean Mine or Holman's Foundry, which by the late 1830s had expanded to Camborne Vean. This was the age of steam and blacksmiths were in high demand. He was also a Methodist lay preacher and is mentioned in William Carvosso's memoirs. (William Carvosso's (1750-1834) was an early Wesleyan leader in Cornwall). While Christopher lived on the Camborne Vean estate, he appears not to have farmed himself, but let much of it to sub-tenants.

After his death in 1842, Anne, his wife, set up shop in Cross St, Camborne as a grocer and then in 1854,at the age of 68, migrated to Sydney with her 3 un-married daughters Anne, Catherine and Sidwell, to join her sons Samuel and Christopher (we have those names again). She was later joined by a 4th daughter, Mary, and her husband. Thus all the surviving children ended up in Sydney. Consumption took a heavy toll on the girls, with Sidwell and Catherine both dying soon after their arrival in 1857 and 1858 respectively. This Sidwell never married.

Samuel 1815-1878 was the success story, a compositor by trade, he had arrived with his wife Eliza in 1841. His entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography gives a pretty good summary of his life with a few minor errors =
     his father was not a "Rev., but as I mention above, a lay Methodist preac
his religion was not Anglican but Congregational
    the entry omits reference to his eldest son Alfred, who was Managing Proprietor from Samuel's death in 1878 up until 1895, the real heyday for their newspaper busines

It might also interest you to know that the name Sidwell was passed down for at least another generation, with Samuel's brother Christopher naming his second daughter Stella Sidwell.

p.s. I have supporting documentation for most of the above but did not want to burden you with links and attachments.

Research Notes

Christening  - Christopher Bennets - 13 Aug 1720 (Richard)

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