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The Green family

See photos of places associated with the Greens and Greswells

Records of the Green family

he Greens were long-term residents of a small Cornish village, often called “La Feock” or “St. Feock” but now usually known as “Feock,” which was part of the civil parish of Kea. In the 1841 Census, we find the following large family in Feock:

1841 Census: Feock
John Green (40) Porter
Mary (40)
Susan (14)
John (12)
Edward (10) (the West Briton dated 20 July 1855, Friday, reported the death in "California, on the 11th of May last, of fever," of Edward, "second son of Mr. John Green, of Feock, in this county, aged 24 years." )
Mary (7)
James (5)
Elizabeth (2)

By the 1851 Census the place of birth has been added.
John Green the father was born in Kea, his wife and children in Feock. He is now a "coal porter" and one more child has been born, Belinda (6). The son John, now 21, is still at home, working as an Agricultural Labourer. The other 2 boys are not living at home, or have died.

The Hichins (Hitchens) family lived behind Treslissick House, just up the road from Feock. John Green junior and Mary J. Hichins were married in 1858, when he was 28 and she was 26. At the following Census in 1861 she was living alone In Feock, working as a "Seamstress." The death of John's brother in California in 1855 may be linked to this absence, for it seems that John also went to search for gold, perhaps together with his brother before his marriage and certainly just after, perhaps in South America. Be that as it may, by the 1871 Census, John, now 41, is back with his wife and working as an Innkeeper. He had brought back enough gold to pay for a license! Next door to them is living the widowed Mary Green (71), John's mother. They have had several children: Edward (5), Henrietta (4), Rosemund (1) and John (1 month old).

By the 1881 Census, when John is now 52, James (5) and Mable (3) had been born. The New Inn is here named. In the 1891 Census John Green (62), identified as “Licensed Victualler, Employer,” is living at the New Inn with his wife, Mary J. Green (58) and their children: Rosamund Green (21, Dressmaker), John Green (20, General Labourer), James Green (17, Servant Domestic), Mabel J Green (14). It was James who was to be my mother’s father.  The amazing thing about this family is the advanced age at which the parents began to have children. The eldest, Edward, was born in 1865 when his mother was 33, his father 35 or more. The youngest, Mabel, was born when her mother was 44 !

In September 1900, Edward married Mary Annie Ellis in St Mary's Wesleyan Chapel, Truro, and at the 1901 Census they were living in Feock with William Ellis (70), Mary Annie's father. Mary A. was only 28, she and her father were also born in Feock. Both Edward and his father-in-law are listed as "Fisherman." By 1911 Edward and his wife have moved to The New Inn, he is listed as "Publican," and they have Edward's sister Mable Jane Green (25) living with them instead of the father-in-law.

 An online resource  reports: “The other inn (as opposed to one on Pill Creek), now a private dwelling known as Greenbank, was located in the upper part of the village at Lane End, La Feock. Its name was The Red, White and Blue and was known locally as “The RWB”. Later it was renamed The New Inn. The railway men from Devoran used to come by boat to Yard Beach between Penpol and Harcourt and then walk across the fields to reach it. In the 1871 census the innkeeper is given as John Green, aged fortyone, with wife Mary and five children, including a five year old son, Edward. According to the local Kelly’s Directory, by 1910 Edward had become the innkeeper and by 1919 he was the owner of both The Punchbowl and Ladle in Penelewey and The New Inn, both on parttime licenses. He proposed to the authorities that he relinquish the license for The New Inn in return for a full-time license for The Punchbowl and Ladle. On the 5th March 1919 the Royal Cornwall Gazette announced the granting of a fulltime licence to The Punchbowl and Ladle, and The New Inn then closed. There was a small shop there after this time but the premises never again became an inn. The great grandson of John Green, Mr Jim Green, lives locally at Porth Kea.”

 I have been told that after he moved to Killiow, my grandfather used to ride all the way to the Punchbowl for a drink, then let the horse take him home while he dozed off in the saddle. There was a tragic end to this part of the story because, some time after retiring from the Punchbowl, Edward Green killed himself on January 28, 1932, going out in a boat at Loe Beach and shooting himself with a revolver (according to the death certificate). The family was shocked and (typically) "ashamed," so only spoke of the incident in hushed tones. There seemed to be no apparent motive. "While of unsound mind" was used in the death certificate as the usual way of saying that there was no knowing why.

In my childhood, when an outing to Loe Beach was a treat, we met "Uncle John" (my grandfather's brother) out in the street more than once, “Aunt Rose” (Rosamund Green) was living near the top of Feock village, we would visit her. I believe that we also visited “Aunt Mable,” who was also living not far from there, but I am not sure now.

Henrietta (“Aunt Hetty”) married William Henry Hodge in 1892. He died, aged 62, in 1931. Widowed, she went on running their jewelry store, that still stands at the bottom of Lemon Street in Truro, next to Lloyds Bank, in my childhood. She lived up the hill in the direction of Kenwyn Church. She died in 1958, aged 91.

 Aunt Rose married a Danish seaman, Peter Andersen Jacobsen, in the summer of 1906, no doubt in Feock. He died in Falmouth aged 82 in 1949. Their only child, a daughter, Betty Christina, my mother's "Cousin Betty," was born in 1907, married James Edey in 1945. They lived on Castle Drive in Falmouth, overlooking the sea. Aunt Rose died, also aged 82, also in Falmouth, in 1952. Betty grew up in a couple of houses on the hillside across the creek from the Pandora, one about half way up and one near the top.

Born in 1874, my maternal grandfather James Green seems to have attracted the attention of someone at Trelissick for, according to family tradition, he was sent at about 12 years of age to spend a year as an apprentice gardener in Kew Gardens. He then came back to Trelissick to work as “Gardener Domestic .“


In September 1907, the marriage of my grandparents, Louisa Greswell and James Green, was recorded at Maidenhead, Berkshire. They had presumably been married at Cookham, obviously after meeting (being formally introduced by their employers?) in Trelissick during one of the visits by the Davies-Gilbert family.

At the Census of 1911 we find James and Louisa living in one of the row of estate-owned houses along the left-hand side of the road going down to King Harry Ferry, probably the topmost house which was later demolished. It must have been a small cottage, it only had 4 rooms. By now they had a son, John Greswell Green, aged 2. In actual fact Louisa was already pregnant and on July 24, 1911, she gave birth to a daughter, Nan Albina, my mother. The rather odd names were almost certainly those of Louisa’s elder sisters Annie and Albina.

When Carew Davies-Gilbert died in 1913, the Trelissick estate was sold and that might have been the moment when James Green moved to another estate, that of Killiow House beside Kea Church, the home of “Squire” Daubuz and Miss Daubus his sister. On August 24, 1914, Honor May Green was born, and in March 1918 Edward’s birth was registered. He developed type 1 diabetes and died in 1925. He is buried in Kea churchyard, a few yards from the ashes of my parents (who were married in Kea church).

John (March 27, 1909 - July 12, 2009) married Enid Glanville in 1931, they had 3 children, my cousins Barbara (born 1931), Godfrey (1933 - December 29, 2001) and Margaret (born March 19, 1945).

Honor (August 14, 1914 - Febuary 17, 1996) married Claude William Lamble (May 22, 1914 – December 16, 1986) late in 1941, while he was serving in the armed forces. They had 2 children: Diana (September 25, 1943 - January 22, 2008) and John (born August 5, 1945).

My mother, Nan, received a scholarship to attend the County School in Truro, walking there and back every day from Kea. She then became a telephone operator. Honor did not receive a scholarship so could not study there, the family being too poor after the illness and death of Edward.

Much later, perhaps when Killiow was declining, James Green moved back to Feock to be a gardener at Porthgwidden, on the road from Feock to Restronguet Creek. In 1935 this rather beautiful property passed to Mr and Mrs K. Holman, who only sold it in 1956. While he was working there (essentially during the war and for a few years after) James Green and his wife had the use of an estate house half-way down the hill leading to Loe Beach. The bus to Truro left from just beside the wall of the stable-yard behind the main house, where there was a greenhouse. As we were leaving to catch the bus back to Truro my grandfather either emerged or, at least once, tossed a carnation over the wall for me.

From there he retired to a small miner’s house at Mount Ambrose, Redruth, impressed by the size of the garden behind it. He had bought it with his life’s savings, for some 2-3 hundred pounds. Then he discovered that the soil was poisoned by the tin mining and nothing would grow there. He took to his bed and died in 1950. His widow my grandmother lived on, stone deaf and lonely, for another 10 years, dying of old age at Tehidy late in 1960..