Family Names

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Photo 3 - The grave of Catherine Ebbott nee Mathew

Tresmeer church is situated down a little dead-end road that runs into someone’s farm.
It was very peaceful wandering around reading the gravestones, the church as you would expect was sitting on top of the rise looking down over the country side, we could even see the kids playing football in the adjacent back yard
I was very excited when we located an Ebbott grave in the yard; however I had no idea who Catherine Ebbott was.  But I was soon to learn that she was the wife of my third great granduncle!  It was the only grave that I could find that had any connection to my family, in that particular churchyard, there may have been others but after a while it becomes overwhelming trying to remember all the possible connections.

Transcription of the grave of Catherine Ebbott nee Mathew.

 “In Loving Memory of
Catherine Ebbott
of this Parish
who died 24th May 1902
Aged 85 years. Thy will be done”

The person behind the gravestone of Catherine Ebbott nee Mathew
After a little research I was able to find the following - Catherine was born in 1817 as Catherine Mathew and christened in 6 Apr 1817 in Tressmeer.

In the 1841 Census I found her living in Tresmeer Church Town with her parents.
(, "1841 England Census," database online, Operations Inc,  ( : accessed 3 Feb 2013), entry for The Mathew family; Parish: Tresmeer; County: Cornwall Class: HO107/14/:; Page: 7)
  1. Uriah Mathew,65, Farmer
  2.  Catharing Mathew, 50,
  3. William Mathew,25
  4.  Catharine Mathew, 20
  5. Thomas Mathew,15,
  6. Sally Mathew, 15,
  7. Uriah Mathew,13

Living not very far away from the Ebbott family in Trerimince, Tresmeer, Cornwall, England
(Source:-, "1841 England Census," database online, Operations Inc,  ( : accessed 1 Jan 2010), entry for Philip & Mary Ebbott & family, Tressmeer, line 19 - 24, Parish: Tresmeer; County: Cornwall; PRO HO107/134/14/: ; Page: 7.  )
  1. Philip Ebbott aged 65, Farmer 
  2. Mary Ebbott aged 55 
  3. Wilmit Ebbott, aged 85, Ind 
  4. Henry Ebbott, aged 20, Tailor 
  5. Gregory Ebbott, aged 20 
  6. William Ebbott, aged 11 
  7. William Congdon, aged 20, Male Servant 
  8. William Cory, aged 15, Servant 
  9. John Reed, aged 11, Male Servant 
  10. Elizabeth French, aged 15, Female Servant 
  11. Mary A. Rundle, aged 20, Female Servant 
  12. Henry Harris, aged 7, male servant

The Ebbott family has had a long association with the Tresmeer Church of England.  Looking through the parish records it looks as through there were several generations Gregory Abbott who was buried in the churchyard according to the parish records on the 19 May 1778 (source OPC site), unfortunately I didn't find a headstone marking any of the graves that I saw.  Gregory Abbott father in law Paul Upton was also baptised in that very church as well on 3 Nov 1679 (source OPC site). 

It was probably through this church in which Gregory Ebbott from Tremaine, met Catherine Mathew, the two churches were only 1.4 Miles/2.2 Kms travelling distance apart, if not in the church perhaps in Tresmere town centre while picking something up or visiting the tailor, Thomas Ferrett, perhaps some sort of relation of his mother(?).

The couple's marriage was announced in The West Briton And Cornwall AdvertiserF on Friday 4 April 1845 
“At Northpetherwin, on Tuesday last, Mr, Gregory EBBOTT, of Trerummer, in the parish of Tresmeer, yeoman, to Miss MATTHEW, of the same parish.” 
the church in which the event took place has yet to be identified.

The couple migrated to America sometime shortly after, and their first child Caroline was born in 1846 in Wisconsin, United States of America in the first year of their marriage, both mother and child returned possibly sometime in 1849 to England.  Catherine may have been pregnant with her second child, Elizabeth Ann (although I am unable to verify this) when she returned. It would appear that Gregory never returned to England, as he applied for a divorce in 1854.
The divorce however may not have been common knowledge back in England, as Catherine is still listing herself as married at least up until 1871.
  • In the 1851 Census Catherine is living with her parents and eldest daughter, Carolene who was 5 years old. Carolene was listed in the census as being born in America. Although Catherine is listed as married her husband is not present. 
Cornwall Online Census Project-1851 (Transcript of Piece HO107/1899 (Tresmeer & Tremaine); Enumeration District 3 & 5; Civil Parish of Tresmeer accessed on Friday 22 July 2005).  
  • In 1861 Catherine appears to be living by herself in the house next to her parents. 
Cornwall Online Census Project—1861 Transcript of Piece RG9/1518 (Part 2) (Folio 49 Page 8, Enumeration District 4, Civil Parish of Egloskerry, Eccl. Parish of -).
  • In 1871 Catherine is still listed as married but is living by herself and listed as an annuitant 1871 England Census[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.  Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1871.  Class:  RG10; Piece:  2223; Folio:  62; Page: 12;
  • In 1881 - Catherine is living by herself next to the Bluett family still married but still no husband listed and she is listed as retired. and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1881 England Census[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004. 1881 Class:  RG11; Piece:  2275; Folio:  47; Page: 1
  • In 1891 Catherine is 73 Living On Her Own Means
Cornwall Online Census Project—1891, Transcript of Piece RG12/1802 (Folio 43 Page 7 Enumeration District 1, Civil Parish of North Petherwin, Eccl. Parish of North Petherwin).  
  • In 1901 Visiting John & Elizabeth Fryan and listed as single. 1901 England Census[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.  Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901.  Class:  RG13; Piece:  2182; Folio:  6; Page: 3

I wonder how the extended Ebbott family felt with their kinsman’s wife leaving him behind in a foreign land – I am sure they were happy  about the state of affairs, but they must have known, as Catherine and her daughter moved back to her home town.  


  1. Sandra, what an interesting gravestone Catherine had. I like the dove, beautiful.

  2. I enjoyed reading Catherine's story. It's too bad the marriage didn't survive.

    I've found people who were listed as widows while the supposedly dead husband was living back in the home town married to someone else.


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