I have asked a question about my 4th great grandfather Francis Green previously as Finding late 18th Century service record of Francis Green in Cornish Militia?
Francis Green was, according to:
- the 1841 Census, born about 1776 in Cornwall
- the 1851 Census, born about 1767 (his age is difficult to read and may be 84 or 64 but the latter would make him aged 11 when married!) at Falmouth, Cornwall.
- his burial, aged 94, in 1860, born about 1766
However, I have not been able to locate either a baptism or birth record for a Francis Green born anywhere in Cornwall between 1760 and 1780. The nearest candidate is probably:
Name: Francis Tolvert Greenway Gender: Male Birth Date: 5 May 1774 Baptism Date: 10 Jun 1774 Baptism Place: Falmouth, Cornwall, England Father: William Greenway Mother: Mary FHL Film Number: 267525
Despite that baptism being in about the right place, at about the right time, with a name that conceivably could be shortened to Francis Green by accident or design I considered this to be a long shot until I started to think about why his second son was baptised John Soil Green (20 Nov 1803 at Brixham, Devon). His first son William Woodley Green, baptised 14 Feb 1799, at Lustleigh, Devon, has a middle name matching his mother's maiden name, so I thought it likely that Soil might be a family name too.
These first two children from the marriage were followed by nine more baptisms, and only the last two of those were given middle names: Joseph (1806), Francis (1806), Henry (1808), Henrietta (1816), Charles (1816), Cordelia (1816), Amelia (1818), Matilda Grace (1821) and James Woodley (1826). Those last two middle names match the maiden name of their mother Grace Woodley.
While researching Francis' candidate parents (William and Mary Greenway) I found their marriage record:
Name William Greenway Gender Male Marriage Date 30 Jan 1774 Marriage Place Falmouth, Cornwall, England Spouse Mary Sowell FHL Film Number 267525
It strikes me that Mary's maiden name of Sowell and the middle name of Francis Green's second son John Soil Green could be two variants of the same name.
My current theory is that Francis Tolvert Greenway baptised 1774 at Falmouth and Francis Green who married Grace Woodley 1798 at Totnes may be the same person.
To try and disprove that theory I have looked widely for records of a Francis Tolvert Greenway (or a Francis Greenway with or without middle names like Talbot because his sister Mary's middle name was Tolbot, and his maternal grandmother's maiden name was Talbot) beyond that baptism record, and have found none.
I have found burial records for all known members of the birth family of Francis Tolvert Greenway at Falmouth (except for his father William Greenway - no burial record found yet):
- sister Mary Tolbot Greenway baptised 8 Apr 1776 at Falmouth and buried 22 Jun 1778 at Falmouth, aged 2 years
- sister Sarah Greenway baptised 3 Jun 1778 at Falmouth and buried 6 Jun 1778 at Falmouth, aged 3 days
- mother Mary Greenway buried 10 Jun 1778 at Falmouth, aged 24 years (matching the baptism of Mary Sowell on 8 Mar 1754 at Falmouth)
It seems like the childhood of Francis Tolvert Greenway was tragic because, when aged about 4 years, he lost two sisters (aged 3 days and 2 years respectively) and his mother within the space of about 19 days. Presumably, he was then brought up by his father.
If Francis Green is the son of William Greenway then it is unsurprising that Francis' eldest son is named William.
Would the above body of evidence be approaching that needed to meet the Genealogical Proof Standard necessary to conclude that Francis Tolvert Greenway baptised 1774 at Falmouth is the same person as Francis Green who married Grace Woodley 1798 at Totnes?
This image is the clipped signatures of Francis Green and Grace Woodley from their marriage record at Totnes, Devon (where both were of the parish, and Francis was recorded as being in the Cornish Militia). From this simple gauge it appears that both were literate.
Francis Green's home life was not always harmonious because The Royal Cornwall Gazette of 24 Oct 1856 reported that Francis and his son Francis had been assaulted by their son and brother Charles.
I am including some more details about Francis Green who married Grace Woodley at Totnes, Devon on 13 Feb 1798 comes from his military background (see Finding late 18th Century service record of Francis Green in Cornish Militia?) and the baptisms of their children:
- William Woodley at Lustleigh, Devon on 14 Feb 1799
- John Soil at Brixham, Devon on 20 Nov 1803
- Joseph and Francis (twins) at St Clement, Cornwall on 9 Mar 1806
- Henry at St Clement on 21 Feb 1808
- Cordelia and Henrietta (twins) and Charles (who appears older from 1841 Census) at St Clement on 23 Jun 1816
- Amelia at St Clement on 22 Nov 1818
- Matilda Grace at St Clement on 7 Oct 1821
- James Woodley at St Clement on 5 Feb 1826
These locations, events (including a birth estimate of 1770) and dates are mapped below and seem to support Francis having been born in Cornwall (Falmouth is the only place named for this event, and that was in the 1851 Census, the 1841 Census just says Cornwall), having been part of the Cornish militia for at least some, and I suspect all, of the 6 or so years that he lived in Devon, and then returning with his wife Grace and at least two children to Cornwall, where he spent the rest of his life around Truro (St Clement and St Mary).