My 7th great grandfather Joseph Symons married Prudence Williams on 11 Nov 1710 at Breage, Cornwall and I would like to be able to determine who his parents were. Prudence was christened on 5 May 1693 at Helston, Cornwall, making her only 17 and a half years old at the time of their marriage.
At least for now, I am assuming that Prudence probably married someone only a few years older than herself so I suspect that Joseph was born and christened at Breage in about 1690.
Unfortunately, in Breage, “Baptisms beginning with 1603 ending with 1700 are imperfect for the first six years, deficient in the years 1657-1678, deficient from 1683 to 1697, but regular from 1697 to 1700” so it seems unlikely that his christening record will be found.
To try and determine his likely parents I have examined the Cornwall OPC records for Breage that do exist for the period in question and currently rank my candidates in this order:
- James Symons and Charity who had a son John christened on 24 Mar 1690. The same James may have had a daughter Mary christened on 13 Jun 1697 and a son Alexander christened on 23 Feb 1698. This couple may belong to an unsourced marriage on 22 Nov 1686 at Breage between James Simon and Charity Polglaze.
- Thomas Symons and Joane Carleene who had a son Thomas christened on 25 Jan 1683 but Thomas (senior) appears to have been buried on 11 Jul 1685 meaning that Joseph would be about five years older than I have conjectured from Prudence's age at marriage. Thomas and Joane were married on 24 Apr 1682 so probably only had the opportunity for one more child.
- John Symons who had a son James christened on 20 Jan 1689. Unless re-marriage is involved this is probably not the John Symons married to Grace Cornish on 16 Jan 1694 (they had a daughter Dorcas christened on 7 Jan 1697) or the John Symons married to Mary Row on 21 Nov 1696.
It should be noted that the names of Joseph and Prudence's children (Prudence, Joseph, Mary and Humphrey) seem to offer no hints and the surrounding parishes do not seem to have any better candidates than Breage. I originally wrote that I had not been able to find wills for any of the candidates but somehow I had overlooked this source which shows that a number of Symons wills from this period in Breage are available. I note that several of those wills indicate an occupation of yeoman. Although, I do not know the occupation of Joseph, his eldest son Joseph was a yeoman, and the eldest son (my 5th great grandfather) of his other son (my 6th great grandfather) was also a yeoman, so there seems to be a good chance that he was also a yeoman.
Being in Australia my access is limited to online sources, so I am wondering whether anyone may have any thoughts on other places that I might be able to seek confirmation of Joseph Symons' parents?
It is still too early to be certain but a fourth candidate has emerged who I think eclipses the other three in terms of their likelihood of being Joseph's father. The Answer from @ColeValleyGirl caused me to look harder for Wills and there is one that appears to fit the bill for Joseph's father: CRO AP/S/2540 Will of Humphrey Symonds of Breage 1721‐1722 (from http://www.cornwall-opc.org/Par_new/a_d/pdfs/breage_wills.pdf). While I have been trying to figure out how to view a copy of this will, I have also found more facts that appear to support this being the person I was seeking.
- A Humphry Symons married Margaret Foss at Breage on 17 Sep 1709 - I suspect this is an older brother to Joseph - the 1721-22 will is expected to disprove or support this.
- Joseph's two sons Joseph and Humphry both named sons Humphry (and Joseph)