Mrs. Stevens of Lower Foage

On this day 121 years ago the funeral of Mrs. Stevens was held at St. Senara’s Church in Zennor.  She had died three days earlier, recorded by James Stevens in his Diary…

Mrs. Stevens of Lower Foage died aged 80 years.  Walked New Mill to see the undertaker. (Sunday 6th September 1896)

Honor Stevens - Death Card

On the day of the funeral James wrote…

James [his son] drove horse St. Ives for mournings etc. at Mrs. Stevens’ funeral. (Wednesday 9th September 1896)

Honor Stevens

Mrs. Honor Stevens was James’s mother-in-law.  Born in Zennor in 1816, she was the daughter of Francis and Dorcas Edwards (nee Rowe).  At the time of the 1841 Census she was living with her family in Trowan, a hamlet about half a mile from St. Ives, where her father was a farmer.  In 1848 she married John Stevens, a tin miner from Trevalgan (a nearby farm) and they had five children, two sons and three daughters, all born in Trowan.  By the 1871 Census the family had moved to Foage, Zennor and in 1881 Honor and two of her daughter are listed as ‘Dairywomen’.  The last Census she appears on is in 1891, “living on her own means” at Lower Foage with her unmarried daughter, Eliza.  Honor and John’s sons, John and Francis, both emigrated to California to work in the gold mines of Nevada City, while their middle daughter, Elizabeth, married James Pascoe (a granite mason from Zennor) and went to live in Bath.  Their eldest daughter, Honor Edwards Stevens, married James Stevens in 1874.  

Mrs. Stevens was widowed in 1873, her 56-year-old husband’s cause of death given as “phthisis pulmonalis” or pulmonary consumption.  But James Stevens was a good son-in-law and often recorded the things he did for her, such as…

  • Pulled 14 load of long dung for potatoes and 6 load of Mrs. Stevens for her potatoes.
  • Cut brambles of hedge and made a stool for Mrs. Stevens.
  • Shore our 7 and Mrs. Stevens’ 4 sheep.
  • Thatched Mrs. Stevens’ furze rick with 2 sheaves of reed.
  • Rode horse St. Ives for the doctor for Mrs. Stevens of Lower Foage. Rode St. Ives again for medicine for Mrs. Stevens.
  • Pulled Mrs. Stevens’ turfs, 1500 at 6 loads.


Honor Stevens (1816-1896) - Copy (640x257)


Author: Ann - Editor of James Stevens's Cornish Diary

My interest in family history began in 2010 and eventually led to the discovery of my Cornish ancestors. One of these was my Great-great-grandmother's sister, Honor Stevens, and her husband, James. Having read a copy of his published Diary I realised how useful it could be to other family and local history enthusiasts, so I spent the next few years re-transcribing it and producing a PDF version. I finished the transcription in August 2016, although it's clear it's going to be a continuing project as I add more background information. As I live about 5 hours drive from Cornwall, I'm able to holiday in the beautiful County of Kernow (or should that be Country!) at least once a year, visiting and photographing the places connected with the Stevens family. I've also been lucky to have the support of direct descendants of James & Honor, as well as local residents and organisations, who have helped with information and photos.

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