Sunday, January 25, 2009

An early discovery

One of the first snippets of information I unearthed relating to our house was this, taken from John and Anne's Family Pages:

"William James Kernick: born 21st August, 1873, at 3 Prison Cottages, Woking, where his father, John Oliver, was an Assistant Warder at the Invalid Convict Prison. He died in Bodmin in June, 1878, aged 5.

Francis George Kernick: born 30th November, 1875, at 2 Prison Cottages, Woking, but unfortunately died the following year on 8th November, of whooping cough."

A little bit more about John Oliver Kernick can be found here on the same website: It would appear that John entered the Prison Service and was stationed firstly at Bodmin Prison, later being transferred to Woking. At the end of five years in Woking he was moved back to Bodmin in Cornwall. Sadly he died just a year after Francis' death on the 21st of November 1877 aged 42. (According the the Kernick Family Website, it was a sudden and unexpected death. A coroner's inquest held on the same day recorded a death from 'natural causes'.)

Did little Francis die at 2 Prison Cottages? And was this the reason the family returned to Bodmin? Who knows. It's weird to think that these strangers from the past have such an intimate and potentially heartbreaking link with our home.

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