John Partridge

John Partridge was born ca 1815 at Bodmin, Cornwall. He was a tin miner who came to Devon, where he married Mary Henley (b. ca 1821, Kingsteignton) who was then living in South Bovey, in the parish of Bovey Tracey (IGI says: About 1842 South Bovey, Devon, England). (The marriage was registered in 1841 at the Exeter Registration District, Devonshire. Mary is said to be from 'South Bovey, Devon. She was born at Kingsteignton, Devon.)

A possible reference in the IGI - John Partridge - Christening: 05 AUG 1815 Mawgan In Pyder, Cornwall, England; Father: Roger Partidge; Mother: Mary. Batch No.: C052903. Further research, not fully proven as yet, would indicate that this is reference to Roger Partridge and Mary Searle(s) of Colebrook, Devon, a village just north of Christow, and they were indeed the parents of John Partridge. (for possible further discussion and indications, see below.)

In the 1861 Census: Partridge, John 44 M St Thomas and in 1871 - PARTRIDGE, John 56 M St Thomas

The Partridge family lived at Kennick Cottage, which is possibly located near the present Kinnick Resevoir, still in the wider parish of Christow. The resevoir was created in 1884, flooding and overtaking former farm-land, and possibly Kinnock cottage).

John died before 1881, for Mary his wife is listed then as 'a widow' aged 61 - pauper, living at a place called 'Beckhams.' (There was a 'Beckhams Cottage in Christow which may have been the place.)

From White's Devonshire Directory of 1850 - CHRISTOW, a straggling village on the western side of the river Teign, 9 miles S.W. of Exeter, and 4½ miles N.W. of Chudleigh, has in its parish 624 souls, and about 3600 acres of land. Viscount Exmouth owns a great part of the soil, and is lord of the manors of Christow and Canon-Teign, which were purchased by his father of W. Helyar, Esq., in 1812. L. Palk, Esq., and several smaller owners, have estates here. Both manors were held by abbeys in Normandy, and were granted at the Reformation to John, Lord Russell. Canon-Teign was successively the seat of the Berry, Gibbs, Gibbon, and Davy families, and was garrisoned for Charles I. in the civil wars, but was taken by Fairfax in December, 1645, and placed under the command of Colonel Okey, who afterwards suffered as one of the regicides. The Church (St. James) is a small ancient fabric, with a tower and six bells, and was appropriated to Bec Abbey, in Normandy, and afterwards to Tavistock Abbey. The great tithes were purchased by the landowners in 1812. The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £8. 6s. 8d., and in 1831 at £176, is in the gift of Viscount Exmouth, and incumbency of the Rev. Wm. Woolcombe, who has a neat residence, and £170 a year in lieu of tithes. New Canon Teign House is an occasional seat of Viscount Exmouth, and in its pleasure grounds is a beautiful waterfall. The mine in this parish, called Adams William, was opened about forty years ago, and was long worked for copper ore, manganese, &c. It is now sunk to the depth of 60 fathoms, and yields lead, from which a portion of silver is extracted, but it is not very prolific. A Friendly Society was established for this parish and neighbourhood in 1839. John Stooke, in 1691, left Smyth's Hay farm for charitable uses, &c., in this and other parishes. It comprises 26A., and is let for about £26 per annum. Out of this yearly income, the vicar of Christow receives about £11, and the poor have five 4d. loaves weekly. Of the remainder £5 belongs to the poor of Ashton, and £5 to the rector of Trusham.

The children of John Partridge and Mary Henley were:

1. William Partridge - b. ca 1841, farm labourer/ lead miner; m. Mary Jane Unknown (b. ca 1847, Cheriton Bishop, Devon); Issue: Bessy, John George, William, Henry J., Laura

2. Elizabeth Partridge - b. ca 1843, South Bovey (Bovey Tracey)

3. John Partridge - b. ca 1845, Bovey Tracey, Devon

4. Mary Jane Partridge - b. 4th April, 1847, Christow, Devon; m. Josias (Josiah) Lambshead on 7th April, 1868, District of Newton Abbot, Devon.

5. Samuel Partridge - b. ca 1851, Christow (1871 Census: PARTRIDGE, Samuel 14 M St Thomas); m. Eliza Unknown bef. 1879; issue: Emily (b. Doddiscombsleigh, Devon ca 1879) and Emma (b. Brideford ca 1881)

6. Thomas Partridge - b. ca 1854, Christow (1871 Census: PARTRIDGE, Thomas 18 M St Thomas); m. Mary E. Unknown b. ca 1854, Highweek, Devon) bef. 1881; issue: Reginal T. Partidge (in 1881 census, aged 1 month, at Bedminster, Somerset, with parents)

7. James Partridge - b. ca 1857, Christow - farm labourer (1871 Census: PARTRIDGE, James 14 M St Thomas)

8. Sarah Partridge - b. ca 1859, Christow

9. Charlotte Partridge - b. ca 1859, Christow - servant

10. Maria Partridge - b. ca 1860, Christow

11. Philip Partridge - b. ca 1863, Christow

Of the above - . William Partridge, son of John Partridge and Mary Henley, was born around 1841, was a farm labourer/ lead miner. He married Mary Jane Unknown (b. ca 1847, Cheriton Bishop, Devon) and the following children:

1. Bessy - b. ca 1866, Christow - domestic servant (in 1871 census, at Christow with parents; in 1881 census, at Christow with Joseph Gould)

2. John George - b. ca 1869, Brideford, Devon - labourer (1871 census - at Brideford; 1881 census - at Christow)

3. William - b. ca 1872, Brideford, Devon

4. Henry J. - b. ca 1878, Christow

5. Laura - b. ca 1880, Christow

Possible (probable?) link to Roger Partridge and Mary Searles as parents of John Partridge

Note: I am indebted to some online research from and to information found in a Heard family genealogy, which can be accessed via:

I have always wondered why or how John Partridge is noted as being from Bodmin, Cornwall (in most of the Census references, where he is married, to Mary (Henley), and living in Christow, Devon. I have been stymied in finding reference to him in Cornwall records, as being from Bodmin, though (as above) there is reference to a John Partridge, christened in Mawden-in-Pyder, Cornwall, in 1815, the son of a Roger Partridge and his wife, Mary. One reference to this christening indicates that Roger was a farmer residing at nearby Lanhere Down.

However, I found reference for a William Partridge, his wife Sarah and their family, in the 1861 Census, residing at 19 Kinnick Cottage, Christow. This reference is immediately following the reference to 'my' John Partrige, wife Mary and their family, who are living next door or in the other half of the same building - at 18 Kinnick Cottage. This led me to a search to find what may be obvious, or too 'cute' to be true; viz., that William Partridge and John Partridge were brothers.

That being true, there is plenty of online documentation and record indicating that William was the husband of Sarah Cooper, that they were married in nearby Dunstan, Devon, and that his parents were Roger Partridge and Mary Searles of Colebrook, Devon. Most records indicate that Roger and Mary had three children, born in Colebrook. If John is a son too, born in 1815 to this Roger and Mary, one would have to speculate that for whatever reason Roger and Mary removed for a time to live and work in Cornwall. Not only was John born there, if this is so, records also show that there were also other children born to these parents, in Cornwall during the period of their sojourn in Cornwall. Roger's death is given later as being in Devon, as is Mary's, so the family would have returned to Devon at some juncture, either together or individually. Perhaps hardship in farm employment caused Roger and Mary to seek work in Cornwall. He was a farmer even then in Cornwall, though the children may have also gotten into mining, as perhaps did he, part time(?).

This is all speculative, as I cannot prove that the Roger and Mary Partridge, parents of John Partridge who was christened in Mawden-in-Pyder, Cornwall, as were two or three other children, are the same Roger and Mary of Colebrook. If John and William were indeed brothers, living next door, and together as families in Christow, then their parents were likely the same Roger and Mary, though this doesn't prove that the Cornwall Roger and Mary and that John, born in Mawden-in-Pyder, were the same as Roger and Mary of Colebrook, Devon. (Confused yet?)

One other note of interest and possible further inference is an 1841 Census reference to a John Partridge, born 1815, residing and working on the Ash farm in Devon (he is single; 'my John was married in 1841 - later in the year? . . . ). The Census gives a 'N' for 'no' in reference to whether or not this John was born in Devon. This would fit, if this is he, i.e. with 'my John' being born outside of Devon, say, in Cornwall, but again, this is inference and speculation.

Another 'problem' with this being my John (son of Roger and Mary, christened in Mawden-in-Pyder, is that this church is somewhat distant from Bodmin, not even in any wider sense with a Bodmin area parish, whether civil or ecclesiastical. All of the children referenced there (see are baptized in the same church and, again, the father is said to be of Lanherne Down. Consistent Census references have 'my John' as having been born in Bodmin (some just say 'Cornwall') so one has to face the fact of these possible locale discrepancies. There may have been a reason for the baptisms in said church and village, even if/though John was indeed born in Bodmin. (For instance, they could have been 'on the way' from Devon to Lanherne Down and Bodmin just happened to be the place where Mary had to stop to give birth to her baby; and perhaps Roger worked there awhile before proceding on(?))