The Jenkin family lived in Congdon's shop and ran the White Hart Inn from around 1817 to around 1842.


The Issue of Charles Jinking's Wives
Chester Royal Jenkins (1893-1915)


The Issue

The issue concerns the wife or wives of Charles Jinking who was baptised on 6 June 1779 at North Hill, St Torney's and died in 1844 in Plymouth. He may have had one wife/partner or as many as five and establishing the reality is based upon available records.

Charles, who was publican of the White Hart, had 13 children. Identifying who were the mothers of these children has proved to be an interesting challenge. There may have been as few as two or as many as five.

The surname has variations that include Jinkings, Jenkin and Jenkins. On one occasion I have seen a modern transcript that read the name as Tonkin. For those interested in the fine detail, all names have been recorded as Jenkin in this file of biographical notes and a family tree. These notes show the authentic spellings contemporary with the relevant record.

The Setting
The events that take place in North Hill in this narrative happen in the late 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. Most occur at St Torney's Church in North Hill or the Jenkin's family home which was within yards of the crossroads at Congdon's Shop. Today this is where the B3254 meets the B3257. Within a few minutes walk from here is Treswell and Trenhorne that feature in this narrative. The boundary between North Hill and Lewannick parishes cuts through this area and Trenhorne is in Lewannick parish. The events that take place in Plymouth are in the areas of Stoke Dameral, St Andrew's, East Stonehouse and Morice Town. All of these are close to the dockyards and are the less affluent parts of the district at that time. Plymouth Dockyard was the single largest employer of workers in the early to mid 19th century.

Charles Jinking (bp1779)
Charles was born in North Hill and baptised there. It is probable he was born at Congdon's Shop.

As an adult Charles was described as both a cordwainer (or shoemaker) and as a publican. It is not unusual to see a publican with a trade learnt as an apprentice, such as shoemaking. It is also not usual to see the person return to his skilled trade when his days as a publican are ended.

In 1841 he was recorded on the census as a 60 year old publican in Congdon's Shop. Living with him were: Mary Jenkins (nee Morrish) aged 45 and born in Ireland; Aaron Jenkins (20); Elizabeth Jenkins (15); Charles Jenkins (12); Miriam Jenkins (7); William Jenkins (5); John Jenkins (2); Hannabella (sic) Whear (25); Thomas Whear (6). [Note: ages over 15 are rounded down to the nearest 5].

Charles moved, following his children to Plymouth, where he died of dropsy in 1844 aged about 65, with his daughter Annabella in attendance. His wife Mary, nee Morrish, died of phthisis (TB) in Plymouth in 1843, in her mid/late 40s; her husband, Charles, was the informant at her death.

Catherine Jenkin Sleep
The first known event in Charles' life, after his baptism as Charles Jinking, is on 19 June 1797 when he was 18 years old and cited as the father of the illegitimate daughter of Ann Sleep and was made responsible for a financial contribution to the child's upkeep. The child was named Catherine Jenkin Sleep and she was later baptised on 5 November 1797 in Altarnun. Whether any other punishment was meted out to Charles isn't known but the next event that has survived as a record is 18 years later upon the birth of another daughter, Anabella, on 24 February 1814 when Charles was 35. It is possible that he had been sent away or chosen to live away and remained absent until the child Catherine was no longer a financial burden, but this is speculation. No record has been found to support this, it is an interpretation of the timing of his actions.

In 1814 Ann Sleep married in August of that year to Richard Buller, when she was 34 years old.

Annabella Jenkins
Charles daughter was baptised on 24 February 1814 at St Torney's, and her given name was Annabella Jenkins. No marriage for Charles has been found before this baptism and there are many family trees published on the internet, particularly in, that cite her mother as Mary Ann Morrish but no record has been found to substantiate this. In the absence of a marriage record it is not possible to confirm the full identity of the mother but she is given at the baptism as Marianne, the wife of Charles Jenkins who was a cordwainer or shoe maker. It is possible, of course, that the mother was Mary Ann Morrish and Charles never married her and they lived as a common law couple. It is more likely that the record has not been found or survived, if it ever existed.

Annabella had an illegitimate son, Francis Jenkin, in 1830 in North Hill. He is sometimes given a middle name of Whear but this was not featured on the baptism record. She married in 1835 in North Hill to Thomas Whear and gave birth to a son also named Thomas later the same year. She was living with her father Charles and his wife, possibly her mother Mary, and her son Thomas Whear in Congdon's Shop in 1841.

On the 1851 census Thomas Whear jnr was living in Plymouth with Annabella's sister, Catherine. In 1861 Thomas Whear snr was living with Catherine at her home on Jersey.

Aaron Jinking (1818)
On 10 January 1818 a child named Aaron Jinking was privately baptised at Congdon's Shop, the parents being Charles (a publican) and Ann. The child was named Aaron after Charles' grandfather. The mother's name at the baptism was not Marianne, suggesting that this could be a different Charles Jenkin married to an Ann but no such event record has been found. It is also possible that Marianne had died and Charles' had a new partner named Ann, but no record has been found to support this suggestion either. It cannot be certain, therefore, that Annabella and Aaron had the same mother. There is, however, a lack of men named Charles Jenkin who could be the father. The only two candidates are Charles, the father of Annabella, and Charles' own father, also named Charles who would have been 66 years old when Aaron was born. It is more likely that the father was Charles Jenkin jnr rather than his father. It is likely that this event took place at the White Hart Inn.

The reason for a private baptism was because the child was sickly and may not have survived until a public baptism in St Torney's could be arranged. Baptism was important if the deceased was to be buried in consecrated ground. Private baptisms were not infrequently undertaken by a lay person, such as the midwife attending the birth, and then reported to the local priest for entry into the parish register. In the case of Aaron it is also likely that the child was at least a few weeks old at the time of the baptism and had fallen ill, necessitating urgent action. This contingent action proved to be correct as young Aaron was buried on 19 January 1818 aged just 10 days.

Catherine Jinkings
Having had Aaron baptised and buried in January of 1818 another child was baptised in December of the same year. Catherine Jinkings was baptised on 27 December 1818 as the daughter of Charles, a publican, and Ann. The family lived at Congdon's Shop. This would have made Catherine a full sister to Aaron if he had survived. The relationship to Annabella, however, is still not certain but is likely to be no more distant than a half sister. Catherine survived to adulthood and married in Plymouth in 1838 to John Blake a Royal marine.

In 1851 Catherine was lodging in Plymouth along with Thomas Whear, her nephew. In 1861 she was living with her husband on Jersey; Thomas Whear snr was with them. In 1871 she was living with her younger brother, Charles and his wife, Ann.

Aaron Jenkins (c1820)
According to the 1841 census when Charles was recorded living in Congdon's Shop, living with him was 20 year old Aaron Jenkins and he would appear to be Charles' son. The rounding of ages on the 1841 census could mean that he was as old as 24.No baptismal record has been found for this second Aaron, nor have any subsequent life events.

1821 - Charles Jenkin married Ann Stacey nee Woolridge
The parish register for St Torney's dated 22 May 1821 has an entry for the marriage of Charles Jenkin, a resident of Stratton, to Ann Stacey, a widow of North Hill. The marriage was witnessed by William Turner and Kitty Tregear but these would appear to be friends with no blood ties to Charles that will help resolve the identities of the mothers of his children. It is possible that Charles was living in Stratton, near modern day Bude, as explained above under Catherine Jenkin Sleep.

Ann Woolridge was born in Lewannick in 1791 and married John Stacey (born in Lezant in 1770) in Lewannick on 30 March 1814. Their first born child was Richard Stacey, baptised in Lewannick on 27 November 1814. John never met his second and last child because he died whilst his wife was still pregnant. John was buried in Lewannick on 19 December 1817 and his daughter, named Ann, was baptised in the same church on 26 August 1818. Nothing else is known about the two children. Ann, however, was left as a widow and remarried on 22 May 1821 in North Hill to Charles Jenkin, a resident of Stratton.

It is possible that Ann and her children from her first marriage moved away from the area. No more is known about them, but if this is the case this would remove them and Charles Jenkin of Stratton from the narrative of the Jenkin family of Congdon Shop, hence requiring another Charles Jenkin to be the one living at Congdon's Shop. The problem is that no second Charles has been found.

It is probable that they were the parents of the five children born to Charles Jenkin (the publican of Congdon's Shop) and his wife Ann from 1823 to 1831. These children (Richard 1823, Moses 1825, Betsey 1827, Charles 1829 and William 1831) are shown below.

No certain record has been identified for the death or burial of Ann Jenkin, nee Woolridge formerly Stacey.

A Warning About Looking At Family Trees On The Internet
There are tens, if not hundreds, of family trees on the internet that show the five children listed above as the offspring of Charles and Mary Ann, nee Morrish. These children were all baptised as the children of Charles and Ann, not Charles and Mary Ann. No tree has been found linking the marriage of Charles Jenkin to Ann Stacey in 1821 to these five children.

Given the thoughtless copying that is practised on the internet it is not surprising that the repeated copying of erroneous trees has resulted in so many issues.

There are also many family trees that link the marriage of Charles Jenkin and Mary Williams on 21 Oct 1821 in St Austell to this family when there is clearly no connection to this family. In many instances Mary Williams is cited on these erroneous trees as Mary Morrish.

A highly useful tree on Ancestry is that created by Brendan Jenkins as it has original documents as sources.

Richard Jenkin
Richard was baptised on 16 March 1823 as the son of Charles (a publican of Congdon's Shop) and his wife, Ann. Richard died in Plymouth in 1844 aged 20.

Moses Jenkin
Moses was baptised on 5 April 1825 as the son of Charles (a publican of Congdon's Shop) and his wife, Ann. He married Mary Ann Harvey and had three children. He served in the Royal navy and returned to North Hill in his retirement, living out his days at Priors on the lane from Coad's Green to Newtown. He was buried in Coad's Green Churchyard in 1881.

Betsey Jenkin
Betsey was baptised on 29 April 1827 as the daughter of Charles (a publican of Congdon's Shop) and his wife, Ann. She is recorded on the 1841 census as Elizabeth. Betsey married in Plymouth in 1864 to John James; the marriage was witnessed by Betsey's elder sister, Catherine. John and Betsy emigrated to Australia where Betsey was widowed but remarried. There is an extended family living in Australia.

Charles Jenkin
Charles was baptised on 18 September 1829 as the daughter of Charles (a publican of Congdon's Shop) and his wife, Ann. He was recorded on the 1841 census living with his father in Congdon's Shop. He was later in the Royal Navy. He married Ann Webber in Plymouth in 1857. In 1871 his sister Catherine Blake was living with Charles and Ann in Plymouth.

William Jenkin (1831-1831)
Charles was baptised on 5 December 1831 as the son of Charles (a publican of Congdon's Shop) and his wife, Ann. He was buried two days later in St Torney's Churchyard.

Miriam Jenkin
Miriam was baptised on 7 April 1833 as the daughter of Charles (a cordwainer of Congdon's Shop) and his wife, Mary Ann. This is a change from the previous children's records where the mother was recorded as Ann. It is almost certain that her mother was Mary Ann Morrish as can be inferred from considering the details on the birth certificate of John Jenkin (see below) and the change in the mother's name at Miriam's baptism. She was recorded on the 1841 census living with her father in Congdon's Shop. Miriam died from TB in 1849 in Plymouth.

William Jenkin (1836-1842)
William was baptised on 3 July 1836 as the son of Charles (a cordwainer of Congdon's Shop) and his wife, Mary Ann, as was Miriam before him. William died in 1842 in Plymouth.

John Jenkin
John was baptised on 17 October 1841 at the age of two as the son of Charles (a cordwainer of Congdon's Shop) and his wife, Ann. This is an error. His birth certificate (born 31 Jul 1839) clearly shows his mother as Mary Ann Morrish. John emigrated to Australia in 1858 where he married Sarah Ann Kemp. There is an extended family in Australia. One member of that family was Roy Jenkins, the son of John and Sarah who was killed as a member of the ANZAC forces at Gallipoli in World war One.

Your challenge is, therefore, to find the documentary evidence that establishes how many wives (married or common law) Charles had. You will see in the file of biographical notes with a family tree the wives have notionally been split for ease of identification. If you can add to the narrative, please get in touch.

Extracts of Congdon's Shop from the 1840 Tithe Map and Apportionment Book.
It is probable that Jenkin family sub-let from Mary Bennett who does not appear in Congdon's Shop in the 1841 census.
Click on the extract from the apportionment book for a larger image.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Kresen Kernow.


Chester Royal (Roy) Jenkins (1893-1915) - 14th Battalion Australian Imperial Force

Chester Royal (Roy) Jenkins was born on the 5th November 1893 in Majorca, Victoria, Australia to John Jenkins (b1839) and Sarah Ann Kemp (b 1850, Tasmania). Interestingly, she was the daughter of transported convicts.

With the full consent of his mother, as seen in her letter of agreement shown above, Roy joined the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on the 29 October 1914 as a 20 year old. On the 2nd of February 1915 he embarked in Melbourne on the Clan McGillivray heading for the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. Upon arrival on the 12 April his regiment joined the 14th battalion off the Dardanelles on the Gallipoli Peninsula and was part of the first wave of Australian troops that landed there, seeing action from the very first days of the Gallipoli Campaign. Roy was subsequently treated on a hospital ship for pneumonia and a gun shot wound to the arm before being evacuated to Cairo on the 7th of May where he remained for the better part of two months. He was discharged from hospital on the 21st of July and rejoined his unit on the peninsula a week later.

Having rejoined his unit they were involved in yet another attempt to take the strategically important Hill 60. Between 27th and 29th August, a mixed force of Australian, New Zealand and British units again attacked Hill 60, gained some ground, but failed to take and hold the main Turkish position.

On the first day of this assault Roy was reported as missing and later as killed in action on the 27th August in 1915 just as his brothers, who were also enlistees, were being shipped from Melbourne to the Peninsula. Roy's service record (shown here - click for access to the whole record) was ultimately stamped "Missing" and his remains were never recovered or identified. The circumstances of his death were recorded by a witness, Private C I T Smith.

Smith's version of events is disputed and Roy's service record reveals an alternative version of events.

Troop positions in the week before Roy was killed.
"Hill 60 at Gallipoli, which the 13th and 14th battalions AIF attacked on 21 August, 1915. A track through the scrub now follows the path of the communication trench that was dug the night after the attack."
This image has been taken from the book Hard Jacka by Michael Lawriwsky, to whom we are grateful for his permission to reproduce it.

The location of Hill 60 can be seen on the image below.

Roy is remembered on the Australian War Memorial, the Lone Pine Memorial (pictured below) and on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Casualty List. He is now also remembered on the North Hill Roll of Honour.

We are grateful to Brendan Jenkins of Melbourne for these details of the life of Chester Royal Jenkins.


The banner image shows the White Hart Inn in an old photograph superimposed on a modern day image of Congdon's Shop.