THE NAME RESUGGAN

These notes are transcripts of papers produced by John Charles Lovel Resuggan in 1956 and Dennis Arthur Jacombs in 1987 concerning the history and family tree of the name Resuggan. Dennis Arthur Jacombs mother's maiden name was Resuggan. These notes were produced by Terry Jacombs (the author of this web site), the son of Dennis Arthur Jacombs in December 1992. Other than corrections to spelling and punctuation, the notes are a faithful reproduction of the notes of John Charles Lovel Resuggan as far as possible. The copy of his notes was not of the best quality, and some of the words were not clear. The notes of Dennis Arthur Jacombs have been updated and corrected wherever possible. I have added footnotes in both transcriptions where anything was unclear or needed further explanation.

The contents of these notes are as follows:-

  1. Introductory note by J.C.L.Resuggan.
  2. Part I of J.C.L.Resuggan notes - ORIGIN OF THE NAME , LOCATIONS AND EARLY HISTORY
  3. Part II of J.C.L.Resuggan notes - ARMORIAL BEARINGS
  4. Copy of the entry for the name ROSUGGAN from the VISITATION OF COUNTY CORNWALL in 1620
  5. D.A.JACOMBS main notes.
  6. D.A.JACOMBS supplementary notes.

Introductory note

As there are two substantial branches of the Resuggan family in existence, one in England and the other in Australia, few if any of whom, know about their origins, I have decided to write this somewhat fragmentary and incomplete history of the family. It is my intention to produce this in four parts:-

  1. Early history
  2. Armorial bearings
  3. Middle period (XVIII and XIX century)1
  4. Recent history1
Part III will take a long time as much research will have to be done, and many parish registers examined. Therefore I have decided to present I and II separately. The typing is my own and ink corrections have been made. I hope that these copies will be preserved by those of the family who receive them.

J.C.L.Resuggan
Worcester Park
Surrey
August - 1956

1My father did not have parts III or IV. Whether John Charles Lovel Resuggan ever completed them or not, I do not know.

The Family History of Resuggan Part I

ORIGIN OF THE NAME, LOCATIONS AND EARLY HISTORY

Compiled from Registers, Documents and Books by

JOHN CHARLES LOVELL RESUGGAN

Introduction

The reasons for writing the history of a family are various; sometimes a glorious name obviously requires family commemoration; sometimes a dying name needs to be rescued from obscurity; but in families of our sort, the focal point of interest is a strange surname. Strange that is in those parts of England which lie outside Cornwall, which only two centuries ago regarded itself as a nation apart. It is this fact which gives everyone who bears the name an interest in its origin and history. If we had one of the numerous common names, or ordinary sort of surnames, we should not have the same interest in our family, nor should we find it easy to trace our origin through a maze of thousands who had the same name. Most Resuggans have at various times been annoyed to find their name regarded as foreign; Russian, Czech, Italian and Spanish are sometimes suggested as origins by people who cannot be expected to know better, and it is therefore useful to know the true facts about the family. There is also another important aspect; with an extraordinary and outstanding surname such as ours, any credit or discredit can be reflected onto all the other possessors of it, and it would seem desirable to foster a certain pride in our family name, so that younger members who are growing up can recognise their obligations to it and to each other. The recent discovery of an Australian branch of the family, who are all extremely interested in the matter has lent considerable point to the writing of this story, and it seems that there are about forty males who bear the name alive in the world today, and since all come from a common stock, we constitute a considerable clan.

Origin of the name "Resuggan"

The earlier form of the name was Rosagan or Rosogan, and in the ancient Cornish language this meant a moist or damp valley. In the old Cornish, Ros meant a valley and agon meant a damp, moist or marshy place. This information is given in Bannister's book, "A Glossary of Cornish Names". In the same volume reference is made to our name on pages 137 - 140. Page 138, "Resuggan see Resogan", Page 137, "Resogan see Rosogan", Page 138, "Rosagon see Rosogan". A further form, Rosuggan, was also sometimes used, but it is definite that the original form was Rosogan. This way of spelling prevailed down to the XVII century, but in those days illiteracy was rife and people spelt as they thought or pronounced. Usually it was left to the parish priest to spell a name as best as he could, and this results in variations in spelling for the same family in the same parish registers. In the registers of St.Columb Major for example, many entries concerning that branch of the family occur between 1539 and 1780 which was the period covered by the old registers. Thus "6th April 1543, baptised Jane, daughter of James and Jane Rosogan", then, "18th June 1545, baptised John, son of James and Jane Resogan". Later, "31st December 1701, William Resogan married Emblyn Day", then "22nd March 1703, baptised Jane, daughter of William and Emblyn Rosuggan". In the next year "William Rosagen" was named overseer of the poor. Then, "Mr.William Rosogan (overseer) buried 19th Feb. 1708". At the foot of the page appears "Mr.William Resuggan, for his grave, 1.6.8."

These instances are quoted to show the spelling variations of the same name which occurred almost inevitably, and it will be seen that the same persons were called Rosogan, Resogan, Rosuggan or Resuggan as the fancy took them or the parish priest.

Another factor in the spelling variations was the change of language. Until the end of the XVI century, Cornish was the language universally used in Cornwall. The ability to speak English was confined to persons of liberal education, and even they used it only with reluctance, since even in the time of Elizabeth I, the Cornish regarded the English as conquerors and oppressors. Indeed bitterness and resentment against the conquerors did not die out until the middle of the VXIII century and even in the latter part of the last century, people from east of the Tamar were "foreigners". The old Cornish belonged to the Celtic group of languages, and the tendency to emphasise the first syllable in a word is understandable. Later, with the adoption of English, the tendency was to place the greater emphasis on the second syllable, hence the change in pronunciation from Resogan or Rosogan to Rosuggan or Resuggan.

When the heralds visited Cornwall in 1620 to confirm and regulate the various coats of arms of various families, they quote our name as "Rosuggan", showing that even at this early date, the transition to the modern form was well under way.(See Part II, Armorial bearing of the family). From all the foregoing, it will be seen that our family name is of ancient Cornish origin, and that it is great antiquity probably going back for many centuries before the Norman conquest.

Geographical location of the family.

All the holders of the name "Resuggan" are descendants of an ancient Cornish family, some of whom made their mark in local Cornish history. We are obviously limited in our ability to trace our ancestry back further than the XV century, since parish registers do not seem to have been begun much before the Reformation in the XVI century, but there is sufficient evidence to show that even in the time of Richard III, the family was of some consequence. There appears to have been two main seats of the family, both located in mid-Cornwall. These are St.Stephen in Brannel, and St.Columb Major. St.Stephen in Brannel is a village which lies some six miles to the west of St.Austell. The family seems to have imprinted its name quite considerably on this area, as the map shows three places which have the name Resugga, the loss of the last consonant not being significant. The hamlet of Resugga lies about one mile south of St.Stephens. A mile further south lies another hamlet called Resugga Lane End, and about three miles south of St.Stephen is an ancient earthwork called Resugga Castle. This earthwork, which the writer (J.C.L.Resuggan) has visited, is a very ancient Celtic camp, probably about 2,000 years old and belongs to the times of ancient tribal warfare. It may very well be that the family was predominant in this area, even in Roman times, but this cannot possibly be proved and it may be that it took its name from the family in more recent times.

Map of Cornwall

About twelve miles to the north of St.Stephen in Brannel is the large parish and village of St.Columb Major (eight miles east of Newquay), and this was again an important centre of our family. About 1 miles south is the farm of Resuggan, which perpetuates the family name. As the St.Columb Major registers show, a very strong branch of the family flourished here until 1708 when the last entry occurs. From then, the family seems to have scattered towards the south coast of Cornwall and traditions of activities of certain members around St.Blazey, St.Austell, Fowey and Falmouth were passed to David Resuggan (father of J.C.L.Resuggan) by Angeline Courtenay (nee Resuggan), who lived near St.Blazey.

Going back to the XVI century, St.Erme, 10 miles west of St.Stephen, also had a branch of the family, almost certainly an offshoot of the St.Stephen in Brannel section. One of these, Nicholas, acquired the estate of Kenegie, in Gulval near Penzance, by marriage. At about 1 miles East North East from St.Erme is a farm and hamlet called Resugga. Polglaze near Killigrew (1 miles North of St.Erme) was bought by John Resuggan of St.Stephen in Brannel in about 1600, and John Resuggan of St.Stephen in Brannel bought the fee of Chywarton, St.Erme in 1690. All these facts prove the family to have been mid-Cornish and that they acquired various properties in the XVI and XVII centuries. Evidence of the more recent locations in Cornwall can be found in Talland near Polperro, Charlestown, St.Austell, St.Blazey and other places. Family relations not actually bearing our name are to be found at Padstow and Port Isaac in North Cornwall, but as far as can be ascertained there is nobody now living in Cornwall who is a direct male descendant of the family. Two main branches remain, one in England, most of whom live in or near Birmingham, and one in Australia in or around Melbourne in the state of Victoria.

Early History

Mention has already been made of the difficulties of tracing the family back beyond the XV century. This is largely because parish registers do not seem to have been kept before the middle of the XVI century, and only a few date from that time. Fortunately St.Columb Major was one of these. Cornwall seems to have been lucky in that the county has had a fair number of local historians who have placed on record such activities of persons and families as seemed to them to justify historical notice and it is through such an agency that we are able to know something at any rate of one of our forebears.

It is a well known fact of ordinary English history that Richard III came to the throne in 1483, but such was the dislike which he aroused in the nobility that plots against him began to be made almost at once. After Buckingham's rebellion had failed, the principal contestant for the throne was the Lancastrian descendant Henry Tudor, afterwards Henry VII. His associations with Wales made him, in fact a Welshman, and it is not to be wondered at that his pretensions received considerable support from Cornwall, who at this period still felt bitterly the injustice of the Norman conquest of Cornwall. Feeling against the Anglo Normans still ran high and the chance of a Welsh king was a very attractive proposition to the Cornishmen, who regarded themselves quite correctly as akin to the Welsh. In Devon too, which itself was semi Cornish before the Conquest, a considerable body of rebels also appeared, and the plan was for an army from the Welsh border to cross the Severn and link up with the Cornishmen for the march on London. Henry Tudor, then in exile in Brittany, was to land in Cornwall and lead the army.

Prominent amongst the Cornish leaders was a John Rosogan, in fact he was among the inner council of seven or eight Cornish gentlemen (A.L.Rowse, "Tudor Cornwall" p.III), who were the mainspring of the western party. Unfortunately little else is known about this ancestor, but it is possible to surmise that he was a member of the native Cornish gentry, and very likely was a well to do gentleman farmer, the usual condition of the native gentlemen at that time. The large landowners in Cornwall at that period were the King (through the Duchy of Cornwall), and the Anglo Norman aristocracy represented by the Arundells and the Grenvilles. The minor gentry held their estates on fee from the great landowners.

The rebellion was ruined by a terrific storm which blew up and raged for several days. The Severn burst its banks and prevented the Welsh army from crossing it. Henry Tudor's ships could not approach the coast and were forced back to Brittany and Richard III gathered an army and marched west. The Cornish leaders fled to Henry's "court" in Brittany to escape the King's vengeance and among them went John Rosogan. He and the others returned with Henry in 1485 when the battle of Bosworth terminated Richard's reign and fixed Tudor firmly on the throne as Henry VII. The Cornish leaders were all rewarded by gifts of land etc. and John Rosogan must have profited from this. It seems likely that his services to Henry were recognised in another way also. (see Part II).

In the next century, two others of the family got their names into Cornish history also for being mixed up in a rebellion. Gilbert's "History of Cornwall" page 251, says of the Rosogan family that "one of the family rendered the name memorable by his activities in the great Cornish commotion of the time of Edward VI". According to A.L.Rowse (Loc. cit. page 264), James and Henry (Harrie Rosogan) were two leaders in the Prayer Book rebellion of 1549. In the case of these two (almost certainly brothers), the St.Columb Major is very helpful since records began ten years before the rebellion started. At this time of course, the Reformation was well under way, and the Protestant policy of Edward VI's advisers was making itself felt. Monasteries and religious houses had been broken up under Henry VIII, but the form of worship had still remained essentially Catholic, Latin being used largely in the church services together with Cornish which was still the language used in Cornwall then. The Protestant reformers tried to force an English prayer book on the Cornish in 1548, but there was a general outcry against it. The Cornish protested that they could only read Cornish and that English was meaningless to them. (Not strictly true perhaps, but near enough). The fact was, only very few Cornishmen could speak English at that period, and even they did not do so if they could help it. Finally, the protest having failed, the Cornish people took up arms against the King. There was more in it however than a mere rebellion over a prayerbook. It was in some measure a social rebellion of the minor gentry and peasant farmers against the encroachment of the great nobles who had come into Cornwall to take over lands from the Arundells who were strongly Catholic and ready to die for it. The bitterness of this rising is a measure of the unpopularity of the social effects of the Reformation in Cornwall.

The army, aided once again by the men of Devon, besieged Exeter, but that city held out until a relieving army from London defeated the rebels in battle. They began to retreat into Cornwall, but were brought to battle at Sampford Courtenay, between Crediton and Launceston. This completed their destruction. Some of the rebel leaders were killed in battle, others were captured and hanged. A few escaped and among these fortunates was Harrie Rosogan of St.Columb. The register shows that he and his brother James lived in the parish, were married and having children between 1543 and 1549. James' last child was christened on January 15th 1549. The battle of Sampford Courtenay was fought on August 17th 1549, and James was buried in St.Columb Major churchyard on August 25th 1549. Whether James was killed in battle or hanged afterwards cannot be definitely ascertained, but his body was brought back to be buried in his parish church. Henry's wife gave birth to a child in November 1552 and although he was not subsequently buried in St.Columb, Henry (Harrie) Rosogan evidently survived the rebellion. This last revolt of the Cornish reflected, probably for the last time, the resentment against the English conquerors of the country. The feeling remained, gradually diminishing for another two centuries, but time and usage gradually effaced the memory while increasing numbers of English landowners steadily dispossessed the Cornish tenantry, until today, very few of the old Cornish families remain on their ancestral estates.

Cornwall is now completely integrated with England and more than seventy percent of the population is English in origin. In company with hundreds of other Cornish families, ours has been driven to other parts to seek, after the economic ruin of their homeland, not their fortunes, but some kind of existence.

Under Queen Elizabeth I, the family name seems to have flourished. The St.Columb register shows an extensive record of births, marriages and deaths and in the St.Columb region, this is the time when the family achieved considerable numbers. It must not be forgotten that St.Columb is only about 12 miles north of St.Stephen in Brannel and therefore these two branches of the family were almost certainly in very close contact. About the year 1550 or 1560, one Nicholas Rosuggan of St.Erme married Alice, the heiress of Tripeony and acquired the estate of Kenegie in Gulval, near Penzance. Now the main seat of the Tripeony family was at St.Columb Major, (A.L.Rowse, Loc. cit.), and this seems to be a clear cut case of two friendly families arranging a marriage, although the estate in question was some distance from both of their main locations. Nicholas Rosuggan was the son of John Rosuggan of St.Stephen in Brannel who must have been well known to the St.Columb Major branch of the family. Probably, these two branches bore the same relationship to each other as the writer does to the midland descendants of his uncle James. A more than likely possibility is that John Rosogan of the 1483 rebellion was the common ancestor of both branches. It is interesting that there are two Tripeony names in the London telephone directory. There is only one Resuggan. These Tripeonys must be, like ourselves, descendants of an old Cornish family. The writer visited the old Kenegie manor house quite recently. It is a typical Tudor manor farm, a beautiful old house with a clock tower. The demesne is still largely surrounded by the old wall, but the environs are marred by the presence of a hideous Victorian mansion, built by the Bolitho family in the last century. Nevertheless, it is possible to forget this if one goes round to the old house which is still used as a farm.

Chywarton, near St.Erme, was the home of one Bennet Resogan in Queen Elizabeth I's time. This house and estate was held on fee by a branch of the St.Stephen in Brannel Resogans, and finally bought by John Resuggan in 1690. (Gilbert's Cornwall, Vol.III p.p 325, 326) Polglaze, near Killigrew, (1 miles north of St.Erme) was bought by John Rosogan (senior) of St.Stephen in Brannel in 1612. He left it to his son John Rosogan of Lyons Inn, Gent. He married (1632) Elizabeth, daughter of J.Hausley Esq. (Gilbert's Cornwall, Vol I. page 399)

Much research could and I hope will be carried out into these earlier records of the family, but much must depend on the time and opportunity, to say nothing of the possible cost of such investigations. To conclude this section, we are fortunate to have transmitted to us by the Herald of the 1620 Visitation of Cornwall, a short family tree of that branch of the family which acquired the Kenegie estate. (Visitation of the County of Cornwall in the year 1620. Edited by Lt.Col.J.L.Vivian and Henry H.Drake, 1874).

Rosuggan Family Tree - 1500s

Family Christian Names

It is interesting to note the traditional christian names used in the family. Unquestionably John is the most popular boy's name with James and William tying for second place a good way behind. Henry and Philip occur two or three times in the St.Columb register. For girls, Jane unquestionably was the first choice in the past history of Resuggan, but this name would not find much favour today, which is rather a pity as the old names have without doubt, a charm and a permanence lacking in the modern varieties. It is interesting to note that Jane often appears as Joane or Johane in the old register and it might be an idea for some future Mrs.Resuggan to try this variation for the name of her daughter.

The Family History of Resuggan Part II

ARMORIAL BEARINGS

Compiled from Registers, Documents and Books by

JOHN CHARLES LOVELL RESUGGAN

The family Coat of Arms is described in four separate works.

In Gilbert's History of Cornwall Vol.II page 251 reference is made to plate XX. This plate is particularly interesting because it shows a shield with four quarters. In quarters 1 and 4 are the arms of our family, and in quarters 2 and 3 are the arms of the Tripeony family, three conies or little rabbits. This shield was that displayed by John Rosuggan of Kenegie, son of Nicholas Rosuggan who had married the heiress of Tripeony and in conformity with custom he bore both his father's and mother's arms quartered in the same shield. The Resuggan shield is quite simple. The background or field is Argent - white to represent silver, the chevron and three roses are gules = red. The presence of the red roses suggests that they may be the red roses of Lancaster. It would appear that a grant of arms was made to the family by Henry VII because of the services rendered by John Rosogan in the rebellion against Richard III. It might be worthwhile to get the College of Arms to look the matter up and let us know to whom the original grant was made.

The description given in Lysons 'Magna Brittanica' is rather puzzling, because here, the chevron is described as Azure = blue, whereas in all the other descriptions gules = red is given as the colour of both chevron and roses. It may be that the writer of the section in Lysons' book had got a "difference" from another branch of the family. "Differences" result from modification of the original shield being made by sons or cadet branches of the main line of the family. In England, there are no rules about "differences", but in Scotland, very rigid ones are applied. This makes "differences" in England very erratic, uncertain and often indeterminate. Anyhow, this variation is not very important, and the Coat of Arms of the Resuggan family is definitely established from four separate authorities, including the most important of all, the Herald's own confirmation, without which no armorial bearings are authentic.

Rough sketch of shield

Rosuggan Armorial Bearings

The full Coat of Arms includes, of course, the helmet and the crest. The helmet our family used was the simple closed visor type facing to the left (as you look at the shield). This form of helmet was the type permitted to Gentlemen and Esquires, the lowest grades in the order of chivalry, and of course used by those who bore no titles and were not members of any of the recognised Orders. (e.g. Order of the Bath, Royal Victorian Order, Order of the British Empire etc.) Knights and Baronets have a different kind of visor, while nobility of higher rank have their helmets facing the front. Our family crest is a fox passant, or (or = gold, yellow). This is a fox facing to the left, brush erect, and right foreleg raised as in a walking attitude. The crest is set on a wreath which is marked in six sections each alternately the colours in the shield, i.e. red and white, the white coming first.

The mantle, flowing silk drapings from the helmet which forms a kind of ornamental surround for the shield, is also in red and white. The mantle can be of any design, it is not a part of the registered armorial bearings.

There is no clue as to the original motto used with the Coat of Arms. Mottoes are not part of heraldry proper, they are not granted as in the shield and they are not registered. In fact, the only thing the Heralds seem to care about is the shield. They do not seem to concern themselves much with crests, and mottoes they ignore entirely. Family mottoes are often changed by the whim of some new generation of a family. As far as we are concerned, there is a phrase in the old Cornish language which I was told many years ago was a kind of family motto. This was "Guare wheag, guare teag" and means "Play well, play fair" or "Fair play is good play". It always sounded good enough, so it will serve as the family motto, if anyone wants one. A representation of the Coat of Arms, in colour can be supplied by the writer if any one wants one as a historical souvenir.

Obviously, no-one would want to use the Coat of Arms today because times have changed, but to do so would involve application to the College of Arms who would check the claim of the applicant and assure themselves that he or she was a legitimate descendant of the family to whom the grant was originally made. Today the necessary search would cost about 50!! Anyhow, the family Coat of Arms must be of great interest to all of us who wish to know about the past history of our ancestors.

Copy of the entry for ROSUGGAN from the VISITATION of COUNTY of CORNWALL -1620

Visitation of County of Cornwall 1620 - Rosuggan entry

Dennis Arthur Jacombs Main Notes

Sparkhill, Birmingham
D.A.JACOMBS
January 1987

This early history of the Resuggan family by John Charles Lovell Resuggan was compiled in 1956. The last time John (my cousin) and myself were together was in the early 1930's and since that time we have lost contact. (as often happens in families).

In his early years John lived in Oxford and was educated in the University City, I know not what college. Later he moved to London and held the position of Chief Chemist for the Glaxo Food Company.

At the time of writing these notes, I cannot find any reference to John anywhere, telephone directory etc. If he is alive today he would be over eighty years of age. I am informed by other members of the family he married and has a daughter. If John did produce part III of his history, I have no knowledge of its existence, so I hope my researching will lead to a continuation and trace the family tree back to the John Rosogan of the (C) 1483 rebellion.

THE REBELLION OF 1483 (C) RICHARD III

1485 (C) HENRY VII

JOHN ROSOGAN OF ST.COLUMB MAJOR

John Rosogan, a member of the inner council of seven or eight Cornish gentlemen, in opposition to Richard III ascending the throne. The rebellion failed due to terrific storms which raged for several days. John fled to Henry's court in Brittany to escape Richard's vengeance. He returned with Henry Tudor in 1485. (The Battle of Bosworth) at which Richard was killed and Henry VII placed on the throne. (A.L.Rowse Tudor Cornwall, Part III)

THE BATTLE OF SAMPFORD COURTENAY

January 15th 1549 (C) EDWARD VI

(PRAYER BOOK REBELLION)

Philip Rosogan, James Rosogan, Henry (Harrie) Rosogan. All of St.Columb Major. John Rosogan of St.Stephen in Brannel

James was killed or hanged after the Battle of Sampford Courtenay. Jane his wife was left with a family of at least four young children aged 6, 5, 2, and the youngest Katherine baptised the same day as the battle. Henry survived and there is no mention of Philip taking part in the battle.

John of St.Stephens took part in the battle. There is no mention if he survived or not. James' body was brought back to St.Columb Major for burial. (A.L.Rowse Loc. Cit. Page 264, and Polwhele - History of Cornwall Vol. 3/4 page 62.)

As already has been said the Rosogan family profited by backing the Tudor cause and were suitably rewarded, or to put it another way, they backed the winning side. Sixty four years on, in 1549, after the Battle of Sampford Courtenay, some branches of the family were deprived of their lands and estates etc. (not all branches). (Polwhele - History of Cornwall Vol.3/4 Page 62 gives a good account of the battle and its consequences.)

Humphrey Arundell, governor of St.Michaels Mount, a member of an influential Catholic family of the West Country, was chosen as leader of the Prayer Book Rebellion. It is possible that Humphrey was overlord and that some of the Rosogan's lands was held under fee to him. According to Polwhele, John, James and Henry Rosogan took up arms under Humphrey and were appointed inferior officers. However, the battle was lost, the rebellion put down, and the leaders and some of the officers were hanged, Humphrey being one of the first along with the mayor of St.Columb Major and as already said James Rosogan was either hanged or killed in the battle. To lend support to the loss of Rosogan lands, three entries in Lakes History of the County of Cornwall by Joseph Polsue Vol.1 page 235, dated around 1620 states:-

  1. Roserrans or Reesrrans is now the property of William Drew Esq.
  2. Tresuggan or Resuggan is now the property of Henry Veale Esq.
  3. Resgga is now the property of Sir Richard Robartes.
Thirty four years after the battle of Sampford Courtenay, a George Rosogan married Edith Jaco, a servant to Mrs.Ann Vivian on the 8th October 1584 at St.Mawgan in Meneage. Mrs.Ann Vivian was a member of a wealthy Cornish family and Edith may have been a lady companion. This marriage seems to suggest that George came from a family who had dropped down the social scale. At the time of writing these notes, I have no record of George's birth. He could have been the son of Philip, John, James or Henry. (Legitimate or otherwise).

However, one fact I have established is that George and Edith were the parents of Stephen Resuggon, baptised on 12th January 1588 (The year of the Spanish Armada) at St.Just in Roseland, and from Stephen who married Bersybee Oliver on the 20th February 1614 at St.Gerrans, a direct line down to John Lovell Resuggan baptised on 14th June 1835 at St.Austell is obtained.2

2I have NOT been able to verify this. My research has a gap from about 1720 backwards. (Terry Jacombs)

Research

In researching the ancestry of the Resuggan family, who now mostly reside in the Birmingham area, I have been able to consult copies of the Cornwall Parish Registers now held in the local studies department of the Birmingham Central Library and records taken from the International Genealogy Index (IGIs). Not all the Cornwall Parish Registers are deposited at the Birmingham Central Library, so to pursue more detailed research, the records in the Cornwall County Record Office in Truro may have to be searched.

However, from the records, I have been able to obtain, a very clear family tree has been compiled. In the direct line down to a John Lovell Resuggan baptised 14th June 1835 in the parish of St.Austell, there are four marriage records to be found including the above John Lovell. (ref. Truro).

There are around 120 entries of the name Resuggan recorded on the IGIs, 50% male and 50 % female. They cover a period of around 300 years. There are four spelling variations of the name in early parish registers. i.e. Resugga, Rosuggan, Resuggon and Resuggan. Resuggan is a Cornish name, I can find no reference to the name in any other part of the country.

The first names and dates to appear in early parish registers is of a marriage of a (1) Stephen Resuggan to a Bersybee Oliver on the 20th February 1614 in the parish of St.Gerrans. Bersybee Resuggan (nee Oliver) was widowed and married a seconds time to a John Treiggow on the 30th November 1627 in the parish of St.Germans.

The next date is of a marriage of an Edwarde Resuggan to a Margery Vermant on the 21st April 1616 in the parish of St.Just in Roseland. As St.Gerrans and St.Just in Roseland are adjoining parishes, Stephen and Edwarde may have been brothers or cousins. Edwarde and Margery had four daughters, Maude, baptised 9th May 1616 (Note the date of Edwarde and Margery's marriage), Anne, baptised 3rd November 1618 who married a Martin Richards on the 24th September 1643, Susannh baptised 1st January 1621 and Thamson baptised 6th April 1628, and one son Lawrence baptised 6th March 1624. All these events took place in the parish of St.Just in Roseland. I cannot find any records of any issue of Lawrence which seems to indicate that this branch disappeared on the male side.

(1) Stephen and Bersybee had three sons and one daughter, Hugh, (1) Robert, (2) Stephen and Dorothy. (no record of baptisms). Dorothy married a John Cornish on the 3rd February 1647 at St.Gerrans. Hugh married a Mary Stodden daughter of John Stodden on the 6th July 1646 at St.Gerrans. This marriage required parental consent, which one was under age the register does not state. Hugh and Mary had one son, (2) Robert, baptised 1st December 1646, (Note the date of Hugh and Mary's marriage), and two daughters, Margery baptised 21st June 1648 and Jane baptised 4th May 1651. Jane married a John Pasco on the 26th October 1680. All these events took place at St.Gerrans.

(2) Robert the son of Hugh and Mary (no record of his marriage) had three daughters, Mary, baptised 3rd April 1670, Honor, baptised 6th January 1682 and Susanna, no record of baptism, who married a Nick Burroughs on the 24th April 1709. All these events took place in the parish of Meather. As (2) Robert had no male issue recorded, this branch may have died out on the male side.

From (2) Stephen and (1) Robert, the other sons of (1) Stephen and Bersybee, two main branches emerge. (2) Stephen flows down to my maternal Grandfather baptised on 14th June 1835 in the parish of St.Austell.

The final date recorded on the IGIs of (1) Robert's descendants is of a William Vincent Resuggan, baptised on the 16th January 1853 in the parish of Uny Lelant.

(2) Stephen (no record of his marriage) had two sons, (3) Stephen baptised 26th July 1649 and John baptised 18th April 1652, both at St.Gerrans.

(3) Stephen, (no record of his marriage) had three sons and two daughters. Francis baptised 17th August 1686, (1) John baptised 4th October 1691, Richard baptised 12th April 1694, Jane, baptised 22nd January 1688 and Elizabeth, baptised 6th November 1699. Jane married a John Thomas on the 15th June 1720. All these events in the parish of St.Gerrans.

(1) John married an Elizabeth Phillips on the 27th December 1711 in the parish of St.Teath. They had one son (2) John. (no record of baptism) I cannot find records of any more children.

(2) John married an Ann Jenkins on the 4th February 1733 in the parish of St.Gluvias.

(2) John and Ann had three sons and three daughters. (3) John baptised 3rd February 1734 in the parish of Feock, Nicholas Baptised 2nd May 1742 and William baptised 24th April 1744 both in the parish of Madron, Martha, baptised 25th July 1736 in the parish of Feock, Anne baptised 3rd July 1738 and Margaret baptised 24th October 1740 both in the parish of Madron.

(3) John married an Elizabeth Peace on the 10th April 1773 in the parish of Gwinear. They had three sons and one daughter. (4) John baptised 18th September 1773 and Robert baptised 31st August 1777 both at Gwinear, William Peace baptised 7th May 1780 in the parish of St.Ives and Petronel baptised the 11th January 1775 in the parish of Gwinear.

Robert married a Jane Harvey on the 26th June 1803 at St.Ives. His occupation described in the register is that of a (mariner).

(4) John, a gardener, married a Grace Jenkins on the 29th April 1804 in the parish of St.Ives. They had one son (5) John baptised 17th August 1804 in the parish of St.Ives.

(5) John married a Catherine Morley on the 30th October 1831 in the parish of Phillack. They had one son (6) John Lovell Resuggan (my maternal grandfather) and two daughters Elizabeth Jane and Eliza. (6) John was baptised on 14th June 1835 in the parish of St.Austell, Jane was baptised on 29th May 1836 in the parish of St.Austell and Eliza was baptised on 15th October 1841 in the parish of Tywardeath.

(6) John Lovell married an Ann Roberts on the 1st February 1857 at St.Mary's in the parish of Handsworth in the County of Stafford. They had four sons and three daughters. Stephen, James, John, David, Anne, Jenny and Ada Ellen (my mother). My mother was the youngest of the family. She was born on the 4th August 1878 in Birmingham and married a Thomas James Jacombs on 18th May 1907 at St.Margarets, Ladywood, Birmingham.

As regards to other branches of the family, up to the present time not much information has been found, only a few records. I have come across Nicholas Rosaggan of St.Erme who married Alice, daughter and heiress to the estate of Tripeony. Their son John, baptised in 1570, married Jane, daughter of William Arscot of Holsworthy and one of their sons Nicholas married a Jane Halveso on the 17th July 1614 at Feock.

Another branch moved to the parish of Perranzabule. The first date I find there is of a John Resugga, followed by a Barbara who had a daughter Elizabeth baptised on 2nd March 1682. The latest date is of a Barbara baptised on 20th October 1720 who married a William Polglaze on the 16th November 1741. There is an entry in the parish register of St.Mary's, Truro of 1699 which says: "A service to be preached yearly on All Saints Day for a Mr Resugga."

I hope to visit the record office in Truro in the summer of this year, to obtain a more detailed record of these branches.

Dennis Arthur Jacombs Supplementary Notes

Upon further research, three more records of marriage have been found.

  1. Bersybee Resuggan (nee Oliver) was widowed and married a second time to a John Treiggow on the 30th November 1627 in the parish of St.Germans.
  2. Ref. John = Grace. John Resuggan (Gardener) married a Grace Jenkins on the 29th April 1804 in the parish of St.Ives.
  3. John Lovell Resuggan (Smith) married an Ann Roberts on the 1st February 1857 at St.Mary's in the parish of Handsworth in the County of Stafford.
This leaves marriage records of (2) Stephen and Charity and (3) Stephen still to be found. (3) Stephen marriage records may have been destroyed or not recorded at all due to the civil disorder of that time. (The Civil War).

As regards any descendants of (1) Robert son of (1) Stephen and Bersybee, the final record I have found up to the present time is of a William Vincent son of David Resuggan and Maria baptised 16th January 1853 in the parish of Uny Lelant near St.Ives.

I cannot find any reference to the Resuggan name in Cornwall now (telephone directory etc.). Some may have emigrated, however this is only conjecture on my part.

Sir Richard Tangye was born at Illocan near Truro, Cornwall on 24th November 1833. He came from a large family, six sons and three daughters. His father, a smith by trade, worked in a mine. He set foot in Birmingham on 28th December 1852 and found employment as a clerk by Thomas Wordsell (Eng's) at a salary of 50 per year. He married a Caroline Jesper on 24th January 1859.

Around 1855 he set up his own firm in Birmingham as a General Merchant, went back to Cornwall with samples of steel bolts, nuts and nails etc. and returned to Birmingham in 1856 and began operations. When in Cornwall he contacted and brought back some Cornish tradesmen to work for his new firm. My grandfather John Lovell Resuggan was one of them. There is no doubt that both families were known to one another. John Lovell's father was a smith by trade as was Sir Richard's father.

By 1862 the firm had moved to Cornwall works, Soho Handsworth. By this time 400 men were employed. By 1876 the number was 1,500. Two sons of John Lovell, James and John, spent the whole of their working lives with Tangyes. (Note: The trade of smith was a general term for anyone employed in engineering and allied trades etc.)

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