William and Naomi





William was born on the 14th June 1880. He was a miner and on 30 June 1900 he had the good fortune to marry Naomi Stratton who bore him 14 children. To read about the Strattons click here. When first married he lived at Fore Street St Just. Uncle Tom said they moved to 11 Nancherrow and then to Tregeseal for 24 years which was where most of the children were born. They bought the cottage as sitting tenants for the sum of £122. Uncle Tom said there was a bit of hard bargaining from William to bring the price down to that level.

Ominbus - early 1900's

In 1901 he was working as a bus driver but then, like his father, William went to seek his fortune in Wemmer Mine Johannesburg. After blasting it was the habit of the miners to lean against the foot wall of the inclined shaft waiting for the dust to settle. There would have been better ventilation there although there would have been very little room with the skips going up and down. The movement of the skips would have improved the air flow. One day the cotter pin on a skip caught William's trouser leg and he was dragged under the wheels. A black man immediately pulled the bell wire to stop the skip saving the other leg and probably William's life. Uncle Tom said there was much surprise that a black man would do this. Obviously relations between black and white were not good. The white miners were probably paid much more than the black ones. Uncle Tom thought it said much for William who must have been well thought of by the black miners.

Willim 7 donkey cart

William of course had to return home. He became a familiar sight around the town on his preferred mode of transport - the donkey and shay. (I am not sure of the spelling!)

In 1910 he was working as a drysman - most probably at at Geevor Mine.

crop To the left of the picture above someone is driving a donkey and shay. It has to be someone's grandfather and it could well be ours.

Although the children were born over a period of 20 years or so and not all would have been there at the same time, feeding and looking after so many children could not have been easy. They kept pigs and ducks, grew vegetables and caught rabbits. Uncle Tom told mouth-watering tales of ducks cooking in the oven with their fat dripping down over rabbit and belly pork on the shelf below.

Washing clothes was a major operation all done by hand. Two of the girls would be kept home from school to help and it took two days to complete. The garments would have two washes, a rinse, and then a blue wash. Next-door's mangle was hired for tuppence and the result was two lines of washed clothes which took up the full length of the garden.

Naomi Harvey, mother of 14, enjoying a restful picnic at Cape Cornwall.

Naomi died in 1945 and was buried in the Weslyan chapel graveyard. All the family was christened C of E but followed the Weslyan Church and were buried Weslyan.

There is a tree for the Strattons on the Genopro page. To read some additional information about the Strattons go here


The ancestral home at Tregeseal where most of William and Naomi's children were born.

It is now a holiday home and has been carefully modernised to remove any trace of charm.

Since taking that picture the house now has a large conservatory in front disguising it further.

The family moved just down the road from Tregeseal to Nogoby Hill Nancherrow. Nogoby

After WilliamTK1 died Uncle Tom helped to dispose of this, his house for a great many years. Whilst I had briefly visited the house on a few occasions I had never gone beyond the kitchen where Grandfather sat.

Uncle Tom showed me around when it was almost empty. We were sitting upstairs and he started to tell me what little he then knew of Capt John Trenear. It was the start of my desire to find out more about the family.

In his last years William was a familiar sight sitting with his friends on the log at the crossroads at Nancherrow watching the world go by. That's him on the left in the picture below.


William and Naomi's children

I don't have many pictures of my father's generation so I am very grateful to Auntie Phyllis and cousin Martin's wife Elaine for the first five pictures below.

I have added no details of my father's generation. Instead I have simply included such pictures as I have. If you have pictures you would like me to include I will scan them and return them to you.

Jane & Naomi
Jane Will and Hilda
Naomi and Jane - 1901/2
Jane, William and Hilda around 1907
VeraVera - on right with baby

Phyllis and siblings
Phyllis and Siblings
HazelHazel on left
Tom in India 1935 - aged 25

Vera's wedding.

In front - Clarice daughter of eldest son Will.

Front step left to right. Gladys Richards, Victor Grey, Cecil Wooldridge, Vera, William Harvey, ?????, Hazel, Phyllis.

Back row left to right.
Jack Addicoat, Esther Harvey, Doris, Iris Grey, Hilda, Cynthia Harvey, Charity Harvey, Asket.

Eldest son William with Thomas and William's daughter Clarice. Will and Thomas
Dennis - July 1999
John - aged 23 - 1937
Phyllis in 1941
Thomas, William, Naomi and Cyril

- The Trenear-Harveys of St Just-in-Penwith -