Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’


September 30, 2013

My wife had ancestors who were based around the West Cornwall town of Redruth. We are looking at a non-family postcard today which shows what we may call a significant area of Redruth and has a message which is just possibly family related.

Here’s the picture.


Fore Street is the main road through Redruth. It might, perhaps have been called high Street, for it is like ‘High Street’ in other towns. The street, as we can see in this Edwardian image, is lined with shops and inns. And a clock tower stands tall above the other buildings.

This picture is just slightly annoying to us, for at the extreme left hand edge we have a little portion of the shop which great grandfather, William Hall had. He died in 1907 and he had not been a draper all his life. He had been, like many a West Cornishman, a miner and as with many other miners he had spent time abroad to seek his fortune. And maybe he found enough of one to come back and give up the pick and shovel for the more peaceful life of a draper with his own business.

Now let’s look at that message, remembering that post cards, in the Edwardian era, were very much like the text message of today.

It appears to be dated 6/31/07 which I take to mean 31st June 1907

It goes on:

Dear Uncle and Aunt
The old street of Red Ruth.
Was down there this morning and also up to Carn Brea.
The folks are well and we are going to see Aunt Williams this pm and then to Porthtowan.

Could any of this mean our relatives? Well, William Hall’s wife had been a Williams – Grace Williams – so it could be. But Williams is a very common Cornish surname.

Now let’s see where the card was going.


It was sent on 2nd July 1907 from Redruth to Mr H R Walton in Kewanee in the USA.

I could almost get excited here for Great Grandad had brothers in Keweenah but that is in Michigan – quite a different place from the Illinois town this card went to.

From US censuses I think the recipient was a Hercules R Walton who had been born in Illinois in 1855. I know of no link to our family.

The post card is still lovely – but if only it showed more of great grandfather’s shop!