This page is dedicated to the memory of my parents Leslie Harold OATS and Nancy BESWETHERICK to whom I owe so much.
The genealogy database is now more sophisticated but in order to protect the privacy of the living it requires registration in order to use it.The database contains the details of some 2000 individuals and over 500 families. When entering the Genealogy section you must complete an application for a new user and submit this. The application should be processed within 24 hours and you will be e-mailed with your user details. The new software is able to give graphic ancestry charts and can focus on specific families.
Background on the Oats Family of West Penwith, Cornwall
The name appears, from recent research, to have originated in northern Germany and derives from OTT or OTTO which is the name used in the 1600's and is common in 3 regions of the UK, Yorkshire, Isle of Mann and Cornwall. It would appear that the addition of "A" was probably an Anglicization of the name. There were two forms of the early spelling OTTS and OTES. The name OTTS was converted to OATS and OTES became OATES. Later the two became interchangeable. If the name does in fact originate from the northern region of Germany then it ties in well with the Saxon invasions of the British Isles between 400AD and 900AD. The Saxons invaded the coastal areas around Yorkshire so it is likely that the family probably spread from Yorkshire. Early Cornish records dating from the 1500's for the name indicate a Germanic style given name, for example Jakobus and Franciscus. In the Cornish context it is unusual. The given names used in all three regions are all very similar.
OAT(E)S Family in West Penwith, Cornwall
Most of the OAT(E)S descendants that live around the globe
descend from John OTTS (circa 1600-1665) and Mary COCK (1603-1665). John appears to have been fairly comfortable
and had some form of education as he left a Will in 1665 which is available from the Cornwall Records Office.
He gives his occupation as a mynor (miner). Their descendants occupied the village of Tregeseal which lies
in the Nancherrow Valley about half a mile outside St Just. They probably panned tin (tin streaming) from the river for
hundreds of years from Tregeseal down the valley until it enters the sea. The family occupation was so numerous
that the lower reaches of the Nancherrow Valley is known locally as Oats Valley. The family appear to have
been fairly astute and many were given the title "Yeoman" meaning that they either owned freehold property or
held long term leases to property.
I am greatly indebted to Geoff Mckee and his daughter, Susan, from Australia, who headed the St Just Research Group of the Cornwall Family History Society, for the provision of much of the information I have on the Oat(e)s families.
For those with family originating from this area I strongly recommend that you visit and join Penwith Genealogy Board where you will find lots of friendly folk willing to help and discuss the genealogy of Penwith.
The Beswetherick family on my maternal side originates from the Bodmin, Luxulyan and Lanivet parishes. The family is concentrated in many of the parishes in this area. The meaning of the surname is bos (g)wydhal, dwelling by the thicket, or bos Gwydhylek, dwelling of the Irishman (g is dropped). For more derivations of Cornish surnames look here.
A famous descendant of the family and third cousin to me, was the Genealogist Leslie Gilbert PINE. He was a British author, lecturer, and researcher in the areas of genealogy, nobility, history, heraldry and animal welfare. A summary of his achievements and history is available here His maternal ancestry is available here
The Lugg family on my paternal side originates from the West Penwith area but originally came from the parishes in the Lizard Peninsula mainly around St Keverne where the main concentration of the families seems to be. The derivation of the name is the celtic word for calf.
JACKSON Family of Bradford, Yorkshire and Natal, South Africa
I also wish to contact descendants of Robert Warrington JACKSON, after whom I was named. Robert Warrington JACKSON married Sarah Ann BILBROUGH in Bradford in 1862. Their eldest son, Fred, was born in Bradford and possibly their eldest daughter, Lillian. The family emmigrated to Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa in the mid-1860's. Fred joined the Natal Carbineers at the start of the Anglo-Zulu War in 1878 and was killed at the Battle of Isandlwana on 22nd January 1879.
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