The Maria Massacre

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Our web site has carried the following item since we first discovered the story of the Maria Massacre on another site. However, the study of genealogy has a way of bringing you up with a jolt from time to time and a recent letter from  Margaret Flanagan in Australia has meant that we have had to have a re-think about just what is the truth regarding Kitty & John Daniel and their deaths in the Maria Massacre. We have now amended the Family Tree of this line and it is at:  http://vingoe.name/madron_line.htm.  For the correct  section of this Tree go to the 'List of  associated surnames on this tree', and click on the surname DANIEL...........

But first here is the story as it has appeared up until now.

Go here to hear a broadcast about the tragedy. 

Kitty Vingoe was baptised in the parish of Madron in Cornwall on the 24th of July 1806 the sixth child of William and Constance Rodda of  Boswarva. In 1825 she married Thomas Hoskin Daniel of Sancreed and went to live in St Buryan. Over the next seven years she gave birth to five children. 

Constance Almira  DANIEL:   bt 22 May 1825  : St Buryan

John Vingoe DANIEL :  bt  25 Mar   1829 : St Buryan

Mary Vingoe DANIEL : bt  1 Jul 1831 : St Buryan

Lavinia DANIEL : bt 4 Dec 1832  :  St Buryan

William Thomas  DANIEL :  bt  21 Nov 1836 : St Buryan

Thomas, her husband made his living as a basket maker and skilled men such as him were being offered a new life for their families in Australia with free passage so in 1839 Kitty and Thomas decided to leave Cornwall and emigrate to Australia. For some unknown reason they only took four of their children with them. The youngest daughter Lavinia who was born on the 4th Dec 1832, is recorded on the 1841 census living with her grandparents William & Constance Vingoe at Boswarva in Madron. [This should have set alarm bells ringing but I was new to family history in those day.I trusted other peoples' research, without myself having access to the Australian records, and not having any available records of the other children's deaths]

Kitty and her family sailed for Australia onboard the sailing vessel “Asia” and arrived in Adelaide in July 1839. They settled in Long Plains on the Yorke Peninsula but during the next year all the children must have died in the various  epidemics that swept through  the Township. After the death   of their last child, Kitty and Thomas decided  to leave Long Plains and to make a new start in Tasmania.  The couple sailed sometime in June 1840 to Hobart, Tasmania [Van Diemen's Land ] when they were  shipwrecked and met a tragic end.

 Go here to read a full report - use your back button to return to this page.

 Katherine Argall VINGOE: bt 24 July 1806 : Madron died . June 1840 : Geelong, S. AUS. 

...............+ Thomas Hoskin DANIEL:  bt  09 Jan 1790 Sancreed - died  June 1840 : Geelong S. AUS.

....................[ parents Mathew DANIEL & Mary VICTOR: marr  09 Jan 1790 Sancreed.]

....................married 28th Feb. 1825 : Madron.

Ten years after these events Kitty's sister Sarah and her family made the decision to also leave Cornwall for Australia, but their story was to be totally different.

Sarah VINGOE : b Jan & bt 24 Mar 1805 : Madron 

......................... died. 25th Oct. 1893: Parkside, Adelaide, S. AUS.

..........................+ John DAVEY b.24 Jun 1798 - died. 14th Dec 1868 : Gawler River, S. AUS.

...........................[ Parents James DAVEY & Alice WILLIAMS m 3Nov 1792 St Just]

... ...................... married 23rd Oct 1827 : Madron :Emigrated to S.Aus.1848 on the "Trafalgar" Arr. 17 Jane 1849


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                                             Now we come to the letter we received from Margaret Flanagan, which is self explanatory:


Hi Sandra

I've taken another look at your Vingoe family website and I read the tragic story about Thomas and Kitty Daniel and their death in 1840 in S.A.     But I don't think this is Thomas Hosken Daniel and Kitty Argall Vingoe who married in Madron on 28 Feb 1825.

Did someone who was researching that family give you this information ?

I have them in my Daniel Records and they had more than 5 children in Cornwall...they do appear on the 1841 Census, in Paul.

Their children were -

Constance Elmira bt. 22 May 1825 St Buryan, Cornwall, UK   (alive on 1841 Census with parents)

William Thomas   bt. 21 Nov 1826 St Buryan, Cornwall, UK  d?

John Vingoe         bt. 25 Mar 1829 St Buryan, Cornwall, UK    (alive on 1841 Census with parents)

Mary Vingoe        bt. 01 July 1831  St Buryan, Cornwall, UK

Lavinia                 bt. 04 Dec 1832  St Buryan, Cornwall, UK     (alive on 1841 Census with her gparents)

Matthew              bt. 21 Sep 1834 St Buryan, Cornwall, UK    (alive on 1841 Census with parents)

Jane                     b  c1836   St Buryan, Cornwall, UK             (alive on 1841 Census with parents)

Phillis Vingoe     b  c1838  St Buryan, Cornwall, UK             (alive on 1841 Census with parents)

William Thomas   bt. 11 Oct 1840 Sd                                      (alive on 1841 Census with parents)

Esther Anne          bt. 30 July 1843 Sd

Eleanor /Ellen      b c 1844 Paul, Cornwall, UK       

Betsy                     b c 1846 Paul, Cornwall, UK

Mark Henry         b c 1850  Illogan, Cornwall, UK

 I have followed them through the Census records and Thomas died in 1877 age 82 and Kitty died in 1884 age 76.

Both deaths were registered in Redruth.

I feel sure that the Daniels who died in S.A. must have been another Thomas and Kitty Daniel.

It is possible though that they may have travelled on the "Asia" to Adelaide arriving in 1839 and maybe 2 of their children did die there, but they must have returned to Cornwall.  I can give you all the info from the Census records if you are interested.




Sandra then wrote the following reply:


Hi Margaret,

I have taken a look at all the census records and it certainly appears that the family of  Kitty and Thomas H Daniel were back in the UK by 1841.

This info came from a newspaper report in Australia and the name of Kitty Daniel appeared  with  additional info nee Vingoe.

>Mr Thomas & Mrs Kitty [née Vingoe] Daniel of Long Plains SA<

Their names were on the passenger lists as travelling on the 'Asia' to Australia in 1839.

The 'Asia' left London 7 March 1839; There was a Thomas Daniels and his wife. plus 2 daughters and a son on  the passenger list.

Around the same time many of Kitty's brothers, sisters and Davy in-laws also left for Australia. They also settled in South Australia.

I know one brother, William Vingoe and his wife Mary Love [Kelynack] left Cornwall and had 2 infant sons -one born at sea.

However, they returned with no children to their home in Newlyn and remained childless.

Perhaps Thomas & Kitty were on the manifest as passengers of the 'Maria' but changed their minds and returned home instead.

Further info given on the couple was:

Thomas Daniel, a basket weaver of Long Plains, and his wife Kitty had arrived in the Province on the 'Asia' in July 1839.

Their three children who arrived with them had all perished in the few months after arrival and the Daniels had resolved to seek a new life elsewhere. The latter half of 1839 saw many deaths in the colony as the young, weak and older citizens succumbed to diseases that were raging through the population at the time. The endemic infectious illnesses cut swathes through the poorer emigrants who lacked appropriate amenities to maintain good hygiene and left many a family mourning more than one death. When the 'Maria' was lost, and the bodies found were beyond identification, perhaps it was assumed that they had been on board when they were not.

You never know for sure that info you collect is based on rumour and hearsay do you ? To be sure you cannot believe everything you read in the papers!  Maybe the Thomas Daniel on the 'Asia' is not Thomas H, but where did they get the name Vingoe from as the maiden name of Kitty?

It's all a bit puzzling so I will have to dig a bit deeper. Thanks for letting me know that they later settled in Illogan etc. I had found their daughter Lavinia living with her grandparents and thought it strange that this child was left behind!!




A further letter arrived from Margaret:


Hi Sandra

Thanks for your reply.   

I have done a bit of checking myself.  I looked at the transcription of the "Asia" passenger list, which must have been hard to read as they said her name looked like it was Ann and the sons name looked like Charles.    Departed from London 7th March 1839 and arrived 16th July 1839.

The 'Index to Pioneers arriving in South Aust. 1836-1846' just said Mr and Mrs Thomas Daniels.  

I also found this in the Book Index to 'Tasmanian Deaths/Burials 1797-1840' taken from an article in the "Hobart Town Courier" 28 August, that said -

Thomas Daniel, adult on "Maria" died 1840 at sea to Hobart

Mrs Daniel, adult on "Maria" died 1840 at sea to Hobart.

The following Index is probably where the idea that it was Thomas and Kitty Vingoe came from -

This is a bit puzzling.  

It includes info from many thousands of people who have contributed information for their families.

The Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885.

Thomas Daniel d. July 1840 Cape Jaffa  S.A. arrived 1839 "Asia" dep. Tas 1840 "Maria" occ. Basket Maker  C of E.

m. 1840 Tas.  Kitty Argol Vingoe b.1807  d. July 1840  Cape Jaffa S.A.


 Phillis nee Vingoe 1836-1839

 Kath Argol nee Vingoe 1837-1840

John Henry nee Vingoe 1839-1839

So I think someone has contributed the extra information that they thought was correct.  No shipping list would ever include the wife's maiden name...as you surely would know, that just doesn't happen. I don't really believe now that Thomas and Kitty Argall Vingoe were the passengers on the "Asia" in 1839.  Nothing seems to fit in with their family and he certainly wasn't a basket maker.




We now accept that Margaret is correct and thank her for pointing out the error. We hope that in time others descendents from this branch will come forward so that we can extend the line. In the meantime we leave the information on the site to show how easy it is to make a mistake when making assumptions with family history!

For the Family Tree of this line go to:  http://vingoe.name/madron_line.htm.   Go to  list of  surnames  and click on the surname DANIEL...........





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