The Maria Massacre
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.
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
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.
VINGOE : b Jan & bt 24 Mar 1805 : Madron
Now we come to the letter we received from Margaret Flanagan, which is self explanatory:
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:
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:
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!
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