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Mary Annie Vingoe & Abednego Harvey 


Fore St., Newlyn Town : c1908 

The Grocer’s Shop is the small 2 storey building, in the centre of the picture on the right-hand side of the road.. The original water colour was taken to Australia by Mary Annie in 1915. It was painted sometime before 1909 as there is no Wharf Road shown .


 Mary Annie VINGOE & Abednego HARVEY marr: 21 Oct 1909

Abednego Harvey was born on 31 July 1884 and  at the time of the 1891 census the Harvey family lived at  Florence Place, Newlyn. Later they moved to 2 "BonVillas" on Paul Hill. Abednego at his marriage on the 21 October 1909 was described as a grocer, living at Charles St., Newlyn. He married Mary Annie Vingoe [b 31 July 1883] a daughter of Richard E. Vingoe and Jane Mary WILLIS of Newlyn Town. At some time Mary had been living and working at a  grocer’s shop owned by a Mr Reseigh in Fore St, Newlyn Town. Postcards to her from Abednego, some now in the possession of Barry Harvey, were addressed to her c/o Mr Reseigh’s store. Her father Richard died 11 December 1906 and his widow, Jane Mary, must have run the little shop on her own until Mary married Abednego in 1909 and they moved back into her old family home. Four children were born their - Sylvia, Harold, Mary & Abednego.   Sylvia died in 1911 at the age of 9 months and was buried with her grandfather Abednego Harvey at Paul cemetery.  Not wishing to follow his forefathers into the fishing life and as other employment was difficult to find, Abednego could see no prospect of a better future if he remained in the UK.

Although his family were land holders in Penzance, Abednego was not going to  inherit these properties as they were to be left to his sisters. He was a proficient organist and would have been the official organist at the local Newlyn Trinity Wesleyan Church, had he remained in Newlyn.                                                                                                                                           However, endeavouring to provide a better life for his family, in March 1913, leaving his wife Mary one month pregnant in Newlyn with children Harold and Mary, Abednego sailed to Australia. At this time money was a problem for Abednego so his passage to Australia was paid for by his uncle, William Carter, a chemist - his mother Jane’s brother. After leaving from Tilbury, London, as a 3rd class passenger on a 16 week voyage, he arrived in Sydney on the 3rd July 1913, on the "Osterley".   In Australia, Abednego found work; first with an engineering firm for a short period, then with the Postmaster General as a Postal Worker, - a position that he held until his retirement at the age of 62.                                        

Mary Annie, with children Harold, Mary Annie and infant Abednego, sailed from London via the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, on the ship “Commonwealth” arr: Sydney 30 Oct 1915.  While ‘en route’ across the Indian Ocean, a cruising enemy submarine was sighted forcing the ship to stop all engines and turn off all lighting to prevent detection.

    Abednego and Mary Annie

Abednego and his family lived at Henrietta St. Waverley for a number of years and also provided a home for his mother, Jane, and his sister Winifred after they also immigrated arriving in Sydney on the "Megantic" on 26 Feb 1920 .Abednego and his family moved to Waterloo Rd, Greenacre, for four years, then to Broadway at Punchbowl, for three years, then made one final move to the home they had built in 1928, at  Catherine St, Punchbowl.

Left: Jane Harvey c1924

            The Story is continued in his own words by Barry Philip Harvey,

“We all remember Nan’s rock cakes, fruit cake and ginger beer in the large earthen ware bottles, she purchased from the man in the horse and cart, as well as the tea she would serve us from the saucer.   Grandpa also taught most of his grandchildren to walk. We grandchildren were often in trouble as our face, hands and clothes would often be coloured purple, from eating mulberries and climbing the large mulberry tree, in their backyard. Abednego and Mary had another four children in Australia -- Betty, Peggy,  Arthur Thomas and Richard. The family became involved in the Greenacre Methodist Church -- Abednego being a foundation member.   He became a lay preacher and wrote several hymns for the church. His preaching days ceased when confronted by the local minister regarding the content of his sermons as they did not reflect the writings within the Bible.  Abednego questioned the minister, asking him if he really believed that the whale had swallowed Jonah.   The minister replied that if the Bible stated that Jonah had swallowed the whale he would believe it.  With this difference in their methods and beliefs Abednego did not preach again.  The church altar is dedicated to Abednego and Mary Annie through monies donated by the Harvey family when the church was refurbished. Their daughter Peggy still attended this church until her death in 1999.

After his retirement, Abednego became keen in playing his weird home made musical instruments, (if they could be called that) and he was quite a menace with them, insisting on playing them at the least provocation.   They all sounded ghastly, but it did give him an interest in his retirement, was the comment from by his son Arthur.

On one occasion, when Arthur was asking his mother details of their family history, Abednego became annoyed and requested him not to ask silly questions. Arthur did manage to find out a little from his mother on another occasion and pass it on to other members of the family. Abednego was somewhat stubborn at times and at one time, during a stay in hospital due to an illness, he would only eat if his daughter in law, Gloria, would feed him. Although it has been stated that he had Huntington’s disease, Abednego died in his sleep from heart failure, on 8th December 1957 and his ashes were spread around a Mock Orange shrub, in a small shell surrounded garden at his eldest son, Harold's rented home, at 40 Warejee St, Kingsgrove. Mary Annie died 3rd October 1960.  She requested that her ashes be spread in the harbour at Newlyn, and they were held by daughters Betty then Peggy for a number of years, before being spread in the front garden, on the north eastern corner, at the Greenacre Methodist Church as they knew of no-one who was going to Newlyn, Penzance.




My Visits to Cornwall:

I have been the only member of the family to date who has visited Newlyn to walk the streets and to see and feel the "Harvey" family roots.   My first visit in October 1991 was like "going home" although, at that stage, believed that the family home in Fore Street had been demolished for road widening.   It was something special, and I consider myself very fortunate, to have discussed the family roots and view photographs with dad as he had been only four years old when he left for Australia.   Dad never returned to Newlyn and he died only seven months after my visit to his birth place. In May 1995 I again visited Newlyn with my wife, Helen, and found that the Fore St. home, number 39, was still standing with a "Harvey" living there ( the gentleman's mother was a Harvey with him having Harvey as his Christian name ). It’s unknown at this stage if the families were related. Helen and I again visited Newlyn in August 1997 and found that this gentleman had died.  The home had been sold and was being renovated.   He was not related………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I also spoke to Amelia Harvey who is 84 years old and married an Abednego Harvey.  His father and grandfather were also named Abednego and I believe that the grandfather may be the Abednego in our line. Amelia's grand daughter, Tina, works at the Red Lion Inn near the Fore St. home.   The Red Lion Inn was once owned by William Ladner, Jane Carter's great grandfather.  I have written to Tina and Harvey seeking more information on their families. Whilst walking around Paul cemetery which is above the village of Mousehole, I located the graves of my great grandfather Abednego,( 1859 -1918 ) and Sylvia ( 1910 - 1911 ) Sylvia was my father's eldest sister, who died in infancy at only nine months. I knew nothing of Sylvia until after my father's death.

On our 1995 visit we also met and stayed with Mary and Douglas Howell who lived at Failand near Bristol - Mary being a distant relative ( 2nd cousin once removed ) on the Carter side of the family.  Mary's grandmother, Mary Ladner Carter (1860 - 1923 ), and my great grandmother, Jane Carter ( 1862 - 1930 ) were sisters.  Mary, who was born in Penzance, is a member of the Cornwall genealogy society and has been of great assistance in this research  

  Helen and I enjoyed a stay with Mary and Douglas again in August 1997 for three days - a lovely and friendly couple.   They had moved to Truro in Cornwall to be closer to Mary's family; her brother Richard and sister Nancy and their families, and also to enjoy the much improved English weather conditions

Left: Barry, Helen, Douglas, Mary, Nancy and John taken on our May 1995 visit .




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Any Alterations Births, Deaths Etc,

Please refer on to:-                                                                          

Barry Philip Harvey, 3 Murrie St, Windang  2528. Australia  E-Mail    1st May 2003


Copyright ©  2003 All rights reserved.
Revised: February 11, 2011 .