The Kenninghall, Norfolk, origins of some Jessup immigrants to Australia

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A Jessup descendant in New Zealand has raised the question of the relationship between Jonathan, father of my James Jessup born at Kenninghall, Norfolk in 1816, who came to Australia in 1856, and whose sons Alfred and Walter settled at Scottsdale, Tasmania, and Mary Jessup who married John Clark at Banham in 1805, and who has descendants in NZ . I think it is very likely, indeed almost certain, that Mary was a sister of Jonathan, who it appears was himself born at Banham. From the parish register at Kenninghall I have a fair picture of the family of Joshua Jessup father of Jonathan and Mary. I searched the register myself to some extent on a visit there in 1986 and had some further help from a local researcher later. (The register was then still in the parish church and not available in the county archives.) Other data comes from the census of 1851 (in which the address of Jonathan is given as Banham Rd Kenninghall) and I have had a few other sources.

The first Jessup records at Kenninghall appear to be the baptisms of three "base born" children of Mary Jessup, for whom no father is mentioned: John bapt July 12, 1747, Joshua born 1754 [exact date missing], and Jonathan bapt June 24, 1764. There was also a child burial of one Mary Jessup bur March 14, 1776, who could have been another child of the same Mary, although it is just possible that this child could have been a child of Joshua before his marriage the following year, or perhaps of his brother, although there were also other Jessups at Kenninghall within a few years. In any case I believe Joshua son of Mary was our ancestor. There were three other children born later, 1815, 1816 and 1826, to unmarried Jessup women, one of whom, Lydia at least was a daughter of another couple William and Elizabeth Jessup who I have not related to our family, and it is possible that there were other separate lines of descent connected with other Jessup families in neighbouring villages. Another Walter Jessup from East Harling came to Portland, Victoria in 1852, and I have heard from a descendant who is aware of their history, some of which is also in Margaret Mauro's book The Jess'ps in Australia: the order of their coming.

Joshua Jessup married Mary Batley of Banham at Kenninghall 16 Nov 1777: their children:-
Frances, bapt Nov. 8, 1778
Mary, bapt July 20, 1780, infant bur. July 26, 1780
Mary [2nd] bapt August 11, 1781
Robert bapt Oct 22, 1783
Then follow the children of Joshua Jessup and Sara (nee Batley, who might the same wife (no separate marriage record at Kenninghall, or perhaps her sister married at Banham):
Joshua bapt August 19 1787
Jonathan bapt Oct 25, 1789, bur. April 11, 1790
Jonathan [2nd], born at Banham 1790/91 [from census], bur. Dec. 17, 1876 aged 86.

Jonathan Jessup (bricklayer) married Mary Parke (who was buried 17 September 1839); their children:-
Mary Ann bapt 13 March 1814, bur 26 July 1828 aged 14 [dau. of Jonathan and Mary]
James bapt 1 September 1816, died at Scottdale Tas 1894
Jane bapt 6 December 1818, bur 1 August 1829 aged 7
Eldred, bapt 16 June 1821, bur 24 June 1856, aged 34 [had a son who came to NSW, descendants living today at Wagga]
Jesse bapt 21 June 1823 [who could have died in Queensland]
Joseph George bapt 21 May 1825, bur 23 Feb 1827, aged 1
Jonathan appears later, before the census of 1851, to have married a second wife Sophia who was buried 28 June 1862, and a third wife Mary Weston on 3 May 1863, with to whom a daughter Frances Mary was born, bpt 4 June 1866.

James Jessup (bricklayer) married Frances Wilde (who died in Melbourne 3 Nov 1880 aged 62) at Kenninghall 8 February 1838. The family Bible (a "Matthew Henry Family Devotional Bible" see below) which James passed on to his son Joshua in Melbourne with an inscription dated August 6, 1890, contains the following (there is more elsewhere, and some of the later entries were not made until after copies of the Family Register in it were passed on to other family members, so some copies in existance are not complete. I saw the Bible in the possession of Reg Jessup, son of Arthur, son of Joshua, in 1986) :-
Frances was born at Kenninghall 2 July 1838, (bpt 29 July, from register), and she died at North Lopham 5 Dec 1847
Mary Jane b. Kenninghall Jan 18 1841, died Hawsburn Victoria
Mary Ann b. North Lopham Oct 10, 1843, d. April 22, 1844 at North Lopham
Alfred James b. North Lopham March 30, 1845, d. 27 Jan 1917 Scottsdale Tas
Walther b. N Lopham Jan 6, 1847 d. June 9, 1930 at Scottsdale
Frances 2nd b. N Lopham June 6, 1848 [Married name Harvey, d. in Melbourne]
Joshua b. N Lopham March 21, 1850, d. Melbourne 11 September 1932, bur Melb 13 Sept
Matthew Henry b. N Lopham May 21, 1852, d. Melbourne Dec 7 1857
Julia b. Norwich Oct 6 1854, d. Melbourne Dec 6, 1857.

James and Frances arrived at Melbourne in 1856 in the ship "James Baines". It appears that not long after the deaths of the two youngest children they went to New Zealand for a few years. Walter told his daughter Florence about his work in a butcher's shop there, and she passed in on to her daughter Joyce Lee who gave me a copy of the diary James, Alfred and Walter kept during their early years of farming in Tasmania. They returned from New Zealand to Victoria in 1861. The Tasmanian venture began in 1863, first at Liffey before moving to Scottsdale in 1868, but except for occasional visits to help set up his sons in farming James remained in Melbourne living in Hanover St Fitsroy and working as an artisan and as sextan for the Brunswick St Methodist Church until the last few years of his life which were spent at West Scottsdale living near and sometimes with Walter. He was building the house where my mother was born in 1907 when he died in 1894. [DB, 31 October 2003]

The following information and more is to be included in a revision of this page from emails [DB 3 January 2004]:-

Dear Jools,

Thank you for this message in addition to the others. Given your warnings about time and other interests and my earlier messages to you today, this might be one too many, but I have discovered something extra. I had forgotten what I had read before in Margaret Mauro's book, in Supplement 4, concerning Joshua Jessup b. 1787 son of Joshua Jessup and Sarah Batley. He was also a brother of your Mary and he came to Australia - that is in addition to Jonathan whose son was my James. He was a bricklayer (like James and many of the others) who lived in Richmond Vic 1851. It was of interest to me that he had a daughter named Julia who came to South Australia after her marriage to Frederick Leighton because Julia was the name of my James' and Frances' youngest child born in Norwich just before their departure in 1856 who died in Melbourne in 1857. Along with this is the fact that one William Jessup (presumably her brother) was a witness at her marriage and that suggests that perhaps the William Jessup head of household b. 1797 in the 1851 Census of Kenninghall was also related to us, although I had thought his was an independent household, perhaps from those at Hockam and thus the family of Robert and Francis who could be our earlier family in Norfolk, but that is speculation based on the use of names that were very common in the Jessup families in Norfolk. Margaret M says that William who lived in SA was a brother of Julia - I suppose the same person as the witness. This is additional to what is in the web page and my previous email re Samuel a son of James' brother Eldred having descendants at Wagga, NSW. It seems that just about the whole Kenninghall-Banham family emigrated at some stage! Attached is a scanned copy of the relevant page from the Mauro book in case you don't have it.



c 1850
In 1851, Victorian records show a Joshua Jessup living at Richmond,
Victoria, occupation, brickmaker.
* This is thought to be Joshua Jessup of Kenninghall, Norfolk,
where many of the males of the family worked as bricklayers. Joshua,
baptised at Kenninghall 19/8/1787, was the son of Joshua and Sarah
nee BATLEY, which would make him 64 yrs of age in 1851. Several
members of this family emigrated to Australia — Joshua's nephew
James Jessup who arrived in Melbourne in 1856 on the "JAMES
BAINES" (see chap 47); also the son of his other nephew, Eldred Jessup
(1822-1856), who was named Samuel Jessup and was recorded as a
pioneer engine driver arriving in 1873 on the "GREAT BRITAIN" (see
chap 67).
Joshua's daughter, Julia, was married in Kenninghall 24/12/1843
to Frederick Leighton. Frederick Leighton was a blacksmith, and a
witness at their marriage was a William Jessup. The family was
missing from the 1851 census taken in Norfolk. Julia and Frederick
Leighton emigrated to South Australia, where they lived at Gawler
and then Mintaro. Also living at Mintaro was a William Jessup,
blacksmith, from the late 1870's to late 1880's. Frederick Leighton
died at Mintaro (b 21/3/1818, Norfolk, d 20/11/1889) as did Julia (b c
1814, d 28/10/1890). It is thought that William Jessup was Julia's
There is a large family plot in the Methodist Cemetery in Melbourne
which contains a number of Joshua's relations; the family of James
Jessup, plus two which so far are unaccounted for. One of these is John
Trelvar Jessup, who died 14/4/1873 aged 25 years (therefore born in
1848). The other is Frances Silman Jessup, who died 24/10/1881 aged
17 years (born 1864). *
Supp 4-1

Julie Skellern wrote:

> Hello all, Happy New Year,
> Some of you know of me.. perhaps others don't.
> I'm a keen genealogist - some would say obsessed... and spent 12 weeks in the UK undertaking research this year. Trying to sort all of my notes out and continue with some family lines of particular interest has kept me very busy between returning from that trip in August and another for 6+ weeks to Oz..... and the return from that. However, during that time I made contact with both Anthony Jessup & David Beswick.
> Anyway I've just re-glanced at a lot of things that Anthony & David have sent me. They both know that my schedule/time commitments have prevented me from diving fully into the Jessup saga with any enthusiasm at this stage. I'm off to Oz again in mid-February with a lot of things to complete (like tax returns!!!) before then. But, amongst the notes I saw no mention of the 1841 UK census!!!!
> I have the 1841 Census data for Jessup of Banham and Kenninghall. I haven't the time to type it all up.... unless it was really really important to someone!
> I also have some Kenninghall Parish Register burials from 1850.
> My ancestress was a Mary JESSUP who married John CLARK in 1805 at Banham. I've only located two daughters to them - and then NOT much information..... a lot of the Norfolk records I needed were not available in UK at the time I was there. Anyway one daughter's daughter married in Brandon, and emigrated to NZ. So we've not any connection to the surname since 1805!!!!
> I may have nabbed John & Mary CLARK on the 1841 census, with some more children, but until I lthough ages were rounded..... theirs should have been nearer to 60 than the 50 ascribed to them. A 12 year old child, if it's their son, keeps them younger rather than older too. I'm certain that my Mary, however, does fit with the other JESSUP families that David has acquired information on.
> I also have a number of photos of Kenninghall & Banham taken in 1996 and 2002 trips there.
> OK - that's my little lot for now!!!!
> Just in case you've seen my name in cc'd emails and wondered who/where I fitted and why I've not been forthcoming with information. I'd love to be more involved.... but other lines also beckon and I've been trying to fit half a dozen other researchers into one of my main ones. That takes a lot of work - it's a huge family, scattered all over England through the 19th century (and many branches turning up down-under!!)
> Jools
> New Zealand
> GENEALOGIST'S PRAYER: God grant me the serenity to accept the ancestors I
> cannot find,the courage to find the ones I can, and the wisdom to document
> thoroughly.