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What became of Woodman Vercoe?

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What became of Woodman Vercoe?

Postby Cachalot6972 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:46 pm

(Note: other spellings are Varcoe, Vircoe, etc...)

Yet another conundrum for the combined experience of the forum members!

Birth: Woodman Vercoe 1846 Q4 St Austell 9 11 [Cundy].

1851 census: Woodman Vercoe, age 4, Roche, Cornwall. Parents Thomas Vercoe & Phillippa (nee Cundy).

1861 census: Woodman Vercoe age 13, Roche, Cornwall. Parents Thomas & Phillippa.

1871: no trace - however, (clutching at straws here) he *may* be the Charles Vercoe, age 21, born Roche, enumerated in Brixham. There's no record of a Charles Vercoe (or Varcoe, etc) born in Roche (St Austell district). The nearest is a Charles Vercoe 1847 Q3 Bodmin 9 29 [Burrow].

Woodman Vercoe married Mary Jane Memery 17 Jan 1872 Brixham, Devon.

Mary Jane Memery, born 17 Apr 1851, Brixham. Bapt: 08 Jun 1851 Brixham. Death: Probable: Mary J Matthews 1921 Q1 Totnes 5B 226: Age 69.

1881 census: Mary Jane is in Brixham described as an "Iron miner's wife", together with son William, age 6, in the household of her mother, Jane Memery.

In 1884, Mary Jane marries again: Solomon John Matthews = Mary Jane Vercoe 1884 Q1 Stoke Damerel 5B 539.

Woodman is not noted as deceased on the marriage record of his son William Memery Vercoe to Ellen Brooks in 1899, although Ellen's father is noted as deceased.

Checking the passenger lists on both Ancestry & Findmypast, the 'W Vercoe, age 50, Engineer,' heading for the Cape in 1896 is probably the William John Vircoe in the 1891 census with the occupation 'Mining Engineer'.

I've tried as many variations of his name as I can think of but haven't yet found any death record.
So the question remains; what the heck happened to Woodman Vercoe..!?
Last edited by Cachalot6972 on Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Phil

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Re: What became of Woodman Vercoe?

Postby sdup26 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:31 am

It's a good question, especially when his name is so unusual. Apart from the engineer you found going to Cape Town, there's this: 1908 Electoral Roll, James Street, Brisbane, Australia. Woodman Vercoe, Salvation Army Officer, and Emma Vercoe.
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Re: What became of Woodman Vercoe?

Postby sdup26 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:08 am

Good spot. Back to the drawing board....
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Re: What became of Woodman Vercoe?

Postby JMcK » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:43 am

Shame, because it is easy to follow that Woodman Vercoe from his arrival in Brisbane in 1885 through his marriages, children etc.
He is just too young!
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Re: What became of Woodman Vercoe?

Postby sdup26 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:29 am

It seems that Woodman is last mentioned in 1872 when he married in Brixham to Mary Jane, who remarried in Devon to Solomon Matthews in 1884.
Then there's this birth and death, which you may have seen and discounted, but in case not...
Woodman John Vercoe, born SQ 1886, St Austell 5c 103, no mother's maiden name stated, suggesting illegitimacy. Woodman John Vercoe, died SQ 1886, St Austell 5c 69. It says 'aged 1' but sadly, just one month old.
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Re: What became of Woodman Vercoe?

Postby Cachalot6972 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:07 am

Thanks for the replies folks: Confusing, isn't it!

The Woodman in Australia is the Woodman Vercoe born 1867 in Henstridge, Somerset. Again confusingly, as with *my* Woodman Vercoe, his father is also named Thomas Vercoe and born Roche, Cornwall. He arrived in Queensland 23 Jun 1885.

He may well be the ancestor of Harold Woodman Wilson Vercoe - son of Woodman and Margaret Vercoe, of Brunswick Heads, New South Wales - an Australian soldier who died in Papua during WW2.
Edit: just read the newspaper in Trove mentioned above; he was the soldier's father.

Frankly, I think this is going to be one of life's little mysteries...
Last edited by Cachalot6972 on Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Phil

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Re: What became of Woodman Vercoe?

Postby sdup26 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:25 pm

I wondered about the birth and death of a baby in St Austell in case Dad was your Woodman. Any chance that after marrying Mary Jane, he went back to Cornwall, and after years of silence she married Solomon on the assumption she could call herself a widow? But why doesn't Woodman seem to be on the censuses? As you say, maybe he's destined to be one of those family mysteries that doesn't get resolved.
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Re: What became of Woodman Vercoe?

Postby Jeannie » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:24 pm

Do you know if there is a Kate Virco in the family?

My grandfather's brother went to South Africa and married a Kate Virco, who was born in Cornwall and they had three sons.

I know there are various spellings of Virco but I haven't managed to definitely find her Cornish family.

Fingers crossed!
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Re: What became of Woodman Vercoe?

Postby ianbee » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:16 pm

Jeannie wrote:Do you know if there is a Kate Virco in the family?
My grandfather's brother went to South Africa and married a Kate Virco, who was born in Cornwall and they had three sons.

Marriage, 7th March 1906, at Durban
Frederick Pottinger
+
Kate Virco (Catherine crossed out)
Image is here
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903 ... cc=2063749

South Africa Archives
Pottinger, Kate. Born Virco. Born in Cornwall, England. PRSP
Pottinger, Frederick. Deceased Estate No. 2868/1918.

Leaving London, 6 Feb 1906, on the Umgeni, for Natal
Miss K Virco, age 24
Could that be her? Must have been a quick voyage!

There's Catherine/Kate Vercoe, born 1882, Cornwall
Registered as Catharine Vercoe, June qtr 1882, St Austell
Born Mevagissey, daughter of John and Eliza. Enumerated as Varcoe in 1901.
Have you ruled her out?
Ian
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Re: What became of Woodman Vercoe?

Postby ianbee » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:32 pm

Cachalot6972 wrote:1871: no trace - however, (clutching at straws here) he *may* be the Charles Vercoe, age 21, born Roche, enumerated in Brixham.

Son William, registered as William Memery Vercoe, March qtr 1875.
Baptized at All Saints, Brixham, 16 October 1875 as William Henry. Did they mishear?
Born 1 Feb 1875
Parents Charles Woodman + Mary Jane Vercoe
Abode Lr. Brixham
Father a Miner
So Woodman Vercoe does appear to have used the name Charles!

Couple of admission records for William Vercoe, born 1.2.75, at Brixham British School.
Admitted 9.5.81
Parent or Guardian Woodman Vercoe, Ranscombe, Miner
and again 13.3.82, details the same.
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