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Norfolk, Mitford & Launditch District, East Tuddenham, Parish Information, 1836

Document Reference: Crossing the Atlantic - emigration from East Tuddenham, several names listed

Transcribed by: Bonnie Ostler
Date Added: November 09, 2002

The following article by Bonnie Ostler is an excellent example of the detail that can be obtained with perserverence and a bit of luck; detailing the assisted emigration of several families from East Tuddenham to Canada in 1836

The names mentioned include HOWARD, REEVE, RUMBLE, THAINE; but the information is of great interest to anyone researching emigrant families



CROSSING THE ATLANTIC
by Bonnie Ostler

I have been a mad genealogist for thirty years and it is with emotion akin to glee that I write this article. Prior to the internet, for a Canadian to research in England it was a lengthy and tedious process; that involved carefully worded letters accompanied by two international coupons and many weeks of waiting to see whether there might be a response.

At the time I discovered the internet in 1998, the following was known. Three brothers, Thomas, Robert and John Rumble emigrated from East Tuddenham, Norfolk in 1836 and settled in Vaughan Township just north of Toronto, Ontario. The older two brothers brought wives and children. My great-great grandfather, Thomas Rumble’s baby died on the voyage.

Records on both sides of the ocean posed problems. East Tuddenham parish registers are in excellent condition at the Norfolk Record Office but they have not been microfilmed or transcribed. East Tuddenham Archdeacon’s Transcripts, with the usual gaps, stop at 1812.

In Canada, the government did not ask for passenger lists from ships’ captains until 1865. Civil Registration in Ontario began in 1869. The earliest full census in Ontario was taken in 1851. Church records from pioneer Ontario are inconsistent. To further complicate my research, the Rumble family was illiterate.

In 1834 when the Poor Law Amendment Act was passed, there was a huge surplus of agricultural labourers (AgLabs) throughout England. It was draining parish coffers to make the necessary relief payments. Being an agricultural county, Norfolk was in a particularly bad way. The Poor Law Commission in London encouraged parish officials to pay for the passage of anyone who had received relief or was likely to receive it. In 1836, more than 3,300 people emigrated from Norfolk. Most came to Canada. To make arrangements for the mass exodus that occurred in the spring of 1836 there was a considerable amount of correspondence between Norfolk parish officials, the Poor Law Commissioner’s agent, J. Denham Pinnock and the Poor Law Commission in London. Pinnock’s papers have not survived with the exception of his letter book. This letter book may be found in at the PRO (C.O. 385/9) and also on microfilm in the reading room of the National Archives of Canada. As the departure date approached, East Tuddenham parish officials began to communicate directly with the Poor Law Commission in London. This correspondence may be found at PRO Kew (MH 12/8474) in a file marked “Poor Law Commissioner’s Correspondence with Mitford & Launditch Poor Law Union, Norfolk 1834-Dec, 1836”. Shortly before the sailing date parish officials sent lists of parishioners who were desirous of emigrating and at the time of departure they supplied lists of those who actually went. These lists are also at the PRO.

Fortunately for Canadians, an Ottawa history professor spent several weeks during the summer of 1998 extracting the relevant correspondence and lists at the PRO and he has generously distributed this material to anyone who asks for it. Here is the list for East Tuddenham .

Churchwardens and overseers, East Tuddenham, 6 Apr.1836
"Very considerable difficulty has been experienced finding accommodation for these Persons on board of any Vessel leaving the Port of Yarmouth, but the Parish has now been able to contract for their conveyance, provided the necessary arrangements can be completed before the 15th Inst: We beg leave also to report to the Board that an eligible offer has presented itself of borrowing the necessary sum of £100 from an Individual in the Neighbourhood, to be repaid in five years by equal annual instalments with interest at 5 per Cent per Annum. It will be observed that in the last communication of the Parish Officers to the Board it was proposed to borrow the sum of £150 but in consequence of the illness of the Father of one Family, the number of Emigrants will be reduced and the Sum of £110 increased by private subscriptions will defray the expenses to be incurred.” Asks the necessary forms. “The contract will be forwarded to J.D. Pinnock Esquire by this day’s post.”

A LIST and DESCRIPTION of the PERSONS desirous of EMIGRATING from the Parish of EAST TUDDENHAM in the County of NORFOLK
John RUMBLE aged 54, a labourer in husbandry - received £4 10s in relief in last year, emigrating to Upper Canada
Mary wf of J. Rumble, aged 50
James Rumble, aged 20
Elizabeth Rumble, aged 13
John Rumble, aged 18
Clark Rumble, aged 16
Charles Rumble, aged 9

Thomas RUMBLE, aged 32, labourer in husbandry - received 9s in relief in last year, emigrating to Upper Canada
Emma wf of T. Rumble, aged 30
John Rumble, aged 2
George Rumble, aged 12 weeks

Robert RUMBLE, aged 27, labourer in husbandry - received 18s 9d in relief in last year, emigrating to Upper Canada
Hannah wf of R. Rumble, aged 26
William Rumble, aged 5
Mary Rumble, aged 7
Thomas Rumble, aged 9 mos
Sarah Rumble, aged 3

Charles REEVE, aged 36, labourer in husbandry - received £1 14s in relief in last year, emigrating to Upper Canada
Mary Ann wf of C Reeve, aged 30
Thomas Reeve, aged6
Sarah Reeve, aged 10
William Reeve, aged 4
Charlotte Reeve, aged 8
James Reeve, aged 1
[This family of REEVE crossed out] Charles Reeve is at present confined by severe illness on which account the names of himself and family are withdrawn

William HOWARD, aged 34, labourer in ------ emigrating to Upper Canada
Mary wf of W Howard, aged 29
Charles Howard, aged 11
Hannah Howard, aged 13
William Howard, aged 7
Emily Howard, aged 1 ½

James THAINE , aged -- , labourer in husbandry - received £2 s2 6d in relief in last year, emigrating to Upper Canada
Mary wf of J Thaine, aged --
Engledow Thaine, aged 1


The Reeve family backed out but Charles Reeve recovered from his illness and lived a long life. James Rumble age 20 was far too ill to go. In fact, James died and was buried on May 1 in East Tuddenham churchyard. Twenty-five men, women and children emigrated from East Tuddenham in April, 1836. Mary Howard’s maiden name was Rumble. That means there were 22 members of my family plus James and Mary Thaine with their one year old son.

The correspondence accompanying this list refers to making the necessary arrangements by April 15th. Two emigration ships sailed to Quebec from Great Yarmouth between April 6 (date on letter) and April 15. The Wellington sailed on April 13 and the Baltic left on April 14. We could not be certain on which ship the East Tuddenham group travelled but it was enough to know that it was one or the other.

During the four years since the discovery of the emigration list a large amount of interesting material has been found about my Rumble family in Norfolk and Canada but nothing more about the emigration.

Six months ago, one of Isabel Easter’s wonderful big updates to the Norfolk Surnames List included the name of someone searching for THAINE at East Tuddenham. My e-mail to this person went unanswered until recently when the person responded saying she had just found my message. It greeted her when she arrived in the south for the winter from her summer home in northern U.S.A. She told me she had a letter written by Mary Thaine in 1836 about crossing the Atlantic. Unfortunately this letter and the rest of her family history papers were at her summer home in the north.

I was beside myself with curiosity and began searching the internet for someone else.. anyone else.....who might be researching this THAINE family. Lo and behold!
I found a young 22 yr old mother of three in Michigan who has a copy of a fourteen page Thaine family history. It contains typed copies of two letters written by Mary Thaine.
For a week, every night after she put her children to bed this young woman worked at re-typing the 14 pages into the body of e-mails and in exchange I sent her everything I know about her Thaine ancestors.

Mary Thaine’s first letter gives the departure date from Great Yarmouth as April 28th and arrival at Quebec City June 8th. This eliminates any possibility of my ancestors being on the Baltic or the Wellington. The dates coincide with sailing and docking dates of a brig called the Venus, whose master was Simmons. A.C. Buchanan's weekly report states that 185 of the 203 passengers were assisted, and that some were from the parish of Wangford in Suffolk. The second letter dated Feb 28, 1853 contains details about family and friends. It answered questions about members of my family that I had wondered about for many years.

Here is Mary Thaine’s account of crossing the Atlantic.




Quebec June 8, 1836

Dear friends:

Being arrived at Quebec and cast anchor, not being able to get into harbor till the next tide, according to promise I have taken my pen to give you the best information I am able. I need not tell you anything about the night we came aboard, your own eyes bore witness to it. We were glad to see you the next morning. We thought you might then carry home better news.
We set sail on Thursday, April 28th, and were in great danger at night, the water washed over the deck. We had many rough nights but fine days. James was not so timid as I expected. He was sick for nearly the first three weeks but nothing so bad as me, myself, and the dear boy ailed nothing, and we are all well at present. James is extremely hearty now.
Thomas Rumble's baby died the 8th of May and was buried in the afternoon with the things it died in sewed up in a sack and weighted with sand. They are not allowed to bury in boxes nor keep them more than twenty-four hours.
All our grown up people were sick excepting myself and Will Howard. You will no doubt, dear friend, be surprised to hear that it was so exceedingly cold that we were forced to go to bed to keep ourselves warm, having no fire only on deck.
This is not a passenger ship and in no wise fitted for the purpose. It is only a Timber Brigg, and to make things more uncomfortable the Sailor's Captain and Mate were reprobate fellows. There is all sorts to make a ship load. They might all swear and do as they liked without control.
We were driven so far northward that they could see the greater part of Greenland with a spy glass. We passed a great deal of ice, some pieces higher then the mast head and a considerable length.

Sunday, May 22nd we passed Birds Island so near that we could see them like a cloud flying by thousands over the island. They come down from Quebec and gather a ship load of eggs every year. The birds are as big as Banllings. We saw some places that was inhabited by the wild people. They have huts to go in.
Truly we can say that they go down in ships to see his wonders in the deep. The Lord has been mindful of us. There has been two ships lost close by the place where we was laid fast nearly a day crossing the gulf. The Lord sent a breeze at night and we got in the right road. My heart melts with gratitude. Who are we, dear friends, that the Lord is thus mindful over us. There was all lost off one ship but four Sailors and the Mate, the captain being drunk. We arrived at quarantine ground on Saturday, June 4. Stayed there on Sunday and went ashore on Monday for inspection and washed in the holes of the rocks. We had washed up Chief of what we had on board. This is an island that government makes all ships call at and land their passengers to wash and air their linen lest they should carry any sickness into the country. When there are but few passengers on board, sometimes the doctor will let them pass without landing there. We saw the Irish people by the hundreds washing with their feet. Dear friends, there are many wonders to be seen in the deep. We saw a whale blowing up the water till it was all a fomentation and white. Porpoise as big as horses were. And coming down the river to Quebec, most beautiful to behold, we saw the water descent 27 feet off the hills and boil as white as snow. They tell us we shall see another above a hundred feet.

We were very much disappointed, dear friends, in respect to our provisions. We had plenty of salt beef which we knew not how to eat. We had only one sack and a bushel of potatoes. No raisins, no onions, and very little rice and oatmeal, which we needed. And we had the worst biscuits in the ship. For about 3 weeks we were confined to 2 pints of water a day, 1 pint a child, to cook with and all. The only accommodation for cooking is a place where you may set on 8 teakettles. We have about two hundred passengers. We are all much pleased with the country. It exceeds our expectations. They are boarded houses whited over. Quebec is enough to win ones heart. It is an immense place and stands on a hill. We often talk about you all and hope by the supporting grace of that supremest friend have bore the loss with patience. We expect soon to take steam. We can get to Montreal in 24 hours. The houses here look like flocks of sheep at a distance.
Hannah Thaine will hear this letter and let Hannah Rumbles folks know. Excuse mistakes for there is so much havoc. The Captain is now dancing on deck. I must now conclude not knowing and lest I should be thought partial. Our kindest love to all. We should like to know how mother and sister got on, but that we are denied of. We have not seen anything to affectionate and loving friends.
James and Mary Thaine.

We feel more comfortable than we have done.



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