From Porthallow to The United States of
The Story of Amy (Harry) White
Amy Harry was born in St Keverne in 1841, probably at the family farm at Roaring Style.
She was the one of the ten children born to John Harry and Amia (nee Richards) who were married at St Keverne Parish church on 29 January 1828.
John Harry was a carpenter at various times at both Grougath and Roaring Style.
He died at Roaring Style in April 1840 aged 40 and was buried at St Keverne on 21 April.
Amy Harry married Josiah White, a carpenter from Porthallow in about 1865 and they had six children, apparently all male.
The eldest appears to have been Thomas Henry who was baptised at Porthallow Bible Christian chapel on 31 March 1867.
The second son, Alfred John Harry was baptised at St Keverne Parish Church on 7 March 1869.
A third son, Josiah James was born in 1871 and the fourth, Arthur, in October 1875 but he died soon after.
Arthur White, infant of Porthallow, was buried at St Keverne on 11 October 1875.
The two youngest sons were Ernest born in 1876 and Samuel born in 1878. Josiah White, the son of Edward White and Loveday, was baptised at his parent's house in Porthallow on 26 February 1846.
Edward White was a joiner, a trade that he passed on to his son Josiah.
What happened to Josiah White remains a mystery because no death record can be found for him but by 1881 Amy White was a widow.
In the 1871 Census Amy White was the Head of the Household, and married - three children were living with her. Alfred John Harry aged 2, Thomas Henry aged 4 and Josiah James aged 3 months.
By 1881 Amy White was still at Porthallow but her status was that of a widow aged 40.
Her children living at home were Thomas Henry aged 14, Alfred aged 12, Ernest aged 5 and Samuel aged 3.
Her widowed mother Amia Harry aged 75 was also living at Porthallow together with her daughter Loveday Harry (35) and grandson Josiah White aged 10.
The White family had strong connections with the Methodist (Bible Christian) chapel and choir at Porthallow and it was this link that Amy took with her to USA in 1881/2 for she was one of the first members of a Methodist church in the North-west corner of Washington State.
Her obituary appeared in the Blaine Journal of July 18th 1919 and referred to her passing under the headlines
"Death of an Aged Pioneer".
It reads " Mrs.Amy Vogt, one of the earliest settlers of this section and a continuous resident since 1882, passed away Saturday last at the age of 79 years. Death was due to old age. Funeral services were held on Sunday afternoon at one o'clock, Rev.O.Congdon officiating, and interment made in the family lot in California Creek cemetery. The deceased was born in Cornwall, May 4th 1841 and in 1856 she was married to Josiah White. To this union six children were born, five boys and one girl, the latter dying in infancy. In 1882, being left a widow, she came to America to her brother Richard Richards, who has since passed to his long rest and who lived near the head of Drayton Harbour. Two of the sons that came over with her have passed on, leaving but two - Thomas Henry of Fairbanks, Alaska and Alfred John Harry of Blaine.
In 1883 she married Charles Vogt and to this union three children were born - Otto, Grover and Mrs Amy Wilcox, all of Birch Bay. Mr Vogt also passed on to his rest (d.1902). When the deceased first arrived here there was no place of worship except at California Creek in a little log cabin which stood near the cemetery there.
Later Rev. Carr organised a Sunday School and held services at the Vogt home. She was a devoted Christian woman throughout the most of her life, although kept from attending church these last few years by reason of invalidity".
Her second husband Charles Vogt was originally from Berlin, Germany and came to the German settlement in Illinois when he was eighteen years old before moving to the Pacific coast.
Although the obituary referred to a daughter, it seems that Josiah White and Amy had six sons, one of whom died very young.
The marriage in 1856 also seems rather early - Amy would only have been 15 and the first child was not born until eleven years later in 1867 (Thomas Henry White).
The obituary also referred to her coming to USA to join her brother, Richard Richards - this seems much more likely to have been a relative (uncle or cousin?) as her mother Amy (Amia) Richards married John Harry. However, Amy White, a widow together with four sons, took on the daunting task of leaving Porthallow and her aged mother and other family members for the life of a pioneer in Washington State in the North-west USA.
AND NOW A REQUEST
I have written this short article based on three people's recent correspondence to me as part of an ongoing task. I am in the process of putting together a database of all the people who emigrated abroad from St Keverne parish. To date I have used letters (family history requests) re St Keverne families over a period of 30 years and more recently email enquiries to me personally or via the St Keverne Local History Society's website. I am using the following headings - · name · maiden name where applicable (as in the case of a married couple emigrating) · age at emigration · date of emigration · ship (if known) · destination (country + precise location) · any additional comments. If any current member of the CFHS living either abroad or elsewhere in the UK has information about roots in St Keverne parish, I would very much appreciate them getting in touch with me.
At present I am concentrating on St Keverne families who emigrated to the "New World" but will make a start to migration to other parts of this country very shortly.