The Branches of the Tregurtha Family Tree

BRANCH #1 – A branch of Tregurthas that has its roots in the village of Paul in Cornwall.



Parish registers record the marriage of Edward Tregurtha to Mary (or Margt), on 24 Jun 1654.  Following this branch down through history eventually brings you to Australia where descendants of Edward can be found living in almost all of its seven states.  Perhaps the most well known Tregurtha from this branch is Captain Edward Primrose, a man who many know began his life as a young boy in the Royal Navy, later serving time in the East India Company before embarking on his own whaling adventures in the South Seas.  Edward settled in Tasmania and from there, he and his wife Elizabeth Bussell raised seven children.  Australia not only lured Edward away from his native home, but also Edward’s two brothers, Thomas and John William Burgess, both of whom would settle in Victoria.  From these three brothers the family branch widened, adding new names and new stories to the family tree.

Melbourne in 1840:  from the original sketch by Mr. G. H. Haydon

Melbourne in 1840: from the original sketch by Mr. G. H. Haydon

BRANCH #2 – Beginning in the parish of Breage, Cornwall, this large branch of Tregurthas descend from John Tregurtha who was baptised on 22 March 1646; son of William and Margaret.  Generations later this branch spreads out and sets down new roots in four separate continents; Australia, New Zealand, North America & South Africa.



More information coming soon.



Research shows that the New Zealand branch of Tregurthas begins with James Tregurtha, baptsied 7 May 1775 in the parish of St Buryan in Cornwall.  In 1803 he married Elizabeth Rodda in the village of St Levan.  James worked as a miller in his home village, and later his sons would carry on with this work.  In 1833 his second eldest son, Thomas, married Jane Jacka.  Thomas and Jane had seven children, losing one as a baby; their other children however thrived, and it was their youngest two sons, Richard and Charles, who decided they wanted a new life and so made the long journey to New Zealand.  Richard wrote that they left Cornwall and travelled to London by train, a journey that took 12 hours.  While in London they visited some of the landmarks such as St Pauls Cathedral, eventually setting sail for New Zealand a few days later.  Both brothers would find work quickly in their new homeland, and both would work hard for their new families, providing food and shelter, along with new opportunities that would keep the Tregurtha name in the country until the present day.  Just recently, in March 2013, a Tregurtha reunion took place, bringing together the many descendants of Richard Tregurtha and we hope this project and website might one day unite the descendants of both these pioneering brothers.

The seven sons of Richard Tregurtha & Elizabeth Ann Cargeeg.

The seven sons of Richard Tregurtha & Elizabeth Ann Cargeeg.



To date we have two separate branches that both lead to South Africa, and we are still searching for the link.  The first branch starts with the baptism of John Tregurtha in the village of Gwinear in Cornwall, in November 1768.  When he was 25 yrs old, John married Sarah Weymouth in the parish of St Buryan, which lies about 20 km south of Gwinear.  John and Sarah raised six children in the village, their first born carrying his mother’s name, John Weymouth Tregurtha, as was often the tradition in those days.  Many generations later, we find the Weymouth name again, this time being given to the children of Thomas Tregurtha & Jane Downing; children who would be Sarah Weymouth’s great, great grandchildren.  It is Thomas Tregurtha who makes a temporary home in South Africa, working at the gold mines in Bokburg, Transvaal.  His death here in 1915 is reported in the local newspaper back in Cornwall.  Thomas’ son, named Thomas Weymouth Tregurtha (1884-1968), followed his father to South Africa and made it his home.

The second South African branch of Tregurthas, which we believe has a common ancestor to the above branch, belongs to Thomas Tregurtha, baptised 29 Jul 1764.  In 1796 he married Jane Thomas, and their first born son James Thomas Tregurtha was baptised in St Levan, Cornwall, in 1818.  James married a Welsh girl named Louisa Long Batcock in the neighbouring county of Devonshire in 1849.  Their only son, Mansell Thomas Tregurtha, was born in the northern county of Cumberland, in England.  James worked as an engineer, and before long he and Louisa have moved to the area where she grew up, near Swansea in Wales.  By the time Mansell was 20 years old he had lost both his parents, and perhaps this, as well as other life experiences, shapes him for his future and leads him to new beginnings in South Africa.  This second branch also follows tradition and carries the name Mansell down through the generations, alhtough we are yet to find where it stems from.

Kyle and Mark Tregurtha



Four branches of Tregurthas made their way to the United States of America, putting down roots in unfamiliar towns that carried familiar names, such as Middlesex in Massachusetts, and Essex in New Jersey.  John Tregurtha and wife Jane sailed into New York harbour just a few years before the Statue of Liberty was built, and probably stood with the crowd of thousands when she was brought into New York aboard the Isere.  Born in St Buryan in 1825, John married Jane Williams in Penzance, Cornwall, and together they brought their four children to this new land in 1865; just years after the end of the Civil War.   The US offered new hope to many but sadly both John and Jane would not live to see their hopes fulfilled, with Jane dying in 1872 and John in 1878.  Their sons however would use the Tregurtha strength at heart, and ambition, and make their parents proud.  Today, you can see evidence of that when you see the name of John and Jane’s great grandson, Paul R. Tregurtha, emblazened on the side of the largest vessell on the Great Lakes.

Another branch of USA Tregurthas comes from John Tregurtha and Elizabeth Evans who lived in Llanelly, Wales.  John and Elizabeth’s great grandson John M. C. Tregurtha left Wales in 1958 and sailed to Ohio, eventually settling in Florida.  Then we have the branch belonging to John and Frances Tregurtha, from the seaside village of St Ives in Cornwall.  John was a fisherman like his father and grandfather before him, with his son and grandson following in the same profession.  It would be his great grandson Edgar Tregurtha who followed his adventurous spirit and set sail to the United States in 1923, making his home in the growing city of Wayne, Michigan.

Paul R. Tregurtha steamship


Our current genealogical research is working towards one goal; finding the missing link between the two branches above.  A large percentage of this research is focused on searching scanned images of original parish registers from Cornwall, (located at, or reels of microfiche at the Family History Centre in London.  It also involves searching for lesser known records in the hope that these will offer up the information we seek; documents such as wills, land records, military files, historical & statistical accounts, area surveys, and much more.  This task will take time, but the results will be more than worth it.  Please remember that in all aspects of the Tregurtha Project we welcome contributions from others and so encourage you to share anything you feel is relevant in bringing together these branches of the Tregurtha Family Tree.