Emanuel Lang was baptised in the village of Buckland Monachorum, once the home of Sir Francis Drake, on 26 October 1834. His father - John Lang, the local blacksmith - had married a girl from the same village - Jane Spry - in April 1827.
John and Jane set up home in the centre of the village and the baptisms of the first two children born here, Mary and Charles, were recorded on 18 January 1830 and 16 October 1831 respectively, with Emanuel arriving three years later ; no record of his birth on this side of the Atlantic exists just a baptismal record dated 26 October 1834.
After this, everything began to go wrong for Jane, Emanuel and the other children. On 6 October 1836, John Lang died at his house aged 40; we have no way of knowing the cause of his death. His wife, Jane Lang, was heavily pregnant at the time with twin girls - Keziah and Rachel - who were born on New Year's Day 1837. John's elderly father - Bidden Lang - had lived with the family and at John's death, Bidden, ( well into his seventies), Jane and the children, now five in number, had no choice but to appeal to the parish for help.
First they had to leave the blacksmith's shop and their cottage so that another man could take John's place and were sent to live further out of the village at Harris's Tenement, one of the charitable bequests made to the poorest inhabitants of Buckland. A tenement was a small piece of land on which a few vegetables could be grown and most (but not all) tenements had a tiny shack or one-roomed cottage which they would have had to share with other paupers.
Requests for bread, clothing or medicine had to be made to the Overseers of the Poor who were given small sums to disburse by the parish council throughout the year. It was a miserable existence, deliberately contrived to be so to discourage anyone who thought they could sponge off other hard-working villagers who were by no means wealthy themselves. The 1841 census shows them all described as paupers and still living out at the tenement, the twins now 4 and Bidden Lang aged 80.
By 1851, Emanuel had found employment as a farm labourer at a farm called Venton (still there) at the nearby hamlet of Crapstone. He lived-in at the farm but 1861 finds him, aged 26,working as a mason at the head of a household, and living back in the centre of Buckland. His mother Jane is now aged 54 and his brother Charles, now 29, has become a miner in one of the many mines in the area. But, bearing in mind the death of Jane's husband in 1836, surprise, surprise - there are two more children living with them - a brother named Joshua (16) and a Mary aged 10 who is described as Emanuel's niece. There is no baptismal record for either of these children.
By 1862, however, Emanuel was in St German's, Cornwall, getting married to Ann Gent and, in 1865, welcoming the arrival of their first child, Jane Lang, in the September Quarter . This happy event is followed by a return to the other side of the River Tamar, to Honnick Knowle Cottage in St. Budeaux where their second child, Edith Ann, was born in the June Quarter of 1868.
However, don't bother looking for them in the 1881 census - they're not here - they have gone to Canada.