In April 2001, Maggie Silver began what turned out to be a very long
search for the ancestor so many of us share, by putting a notice on a
Newfoundland message board on the internet asking if anyone had any information.
To begin with, she got very little in the way of response but she
persisted and thanks to her untiring efforts, and those of the friendly
and generous Newfoundland genealogists she met on the way, we
now know the story of Harriet Hiscock who later became Harriet
Stentiford, wife of Owen Stentiford, sixth child and third son of Robert and
Elizabeth of Torquay. That research, in turn, opened the door that took
us back two further generations on this side of our family!
In the two previous Issues, we told how the family of Robert and
Elizabeth, like so many
others in Devon, was broken apart by the great wave of emigration
which took place in the middle of the 19th century. However, the story of Owen has major
differences to the stories of his siblings. He went out to Newfoundland
and settled there as a young, single man; the woman he met and married was the
daughter of one of the very first settlers in Newfoundland; unlike the
other sons and daughters of Robert and Elizabeth Stentiford , Owen and Harriet made the journey back across the Atlantic with
their large family to start again in England - to Torquay, in fact - the
very place Owen had left behind all those years ago.
The story begins many years before Harriet joined the Stentiford
family and has been pieced together from dozens of tiny scraps of
information accumulated over a period of years from many sources.