Cornwall does Who Do You Think You Are?
HAVE you ever wondered where your family came from?
Carol Barker had no knowledge of her Cornish roots. Although she was born in Birmingham, she said she always felt a strong connection to Cornwall, particularly St Ives – but did not have any trace of her ties.
Because of her dad's career in the Navy she moved around a lot, living in the county for a time before moving elsewhere until adulthood. In 1997 she settled back in Helston and recently stumbled across a family line she knew nothing about.
"I always had a fascination with St Ives," said Carol. "I moved down to Cornwall in 1997 but when I visited I always used to feel I knew it."
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Unbeknown to her, it was where her grandmother, Janie (Janet) Shugg, was born in 1907 – and many more Shuggs before her.
"I didn't know about her," she said. "I had no idea part of my family was from Cornwall until I started digging." The would-be historian is pleased she did, uncovering a lot more than just a birthplace.
Carol's great grandfather, William Stevens Shugg, was a master mason. Carol said he built the town's cinema, Smeaton's Pier, Carbis Bay Chapel, the old post office and also 'Brig-y-don' – now the Ocean Grill – which he built for his daughter Janie.
Carol said walking around St Ives was like "stepping into a time machine".
"It's pretty amazing that I live on top of my family history.
"I can look at buildings my great grandfather built – it's like I'm walking in his footsteps and I didn't know he was even there until recently."
Carol said: "It's nice to know who you are, where you're from. I know more of the story now.
"I also always used to visualise this street, Victoria Place, when I went away," she added.
Incredibly, not only was Carol's great grandfather the man behind many of St Ives' most famous landmarks, he was the son of Mary Stevens – a member of a well-known fishing family, who was born on that very road.
Mary's husband, Carol's great great grandfather, William Bryant Shugg, was born in the area. After a period in Cape Town, South Africa – where he learnt the stonemasonry trade – he later settled back in the port and married.
William came from a long line of masons, with Carol following her ancestors back to the early 1700s. The Stevens family too can be traced long back into Cornish history. Looking into early records of 'Shugg' she found possible links to the tin trade with modern-day Iraq.
She is asking if anyone remembers her family, or can tell her more, to get in touch.
Do you know more, or have you got a similar story? Contact email@example.com if so.