From information supplied by Peter Underdown:-

Mary Floyd was born in 1802 in Cornwall. Her parents were Robert and Catherine Floyd, nee Rodda. Mary was baptized in Gwinear on 7/3/1802. Gwinear is a village in the south eastern part of Cornwall near Hayle and Gwinear churchtown still exists today. Her siblings were Robert, Elizabeth, Catherine, Anne (possibly died 13/10/1807 in Gwinear of smallpox), and possibly a Jane.

Mary's father Robert died in 1809, when Mary was only 7 years old. He was buried in Gwinear.


Mary lived in the heart of the Cornish tin mining area. On the 20th January 1824, in Perranzabuloe, Mary married Christopher Pollard, a miner from Gwinear. Perranzabuloe is about 5 miles north east of [Truro], toward [Perranporth].

On the marriage records, Christopher and Mary were listed as sojourners, which meant they were only visitors in the area that they married. Witness to the wedding was Joseph Pollard, likely to be Christopher’s twin brother.

The first four children were born at Gwinear as shown in the IGI. The remainder of their children were born at Perranzabuloe and they were living there by 1841, when the 1841 census showed them at –oonhavers; Perranzabuloe (misspelling of Goosheaven). At this stage, father Christopher and children James, Jane and Christopher were lead dressers in the local mine.

They are still at Perranzabuloe in the 1851 Census. Peter Underdown continues:- “The information from the census does not include sons James or Christopher. I suspect that James was deceased at that stage and may have been married, whilst Christopher was probably married and living apart from the family with his wife Caroline.”

“In this census report both parents were listed as 48 years of age and born in Gwinear. Christopher, the father, was listed as a miner as were Henry, John & Joseph.’

“There appears to be only four marriages and four baptisms listed in Perranzabuloe in the IGI so I am unsure where most of the children were baptized. John was baptized at Truro’s St Marys Wesleyan Church. Perhaps this indicates a change in religion by the family. The Cornish are renowned for their religious faith, spiritual beliefs and superstitions. An obituary written by Joseph Barnes in 1882 in South Australia on the death of his wife Jane, the eldest daughter of Christopher and Mary, gave an indication of the family’s early life in Cornwall.”

“Jane worked in the East Wheal Rose Mine and lived approximately one mile distant, probably with the family. This must have been around 1832 when Mary, the second daughter was born to Christopher and Mary. Jane was known as ‘Jenny’ and had followed ‘Bryanites’ or Bible Christians since childhood. She became a “co-worker in the prayer meetings with the world renowned Billy Bray, who preached the last sermon in the church previous to her departure for South Australia.” In the mine, “where on account of her honesty and integrity, she was placed in charge of about 100 young women who were engaged in sorting copper”. “She used to go into the assorting rooms and hold prayer meetings at noonday which were carried on with that spiritual life and enthusiasm that has made [Cornwall] so noted.” The whole family was a mining family and probably all worked at the Wheal Rose Mine, which was developed and named after it’s discoverer.”


In 1964 a book was written by HL Douch, called East Wheal Rose. Chapter three called ‘DISASTER’ describes how on the 9.7.1846, a thunderstorm resulted in flooding and mud slides at the mine site, killing 36 men. A James Pollard of Perrranzabuloe is listed amongst the dead. The James Pollard was Christopher and Mary’s eldest son, who was recorded aged 21 at his burial, and listed of 'Gooseheaven' (where the family resided in the 1841 census). He is also listed as deceased in 1860 on his mother’s death certificate in Australia. It is believed this disaster may have been the trigger in the family’s eventual decision to move to Australia. More information on the disaster can be found on the following websites:-

South Australia[]

The ship ‘SULTANA’ left Plymouth on the 1.5.1851, arriving in South Australia at [Port Adelaide] on 10.8.1851. The shipping list showed that Christopher was charged an additional amount due to the number of children that came. The families first place of residence in South Australia was in the busy copper mining town of Kapunda, where many Cornish people settled. At least two of the family, Christopher and Henry were to settle in Kapunda for the remainder of their lives.

“In 1852, according to Jane’s obituary, her father left Kapunda, taking the family with him, and settled at [Bowden]. Mary was listed on her death certificate as being in South Australia for 5 years, whilst her husband, Christopher, according to his death certificate, was only here for 1 year. If these times are correct then it is obvious that Christopher and possibly come of the boys left for the goldfields in 1852, leaving Mary and the rest of the family in Parklands, [Bowden] until approximately 1856.”


There is a record of a Christopher and Henry Pollard traveling to [Melbourne] from [Adelaide] on the “Hayilan’ on 18.11.1853.

“On the 22.6.1854 Jane Pollard married Joseph Barnes in the Bible Christian Chapel at [Bowden]. Jane Pollard was reported as the ‘daughter of Christopher Pollard of [Bowden]’ in the Northern Argus on 24.6.1854. This may indicate that Christopher was still a resident of [Bowden] in 1854 or he may have returned from the goldfields for the wedding, perhaps taking the rest of the family back with him, as Mary disappeared from the [Bowden] rate books after 1854. Jane and Joseph Barnes settled in [Bowden], but in 1860 went to [Castlemaine] in Victoria where Jane’s parents had obviously settled to raise the younger children. Their descendents live in and adjacent areas today.”

On 25.4.1857, daughter Elizabeth married John A Sam, a 29 year old miner from [China] in the Church of England at Tarrangower (now known as Maldon). Only about 50 Australian women are known to have married Chinese miners during the gold rush, and it is not known if there were any children from this marriage, or what happened to John Sam. Elizabeth was married to her second husband in 1867.

Robert Floyd Pollard aged 12 years died of Colonial Fever on 22.4.1858 after an illness lasting 20 days. He is buried in the [Castlemaine] Cemetery on Cemetery Road, [Campbell’s Creek].


Within two years of her youngest son's death, Mary also died at Barker's Creek in 1860, a result of ulceration of the bowel. Mary’s death certificate states that she was 21 at marriage had been in South Australia for 10 years, and 4 years in Victoria. Children not living at her death were James, Christopher, Joseph and Robert. Her son Christopher had died only one month before her and son Henry would die one month later.

Mary was buried in the [Castlemaine] Cemetery with her two sons who had died of colonial fever. Even though husband Christopher would marry for a second time and outlived Mary by 27 years, he is also buried with her in the Castlemaine Cemetery.

Daughter Jane may have moved with her husband to Victoria to assist Mary's husband Christopher after her death.


Name Birth Death
Children of Christopher & Mary Pollard

James bap 5/9/1824
Gwinear, Cornwall
[East Wheal Rose Mine], Cornwall

Jane (Jenny) bap 7/5/1826
Gwinear, Cornwall
[Bowden], South Australia

Christopher bap 25/12/1828
Gwinear, Cornwall
Kapunda, South Australia

Henry bap 26/12/1830
Gwinear, Cornwall
Kapunda, South Australia

Mary 1832
Perranzabuloe, Cornwall
Kapunda, South Australia

John bap 4/12/1834
[Truro], Cornwall
[Rutherglen], Victoria

Joseph 1837
Perranzabuloe, Cornwall
buried [Campbell's Creek], Victoria

Caroline May 1840
Perranzabuloe, Cornwall
20 May 1924
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Elizabeth 1841
Perranzabuloe, Cornwall
Myers Creek, Victoria, Australia

Richard 1843
Perranzabuloe, Cornwall
[Sandhurst], Victoria

Robert Floyd 1845
Perranzabuloe, Cornwall
buried [Campbell's Creek], Victoria


  • Family research information from Peter Underdown
  • International Genealogical Index
  • 1841 & 1851 census for Cornwall
  • Baptism records
  • Births, Deaths & Marriage records
  • Obituary of Jane Barnes (nee Pollard)
  • East Wheal Rose by HL Douch
  • South Australian Passenger lists
  • Cemetery Records
  • Cornwall OPC