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Paul Mason Carah (View posts)
Posted: 948655840000
Any Carahs out there with a computer? If so, drop me a line and lets chat. Not many of us left.

Origins of the CARAH family

Posted: 951457443000
Edited: 995811636000
The CARAH family originates from
Cornwall County, England and was
once made up of numerous members
living in the Parishes of Breage,
Crowan, Camborne, and surrounding
areas. Most of the families were
engaged in copper or tin mining.
After 1860, some families migrated
to America and Australia. The American
families concentrated in the Copper
Mining District of the Upper Peninsula
of Michigan and another group went to
California to mine quartz gold in the
Sierra foothills in the 1870's. I am
from the latter group.

There are not many Carah's left, and
I do not think there is but a single
survivor in all of England. About 15
families live in the U.S. and about 25
in Australia.

I would like to share family information
with any interested party.

Warren B. Carah

Hello out there

Paul Mason Carah (View posts)
Posted: 951490657000
Just wanted every Carah to know I'm alive and well in Phoenix, Arizona! Email me anytime. I would love to connect with relatives. My new wife, Julie would love it too!

E-Mail Address

Posted: 951547437000
Edited: 995811636000
To: Paul M. Carah

What is your e-mail address? I can't seem
to extract it from the messages you have
posted earlier on the Family History Message

Please E-Mail me back at:


Re: Origins of the CARAH family

Clynt Sheehy (View posts)
Posted: 1106975185000
Classification: Query
Hi Warren and other Carah and Bennetts descendants,

My wife's great-great-grandmother was Mary Carah of Cornwall, England. You have, no doubt seen my posting under "Carahs of Cornwall" on the GenForum site. (Slight mistake therein: Mary Hannah Bennetts Carah was born on Nov. 24, 1871, not 1873.)

Since that posting, I've possibly learnt a few things: My information is that Mary Carah was born c. July 15, 1830 in Cornwall. Her parents were probably William Carah, builder, born c. 1796, and Mary Carah (née Jennings) born c. 1795, both in Cornwall. They were married on March 18, 1819. Their other Children were William (born c. April 17, 1822) and John (born c. 1826).

The first born of Mary Carah (Jr.) was James Bennetts (a.k.a.) James Bennetts Carah or James Carah. He was born on Jan 22, 1848 at Trerice, Helston, Cornwall. In Cornwall he was a miner and policeman. In 1872 he and his wife and all children migrated to Australia where initially he was a miner but went on to be a gaoler and later gaol governer in Bourke, New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

Mary Carah (Jr.) later went on to marry (Edwin Francis Symons (tailor/grocer) on April 27?, 1853 in the parish church, Crowan. He was born c. 1828 in Crowan, Cornwall. He an Mary went on to have eight children, two in Crowan and the last five in Breage, Cornwall.

Now the Holy Grail in the Bennetts family is to discover who was James Bennetts Carah's father. As you have previously suggested, he was probably born out of wedlock. Who was the cad who seduced poor little Mary? He was possibly a "James Bennetts" or probably named "Bennetts".

James Bennetts Carah's first two children, John Kemp Bennetts and Mary Hanah Fizzell (née Bennetts Carah) were born in Falmouth, Cornwall; the remaining seven were born in Australia. They migrated to Moreton Bay, Queensland in 1872 on board the "Indus".

I am seeking descendants of the following Bennetts Carah children (I'll call them Bennetts, as after family discussion, in Australia, they decided to call themselves "Bennetts"):-

John (Jack) Kemp Bennetts, born June 6, 1870 Falmouth, Cornwall, England; d. January 1, 1959 in the Balmain Hospital, Sydney, Australia. In 1901 he married Ada Redgrave who died on April 29, 1911.

William Melanchthon Bennetts, b. January 22, 1877 in Cowra, NSW, Australia. In 1903 he married Ethel MacVicar.

Arthur Bennetts, b. November 25, 1880 in Cowra; d. July 19, 1938 in North Strathfield, Sydney, NSW, Australia. In 1924 he married Vera Jones in the Burwood District of Sydney.

Christina Pocock (née Bennetts), b. December 4, 1883 in Bourke, NSW, Australia; d. March 10, 1966 in Grafton, NSW, Australia. In 1916 she married Frederick W. Pocock (d. 1943, Grafton). Children: Jean (d. 2004), James and Margaret.

I have been advised that there is, or was, some documentation in the family setting out the reasons for the adoption of the name "Bennetts".

I would welcome any info as to who was Mary Carah's father and any info about descendants of the above four Bennetts.


Re: Origins of the CARAH family

Posted: 1108397406000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1160766254000

Mary Carah, as you point out, was the daughter of William Carah (b. 1796) and Mary Jennings (b. 1801). However, William's surname was not always Carah. The surname began as Caro or Cara in the 1600's and changed to Carah around 1800. The reason for the change is not known, but it started in the West near Penzance and Gulval and reached Crowan by 1810.

William Caro's father was another William Caro (1768-1841) who married an Ann Bennatts. Wheter this has any connection to Mary Carah's Bennett relationship is unknown.

The oldest documented Caro in Crowan is Bennet Caro (b. 1730), who with his wife Elizabeth Ralph, parented the above William Caro. Thus Bennet Caro is Mary Carah's great grandfather.

The run of the name "Bennet" and variants through the early Caro family history may be the origin for the use of the name in Mary Carah's son James.

As you know, I believe that James was born out of wedlock, but this seemed to be a common occurance almost everywhere in Cornwall during this period. My history of the several Carah branches shows a lot of children christened within a few months of their parents marriage.

I would not go so far as to call Mary's unknown lover a "cad" in that much of the population seemed fond of finding ways to "divert" themselves from the burden of heavy labor, but it is likely he was someone named Bennett or something similar. There are hundreds of such men born in Cornwall around 1830--It was a very common name.

I hope you find the documentation you refer to regarding the rationale for using the Bennetts name--This is probably the only way you are going to resolve this issue.


Warren Carah
Brighton, Michigan

Re: Origins of the CARAH family

Clynt Sheehy (View posts)
Posted: 1108605593000
Classification: Query
G'day Warren,

Thank you very much for the info in your posting of Feb. 14, 2005; it certainly expands the avenues of possible explanations.

My suggestion that Mary Carah was seduced was, of course, a little "tongue in cheek"; she did not mind a little diversion; after all she went on to have eight more children after she subsequently married Edwin Francis Symons.


Re: Origins of the CARAH family

Posted: 1108650160000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1160766254000

Yes the Carah's seemed to enjoy their being human and they were not troubled by the niceities of marriage and the like if it got in their way.

However the Carah's in Britain have just about run out of steam and there are only a few of my cousins still around, mostly in Devon.

The Carah's in America are none too numerous either and are unfortunately shrinking. I would guess we have about 30 Carah families in all of the U.S.--and most are older folks.

Australia has the most and many are quite young so the family is well positioned for growth.

I am sure Cornish miners of the Carah persuasion went to South Africa and South America in the 1800's to prospect, but none of those families seem to have stuck.

If you wish, I would be happy to send you what I have on the more ancient Carah's of Crowan.



Re: Origins of the CARAH family

Clynt Sheehy (View posts)
Posted: 1108694571000
Classification: Query
Hi Warren,

It would seem that you American Carahs are letting the team down as far as procreation is concerned. Man, you must urge them to go forth and multiply !

Yes I would be very interested in the ancient Carahs of Crowan as, I presume, would be the hordes of other Carahs who visit this site but do not leave an imprint. I would be particularly interested if the ancients could be linked into those you talked about in the first three paragraphs of your posting of Feb 14.

Do you know more of the BMD dates, places and siblings of the people in those three paragraphs?


Re: Origins of the CARAH family

Posted: 1169807510000
Classification: Query
My fathers name was Raymond James Bennetts and his father was James Bennetts. My great grandfather came out to Australia on the Indus in 1870 and settled in Rubyvale in Queensland before moving to Bourke in NSW. We were always told that a branch of the family moved to America but we never knew what branch of the family. My brother, James Bennetts, went to England and did some research, and found out that my great grandfathers mother was Mary Carah with no father named, Marys father was William Carah and Mother Mary Jennings. This all sounds similar to the bennetts you are asking about. My name is Val Peter(nee Bennetts)
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