by Shane Badham, from the 2005 Conference

Shane outlined the areas he would cover, most of which he had researched during the first half of 2003. He described the migrations by sea between South Wales and the peninsular of the Westcountry, much of which was trade in various mined ores and the movement of labour associated with mining. He illustrated this with the results of his research in Cornwall.

There are no BADHAMs in Cornwall according to the 1851 Census, but the Cornwall FHS has most of its data on computer and a search produced some interesting facts. There are some 26 BADHAMs including variants resident in the county between 1722 and 1841. These include baptisms, marriages, burials, the 1841 Census, and one Will.

Included in the baptisms for 1836 are two of the children of Thomas Badham, namely Louisa Sophia and Charles Adrian. They were baptised at St. Cuby with Tregony. It is also interesting to note that the patron saint of Llangybi in Monmouthshire is St. Cybi and is the same Cornish saint with Welsh spelling!

Shane was interested in the railway from Bristol to Exeter, because of his G-G-Granfather’s connection as secretary of the company. There is a book by David St. John Thomas describing the Railways of the South West. Besides the history of the Bristol and Exeter Railway, he had read of the development of the continuation of the line through Devon and Cornwall and the branch lines. He then talked about the affect of the coming of the railways, by looking at the progress of development for each census year up to 1925. This included main lines and branch lines. Everyone wanted their branch line and stations, eventually including Exmouth, Sidmouth, East Budleigh, and Budleigh Salterton. To show the effect on migration, he had looked at the 1841 Census when there were no BADHAMs in Exeter and then after the line from Bristol to Exeter was completed in May 1844 the 1851 Census shows six BADHAMs in Exeter.

Shane was able to show several BADHAM families in Bristol from the late 1700s until 1858, including his own ancestors. Resources he had used were Census returns, apprenticeships, Burgess books, poll books, and directories.

Dorset has no BADHAM names for the 1851 Census, but Somerset has ten BADHAM variants.

Wiltshire also has no BADHAM names in 1851, but some of Shane’s ancestors are in Melksham in the 1861 Census and also the 1871 and 1881 Censuses.

Finally Shane talked about the influx of German miners into the Westcountry, because they had deep mining expertise and the massive migration of Cornishmen and Devonians all over the world, at least double that of any other county in Britain.

Why did so many emigrate? Research has been done which suggests that most were well educated and could read and write. It is possible that some read about the countries to which Britons were emigrating and others may have received letters from relatives, describing their new life.

Examples of Westcountry BADHAMs we know have emigrated are: Louisa Sophia, Charles Adrian, Emily Rosa, Florence, Margarite Bush (nee Badham), and possibly three or more of James Billings Badham’s children.