From Buryan to Bondi: The Dennis Family of West Penwith,

From Buryan to Bondi: The Dennis Family of West Penwith, Cornwall, and some Australian Descendants The Dennis family has been recorded in the beautiful Land s End to Penzance region of Cornwall for nearlyyears, since the middle of the sixteenth century This quiet fishing, farming and mining region is saturated in history extending back to Celtic times Its spectacular wild coastline, swept by Atlantic storms, has seen many shipwrecks and has harboured many teams of smugglersIn this place so full of romantic imagery, the Dennis family can be tracked with some confidence from the time when three brothers named Sampson, Richard and George Dennis turned up in Saint Buryan parish records just after theHearth Tax return They were literate, owned property and two were QuakersThis book follows the fortunes of George Dennis and his descendants through several centuries of their lives in Cornwall, as times grew progressively tougher Appendices refer to other parts of the familyInwas born George Dennis, a g g g grandson of the original George Ten children were born before George Dennis died in , leaving his young family to struggle through harsh economic timesInhis widow Susan Dennis, her five sons and two surviving daughters arrived in Sydney Harbour They came as assisted migrants on two different ships, ready to start a new and better life in Australia They joined Susan s other daughter Jane and her miner husband William Williams, who had left Cornwall in Like so many immigrants from Cornwall, the older Dennis boys brought with them their mining skills Susan s younger children, still of school age in , enjoyed the benefit of some formal education and became teachers Living first at mining settlements at Currawang near Goulburn, and Cow Flat near Bathurst, the Dennis family eventually settled in various parts of New South WalesThe greatest contrast in lifestyles between their new and old homeland was achieved by Susan s son James Dennis, who learned to read back in Cornwall by the light of a miner s lamp Within thirty years of arriving in Australia as a thirteen year old labourer, he was a headmaster, a Master of Arts from Sydney University and then Inspector of Schools for NSW His two sons were amongst Australia s first lifesavers, at Bondi Beach, but he never forgot his links to Buryan

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