Over the past 400 years, the Jenkin family has owned, operated, or been employed at most every mill in Stithians, Mawnan and Sithney parishes in Cornwall. 'tes as if we had invented the trade.
My Cornish father died when I was quite young. Of the little my mother told me about him, much has turned out to be mistaken. I went back myself in 1969 to find my father's family. A second honeymoon with my wife Evelyn. I had only a few out-of-date addresses. I found uncles, aunts, cousins and father's old friends.
As I walked around Lowertown with my Dad's half-brother, he saw someone moving in one of the houses. He called out to the house, and said, " 'ere, d'ee tell 'edly put on 'is boots and come out 'ere."
Out came Hedley Pascoe, an older chap, saying, " Eh, Ronnie, 'ow be 'ee?"
"Now, 'edly," Ronnie said, pointing to me, "d'ee take look at this chap and tell us what 'ee think."
Pascoe looked me over. "Dammeo, I've seen that face before." He looked again, "Dammeo, they's somethin' 'bout the eyes." A third long look,and he said, "Oh, Dammeo, that's Georges boy!"
After almost a half century, he looked at me and saw my father.
I have visited my family three times since, the last time in 2002 for Dehwelans, a great homecoming for the Cornish people around the world. I have the privilege of serving as president of the Pennsylvania Cornwall Association. My family search has become my link to a vibrant national culture.