The Kellaway Information for Black Torrington Families
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The Parish Registers for Black Torrington begin about 1545. The writing for the early records is not easy to read and they are arranged alphabetically by first name which makes it difficult to trace family names. The fiche is often faint and difficult to read but the births and marriages are entered into IGI.
The first Kellaway event in the registers is the birth of Mathew Calaway, son of Mathew, in 1662. Mathew′s wife, Pheobe, is identified from the burial record in 1684. No Marriage for them has been found and no birth for Mathew c.1635 has yet been identified.
Prior to this we have few records. Other local Parish registers start much later, have been lost or destroyed.
The Stofford families at Stafford Barton, Dolton were descendants of the Medieval Kellaway family. Stafford/Kellaway Families
In Early Tax records we have locally:
From these fragmented records it has not been possible to construct a family tree before 1662 and to attach it to the earlier trees for the area.
Several valuable clues to the structure of the family after 1662 were obtained from Wills and Land Leases.
Most Devon Wills were destroyed in a fire but luckily several Kellaway Wills were noted by the researcher Olive Moger and can be seen in the Devon Record Office at Exeter. In addition, a series of Leases for land in Black Torrington belonging to the Kellaways was found in the Devon Record Office.
The first is dated 1752 and is between Mathew Kellaway the Elder and Mathew Kellaway the Younger for “two fields or closes of land” containing 20 acres commonly known as Great Burrough and Beacon Park situated within the parish of Black Torrington. In 1755 Mathew the Younger leased the land to his brother James of Lifton to pass to his first male heir or, if none, his first female heir. In 1801 the heiress Elizabeth Kellaway, by then Elizabeth Colling, and her husband William are leasing the property and owing £370 to Abraham Denis of Tavistock and others. In 1813 there are more leases now involving William, Elizabeth and their son James Kellaway Colling. The debt has mounted to £460 and then £560. There are no more records after this time. The location of the land is not known. It is not marked on the old maps I have seen for the area. I have not found the burial dates for Elizabeth and William Colling who were living in Tavistock.
Recently more clues to the family came from the Callaway Family Association DNA Project. We now know the families of Black Torrington, Halwill and Bovey Tracey have common DNA. The Bovey Tracey group came from Nymet Tracey and Bow and possibly first from Spreyton. The link is not within register records but may help us piece together the fragmented earlier records.
In the late 1700s the Black Torrington family spread to Lifton, Lamerton, Calstock, Tavistock and beyond. There are descendants now in UK, Australia, New Zealand, and USA.
More information on the origins of the Kellaway families can be found on the Kellaway/Callaway Research Pages.
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