Kellaway Families Tavistock and Whitchurch Kellaway Families Lifton Area Kellaway Families Black Torrington

Tavistock and Whitchurch

Kellaway families arrived in the Tavistock Area in the mid 1700s from different parts of Devon.

The first group to arrive originated in Black Torrington.
Matthew Kellaway and his wife Elizabeth (Brook) from Black Torrington appear to have moved late in life to Lamerton along with their son Matthew who later married Ann (Harris). Whilst it is not possible to be entirely certain, this headstone for Elizabeth Kellaway found in Tavistock would appear to be for Matthew Snr′s wife.

The Grave of Elizabeth Kellaway
Tavistock, Devon
The Inscription
Elizabeth K Gravestone Here Lieth
The body of Elizabeth
Kellaway who was buried
The 29th day of June 1784
Aged 62 years

Weep not for me my Children dear
All flesh is born to die
Pray God to make us all prepared
To dwell with Him on high
Tavistock 2012. With thanks to Don Kellaway for this photograph

Matthew Kellaway and Ann Harris married in 1794 Lamerton but settled later in Calstock. Two of their children remained in Calstock while the third returned briefly to Tavistock before moving on to Bristol. Matthew Jnr′s uncle James moved into Tavistock via Lifton. Another uncle, William also moved to Lifton and his son Henry moved on to Calstock while the daughters appear to have married in Tavistock. The son, James of a third uncle also moved to Lamerton and Tavistock late 1700s. They were all from a rural agricultural background but some descendants became carpenters and others became miners in Calstock.

The second group moved to Whitchurch around 1750 and began with William and his son, William who married Sarah Goss. Their origins are as yet unknown, however William Senior had a rather beautiful and high quality headstone for his grave when he died in 1772. This grave is one of only two trademarked Vosper-produced headstones in West Devon.

The Grave of William Kellaway
Whitchurch, Devon
The Inscription
William K Gravestone Here Lieth the Body of
William Kellaway who was
Buried ye 3rd day of October
1772 in ye 82nd Year of his Age

In my Life I took great pain
And evil ways I did Refrain
In Jesus Christ I did Depend
And in the Lord I made my End
Whitchurch 2012. With thanks to Don Kellaway for this photograph

The third group arrived later with Charles Kelway (originally from Colyton) and his second wife Peggy Richards who arrived from Phillack, Cornwall with their family about 1850.

Interestingly, this last group are related by DNA to the Whitchurch group although no link has yet been established between them.

These groups have descendants in the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia.


In addition to the families mentioned above two families arrived in Lifton about this time, James and Joan(Bickel) who were married in Broadwoodwidger and William who married Margaret(Henwood) in Lifton 1774. His origin is uncertain.

These families are not related to any of the Tavistock groups above.

The families grew and spread into many of the surrounding villages as can be seen on the Families Pages. Most were employed as agricultural workers, miners and quarry workers.

These families too have descendants in the UK, USA and Australia. One mining family′s descendants went to South Australia so perhaps this massive statue in Kapunda, South Australia is partly a tribute to them (even if they were from Devon) and many others like them.

The Cornish Miner, Kapunda 1994
Statue to The Cornish Miner
One more family arrived about 1850. Tailor and shopkeeper John Kellaway and his wife Mary (May) moved from Halwill. This family is related by DNA to the Black Torrington family although no link has been found since the Parish Registers began.

Kellaway Drapers and Grocers
Kellaway Grocer and Drapers store, Lifton.
With thanks to Becky Paget.

Kellaway Families Tavistock and Whitchurch Kellaway Families Lifton Area Kellaway Families Black Torrington Kellaway Families Calstock

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Last updated May 2012
Web Page by Les Haigh. Email: (les.haigh at

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