Clara Johns 1887-1962

No Ancestry tree

Cilla remembers her with great affection.

1887. Clara Johns was born on 10/12/1887 to Thomas Johns & Eliza J Johns in Redruth . Cilla does not have this b.c.

1891C. Clara Johns, 4, was living South Turnpike Redruth .

Thomas Johns Head Married Male 38 1853 Tin Miner Cornwall, England
Eliza J Johns Wife Married Female 41 1850 - Cornwall, England
William T Johns Son Single Male 21 1870 Tin Miner Cornwall, England
Eliza J Johns Daughter - Female 15 1876 Tailors Apprentice Cornwall, England
Edith J Johns Daughter - Female 12 1879 - Cornwall, England
Minnie Johns Daughter - Female 10 1881 Scholar Cornwall, England
Alfred Johns Son - Male 8 1883 Scholar Redruth, Cornwall, England
Charles Johns Son - Male 6 1885 Scholar Cornwall, England
Clara Johns Daughter - Female 4 1887 - Cornwall, England
Mary Ann Johns Mother In Law Married Female 75 1816 - Cornwall, England


1901C. Clara Johns, 14, was living 76 Fore Street Redruth, her father the Inn Keeper, Clinton Hotel

Thomas Johns Head Married Male 47 1854 Inn Keeper (Clinton Hotel) St Columb Cornwall, England
Eliza Johns Wife Married Female 50 1851 - St Columb Cornwall, England
Eliza Johns Daughter Single Female 25 1876 - Redruth, Cornwall, England
Edith Johns Daughter Single Female 22 1879 - Redruth, Cornwall, England
Minnie Johns Daughter Single Female 20 1881 - Redruth, Cornwall, England
Alfred Johns Son Single Male 18 1883 Grocers Shop Assistant Redruth, Cornwall, England
Charley Johns Son Single Male 16 1885 - Redruth, Cornwall, England
Clara Johns Daughter Single Female 14 1887 Dressmaker Redruth, Cornwall, England
John Roberts Visitor Married Male 34 1867 Tin Miner Redruth, Cornwall, England

1906 Clara Johns, 19, married Ernest G Rowe , 27, miner, in Redruth parish church on 8/8/1906 . His father James Rowe, hers Thomas Johns, both miners . His address St Day, hers Trefusis Road, Redruth . Witnesses: John Charkes Legg and Mary Ellen Legg- she was originally Mary E Rowe 1876 - Redruth Sep 1906 .


A Newspaper annoncement- FMP- gives him as of Crofthandy, she of Higher Trefusis

1906/early 1907. Ernest & Clara must have travelled out to the Transvaal, S.A, where Olive was born 7 months after the marriage

1907. Olive Rowe was born Randfontein, Transvaal on 28/3/1907. Her b.c. on her page

1908/1909 . Clara and Olive, and indeed Ernest, must have travelled back to Cornwall

No shipping records for Clara or Olive on FMP / Ancestry- records for South Africa poorly covered

"My mother says that Ernest returned to England from South Africa with Clara , Olive and Wilfred in 1909 ( NO, Wilfrid born in Jun qtr Redruth 1909) and Ernest worked at the South Crofty mine in Cornwall and they all lived at Raymond Rd " - doesnt quite fit with 1911 census unless Raymond Rd is in South Downs. Wilfred Rowe was born 27/3/1909 - Redruth Jun 1909, died 1976, became a Government Officer in Bulawayo, 2 daughters . Suspected Raymond Rd was where her mother, Eliza Johns, lived , but no she was in the Cot, Redruth in 1911C. Think Olive just confused when they actually lived in Raymond Road, seemingly 1913 or later

1911C . Clara Rowe, 23 , was living South Downs, Redruth . Married 5 years, 2 children, Olive 4 & Wilfred 2, both alive. Living in 4 rooms. South Downs a road 1-2 k S of Raymond Road

Ernest Rowe Head - Male 31 1880 Tin Miner Gwenap Cornwall
Clara Rowe Wife - Female 23 1888 - Redruth Cornwall
Olive Rowe Daughter - Female 4 1907 - Transvaal S Africa
Wilfred Rowe Son - Male 2 1909 - Redruth Cornwall

1912. Her husband, Ernest Rowe, died 28/12/1912- no FMP Newspaper entry

1913. Their 3rd child, Ernest Rowe, was born ~2 months after his father's death, on 16/2/1913 - Redruth Mar 1913

Children of Ernest & Clara


Maybe 1917, Clara with her 3 children

1914-1918. Clara worked from 1914- 1918 in munitions at Holmans, Camborne. Book available: Our Work During the Great War - 1914-1918:

1918. Clara Rowe married James Angrove (likely a BMD error) /Angove Penzance Sep 1918. He apparently died of flu, as James Angove, 38, Redruth Dec 1918

1919-1921. Not yet known whether Clara was in Redruth at all during this time. Cilla think she stayed in house in Raymond Rd, Redruth until 1921 No evidence for this . Clara's mother, Eliza Johns, looked after her 3 children at Raymond Road, Redruth during her absence. Had she met Jack Curtis in Cornwall, or had she known him when she was in Capetown around 1906??

1921. Mr J. Curtis, 42, mining, last permanent residence a British possession, intended future permanent residence S, Africa, left Southampton for Capetown on 3/4/1921 on the Saxon. ( And a J. Curtis, 34, explosives worker, had travelled from Capetown to England in 1913, S. Africa being his residence: so we think they might have met in Cornwall 1913-1921)

1921. Mrs C. Angove, 34, of Raymond Road, Redruth, Cornwall, travelled out to Capetown, leaving Southampton on 5/8/1921 on the Saxon. Country of last permanent residence --England. Country of Future Intended residence- S. Africa _ Ancestry


The SS Saxon, a Union-Castle ship, built 1900 in Harland & Wolff, used 1919-1930 on the South Africa route , finally scrapped 1935

1921. Clara Angove, 34, married John/Jack Curtis, 43, mining Engineer, on 6/9/1921 in Cape Town - both resident in S. Rhodesia _ Ancestry.. They appear to have met up in Cape Town to marry- suggesting they were acquainted prior to this.

It is thought Jack owned the Cornubia gold mine prior to the marriage .


The marriage certificate suggest that their address was already S. Rhodesia but Clara would not have had time to go from the ship to S. Rhodesis and back to Capetown for the wedding.

Almost 3 years later,

1924. C. Curtis, housewife, 36, returned, arriving London on the Goorkha on 6/6/1924 , the shipping manifest stating it arrived from Beira Mozambique( but also says Capetown, Beira, Durban in a different place) , intended address Redruth, Cornwall, - Ancestry- to collect her children- then ~ 17, 15 and 11, and she took them to S. Rhodesia: they lived at 'Cornubia' gold mine at Battlefields , owned by Jack Curtis. Battlefields ~170kW of Harare/Salisbury .


The SS Goorkha, a Union-Castle ship, built 1897 in Harland & Wolff, used 1919-1926 on the South Africa route

I cannot find Clara or the children going back out 1924-1926 on Ancestry - searched again 23/2/2020

On Clara's return to Redruth, she sold the house and took the children back to S. Rhodesia to the small goldmine  Cornubia at Battlefields - the nearest railway sation to the mine - 5 miles away. Nearest town was Gatooma 20 miles away. The homestead consisted of 6 african round thatched huts enclosed in a stockade. Neighbours 5 miles away in a similar homestead - possible names Kimber with 2 small children. Transport in an ox wagon, An old Ford car when going to Gatooma.

1926 her daughter, Olive, started a 3 yr nursing course at Memorial Hospital, Bulawayo

1928. Jack Curtis died. Clara must have moved into Bulawayo with the family Olive now 21, Wilfred 19 and Ernest 15.  She would have been able to earn a living as a seamstress. Wilfred became an apprentice carpenter on the Rhodesian Railways and Ernest an apprentice bricklayer


Jack Curtis-1921


?, Olive Bedford, ? Clara Curtis- maybe ~ 1936?

1937. Her daughter, Olive Rowe, married Francis Bedford on 2/1/1937 at Bulawayo Methodist Church



Wilfred, Olive, Clara & Ernest - 1937


Granny Curtis is Clara. In the front row: Clara, Lorraine, ?. Gwendoline. Ernest's wife Maud with son David on her lap - 28/4/1938

"Olive left for Capetown on the train from Mufulira, N. Rhodesia with Frances and me on Jan20th and didnt return until March 28th! Clara met the train in Bulawayo and went with them. I wonder if the whole thing was her idea as Olive had been ill with 'fever' for a while." - I am lost here!

1938 and later. She looked after the children, Lorraine,~1935, David ~ 1937, & Gwen ~1937, , of her son, Ernest 1913, as he had problems. Clara still living in Bulawayo

1940. Clara spent a holiday with Olive and daughters,Frances & Priscilla, at Seapoint, Capetown: - photos on Olive's page

1954 . The Bedford family, going to England on leave on ship round the Cape, was met by Clara in Capetown - she brought a box of grapes to the ship.

1961. Clara, as an old and sick lady, flew from Rhodesia to London to live with Olive and family in Beckenham Kent but it didn't work out: Margaret Bedford was a rebellious teenager at the time and  was not very polite to her Granny. Clara flew back after a few months



"Granny Curtis Rowe".

1962. Clara Rowe, ~ 75, died in Bulawayo .


Bedford Index