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By Karen (Williams) Souhrada

These two surnames originate in Cornwall, and are the ancestral lines of Nicholas Williams who emigrated from Cornwall to Pennsylvania around 1870.  His parents were Jeremiah Williams and Susan Tallack Williams.  The April 1844 marriage of his parents, Susan and Jeremiah, was recognized at their local Episcopal parish of St. Feock’s in Feock, Cornwall.   The information on their 1844 marriage certificate (#60, page 30 of Parish Register) Feock gives us much information about their parents and the first point from which our research began:

Groom: Jeremiah Williams, of full age, bachelor, a servant, residing at Killiganoon [which was a local Manor]; father is William Williams, Yeoman.

Bride: Susan Tallack, of full age, a spinster, residence at Narabo; father is Nicholas Tallack, Yeoman.

Witness: Nicholas Tallack, & Thos. L?


Communication in 1998 with the then parish Vicar of St. Feock’s Church, Reverend Graeme Wilson, and the recognized church & town historian Mr. Colin North, have revealed that there are at least eight Williams family members buried within the churchyard, and that there were Tallack family burials there as well.  Since this first contact in 1998; followed by a genealogy trip to Cornwall in 2003, the Williams and Tallack surname lines have been pushed back into the mid 1600-1700’s. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Cornwall research work of Mr. Colin North done on our behalf, as well as the research of a fellow Williams’s descendant, Mrs. Carol Davids-Moore, and Mr. John Rowe for the Tallack surname.


William Williams and his wife Tabitha Brown Williams were married in the church at Gwennap, Cornwall, in October of 1793. To this marriage 15 children were born, and our Jeremiah was the youngest child born in 1819.  By the year 1802 we believe the family had moved to the Feock area, and there William was recorded in Churchwarden Accounts, Parish of Feock (Cornwall) for properties at LaFeock, the Point at Devoran, and Higher Devoran.  Most probably William was a farmer along with other side-lines, such as an interest in a smith shop at “the Point”.  Census records of 1841 find him as a yeoman farmer living at Higher Devoran, Parish of Feock.  While touring the country during July 2003, we were put in contact with Mr. John Landon, who is the current owner of what we believe to be the ancestral William Williams farm, which would have involved around 60 acres, according to census records.  William and Tabitha’s youngest son, Jeremiah and his wife Susan (nee Tallack) continued on with the farming tradition, and later in life were also noted in census records as being “green grocers.

To view our Williams surname index, click here > Williams surname index

Our earliest Tallack lines (the first of this name being Pawle Tallack; from whom we descend) appear in the beginning of the 1600’s, located in the St. Agnes area.  This spot we found to be quite beautiful in 2003, and a modern day tourist spot along the north coast of the country.  From all accounts, the area was a large mining center, and it was probably in this occupation that our Tallack ancestors were first engaged.  Moving forward in time, our Tallack folk moved southward to the Parish of Feock area, which has been described in a current Cornwall travel site, as “on the western shore of the river Fal, and at the head of “Carrick Roads” natural harbour.”  This also was Using Churchwarden Accounts for the Parish of Feock, we have found recurring references to two Tallack gentlemen:

1795: John Tallack residence at Naraboe and Thomas Tallack, residence noted as being "His Premises"

1796: Jn. Tallack, Pt. Narrabo and Tho. Tallack, “His Premises”


We believe the Thomas Tallack shown above to be the father of Nicholas Tallack, father of Susan Tallack.  This Nicholas is recorded as being a waterman, as are other Tallack’s in the area, and residing at Narrabo (also shown as Narraboe, Narrow Bow and Narrabovale), which is found along the waterway and path from Devoran to Point.  During our summer visit to the area, we located these areas, as well as a map that noted a feature as being “Tallack Creek”.  The Tallack men were both farmers and watermen, and in a publication concerning the history of Feock (Feock With Devoran and Carnon Downs in the 19th Century; pg. 17), we have Tallack men, and siblings of our Susan Tallack Williams, noted as being among the ship-owning families of the area: …”These three men holding shares in or owning outright 3 ships:

Tallack, John, a farmer, address at Devoran

Tallack, Ebenezer, bargeowner, address at Devoran

Tallack, Nicholas, bargeowner, address at Devoran


It appears that around 1870 the mining industry and related economies took a drastic spiral downward in this area of Cornwall.   Like many others of that time, the answer seemed to be that our Nicholas Williams should immigrate to another country to find his future.  The time and method of this move is still unknown, but was most probable by sea travel, from Cornwall to America.  We have Nicholas marrying about 1878 in Pennsylvania to Hannah Anne McAlister, who was herself a descendant of early Irish settlers to the Pennsylvania wilds.  Nicholas and Hannah worked hard and prospered in the area of Duquesne, Pennsylvania; becoming the parents of twelve children.  Both are buried in the Richland Cemetery in Dravosburg, Pennsylvania.

To view our Tallack surname index, click here > Tallack surname index