Consideration of the facts related to Stepney changed my original understanding of the early roots of this branch of the family. The confusion started with the will of Stephen Calense, mariner, who died in 1760. He left most of his estate to the children of his brother Thomas Calenso of Penzance. Amongst other beneficiaries he left money to Calense Amis, parents Edmund and Ann Amis and his sister Mary Amis.


There were two Thomas Calensos married in the Parish of Madron around the relevant time:

*  Thomas Colensoe marrying Phillippa Lewarne 14th October in 1732

*  Thomas Colenso marrying Elizabeth Rowe 8th December 1733


The children identified in Stephen’s will, which was made in 1759, were as follows, with the known christening dates also indicated:


*  John Colenso, 8th September 1733, Penzance

*  Stephen Colenso, 23rd March 1735, Madron

*  Thomas Colenso, 24th February 1737, Penzance

*  Hannah Colenso, before 1738 as she is older than 21 in 1759 when the will is written

*  Sarah Colenso, 2nd February 1740, Penzance

*  Anne Colenso, 19 June 1743, Penzance

*  Robert Colenso, 16th April 1746, Penzance


The christening date for John, probably the eldest from the order mentioned in the will, suggests that Phillippa Lewarne is the mother of this family. There is also a daughter Phillippa who dies young.


The significant of this will is that Robert Colenso is the innkeeper of the King’s Head in Penzance. His grandsons include John William Colenso, Bishop of Natal, William Colenso, the New Zealand pioneer and my third great grandfather Samuel May Colenso.


Investigating the naming patterns for sons in the succeeding generations gives clues about who belongs to whom, especially where Stephen is a prominent name. The apparent size of the legacy would have resulted in this Stephen being remembered. For this reason I have called this the “Stephen Branch” and will describe it later.


The first mention of a Stephen Calense in the family is the marriage of this Stephen to Mary Corfield in St Dunstan’s Stepney in 1709. Stephen and Mary have a son John christened on the 23rd April in 1714, also in Stepney. So it is possible that Stephen’s father was called John. This is reinforced by brother Thomas’ first son also be John.


In the Penzance/Madron/Paul area one or more Johns have the following children:


*  Robert Callensow, 25th April 1676, Madron

*  James Kalenson, May 1683, Paul

*  Sackville Kalensow, 14 Aug 1687, Paul

*  Thomas Calensow, 30th November 1690, Madron

*  Thomas Calenso, 28th April 1694, Madron


There is also a John Calinsoe, of Madron, marrying Bridget Harry, also of Madron, in Paul in 1707. Possibly this is a second marriage for this John. Unfortunately there are no christening records for Stephen and his sister Mary.


Mary Calense (Stephen’s sister) married Richard Leakins, also in Stepney on 9th January 1713. They had three children Richard, Mary and Elizabeth before Mary was widowed and remarried someone with the surname Amos. Mary then had a further two children - Edmund and Sarah. Mary Amos died in 1765. In her will, written in 1764, she mentioned her son Edmund, her daughter Sarah and husband John Harding and two granddaughters Mary and Elizabeth Amos.


Edmund Amos married Ann Fairchild in 1744 and had the following children:


*  Edmund Calense Amos, 1745, Stepney

*  Francis Calense Amos, 1748, Stepney

*  Elizabeth Amos

*  Mary Amos, 1750, Stepney

*  John Amos, 1751, Stepney


The Calenso Amos mentioned in Stephen’s will is probably Francis Calense Amos, who started the shipyard in Gosport that became Camper and Nicholson, described as the world’s oldest yachting business. It is believed that Francis Amos started this business in 1782, and passed it on to his grandnephew William Camper when he died in 1824. This shipyard built many of the challenger yachts for the America’s Cup.


Where the original John Calenso came from is not easy to pinpoint. One clue maybe that the Sackfile Calensoe who marries Ane in Madron on the 13th January 1693 could be his brother, explaining his son with the same name. Unfortunately the records of this era are very patchy and there are not many options – one is John, son of William Calensow born 1607 in St Martin in Meneage.