25 May 2004 02:24
Oh aye...Stabbe is a name...it's a German name as misfortune would have it! It was my Maiden name (spelt Stabb) and I hated it, couldn't change it soon enough! Over the years I've found that there is a connection with the Vittres, Dinon and that French mob, but, best of all, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Brixham...that's balm for the wound.
However, I've read Matthews' 'History of Cornwall' and I'm intrigued by the mention of a William Stabbe (pronounced Stabba, the German way) who, with some others built two chapels in Lalant in 1409, and John Stabba of Carn Stabba in 1327; his name is on a subsidy roll, the oldest surviving roll in Cornwall/Devon. Where I'll find out about those two is anybody's guess...another Brick Wall no doubt. Like your site...stunned to find a Carnstabba Road...ye gods, fame for the StabbesStabbs at long last!
25 May 2004 14:50
Well, there you have it. A lucky guess on my part.
Actually, I'd be surprised if Germans were lurking in Cornwall in the Middle Ages. It's not beyond the bounds of possibility but I would have thought the Stabba in question would be a celtic name (which the anglophones have great difficulty with rendering into english). F'r instance, on the Isle of Man (where I once lived for a few years) there is a common Manx name; Juan. When I first saw the name written I thought it must be some weird throwback to the Spanish Armada or some such but actually it is not Juan (as in the Spanish 'Hwan') but Juan as in the Manx for John (pronounced 'Joo-an').
I don't suppose you were contemplating getting the No. 71 bus from Tasmania to St. Ives at some point because your best place to start looking for info/contacts for Mr. Stabba would probably be the St. Ives Trust. The records in the Cornwall Museum in Truro might well have some dirt as well but the Trust would probably be an easy entry point for your search. Their website is http://www.stivestrust.co.uk/ and they have an e-mail link.
26 May 2004 03:03
Thank you for your most amusing email...it was a good pre-breakfast chuckle. I assumed it was German because my father told me the family 'originated' in Cornwall, but there was a lurid rumour that the name was German. He told me this when WWII was in progress and I was not impressed! I feel far more comfortable with a Celtic name, though when I told my husband I'd found Stabbas in Prussia, his retort was, "I knew there must be a spiked helmet somewhere in your family; that accounts for your fierce temper!' He should talk...all the Scots and Ulster-Scots (that's his lot) do is fight and have done for centuries.
But IS Carn Stabba just a Rock or a pile of rocks? I saw a picture of one of these Carns and it consisted of a huge slab of stone, obviously worked on, and looking more like an altar top or a coffin lid. Possibly Celtic/Druid?
The 'No. 71' Bus aka The Long Flight to England is fast becoming something of the past...we are both nearing our 80s and 24 hours in the air on the Kangaroo Route (shorter than via USA) takes its toll.
Since you have been kind enough to send me a map I shall send you a picture of part of the view from our home in Tasmania...it's on a gentle hill of 7 acres just south of Hobart, overlooking Storm Bay and the Derwent Estuary and occasionally we can see the Aurora Australis from the front garden. A lovely spot, but I've yearned for England for the 50 years we've lived here and hope to God the EU doesn't make a mess of it!
I shall take your advice and try the website and anything else that crops up. Thank you very, very much for taking time out to read my email let alone help me.
27 May 2004 15:24
I'm afraid my e-mail threw a wobbly and I didn't get your piccy. Still I am mentally picturing you on your verandah in the evening, sipping Castlemaine cocktails and watching the herds of Tasmanian Devils swarm past.
Carns can be either just one rock (if it's sufficiently memorable) or a pile of rocks. Thus Carnstabba might have been his personal megalith or it might have been the remnants of pre-medieval buildings on his land. It might even have just been a particularly impressive natural pile of rocks. (If you check out the A View To A Hill page in the Rosewall Hill section of Spooky St. Ives you'll see piccies of how the effects of glacial thingies and erosion have left quite odd collections of boulder stacks lying around this area).
Stick to the 'celtic origin' theory for the name and if anyone mentions germans just get out your chef's knife and ..... you know what!
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