In the case of families like ours, whose roots are so firmly embedded in the land, the younger sons were continually branching out from their native Parishes and taking up land for themselves in other parts of Cornwall. It would appear that they kept as near as possible to the ancient home however, and until the eighteenth century at least they could usually be found within a few miles of Egloskerry, Wardstow, Altarnun, Lewannick and Calstock.
Like all Celtic peoples, Cornwall landowners were identified by the names of their lands and we thus find members of the clan described in Wills as “William Joll of Tredawle”, “William Joll of Hurden in Altarnun” etc.
An interesting point is that the Jolls were unusual in Cornish Society in the periods before industrialisation, for they appear to be literate. Jolls were often clerks or clergymen in charge of church property – the order of services and church legal matters, supporting the fact that they could read and write at a time when few others could. At Warleggan there is a plaque mentioning John Joll, clerk, at the time the tower was rebuilt at the end of the 18th century.
A few years later the same man presumably is described in the register in a footnote as “an impudent, vain, foolish fellow who denied the Vicar the key to the church door”. Obviously Vicar and clerk had had a disagreement.
In the Visitations of Cornwall there is a table showing Royal descent of a number of Cornish families, one of which is that of George Joll of Altarnun, who married Margaret Dowrish, in 1675. Margaret was heiress to Lewis Dowrish of Sandford in Devon, and when she died in 1694 she was buried at Altarnun as “Dame Margaret Joll”.
Whether we are descended from this branch of the family has not been established, though the use of the same names in our families in N.Z. suggests that this might be the case. An entry in the roll of Alumni of Exetor [Exeter] College Oxford, shows that George Joll, a grandson of George and Margaret, matriculated in 1718. In this roll is also shown the name of Thomas Joll, Secular Chaplain who graduated B.A. 1518.
As regards Josiah Joll of Calstock. whose Will was proved in Bodmin Registry in 1764, the following is an extract.
“– I leave to my daughter Ann, wife of William Knight £10, to my daughter Sarah Joll, £20 when she attains 21. Residue unto my wife Thomzin Joll and my son Samuel Joll, my Executors.” The son Samuel married on 6 December 1796, Sarah Bowhay, member of a well known Callington family, and according to the 1840 census he owned besides Tumple Farm, certain customary lands and houses. It is understood that these houses comprised quite a part of the village of Calstock.
Twice a day the tide surges up the channel into Plymouth Sound and swings left up the valley of the Tamar River. Near the end of its run on the Cornish side of the valley stands Calstock Town.
Anciently the boats of Phoenecian traders rode the tides to trade with the natives for the stream tin of the valley bottoms round Bodmin Moor, which they alloyed with the copper of Cyprus and sold at a handsome profit round the Mediteranean [Mediterranean] Sea.
Having bought as much tin as was available up to a full load, they bought from the riverside farmers what grain and meat they needed for the run home.