The Zimapanners









The inspiration for this website sprang from a request within my family to discover more about my great grandfather on my mother's side, Walter Parsons Thomas. While piecing together his life history, I discovered he had lived in a house called Zimapan, in Scorrier, Tregullow, Cornwall, in the 1920s.

Coining 'Zimapanners'
During my research it occurred to me that the other people who had lived in the house — or who had had a legal interest in it — might be equally or even more interesting than my great grandfather, and thus the idea of researching their lives and times came about — as did the coining of the word 'Zimapanners'.

Old deeds & documents
Finding the relevant deeds and documents has revealed some of the house's history from 1861 onwards, but there is much searching and sifting still to be done, and so who knows what new nuggets will turn up through further panning or from contributions from visitors to the site. The terms 'indenture' and 'conveyance' are used synonymously. However, indentures drawn up from 1930 onwards are referred to as 'conveyances'.

Connections with Cornish mining
A simultaneous quest also began to find out whether there was a connection between Cornish mining and Zimapan, especially as the house is situated bang in the middle of a once-thriving centre of Cornish copper-, tin- and arsenic mining.

Zimapan and Williams family
A link has been found between the famous Williams mining family of Scorrier/Tregullow and Zimapan. This has led to parallel, spin-off project on the Williams family and to the charting of their family tree, which itself is no mean task, but fascinating nevertheless.

Biographies of ex-owners, ex-occupants or of "interested parties" have been carefully researched and compiled, a process that has revealed fresh insights into 19th-century life in England, Ireland and Cornwall, and spans the lives, lifestyles and personalities of the Zimapanners across three centuries. These projects are works in progress and so some of the topics or biographies may not have been started or completed by the time you read this.

Rich resource
The history of the house is also of continuing interest to the Royal Institution of Cornwall because, they say, the website is compiling a "rich resource for researchers" and others interested in Cornwall's mining heritage, and, as a result, have added the website to its list of mining resources.

Invitation to contribute to Zimapan's history
Visitors are invited and encouraged to contribute additional information about Zimapan and its associated biographies, or about other members of the Williams family (sub-project), and to communicate it, as well as any typos or material inaccuracies, to the author using the website's blog, located under the 'Misc' menu.

Continuity of project
Future owners of the house, or their agents, are invited to contact the researcher in order to verify contractual details such as the purchase price, details of the new owners and of any plans for the house. Good-quality photographs of the interior of the house would also be a most welcome addition to the website. This will ensure the continuity of Zimapan's historical record and enable the thousands of returning website visitors and researchers on-going access to the history of this property.

Peter K. Smith BSc
, 14 Dec 2010