Argall family Worldwide

The Argall Family in South America

In common with what was happening elsewhere, many Cornish were prized for their expertise in hard-rock mining skills. There were Cornish in every part of the world, especially where mining operations were being undertaken. The Argall families became involved in these activities.


One William Argall, aged 37, died in New York in 1897 on his way back from Bolivia where he had been to report on a gold mining region. He was a son of Philip Argall who had married Sarah McCullum in Ireland in 1853. William's body was transported to Denver, Colorado in the USA for burial. William had never married.


Around 1849, one John Argall from Bolingey, near to St Agnes, migrated to Chile where he married twice and produced offspring, which have led to the ARGALLs currently living there. He first married Venancia Maria Mateo Del Pino on the 28th August 1850 in Nuble Bulnes Santisimi Crux, and then he married Phillipa Monales on 25th January 1863 in Carrizal, Norte Chico, Copiapo. His children seem to have come from his first marriage, and his descendants are still in Chile. Very little is known about the development of this family.

On the night of 10th of November 1922, a strong earthquake of approximately 8 degrees on the Richter scale affected Vallenar. This earthquake caused hundreds of victims and destroyed part of the city. Many Argalls who were living in Vallenar died in this earthquake.

There are about 15 people with the Argall surname now in Chile. One part of this extended family had moved to Australia where they are now established.


Another William Henry Argall was born in Elizabeth, Illinois, USA in 1852. He was the only child of William Argall, an immigrant who was born in St Agnes, Cornwall and had migrated with his parents and family to Mineral Point in Wisconsin. Father William had married Ann Holland in Illinois in 1851, but had drowned off California in a shipwreck in 1853 . Their son, William Henry, who became known as Henry, was a miner in Bodie, Mono County, California, in the 1880 US Census by which time he had married a Julia (surname unknown). In 1892, Julia died and, soon after, Henry was in Guatemala where he lived for the rest of his life, working on an Estancia as a Watchman for an American owner. He married for a second time, one Maria Guadalupe del Carmen Ruano in Guatemala City in 1897, by whom he had two children but very little is known about the extent of this marriage. By 1913 Henry was living with a native woman, who was looking after his two children – it is not clear as to the extent of this relationship and there is no evidence that a third marriage had ever taken place. Henry had been crippled by gunshot wounds during his early days in the country and he walked with a limp for the rest of his life. He died at El Pique, La Gomera, in Guatemala in 1924.

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