John Ebbott Jnr was born into a Cornish farming family in Badharlick, Egloskerry. The eldest male child to John Ebbott Snr and Sarah Bone, the life he would eventually carve out for himself in Australia would be quite different. He was baptised in 1840 in Launceston, Cornwall as a Wesleyan Methodist, unlike his father and mother who were baptised into the Church of England.
His father was a religious man, and family myth has it that he was one of 3 brothers who left the Wesleyan heartland in Cornwall to take the message further a field, one went to Canada, one to the US and John’s father came out to Australia, with wife and children in tow including John Jnr who was only 12 at the time.
|Comparing the Wesleyan population to the church of England in the area of North Cornwall where John Ebbott was born. source 1851 Religious Census http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/data_rate_page.jsp?u_id=10056743&c_id=0&data_theme=T_REL&id=9|
In an article in The Spectator in 1907, the influence that John’s father had on his life is evident.
"Mr Ebbott, senior, as before mentioned, was connected principally with Chewton. This brother was conspicuously successful in pioneering work. Wherever he went, he formed a new Methodist society[sic translation - church or similar), and God prospered his undertakings. He was a man who experience much worldly misfortune; once the bush-fires swept his farm, leaving him and family homeless; disease took his cattle, and continued ill-health added its distressing influence to his last days, but his faith in God never and he died in 1867, regretted, respected and beloved by all. His sons Philip and John, followed his example in their attachment to the Methodist cause, and the latter is now a leading man in the Chewton congregation."So it is no surprise that we later find him amongst his other endeavours heavily involved in the Methodist movement in Australia as he gets older.