Cornwall Church Records

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Parish Registers[edit | edit source]

Cornwall parish registers are available on a variety of websites. Some sites include images of the actual registers, while others host indexes. Check the coverage information for each dataset to see if the desired parish is included. 

  • Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010: Courtesy of FamilySearch Historical Record Collections. A more detailed explanation of these records is available in the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Not all of the images available on microfilm at the Family History Library have been posted on the Family Search Historical Record collection, and not all parish registers are in the library catalogue. However, the remainder of the unfilmed registers at the Cornwall Record Office were filmed in 2011, and it is intended that the images will ultimately be posted and indexed. No Cornwall PR's have as yet been indexed by Family Search, but that portion of the collection for which images have been posted can be browsed and specific entries can be found with the use of the waypoints on that site. A researcher can use the Online Parish Clerks site to find the location and date of a specific event (making that database function as an index to the collection on Family Search), and can then find and view the actual images in the Family Search Historical Records Collection.
  • A very large percentage of the parish registers for Cornwall have been transcribed by the Cornwall Online Parish Clerks organization. The transcriptions generally contain all of the information that was entered into the registers, and the collection is comprised mainly of baptisms, banns, marriages, and burials. The database now contains more than two million names and is searchable online free of any cost. This can be found at

The Online Parish Clerks are unpaid volunteers, and an individual clerk may have data that has not yet been posted to the OPC database, nor available on Family Search. They can be contacted through the Cornwall OPC website and may be able to provide help and information that they have in their personal data collections. Some also have their own website, and when that is so, there is usually a link from the main OPC website at

All of Cornwall's parishes are covered in Boyd's Marriage Index (£), though not all years from each parish are included. Coverage. Popular places to marry included the towns of Bodmin, Falmouth, Madron, Redruth, and the Church of St Mary in Truro.[1]

In the event that a marriage is not found in the expected or neighboring parishes, it is useful to know that many couples from Cornwall married at Stoke Damerel in Devonshire. This is a seaport with a British naval base, and the requirements for publishing banns or other obstacles to a quick marriage were conveniently ignored. Underage persons could report their age as 21, have it taken at face value and be married quickly and without the knowledge of family or neighbors, so many Cornish crossed the river to marry. Anyone searching unsuccessfully for a marriage in a Cornwall parish would be advised to check the parish registers in Stoke Damerel.

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 includes 1,598,753 Cornish baptisms. England Marriages, 1538-1973 includes 575,304 Cornish entries. England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991 includes 480,270 Cornish burials. Formerly known as the International Genealogical Index. These databases are free on FamilySearch. Coverage.

10,563 Cornwall entries are included in England & Wales Marriages, 1538-1940 at Ancestry (£). Formerly known as British Isles Vital Records Index - 2nd Ed. Coverage.[2] ;

The parish record collection of the Cornwall Family History Society that was formerly on the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) website is now searchable at (£). These are transcriptions and do not include actual images of the parish registers, but are useful and generally accurate.

Burials in Cornwall

Additional records and information about specific parishes may also be found on the OPC website or on the GENUKI pages for Cornwall.

Parish Registers Held by Incumbents[edit | edit source]

The following parish registers are still kept at their respective churches and have not been deposited at an archive:

  • East Newlyn aka Newyln in Pydar
  • Falmouth King Charles the Martyr
  • Gwinear
  • Lamorran -- marriages 1935+
  • Penzance St John the Baptist -- 1881+
  • St Michael Penkivel -- baptisms and burials 1812+[3]

Bishops Transcripts[edit | edit source]

BTs for some Cornwall parishes are also held at the Devon Record Office. Many of them cover years earlier than the BTs held at the Cornwall Record Office.

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 'Boyd's Marriage Index - Parish details by county,' British Origins, (Wayback Machine) accessed 31 August 2013.
  2. 'Genoot Library - British Isles Vital Record Index Breakdown,' Genoot, accessed 1 September 2013.
  3. Anthony Wilcox, National Index of Parish Registers, Vol. 8, Part 4: Cornwall (London: Society of Genealogists, 1999).