Cornwall, England Genealogy

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The Cornwall Family History Society has now made it possible to access their database information online. This is available to members at a small additional cost.


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Did You Know?
  • The legend of Tristan and Iseult is the tragic story of love between the Cornish knight Tristan and the Irish princess Iseult.
  • Legend suggests that King Arthur of the Britons was killed in battle on the river Camblam in Cornwall.
Cornwall (Cornish: Kernow) is a county of England and is located at the tip of the south-western peninsula of Great Britain. It is also one of the Celtic nations.

The area was first inhabited by Neolithic and then Bronze Age peoples, and later, in the Iron Age, by Celtic peoples. Cornwall is a part of the Brythonic area of Britain and became detached from Wales after the Battle of Deorham, becoming a separate Celtic nation. It often came into conflict with the expanding Saxon kingdom of Wessex, to its east, before King Athelstan of Wessex (924-939) set the boundary between England and Cornwall at the River Tamar.

It is unclear when Cornwall was absorbed into England, although the Cornish language continued to be spoken until the 18th century.

Cornwall today has a population of 526,300, covering an area of 1,376 square miles (3,563 km²). The administrative centre is the city of Truro.

In the 2001 UK census, people were requested to give their ethnic grouping and were able to chose Cornish. However, the UK government has announced that this option will not be available in the 2011 census.

Featured content

Cornwall flag.jpg

Browse by Topic: All pages for Cornwall

For an 1870's gazetteer description of Cornwall, go online to Vision of Britain.


Use an interactive map to find jurisdictions for each parish in Cornwall.

Civil Districts

When civil (government) registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1837, Cornwall was divided into registration districts, each containing several parishes.  To see a list of Cornwall registration districts and the parishes they contained, click here.

Previous to the establishment of Registration Districts, Cornwall was divided into Hundreds, and many records refer to that structure even today. The Hundreds were East, Kerrier, Lesnewth, Penwith, Powder, Pydar, Trigg, and West. It benefits researchers to know in which Hundred the parish in which they're interested resided.


To see a list of parishes in Cornwall, click here. Most records are categorized by parish, which makes it essential for researchers to determine the correct parish(es). However, our ancestors did not diligently observe parish boundaries; be sure to check surrounding parishes for records if your search does not produce the expected results.

The pages for each parish found on the GENUKI website (see link below) are outstanding, very detailed, and current.  They are an absolute must for anyone doing Cornish research.

Probate Jurisdictions

To see a list of Cornwall parishes and the pre-1858 ecclesiastical courts that had probate jurisdiction over them, see the article on Cornwall Probate Records.

 Research tools

Useful websites

To view an excellent list of web sites and/or web pages for Cornwall and many of its parishes, visit and/or