Gulval, Cornwall Genealogy

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St Gulval contributor Tony Atkin

Parish History

Gulval (Cornish: Lannyskli) St Wolvela is an Ancient Parish in the county of Cornwall. Other places in the parish include: Carfury and Gear.
The parish is named after the 6th century saint, Gulval, the original form of which was probably Welvela or Wolvela. Baring-Gould thought this was Wilgitha, the sister of Saint Juthwara: David Nash Ford agrees. Gilbert Hunter Doble, however, favoured an identification with one of the male Welsh missionaries, Gudwall or Gurwall who are honoured in Brittany. A life of each one is to be found in the Acta Sanctorum, June; Bollandists, 1867. Neither identification has been widely accepted by modern scholars. The parish church is dedicated to Gulval and his/her feast is celebrated on 6 June "St Gulval".

The current church building is predominantly 12th century with subsequent additions. Most notable of these are the tower, built in 1440 and containing eight bells and a large stone lych gate that was added in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee. The graveyard is famously home to the remains of local pirate and smuggler John 'Eyebrows' Thomas of Marazion, as well as to William Wingfield, MP


Civil Registration

Births, marriages and deaths were kept by the government from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is Free BMD.

Church records

Overview, Include information for parish registers and Bishop's Transcripts, Contact information for the office holding the original records, Links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.

Images of parish registers are available online in historic records (formerly Record Search) Images refer to Cornwall County Record Office reference P 77

Cornwall Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource is the Cornwall Online Parish Clerks page for the parish

The history, registers and much more have been contributed by the Online Parish clerk for Gulval.

Census records


Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.

Cornwall Online Census Project

Poor Law Unions

Penzance Poor Law Union

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to [county] Probate Records to filnd the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazeteers

There are many maps and gazetteers showing English places. Valuable web sites are:

Web sites

Add here any relevant sites that aren't mentioned above. for images of the church


  • Doble, G. H. (1960) The Saints of Cornwall: part 1. Truro: Dean and Chapter; pp. 61-78
  • Doble, G. H. (1933) Saint Gudwal or Gurwal, bishop and confessor; with notes on Gulval church and parish by Charles Henderson. Truro: Netherton and Worth
  • See the discussion and bibliography in Elisabeth Okasha, Corpus of early Christian inscribed stones of South-west Britain. Leicester: University Press, 1993, pp. 109-15
  • Thorn, Caroline & Frank [eds.] "Domesday Book: Cornwall"; Phillimore, Chichester: 1979. ISBN 0-85033-155-2; entry 2,10