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St Germans, Cornwall Genealogy

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Guide to St Germans, Cornwall ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

St Germans, Cornwall
St Germans Church Cornwall.jpg
St Germans Church Cornwall
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred East
County Cornwall
Poor Law Union St Germans
Registration District St Germans
Records begin
Parish registers: 1590
Bishop's Transcripts: 1608
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery East
Diocese Exeter
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court A Peculiar of the Court of the Bishop of Exeter (Episcopal Consistory)
Location of Archive
Cornwall Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

GERMANS, ST. (St. Germanus), a parish, the head of a union, and formerly a representative borough and a market-town, in the S. division of the hundred of East, E. division of Cornwall, 9 miles (W. N. W.) from Devonport, and 227 (W. S. W.) from London. [1]

St Germans (Cornish: Lannales) is an Ancient Parish in the county of Cornwall.Other places in the parish include: Cross, Deviock, Downderry, Minerd, Rowle, Seaton, and Terule Foot.

It takes its name from the St. German's Priory Church of St Germanus. This ancient Norman church is adjacent to the Port Eliot estate of the present Earl of St Germans. The other villages in the historic parish were Tideford, Hessenford, Minard Cross, Polbathick, and Bethany but new ecclesiastical parishes were established in 1834 )Hessenford, Cornwall and 1852 Tideford, Cornwall. In 1997 part of the St Germans parish was made into Deviock parish.

St Germanus Norman West Door.jpg

St Germans was originally the seat of the Bishop of Cornwall before the see was combined with that of Crediton in 1042. Today the Bishop of Truro's assistant bishop is known as the Bishop of St Germans in acknowledgement of this, although he has no specific links with the village.

The present church replaces a Saxon building which was the cathedral of the Bishops of Cornwall. The monastery was reorganized by the Bishop of Exeter between 1161 and 1184 as an Augustinian priory and the new church was built on a grand scale, with two western towers and a nave of 102 ft. The western doorway is particularly ornate and is carved from elvan quarried at Landrake.

The church is dedicated to St Germanus and soon after construction it became the Cathedral for Cornwall in 926 AD, when King Athelstan appointed Conan as the bishop of Cornwall. The bishopric was to be short-lived, however, as it was transferred to Crediton in 1042 AD.

A monastery grew alongside the church, and this remained until the Reformation when the monastery became a private house, home to the Eliot family, in whose hands the house remains. A number of the Eliot family are interred in the church.

At Dupath  Well the wellhouse is said to have been built in 1510 by the monks of St Germans.

St Germans parish is still the largest in Cornwall, and some of the original Norman features remain, including the large arched doorway.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

St Germans parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

FS PRs = England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010 (FamilySearch) - free
FS Mar = England, Devon and Cornwall Marriages, 1660-1912 (FamilySearch) - free
FS = FamilySearch - free
OPC = Cornwall Online Parish Clerk - free
FREG = FreeREG - free
FMP = Cornwall Baptisms, Marriages, Burials (FindMyPast) - ($)
TGEN = Cornwall Parish Records (TheGenealogist) - ($)[2]
BOYD = England, Boyd's Marriage Indexes, 1538-1850 (FindMyPast) - free
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[3]
FS Catalog PRs = FamilySearch Catalog Parish registers - free
FS Catalog BTs = FamilySearch Catalog Bishop's transcripts - free
St Germans Online Parish Records
Baptisms
Marriages
Burials
Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FS PRs 1538-2010
1538-2010
1538-2010
FS Mar

1660-1912


FS 1538-1975
1538-1973
1538-1991
OPC 1538-1911
1538-1910
1538-1911
FREG 1538-1900s
1538-1900s
1538-1900s
FMP 1538-1916
1538-1839
1538-1928
TGEN 1540-1800s
1537-1800s


BOYD

1538-1850


IGI



FS Catalog PRs


FS Catalog BTs


To find the names of the neighboring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851 Map. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

Records are also available at the Cornwall Record Office.

Cornwall Online Parish Clerks[edit | edit source]

An extremely useful resource is the Cornwall Online Parish Clerks page for the paris. In addition the Online Parish Clerk for St Germans has contributed to the webiste with other parishes in the Rame peninsula Rame, Cornwall Maker, Cornwall & Sheviock, Cornwall

Census records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

St Germans Poor Law Union

Probate records[edit | edit source]

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

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

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

Websites[edit | edit source]

St Germans in GENUKI

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis,Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England(1848), pp. 287-291. Date accessed: 06 March 2013.
  2. Searching Parish Records online (Cornwall) - The Following Parishes are Available at TheGenealogist, ParishRegister.co.uk, accessed 23 April 2019.
  3. ArcherSoftware.co.uk