A Brief History of Cornwall
The early history of Europe is marked by waves of colonising peoples, each able to superimpose their culture on the preceding due to superior technology, agriculture, political organisation or abilities in war.
The peoples invading Britain are in order the Gaelic Celts, the British Celts, Romans, and then the Germanic peoples (Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes etc.) and later the Normans (Norse or Norwegians who had settled in France and spoke a French dialect).
The Celts had closely related languages but in the Gaelic language a 'Q' is often used where a 'P' is used in British; this gives rise to the names P and Q Celts. As the Celts swept through Europe they left behind Celtic areas for example: Galicia in Spain, Galata in Turkey (Galatians of the bible) and Gaul (now France where they often show Gallic temperament). Thousands of years before Christ the Celts ended their migration at the Atlantic ocean. The Q Celts settled in Ireland and later a tribe (called the Scotii by the Romans) migrated back to Briton to create the Gaelic area of the highlands of modern Scotland. The P Celts colonised the rest of the British Isles and later migrated to the part of modern France called Brittany.
Six groups of Celts still remain though much influenced by and merged with the peoples of later invasions. The three Q Celtic languages are Gaelic of Eire (the modern state of Ireland), Gaelic of Scotland, and Manx (of the Isle of Mann). The three P Celtic languages are Welsh of Wales, Cornish of Cornwall (extinct but revived as a hobby by several thousand people) and Breton of Brittany.
The Roman invasion of the first century AD had great influence on the lowland of England and there it introduced the idea of towns, roads and 'modern' administration. However they had little influence on the Celtic regions. They fought battles with some Celtic tribes for example those they called the Iceni of modern East Anglia. The Iceni were lead into battle by Boudicca (in British) or Boudicea (in Latin) and were coloured blue by woad. The other well known tribe was called the Pictii (Latin for painted ones) who lived beyond the wall that Hadrian built across northern England to keep the marauding tribes out. The Romans referred to the tribe living in the horn (cornum in Latin) as the Cornovii from which came the 'Corn' part of Cornwall.
The barbarians that caused the contraction and fall of the Roman empire were various Germanic tribes. Some of these tribes (Saxons, Angles etc.) entered Britain and steadily expanded over the first thousand years AD, defeating the Celts in all of lowland England. Arthur (a Celt with a Roman education and background) tried to unite the Celts in the south and prevent the Saxons separating the tribes of Wales from those in what is now the south-west of England. 'King' Arthur (Arddur in welsh and Arturus in Latin) failed but later romanticised stories of him and the other tribal leaders (knights in the stories) have ironically entered into English folklore. From that point there were the north welsh (Wales) and the southern welsh (the south-west peninsula) and quickly the languages began to deviate from each other.
The Saxons established territories in the south (Wessex, Sussex, Middlesex, Essex for western, southern, middle and eastern Saxons) and the angles further north (East Anglia). The far north also had Danish settlers. Eventually a whole nation came into being with its own language Anglo-Saxon (to become English from Anglish) and Kings. These kings Alfred, Aethelstan etc. were crowned on the coronation stone at the King's town (Kingston-on-Thames) but made the roman town Londinium (in Latin) into their capital, London.
The P Celts of the north (Strathclyde Celts) were superseded and little remains of their language except North of England sheep counting (yan, dan, try, pethera etc.) which are the Celtic numbers and of course many place names there are Celtic. Cumberland for example derives from Cymry (the brotherhood in modern welsh and the modern welsh name for Wales).
The welsh remained independent until the middle ages when they were married into the English crown (the welsh family Teudar or Tudor). The Anglo-Saxon for stranger is 'wealas' and gives rise to Wales and the surname Wallis or Wallace and the 'wall' part of Cornwall (strangers from the horn).
In the south-western peninsula, the Anglo-Saxons gradually moved further west and several kings had expeditions to conquer these Celts. Many of the Celts from the modern counties of Devon, Dorset, Somerset and further east migrated to a rocky peninsula now in modern France. Here they set up a new country of course now called Brittany. The name of Britain is Celtic and is in Welsh 'Pryddain' (pronounced Brithin). In the Breton Celtic language 'dd' or 'th' becomes 'zh' and so the Breton name for Brittany is 'Breizh'. The Breton language deviated from that of the 'southern welsh' but it is still possible with great difficulty for speakers of Welsh, Breton and Cornish to understand each other. Breton and Cornish being more similar to each other than either to Welsh.
For sometime the Anglo-Saxons left Cornwall unconquered, due to the long distance from London, the difficulty of the terrain in Devon and the steep sided Tamar estuary and valley which separates off Cornwall. The wetter climate and the less desirable land probably also stopped the progress of colonisation. It can be clearly seen now in the place names where there are few Celtic place-names remaining east of the Tamar (avon is Celtic for river, pen for hill, coombe for valley etc.) but almost 100% west of the Tamar. Also the Anglo-Saxon incursions can be seen around the north of the Tamar valley into north eastern Cornwall.
In the 9th and 10th centuries there were battles, some of which were won by the Cornish (in some cases with the help of the Danes) but eventually the Cornish princes had to sign a treaty after the final battle at Boleigh (near Lands End in Cornwall). The treaty written in Cornish, Anglo-Saxon and Latin was signed at St Buryan which was given privileges as a Royal parish (Royal Peculier).
Over the next 800 years the integration of Cornwall into England took place gradually. There was little economic interest in Cornwall and it remained peripheral to the development of the country of England. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066 the Norman French monarchy ruled England and introduced social and political hierarchies with sophisticated administration, law etc. These were superimposed on a Cornish Celtic peasantry.
The Cornish, Bretons and Irish were Christian before the Anglo-Saxons but they operated a typically Celtic form of religion with hermits living in cells (the Cornish saints, cil or kil is Cornish for cell), sacred wells etc. To this day the distribution of churches is much influenced by this.
Many of the saints were missionaries from Ireland who came to support the church in Cornwall. To this day many places and churches bear the names of these saints such as Ia (St Ives), Winwaloe (Gunwallow), Austol (St Austell). A story says that the patron saint of Cornwall, St. Piran sailed on a millstone from Ireland to land on the north Cornish coast (near modern Perranporth = St Piran's port). On the beach he made a fire and surrounded it by black stones taken from the cliff. In the heat a silvery metal ran out of the rocks. This is supposed to have given rise to the tin-mining industry in Cornwall and the Cornish flag of a white cross on a black background.
Only later after the Norman conquest did the English system of parishes, bishops and monasteries become established in Cornwall. Only in the last hundred years did Truro the capital town of Cornwall have a cathedral built and have a bishop. Previously the Bishop of Exeter ruled over the see of Devon and Cornwall.
The English language became the main language and by 18th century most people were either bilingual or spoke only English. Dolly Pentraeth of Paul near Land's End claimed to speak only Cornish and made a living speaking it to tourists (she died in 1777). However there were still bilingual people in the 19th century and quite a few people knew stories and songs in Cornish. In the 20th century there are many Cornish words and Celtic sentence construction in the dialect of English used in Cornwall but televison and travel have reduced the number of people with this dialect though a cornish accent still exists. As the colonisation confined the Cornish language to a smaller and smaller area of the western tip of Cornwall it became more and more influenced by English loan words and pronunciation and so gradually became more and more debased. As writing was introduced with the church using Latin or by the national administration using Anglo-Saxon and later English, Cornish did not benefit from a standardised spelling and remained a verbal language with oral tradition. The Cornish learnt and spoken today was constructed from all available written and spoken sources and uses a standardised spelling that is phonetic and corresponds most closely to the language of its middle period when it was distinctive and not so much influenced by English.
The industrial revolution hit Cornwall early and hard. It was one of the most heavily populated counties and had an influx of people from the rest of Britain. New villages, towns and roads were set up in association with the mining of tin and copper and the ports used to import coal for smelting and to export the metals. It is in this period that the Cornish language suffered and that the present pattern of habitation evolved. The industrial population were a target of the non-conformist Christian sects and so Methodists and Baptists became very numerous.
However the mining gradually declined and the population with it. In the early 19th century the new mines in Australia and North America attracted skilled and unskilled Cornish workers. In the 20th century the more economic mineral deposits elsewhere in the world have all but killed the Cornish mining industry. The many deep harbours of Cornwall provided both the shipping and fishing industry. The coming of the train service to Cornwall improved the fishing industry by providing a fast route to export fish to the cities of England. It also provided Cornwall with a new industry of early flowers and vegetables. This industry died as European countries with a more favourable climate have taken much of this trade. The fishing industry is generally thriving though technology, quotas and dwindling fish stocks have reduced the employment in the industry. Thus Cornwall is generally an area low in employment opportunities. The seasonal industry of tourism and holiday-making provided another industry but this too has suffered through cheap foreign travel especially in sunnier areas of Europe.
Cornwall is seen by most people to be just a county of England. However there has been a revival of things Cornish including the language, customs and flag. It is now possible to study the language for school examinations. There are some connections between the Celtic nations that try to maintain these 'roots' against the dominating cultures. There are even a few militant people who wish to obtain some autonomy from England and have tried to set up a currency, parliament, a nationalist political party and a resistance 'army'. Only the party has had any success.
Some information from “Topography of the Hundred of Powder” C. G. Henderson 1925
Census dates 10MAR1801, 27MAY1811, 28MAY1821, 30MAY1831, 06JUN1841, 30MAR1851, 12APR1861, 02APR1871, 02APR1881, 05APR1891, 31MAR1901, 02APR1911, 19JUN1921, 26APR1931, none 1941, 08APR1951, 23APR1961, 25APR1971, 05APR1981, 21APR1991 29APR2001 & 27MAR2011
Devon and Cornwall Record Society
Lists of Cornish Wills etc.
Transcripts of important parish records
Copies of Phillimore et al (Lists of Cornish Marriages)
Copies of Boyd’s Index of Marriages
Royal Institution of Cornwall (Truro Museum)
Various old records and microfilms of documents
Index to Phillimore et al
Public Record Office (London) later Family History Centre then on-line
Census and electoral rolls
Devon Record Office
Bishop of Exeter transcripts (near contemporaneous copies of Cornish parish registers)
Cornwall Record Office
Society of Genealogists
Glencross and Great indexes
THE TREGENZA FAMILY
Format of the pages.
The large family tree is broken up into a series of ‘branches’ that are each called a ‘family’. Most of these link together and so go back to the first Tregenzas in the St Stephen in Brannel area of Cornwall. This is the first ‘family’ in this book and subsequent families eventually link back to it. At the end of the book are unconnected families that do not yet link up.
For each of all these families the first page is a genealogical tree. Each horizontal line represents the siblings (brothers and sisters). In the case where a father had more than one wife a small number appears in the line to indicate which children were born to which wife where this is known. The forenames of one person are written in upper case and connected by hyphens. In the case of large families where there is not enough space to place all the forenames alongside each other, they are stacked below the first forename. Below this is the date of birth as accurately as known. Below this in lower case for married men is the name of their wife preceded by the letter ‘m’ for marriage (or wives in order ‘m1’, ‘m2’ etc.).
Vertical lines represent connections to other generations (up to parents and grandparents down to children etc.) If a child to an unmarried TREGENZA mother is given the surname TREGENZA or if a child of a non-TREGENZA mother is given the name TREGENZA by official or unofficial adoption then they are represented on the tree in the same way as other children.
Subsequent pages headed ‘NOTES ON’ have the names of all the TREGENZAs from the tree page in the same order (left to right then down the page). The forenames of all, including wives, are shown in upper case and in order with hyphens. Any nicknames or diminutives are shown in brackets following. To distinguish wives a lower case ‘x’ is placed in front of their name. The following information is then in date order so birth, christening/baptism, marriage, death and then burial. Information from census records and from birth marriage or death certificates of relatives and other information are shown in date order between the events above. In some cases information after death is shown to confirm death and connections with relatives. Information connected to both a husband and wife (such as about their marriage) is shown against the husband only. Otherwise where there is significant information about two or more people it is usually repeated so that a full record appears against each name. Where possible sources are given in the sequence. In order to inhibit 'identity theft' the personal information about family members who are living (or possibly living as they were born less than 100 years ago) has been reduced (as indicated against their name in ‘NOTES ON’).
After these pages are pages entitled ‘OTHER INFORMATION ON’. These include acknowledgements to others who have supplied information, and details of public sources, certificates obtained, letters received, copies of census entries etc. It also indicates what sources and records were used to construct the family tree. It also indicates where families that were formerly unconnected have been joined in. It also shows records that may be relevant to the family for example by being in the same town or area. Any similarities between the forenames used, maiden names of wives etc. with those of other families will be indicated.
On some pages the genealogical tree shows that the offspring of one person make up another family. Details of this family appear elsewhere (see two pages below for an index to the families). On each of the connected families (except the first) you are referred back up the tree to the previous generation in a family earlier in the book.
SEARCHING THIS TREE FOR AN ANCESTOR.
If you use the word version of this document you can use the ‘find’ function (usually in the ‘edit’ folder on the toolbar). It is best to use advanced functions like ‘match case’, ‘wildcards’ etc.
Searching by first name
If you search for ‘JAMES’ for example it will result in many answers so a more subtle approach is required. If the first name is rare the chances of finding the correct person are much increased. Note that spellings may not be the standard ones used now and may vary in the records associated with one person as many people were illiterate at the time. As a last resort it may be necessary to go through the whole document to find all the people called ‘James’ and check each against other information known about him !
If the person has two first names (even if one is an initial) a quick way is to search for ‘THOMAS-HENRY’ is to enter ‘S-HENRY’, ‘S-H’ or even ‘-H’. However this may not produce the tree as sometimes lack of space requires first names to be stacked one under the other on the tree however it will produce the details of the person in the “notes on the family” following the tree. This is much more likely to reduce the number of possible persons found that have to be checked against other information known about the person.
Nicknames or diminutives of first names are often not recorded officially and so do not appear in records used to construct the tree but are shown in the notes on a person where known. In this case they can act as confirmation of that the correct person has been found. Searching for ‘Tom’ will not find all the other persons called ‘Thomas’ that were probably also called ‘Tom’.
Searching for a wife can be done by entering an ‘x’ in front of the name e.g.: ‘x SUSAN’.
Searching by surname
The surnames of the wife of a male Tregenza (or husband of a female) will reduce the number of potential ancestors found. Rarer surnames may take you directly to the correct person. However surnames rare in the UK may be Cornish surnames that are common in the Tregenza family. Again spellings may vary, particularly, in the presence or absence of the final ‘s’ and if the surname is from the Cornish language (Baragwanath, Baragwaeneth, Baragwaneth etc.). Many surnames repeat in this family tree such as ‘Collings’ but rarer names do not.
Searching by place
Search for a place may be useful if it is not in Cornwall or is a rare place-name in Cornwall.
Searching by date
This is rarely useful if just using the year of birth, marriage etc. as these may not be recorded accurately and the date will be found many times in the family tree. A full date to the day is very useful (ddMMMyyyy format such as 01APR1777) as it may occur only a few times in the family tree.
Searching by occupation
Rare occupations may be a useful way of finding your ancestor but of course it may not be recorded on the tree. Entering ‘boot’, ‘shoe’, ‘cobbler’ and ‘cordwainer’ may be necessary to find your ancestor who is a ‘boot-maker’ or ‘boot seller’ etc.
Use several items of information to select the correct person – a good rule is to use at least three elements such as dates, names of close relatives, occupation, location, etc. as well as the name.
THE TREGENZA FAMILY
17 _______________ST STEPHEN_____________________ 17
25 ST ERTH 1___________ | | 25
35 | | ST ERTH 2 | | 35
52 | ST ERTH 3 | | | | | | 52
68 | ST ERTH 4 | | | | | 68
92 | ST ERTH 5 | | | | 92
123 | ST ERTH 6 | | | 123
146 | ST ERTH 7 ┘ | | | 146
151 ST ERTH 8 | | | 151
170 LELANT | | 170
175 ____________________MYLOR1__ | 175
197 MYLOR 2 | | | | 197
216 | | MYLOR 3 | | | 216
229 MYLOR 4 | | | | | | 229
233 | MYLOR 5 | | | | 233
247 | | MYLOR 6 | | 247
255 | CANADA 1 | | 255
260 AUSTRALIA 1 | | 260
268 AUSTRALIA 2 | | 268
279 ____________________________NEWLYN 1 | 279
298 NEWLYN 2 | | | | | | | | 298
306 NEWLYN 3 | | | | | | | | 306
311 LIVERPOOL 1 | | | | | | | 311
323 | LIVERPOOL 2 | | | | | | | 323
327 CANADA 2 | | | | | | | 327
330 1 | | | | | | 330
336 MOUSEHOLE FAMILIES 2 | | | | | 336
348 3 | | | | 348
352 4 | | | 352
359 | 3 | 359
363 AUSTRALIAN FAMILIES _4_____ | 363
371 __________5 | | | | 371
377 | | | | | | _____6_ 377
389 | | | | | | 7 | 389
398 | | | | | | | 8 398
404 | | | | | 9 | 404
409 | | | | | | 10 409
414 | | | 11 | | 414
418 | | | | 12 418
421 | 13 | | 421
425 | 14 | 425
428 15 | 428
432 16 432
ST STEPHEN* FAMILY
* St Stephen in Brannel
m Prudence Laurence
1656 m1 Margery Bastyn or Baskyn
m2 Temperance Rickard
ROBERT FRANCIS THOMAS ELIZABETH MARGERY ROBERT AMOS EDWARD
1698 1700 1702 1703 1707 1710 1713 1717
m Hannah Rundle m Ann Shole m Jane Wade
| | |
____________|_________________________________________________ MYLOR FAMILY 1 ST ERTH FAMILY 1
DEBORAH ELIZABETH HANNAH JOHN JINIFER
1725 1727 1730 1733 1740
____|__ m Ann Trethewy
m Ann Skews |
AUSTRALIA FAMILY 6 |
ELIZABETH JOHN HANNAH HANNAH ANN JENIFAIR JENNIFAIR THOMAS FRANCIS FRANCIS WILLIAM
1756 1758 1763 1764 1765 1768 1770 1772 1773 1774 1782
NOTES ON ST STEPHEN FAMILY
THOMAS buried 22JAN1670 St Stephen
x JULYAN (=JULIA ?) wife of THOMAS buried 30APR1665 St Stephen
JANE baptised 25FEB1655/56 St Columb Major file number 20261 www.freereg.org.uk, buried 25FEB1672/3
THOMAS baptised 14JUL1633 St Stephen “Thomas ye sonne of Thomas Tregenza was baptized ye 14 of Julie”, married 11APR1665 St Stephen (Boyd’s Index)
x PRUDENCE buried 19OCT1703 St Stephen (parish register)
FRANCES probably an error for FRANCIS, married twice at St Stephen 17APR1697 (Boyd’s Index and parish register) and 13FEB1699 (Boyd’s Index and parish register), all children have the surname TregenSa, buried 06SEP1733 St Stephen
x MARGERY buried 03DEC1698 St Stephen (parish register)
x TEMPERANCE buried 13JAN1739 St Stephen (parish register)
ROBERT baptised 05DEC1698 St Stephen(IGI and parish register), buried 04AUG1699 St Stephen (parish register)
FRANCIS baptised 01DEC1700 St Stephen (parish register), married 18OCT1724 St Stephen (Boyd’s Index), Lostwithiel quarter sessions 12JAN1768 (ref. QS/1/3/277-286) vice-treasurer to pay Francis Tregenza Samuel Bennetts John Bone and Edward Lee their expenses in conviction of Samuel Runnalls, buried 21FEB1755
x HANNAH born 1703 approx. St Stephen, buried 14JUN1758 St Stephen (parish register)
THOMAS baptised 25APR1702 St Stephen (parish register), buried 25DEC1702 St Stephen (parish register)
ELIZABETH baptised 13NOV1703 (IGI and parish register) or APR?, buried 08JAN1792 St Stephen
MARGERY baptised 14MAR1707 (1708 in IGI) St Stephen (parish register)
ROBERT baptised 16APR1710 St Stephen (parish register), married 02FEB1733 Mylor (Bishop’s Transcripts), buried 16DEC1772 Mylor (parish register)
x ANN buried 30APR1789 Mylor
AMOS baptised 08NOV1713 St Stephen (parish register), perhaps buried 09MAR1787 Truro St Mary's, perhaps married Rosamond Truro St Mary's, see Unconnected Family 14