Isles of Scilly, Cornwall Genealogy

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Guide to Isles of Scilly, Cornwall ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Isles of Scilly, Cornwall
Flag of the Isles of Scilly.png
Type England Jurisdictions
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Scilly Islands
County Cornwall, England Genealogy
Poor Law Union Isles of Scilly
Registration District Scilly Islands
Records begin
Parish registers: 1726
Bishop's Transcripts: None
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Penwith
Diocese Exeter
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Cornwall
Location of Archive
Cornwall Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

SCILLY ISLANDS. These islands, which are 17 in number, besides 22 smaller islets and numerous naked rocks, form a cluster lying off the south-west coast, and annexed to the Western division of the county of Cornwall, about 17 leagues due west from the Lizard Point and 10 nearly west-by-south from the Land's End. The Wesleyans have four places of worship.

The five inhabited islands are: Bryher, St Agnes, St Martin, St Mary, and Tresco.

The total surface of the islands is about 4700 acres, and the number of inhabitants 2582. The extent of St. Mary's Island, the largest, including the garrison, is 1640 acres, and the population amounts to 1545. Its principal village, called Hugh or Heugh Town, was much damaged by inundation during the great storm in 1744; the pier was finished in 1750.

About a mile from Hugh Town is Church-town, consisting of a few houses and the church.

A quarter of a mile further, bordering on the sea, is Old-town, formerly the most important place of the island.

The island next in magnitude is Tresco, anciently called Iniscaw, and St. Nicholas, which contains 430 inhabitants and comprises 880 acres. In it are some remains of the conventual church of St. Nicholas, the ruins of Old-castle, and Oliver's Battery.

St. Martins Island, though next in size to St. Mary's and Tresco, containing 214 inhabitants, and comprising 720 acres, was uninhabited until the reign of Charles II. in 1683.

On St. Agnes' Island, which has 243 inhabitants, is a lighthouse.

Bryher contains 121 persons, and consists of 330 acres;

Sampson has a population of 29. Until of late years the minister of St. Mary's was the only clergyman, officiating constantly at St. Mary's, at Tresco on the Sunday after Easter, and at St. Martin's on Trinity-Sunday. There are chapels at Tresco, St. Martin's, St. Agnes', Bryher, and St. Sampson's.

On St. Helen's Island, now uninhabited, are the ruins of houses and of an ancient chapel.[1]

Scilly Islands, island-group at the entrance of the English Channel, 25 miles SW. of Lands End, 3500 ac., pop. 2320;called Scilly. The islands constitute a parish of Cornwall, and are in the Western or St Ives Parliamentary Division of that county. They are about 30 miles in circumference and number 140, but only six of them are of any importance: St Mary's, Tresco, St Martins, St Agnes, Bryher, and Samson.[2]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[3]
Isles of Scilly Online Parish Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
IGI 1726-1875

Cornwall Online Parish Clerk[edit | edit source]

An extremely useful resource is the Cornwall Online Parish Clerks page for the parish. See also Cornwall OPC Database.

Non-Conformists (All other Religions)[edit | edit source]

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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

Poor Law Unions[edit | edit source]

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:

  • 1851 Jurisdiction Maps
  • Vision of Britain

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 30-34. Date accessed: 19 April 2019.
  2. Wilson, John Marius. Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales 1870-72.
  3. Hugh Wallis, 'IGI Batch Numbers for Cornwall, England,' IGI Batch Numbers, accessed 22 November 2013.