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 England Jurisdictions
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred East
County Cornwall, England Genealogy
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 WNW from Devonport, and 227 WSW 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 Terulefoot.

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 Genealogy and 1852 Tideford, Cornwall Genealogy. 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, Cornwall Genealogy parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

BOYD = Boyd's Marriage Index (findmypast) - (£)[2]
COPC = Cornwall Online Parish Clerks - free[3]
FMP = findmypast - (£)[4][5]
FREG = FreeREG - free[6]
FS PRs = England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010 (FamilySearch) - free[7]
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[8]
St Germans, Cornwall Genealogy Online Parish Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images

COPC 1590-1880
1590-1837, 1906-1938
FMP 1583-1837 1590-1837
FREG 1713-1852
1834-1900, 1906-2004
FS PRs 1834-1900 1590-1812, 1837-1901 1834-1900, 1906-2004
IGI 1590-1837 1590-1837

Images of parish registers are available online at FamilySearch Images refer to Cornwall Record Office reference: P 68

St Germans Society of Friends marriages 1659-1837 A typed transcript is available in historic records.

Cornwall Online Parish Clerks[edit | edit source]

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

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.

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. Percival Boyd, A List of Parishes in Boyd's Marriage Index (London: Society of Genealogists, 1987).
  3. 'Coverage by Parish,' Cornwall Online Parish Clerks, accessed 2 December 2013.
  4. 'Cornwall Baptisms', Find My Past, accessed 25 November 2013.
  5. 'Cornwall Marriages', Find My Past, accessed 25 November 2013.
  6. 'Cornwall Coverage', FreeREG, accessed 18 November 2013.
  7. 'England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010', FamilySearch, accessed 26 November 2013.
  8. Hugh Wallis, 'IGI Batch Numbers for Cornwall, England,' IGI Batch Numbers, accessed 21 November 2013.