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 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 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]

Find Neighboring Parishes[edit | edit source]

Use England Jurisdictions 1851 Map

  • Type the name of the parish in the search bar
  • Click on the location pin on the map
  • Choose Options from the pop up box
  • Click "List Contiguous Parishes" to find the neighboring parishes

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]

Church records[edit | edit source]

The Church of England (Anglican) became the official state religion in 1534, with the reigning monarch as its Supreme Governor.
Non-Conformist refers to all other religious denominations that are not the official state religion.

Church of England[edit | edit source]

Due to the increasing access of online records:

  • Individual parish coverage for databases in this table are inconsistent and should be verified
  • Dates in the following table are approximate

Hover over the collection's title for more information

St Germans Online Parish Records
Collections
Baptisms
Marriages
Burials
Indexes and images
Indexes only
Indexes and images
Indexes only
Indexes and images
Indexes only
FamilySearch Collections-Cornwall
1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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FamilySearch Parish Registers-Cornwall
1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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Bishop's Transcripts - FamilySearch Catalog
1700s-1800s
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1700s-1800s
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1700s-1800s
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FreeREG
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1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
Find My Past-Cornwall ($)
1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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1500s-1800s
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Ancestry-Church of England BMD-Cornwall ($)
1500s-2000s
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1500s-2000s
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1500s-2000s
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Ancestry-England & Wales, Birth, Christening, Marriage and Death Indexes ($)
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1800s-1900s
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1800s-1900s
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1800s-1900s
Databases with Known Incomplete Parish Coverage
Boyd's Marriage Indexes-FMP (Free)
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1500s-1800s
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National Burial Index-FMP (Free)
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1800s-1900s

Other Websites
These databases have incomplete parish coverage.

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 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.