England, Cornwall Parish Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This collection consists of parish registers from the counties of Devon and Cornwall for the years 1538-2010.

Access the Records
England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Cornwall and Devon,  England
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Devon and Cornwall, England Map.png
Location of Cornwall and Devon, England
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Record Description
Record Type Parish Registers
Collection years 1538-2010
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Cornwall Record Office


Why Should I Look at This Collection?

Parish registers have been kept at the local level across England since the mid-1500s. Due to this long and relatively stable tradition, these records are central to English genealogical research as they are often one of the only sources for finding families and individuals in England before the start of civil registration in 1837.

To learn more about parish registers, please see the England Parish Registers page.

What is in the Collection?

This collection contains select baptism, marriage, and burial records. Though the collection primarily contains Anglican records, it also includes some material for nonconformist chapels which were filmed at the Cornwall Record Office at the time of filming Church of England registers. There are also typed transcripts of Society of Friends marriages included for certain areas of the county.

Due to redrawing of diocese boundaries, this collection also contains many records from the bordering county of Devon. Until 1876, the Diocese of Exeter covered the counties of Devon and Cornwall on the southwestern peninsula of Great Britain. After 1876, the Diocese of Exeter lost much of its territory to the newly created the Diocese of Truro. Exeter retained most of the county of Devon, and Truro was given the county of Cornwall plus the Devon parishes of Virginstow and St Giles on the Heath.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010.

How Do I Search This Collection?

You can find records either by searching the index or viewing the record images. Before using either search method, it is best to know the following information:

  • Name of the person
  • Date range for the record

As you search, compare your results with this information to find a match.

Search the Index

  1. Go to the collection page.
  2. Enter the requested information into the search box.
  3. Click Search to return a list of possible matches.

View the Images

  1. Go to the collection browse page.
  2. Click on the correct County link.
  3. Click on the correct Town (with Parish) link.
  4. Click on the correct Event Type and Year Range (with Volume) link to go to the image viewer.
  5. Use the onscreen controls to move between record images as you look for a match.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking for, What Now?

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference. See below for assistance in citing this collection. Save or print a copy of the image if possible.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the estimated age given in a marriage or burial record to calculate an approximate year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find the individual in civil records. Particularly useful for research in nineteenth-century England are the England Census and the England Civil Registration records.
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's vital records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which individual is correct. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, occupation, or names of parents, to determine which candidate is the correct person. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records.
  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names; transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record. Also remember that it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name, especially in church records. See Abbreviations Found in Genealogy Records for examples of common abbreviations. Note that some women reverted to their maiden name when their husband died, and therefore could be buried under their maiden name.
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches. Alternatively, try expanding the date range; this is especially useful in searching baptismal records, as it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth.
  • Search the records of nearby parishes. While it was uncommon for an individual in this period to move more than about 20 miles from their place of birth, smaller relocations were not uncommon. For this particular collection, this step may require finding records in the bordering English counties of Somerset and Dorset to the west. Note that marriages usually took place in the parish where the bride resided.
  • Look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description, if possible.
  • The individual in question may not have records in the Church of England at all, but rather might have belonged to a nonconformist denomination. See England Nonconformist Church Records for more information on nonconformist records and England, Cornwall, Non-conformist Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) for more specific information on the availability of nonconformist records from Cornwall.

For additional help searching online collections see FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

Citing sources correctly makes it easier to refer to information which has already been found, so proper citations are key to keeping track of research. Correct citations also allow others to check completed research by helping them find and examine records for themselves.

Below are the proper citations to use for this whole collection as well as for individual records within it:

Collection Citation:

"England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Cornwall Records Office, Truro.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010.


Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.