St Austell Poor Law Union, Cornwall Genealogy

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St Austell Poor Law Union

The Union comprised the following parishes:

Charlestown, Cornwall Creed with Grampound, Cornwall Fowey, Cornwall Gorran, Cornwall Mevagissey, Cornwall  Par, Cornwall Roche, Cornwall St Austell, Cornwall St Blazey, Cornwall
St Dennis, Cornwall St Mewan, Cornwall St Michael Carhays, Cornwall  St Sampson, Cornwall St Stephen in Brannel, Cornwall Treverbyn, Cornwall Tywardreath, Cornwall

The Union Workhouse was built in 1839, with room for 300 inhabitants.  It served the parishes until it's closure in 1930; shortly thereafter, it fell to an arsonist's efforts.


Cornwall Archives and Libraries - Surviving material includes: Guardians' minute books (1839-43, 1845-8, 1890-2, 1897-1930); Ledgers (1905-15, 1918-29)

According to CRO, births were reported to the Registrar's office - the FreeBMD index covers these -  and Holy Trinity parish registers contain many references to burials of individuals.  The church registers may be found on the St. Austell Genealogy website, shown below.


For more information on the history of the workhouse, see Peter Higginbotham's web site: and

St. Austell Genealogy and Historical Website -

  - contains census data from 1841 through 1891 for the St. Austell Union Workhouse, newspaper articles 1836-52 regarding the union, & an old photo of the workhouse.

West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser news - 1836 to 1887

  - contains many references to Cornish Workhouses, including riots at their introduction, and reports to the Quarter Sessions regarding operations, inmates, etc.


- an index of the Registrar's records, containing enough information to order a certificate.  All BMDs of workhouse inmates and staff should be included.