Bolventor, Cornwall Genealogy

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Bolventor Holy Trinity redundant church.jpg

Parish History

BOLVENTOR, a chapelry in Alternon and St. Neot parishes, Cornwall; 7 miles N of Liskeard r. station, and 9 SW of Launceston. [1] It was created on 24th June 1848 from parts of Altarnun, St Neot and Cardinham parishes. See Genuki for more information.

Bolventor is the location of the famous Jamaica Inn coaching inn. It is bypassed by a dual carriageway section of the A30 trunk road; before the bypass was built the village straddled the A30 road.

Daphne du Maurier, a former resident, chose Bolventor as the setting for her novel about Cornish smugglers titled Jamaica Inn. The inn that inspired the novel has stood beside the main road through the village since 1547. It is now a tourist attraction in its own right and dominates the village.

The small church (dedicated to the Holy Trinity) that lies to the east of the village closed some years ago. A mile from Bolventor there was a chapel of St Luke (from the 13th to the early 16th century): the font is now at the church of  Tideford, Cornwall. Bolventor parish was established in 1846 (before that date the village was in  St Neot, Cornwall parish) but has now been merged with Altarnun, Cornwall.

The village is said to take its name from the "Bold Venture" that it must have appeared to build a farm in this moorland, but this is probably folk etymology, as "Bol-" is a common prefix in Cornish placenames.

Holy Trinity church now redundant is a residential dwelling.


Civil Registration

Birth, 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 FreeBMD.

Church records

Records deposited cover 1849-1979, these registers are kept at the County Record Office, County Hall, Truro TR1 3AY.

The Family History Library has parish registers from 1849-1906. Images of parish registers are available online at FamilySearchunder Records. Images refer to Cornwall County Record Office reference: P14.

Cornwall Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource is the Cornwall Online Parish Clerks page for the parish

Census records

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.

Parts of the parish bordering St Neot may be found on some census enumerations listed in Bolventor, and on other census records as part of St Neot.  Therefore a family may have remained in the same place and not be found on a different census unless St Neot is also searched.  There are also some with the same circumstance with Altarnun.

Cornwall Online Census Project

Poor Law Unions

Launceston Poor Law Union

Probate records

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

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Web sites


  1. 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales

Contributor: add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.