St Breward, Cornwall Genealogy

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Parish History

St Breward (Cornish: Sen Branwalader) is an Ancient Parish in the county of Cornwall.Other places in the parish include: Lower Lanke. Until the 19th century it was commonly known by the corrupt form of the name: 'Simonward'.
The church was dedicated to St Brueredus in 1278 and is the highest church in Cornwall.. It is a substantial building of the Norman period to which a south aisle and western tower were added in the 15th century (these additions are of granite). It was restored in the 19th century, and only parts of the Norman north arcade remain. There were in the mediaeval period three chapels in the parish: at Hamatethy the manorial chapel of the Peverells, St Michael's Chapel, Roughtor, and another at Chaple. Thomas Taylor the historian was vicar here and edited the parish registers.


Civil Registration

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

Overview, Include information for parish registers and Bishop's Transcripts, Contact information for the office holding the original records, Links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.

Images of parish registers are available online in historic records (formerly Record Search) Images refer to Cornwall County Record Office reference: P 20

The baptismal register book for Baptisms 1813-1866 vol P 20/1/3 contains an anomaly. The recorded baptisms end in December 1832 on page 46 of the register at entry number 362. The numbers 363-368 are then left blank. The register resumes baptismal entries in 1850 on page 47 at number 369.

It is not clear whether records for the gap were kept and where. 

Thomas Taylor was vicar at St Breward. During his time at St Breward he found the parish registers to be complete from 1599 to 1812: his work editing the registers brought him into contact with W. P. Phillimore, a publisher of books relating to Ecclesiastical Law, who in 1905 appointed him editor of the Parish Marriage Registers throughout the diocese: by 1916 he had published twenty-five volumes. It is for this work, much used by genealogists and family historians, that he is probably most widely known.

He contributed to the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Victoria County History of Cornwall, of which he was local editor. His standard works Celtic Christianity and Life of St Samson of Dol are still sources of reference.

Census records

Overview, Include any unique information such as, the census for X year was destroyed, Collection in FHL and link to catalog, Online sites. for details of public houses in the 1881 census

Cornwall Online Census Project

Poor Law Unions

Camelford Poor Law Union

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to [county] 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

There are many maps and gazetteers showing English places. Valuable web sites are:

  • 1851 Jurisdiction Maps
  • Vision of Britain

Web sites

Add here any relevant sites that aren't mentioned above.