Zennor, Cornwall Genealogy
Zennor (Cornish: Eglossenara) St Senara is an Ancient Parish in the county of Cornwall.Other places in the parish include: Porthmeor, Tendrine, and Tregerthen.
The building is partly Norman and partly of the 13th and 15th centuries (the north aisle 15th century). There is a west tower and the octagonal font may be of the 13th century. One of only two remaining bench ends portrays the Mermaid of Zennor.
There is a local legend about a mermaid in Zennor. Matthew Trewhella was a good-looking young man with a good voice. Each evening Matthew would sing the closing hymn at the church in Zennor, solo. A mermaid living in neighbouring Pendour Cove was enchanted by the music. She dressed in a long dress to hide her long tail and walked a bit awkwardly to the church. Initially, she just marvelled at Matthew's singing before slipping away to return to the sea. She came every day, and eventually became bolder, staying longer. It was on one of these visits that her gaze met Matthew's, and they fell in love. However, the mermaid knew she had to go back to the sea or die. As she prepared to leave, Matthew said "Please do not leave, who are you, where are you from?". The mermaid told him that she was a creature from the sea and that she must go back. Matthew was so love-struck that he swore he would follow her wherever she went. Matthew carried her to the cove and followed her beneath the waves, never to be seen again.
It is said that if you sit above Pendour Cove at sunset on a fine summer evening you might hear Matthew singing faintly on the breeze.
At St. Senara Church in Zennor visitors may see a carved bench-end over 600 years old showing the mermaid.
ZENNOR (St. Sennar), a parish, in the union of Penzance, W. division of the hundred of Penwith and of the county of Cornwall, 5 miles (W. S. W.) from St. Ives; containing 1025 inhabitants. This place is situated near the western extremity of the Bristol Channel, by which it is bounded on the north; the line of coast is in some parts alternated with small bays and with projecting headlands, one of which is named Gurnard's Head. The parish comprises 3184 acres, of which 2106 are common or waste. It has quarries of granite used for building, and some tin-mines, but the substratum of the greater part is a species of moorstone. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 5. 0½.; patron, the Bishop of Exeter; impropriator, George John, Esq. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for £200, and the glebe contains 13 acres, with a house, built by the incumbent, the Rev. Henry Stoneman. The church is an ancient structure. There are places of worship for Bryanites and Wesleyans. At Kerrow was formerly a chapel, of which portions still remain.
'Zeal-Monachorum - Zennor', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 742. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51439 Date accessed: 24 March 2011.
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.
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 255
Cornwall Online Parish Clerks
An extremely useful resource is the Cornwall Online Parish Clerks page for the parish http://www.cornwall-opc.org/Par_new/t_z/zennor.php
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.
Poor Law Unions
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:
- England Jurisdictions 1851
- Vision of Britain
Add here any relevant sites that aren't mentioned above.