Discover if your ancestor was buried in Cornwall. Search over 319,000 records from parish burial grounds on the Cornish peninsula. This collection is published in partnership with Cornwall Family History Society and the Family History Federation.
Each record contains a transcript of the original record. The information can vary but you could find out the following about your ancestor:
Date of death
Year of birth
These records represent two decades of work by the transcribers from Cornwall Family History Society recording the details from gravestones and other memorials across the county.
The earliest transcriptions are from memorials dating from 1131 which makes them some of the earliest parish records available anywhere online. They cover around 90 per cent of Cornwall’s parish burial grounds as well as memorials including some to those who died in WW1 and WW2. There are also a small number of inscriptions from the graves of those buried in cemeteries in Australia.
There was massive emigration to Australia, particularly South Australia after the collapse of the economy in Cornwall during the 19th century. In fact, Moonta, South Australia is still known as “Little Cornwall”.
Another thing to bear in mind is that although the Church of England was the established church, in Cornwall a huge percentage of the population turned to Methodism and other so-called non-conformist protestant denominations. The largest of these smaller groups is the Bible Christian Movement.
By the mid 19th century there were more Methodists than Anglicans in Cornwall. Methodism was especially dominant in the mining districts of Western Cornwall.
Before 1837, regardless of religious beliefs, most people were baptised, married and buried in the local Church of England Parish. Despite differences in belief and even after the Toleration Act of 1689 which granted freedom to worship, many non-conformists continued to use their local parish church for registration purposes.
However, some non-conformists did keep their own registers, particularly baptism and burial registers, in the period between 1689 and 1837. The only exception to this were the Quaker and Jewish communities who were exempt from the Act and allowed to keep their own records.
Even after 1837 many burials in Cornwall continued to take place in Church of England cemeteries.