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Ultimate Guide to Researching Your Ancestry in Cornwall

Your Group Tour Specialist for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Discover Your Cornish Roots: With its rugged coastline, quaint fishing villages, and Celtic heritage, Cornwall in England’s picturesque southwest peninsula is a delightful destination for any traveler. But for those with Cornish ancestry, this region holds particular allure. Cornwall is believed to be the origin for one in six Americans of British descent, as immigrants from Cornwall helped colonize and shape parts of America, notably the mining towns of the Upper Midwest.

If you have a Cornish last name or believe your forebears came from this area, a trip to Cornwall can help uncover your family story. Use this guide to plan your genealogy research vacation in Cornwall.

Specialising in tours of Cornwall for groups large and small we can create a personal and bespoke itinerary. Let us design a customised tour for you.

Getting There:

The primary international airport is Newquay Cornwall Airport, with direct flights from major hubs like London Heathrow & Gatwick. Alternatively, you can fly into Bristol or Exeter Airport in Devon and drive into Cornwall. Trains and buses frequently run between Cornwall and London aswell as other parts of the UK.

Top Research Sites:

  1. Cornwall Record Office: With parish records dating back to 1538, the archive in Truro is a goldmine for ancestors’ baptism, marriage, and burial records.
  2. Cornwall Family History Society: Volunteers can help you locate records and trace your family tree. Their research room in Saltash contains indexes, books, and microfiche.
  3. Cornish Studies Library: This archive in Redruth holds genealogical resources like electoral rolls, photographs, newspapers, and maps.
    Parish churches: Gravesites and church records can provide clues about your ancestors’ lives. Stroll through churchyards to uncover headstones.

Tracing Your Roots:

  1. Search census records, which recorded households every decade from 1841 to 1911.
  2. Check civil registration indexes which record births, marriages, and deaths from 1837 onward.
  3. Examine old maps to find family property and landholdings.
  4. Hire a genealogist to help speed up your search in archives and public records.

Additional tips for planning a ancestry research vacation to Cornwall:

  1. Start your planning early. This will give you time to research the records you need and to book your flights and accommodations.
  2. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking in the archives and libraries.
  3. Bring a camera to capture the beautiful scenery of Cornwall.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The people of Cornwall are generally very friendly and helpful, and they are often willing to share their knowledge of local history.

Sample Itinerary:

Let us create a complete package including carefully selected 3,4 and 5 star hotels or luxury B&Bs, transport and transfers plus knowledgeable guides and professional local genealogists.

With a week in Cornwall, you can cover a lot of ground in researching your lineage:

To find out more and receive a prompt no commitment proposal

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