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Gerrans

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The parish of Gerrans, sometimes called 'St Gerrans' (Cornish: Gerrens), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Powder. It is bounded on the north by Philleigh, on the east by Gerrans Bay, on the south by St Anthony-in-Roseland, and on the west by St Just-in-Roseland.

From the hilltop village and church of Gerrans there is a stunning view of Gerrans Bay with Gull Rock and Nare Head in the distance. At the bottom of the hill lie the white-washed cottages and tiny harbour of Portscatho. The name Gerrans is believed to be derived from Gerent, an early Cornish king/saint who lived in the 8th century. There is a local legend he was buried with a boat made of gold at Carne Beacon, near Veryan. His name was written in the Latin form of Gerontius by early scribes, and the name still exists today in Wales as Geraint. He has been woven into the legends of King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table, but there is little historical evidence to support this. The church has a spire on top of the tower and this stands as a very prominent landmark for sailors.

The chief villages are the Churchtown, Porthscatho, and Trewithian. The two villages of Gerrans and Portscatho have now virtually merged into one, although there is still some local rivalry between the two villages. Gerrans Bay, which faces due east, is often used as a shelter from south-westerly winds by shipping and a ridge of land to the south and west of the villages protects them from the worst of the prevailing winds and means there is an equitable climate, except of course when the 'east wind doth blow'. The bay was the depository of Smugglers of Porthscatho and its neighbourhood during the 18th century. By having their scouts on the adjoining hills they had early notice of the approach of any revenue cutters.

In 1934, the parish of St Anthony-in-Roseland united with Gerrans to form a single civil parish.

Bibliography

A History of the Parish of Gerrans 1800 - 1914 has been written in 3 parts by Hillary Thompson. Details are on-line.

Cemeteries

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Census

Census information for this parish (1841 - 1901) is held in the Cornwall Record Office. The Cornwall Family History Society offers a census search service for its members. The Cornwall Family History Society have also published on-line census detail by surname on the FamilyHistoryonLine site.

Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:

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Church History

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Church Records

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Civil Registration

The parish of Gerrans has been in the Truro Registration District continuously from 1st July 1837. There were sub-districts at Kea, Kenwyn, Probus, St. Agnes, St. Clement and St Just-in-Roseland, but these have now been abolished. Parishes in this registration district are: Cornelly, Cuby, Feock, Gerrans, Kea, Kenwyn, Ladock, Lamorran, Merther, Perranzabuloe, Philleigh, Probus, Ruan Lanihorne, St. Agnes, St. Allen, St. Anthony in Roseland, St. Clement, St. Erme, St. Feock, St. Just in Roseland, St. Michael Penkevil, Tregavethan, Tregony St. James, Truro St. Mary, Veryan.

The address of the Registration Office is: Dalvenie House, New County Hall, Truro, TR1 3AY.
Tel: 01872 322241.

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Description & Travel

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Directories

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Genealogy

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Historical Geography

The Domesday Settlements of Cornwall, a study undertaken by the Cornwall Branch of the Historical Association, has identified and located settlements listed in the Exeter and Exchequer Domesday Survey of AD 1086. The following places have been identified in Gerrans ecclesiastical parish:

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Manorial Records

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Maps

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Gerrans parish was part of the Truro Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.

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Population

From 1951, the population figures include those of St Anthony-in-Roseland.

  • Population in 1801 - 771 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 698 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 732 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 766 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 816 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 888 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 935 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 954 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 892 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 790 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 835 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 747 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 768 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 707 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 934 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 909 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 967 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 940 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 965 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 933 persons
  • population in 2011 - 867 persons

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Probate Records

Some Gerrans & St Anthony-in-Roseland Wills are available on-line.

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Religion & Religious Life

In the May of 1641 it was agreed and ordered that every Member of the House of Commons and House of Lords should make a protestation (declaration of loyalty) to the crown. The Protestation was printed and then distributed by the Members to their counties. The Protestation was to be made by everyone and the Rectors, Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor, had to appear before the Justices of the Peace in their Hundred to make their protestation and, on returning to their parishes, any two of them were to witness the taking of the Protestation Oath by all males over the age of 18 years. All names were listed and anyone who refused was to be noted.

The Protestation Returns of 1642 for Gerrans are available on-line.

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Schools

The admission/leaving records for Gerrans School, covering admissions from 1876 with the latest departure in 1936 on on-line. The information includes the date of admission, name of pupil, name of parent/guardian, address, date of birth, name or previous school, starting class and ending class, date of leaving and the reason for leaving (which often includes relocation information).

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Taxation

A transcription of the Hearth Tax returns for Gerrans & St Anthony is available on-line..

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Societies

The St. Gerrans & Porthscatho Old Cornwall Society News Page is on-line.

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Statistics

The parish comprises 2460 acres of land.

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