The parish of Sithney, (Cornish: Merthersydhni), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier. It
is bounded on the north by Crowan, on the east by Wendron and Helston and the
Looe Pool which separates it from Gunwalloe, on the south by the sea, and on
the west by Breage. It is named after the patron saint of the church, who chose
to be the patron saint of mad dogs (in preference to young women). The parish
lies about three miles north west of the town of Helston in a mainly
agricultural area. In the 19th century there were at least eight tin mines in
the area, none of which are working today. There are the ruins of an old
farmhouse Plane-an-Gwary, meaning 'place of the plays'. Here
Cornish Miracle plays were acted in medieval times, and later Cornish wrestlers
were seen here on feast and fair days.
The principal villages are the
Churchtown, Porthleven, St Johns,
Penrose, Mellangoose, Lower Prospidnick, Dowga, Sithney Common, Sithney Green,
Coverack, Crown Town (or Gudna), Lowertown, Chyreen and Lower Tregadjack.
Porthleven, which was originally part of this
parish, became a separate parish in 1844.
Census information for parishes in this town (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:
- 1841. The 1841 Census of Sithney (HO107/139), Enumeration
Districts 1 to 8, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- The 1851 Census of Sithney (HO107/1912), Enumeration
Districts 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f, 1g and 1his available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project. [District 1b includes Porthleven, but page 2 is missing].
- The New Zealand Society of Genealogists have compiled separate surname
indexes of the 1851 Census for each Cornish registration district; Sithney is listed in
Volume 31. The booklets are available in Cornwall at the
Cornwall Centre, (formerly known as the Cornish Studies Library), and is
also available in the Cornwall FHS Library.
- 1861. The 1861 Census of Sithney (RG9/1571) is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- 1871. The 1871 Census of Sithney (RG10/2302) is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Sithney (RG11/2322), Enumeration
Districts 19 to 24 [including Merchant Shipping], is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Sithney (RG12/1839), Enumeration
Districts 18 to 23, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW6328 and was dedicated to St
Sidinius (Siduinus, or Sithuinus). The existing church was consecrated in 1497, and was built on the site of a Norman Church. It comprises a chancel, nave, north
and south aisles, shallow north transept, and a south transept. The arcades
each consists of six four-centred arches of granite. There is a south porch,
the north porch is used as a vestry, and there is a priest's door. The
tower has three stages, and is finished with battlements and pinnacles. It is 50 feet
in height or, including the pinnacles, 67 feet. The belfry contains three
- Non-Conformist. There was a Wesleyan Methodist chapel in the Churchtown which was
built in 1861, and another at Lower Prospidnick. The United Methodist Free Church
had a chapel at Crown Town, built in 1835, and others at Tregathenan and
Tuckingmill. A Bible Christian chapel was located at Gwavas.
- LDS Church Records.
- The LDS Church batch numbers for Sithney are: P021561. These are searchable by surname.
- The IGI coverage of this parish is 1666 - 1875; it is NOT believed to be
fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1667 - 1834, Burials 1664 - 1895,
Marriages 1664 - 1981, Boyd's Marriage Index 1608 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1800 - 1812, BTs 1608 - 1673.
- The Cornwall Family History
Society have published on-line transcripts of:
- Pre 1813 Marriages
- 1813-37 Marriages
- 1813-37 Burials.
- Baptisms 1666 to 1901 in this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Chynhale Wesleyan Methodist baptisms 1880 to 1902 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The OPC of Breage has transcribed Breage Circuit: Bible Christian Births & Baptisms 1821 to 1837. Parishes mentioned include: Breage, Crowan, Gwinear, Helston, Mullion, Porthleven, St Anthony, St Hilary, St Keverne, Sithney and Wendron. These can be searched on-line.
- The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD baptisms 1730 to 1838 for this parish.
- The OPC has listed baptisms at Sithney, which are on-line as follows:
- Cornwall Legacy have also published on CD baptisms (1845 to 1900) of the Breage and Crowan Methodist Chapels, (including Black Rock, Horsedowns, Nancegollan, Praze, Townshend, Trenwheal chapels). Areas include: Breage, Crowan, Gwinear, Sithney, and St Erth.
- Cornwall Legacy have also published on CD, baptisms (1838 to 1900) of the Helston Bible Christian Circuit. Areas include: Helston, St Keverne, Constantine, Wendron, St Anthony-in-Meneage, Manacccan, St Martin-in-Meneage, Sithney, Stithians and Lizard.
- Banns. The OPC has listed banns at Sithney, which are on-line as follows:
- Banns 1824 to 1905 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- They are also on-line, courtesy of the OPC, as follows:
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1608 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf formats.
- Phillimore's marriages 1654 to 1812, and marriage transcripts 1691 to 1901, in this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The OPC has listed marriages at Sithney, which are on-line as follows:
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book format.
- Burials 1663 to 1901 in this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The OPC has listed burials at Sithney, which are on-line as follows:
- Cornwall Legacy have also published on CD Burials (1892 to 1900) of the Breage and Crowan Methodist Chapels, (including Black Rock, Horsedowns, Nancegollan, Praze, Townshend, Trenwheal chapels). Areas include: Breage, Crowan, Gwinear, Sithney, and St Erth.
- Other Church Records.
The parish of Sithney was originally in the Helston Registration District;
there were sub-districts at Breage, Crowan, Helston, St Keverne and Wendron. It
is now in the Kerrier Registration District. Parishes in this registration district are: Breage, Crowan, Cury, Germoe, Gunwalloe, Grade, Helston, Landewednack, Manaccan, Mawgan in Meneage, Mullion, Ruan Major, Ruan Minor, St. Anthony in Meneage, St. Keverne, St. Martin in Meneage, Sithney, Wendron.
The address of the Registration Office is: The Willows, Church Street, Helston, TR13 8NJ.
Tel: 01326 562848.
- ePodunk's Cornwall page - providing general, plus some historical and genealogical information, about Cornwall and its parishes, together with links (mainly relating to general sites and services, rather than ones that are specific to Cornwall or particular parishes).
- Pictures of
Sithney are available on-line.
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 Sithney ecclesiastical parish:
- OPC Assistance.
- The On-line Parish Clerk (OPC) scheme operates a service to help family historians; the OPC page for this parish is available on-line, from where the OPC can be contacted by email.
- The OPC has produced a website for Sithney to help those researching in that parish.
- Stray. Persons living in a parish but born elsewhere are known as "Strays". Strays
found in Sithney/Porthleven in the 1861 Census are available on-line, as are
found only in Sithney.
- The parish and town tithe maps, and accompanying survey books of c1840, provide a fascinating snap-shot of land use and ownership in the 19th century. In order to preserve the documents and improve access to them, the Cornwall Record Office are digitising these maps and survey books. The CD ROM tithe package include a map and survey books, together with a reader, for this parish; it is now available from the Cornwall Record Office. Details are on their website.
- Sithney parish was part of the Helston
Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
- Overseers' Accounts (1744 to 1788, 1805 to 1823) are available in the Cornwall
The parish of Porthleven was
created from parts of this parish and Breage parish in 1846.
Most parish and church description(s) on these pages are from Lake's Parochial History of the County of Cornwall by J Polsue (Truro, 1867 - 1873)
- Population in 1801 - 1420 persons
- Population in 1811 - 1552 persons
- Population in 1821 - 2238 persons
- Population in 1831 - 2772 persons
- Population in 1841 - 3362 persons
- Population in 1851 - 2768 persons
- Population in 1861 - 3306 persons
- Population in 1871 - 3561 persons
- Population in 1881 - 1457 persons
- Population in 1891 - 3290 persons
- Population in 1901 - 3075 persons
- Population in 1911 - 2691 persons
- Population in 1921 - 2540 persons
- Population in 1931 - 2519 persons
- Population in 1951 - 765 persons
- Population in 1961 - 772 persons
- Population in 1971 - 736 persons
- Population in 1981 - 695 persons
- Population in 1991 - 710 persons
- Population in 2001 - 767 persons
- Population in 2011 - 836 persons
Sithney/Porthleven Board School Admissions - 1886-1921 are on-line, courtesy of the OPC.
The parish comprises 4028 acres of land.
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