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St Keverne

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The parish of St Keverne, (Cornish: Lannaghevran), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier; it is bounded on the north by Manaccan and St Anthony, on the east and south by the sea, and on the west by a detached part of Grade and by the parishes of Ruan Major and St Martins. The wild and spectacular coast of the parish of St Keverne is on the extreme southern coast of Cornwall. It is located on the Lizard Peninsular, and is on the south side of the Helford River. Geographically, it is the largest parish in Cornwall.

The parish is a coastal one, mainly agricultural but with quarrying activity which is still active in 2001. There are three inhabited fishing coves in the parish: Porthallow, Porthousetock and Coverack.

The church spire was (and still is) a landmark for shipping for much of its existence. The parish includes the notorious Manacle Rocks (deriving its name from the old Cornish "Maen Eglos" - or Church Rocks) which has claimed many a ship because the rocks are submerged at high tide. The most famous ship lost was the SS Mohegan which was wrecked on the Manacles in 1898 with the loss of 106 lives.

The parish is mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086, as follows: The Canons of St Achebran's hold ST KEVERNE, and held it before 1066. 11 acres of land. Land for 7 ploughs; 1 plough there. Pasture, 20 acres. 8 cattle; 30 sheep. When the Count received it, value 40s;value now 5s.. In 1497, the Cornish rebellion, led by Michael Joseph An-Gof and Thomas Flamank, started their march on London from St Keverne. The event is marked by an inscription on the Church wall and a statue of the pair in the village.

The Parish of St Keverne consists of the villages of St Keverne, Coverack, Porthallow, Porthoustock, and several hamlets including Traboe, Rosenithon, Ladden Vean, Tregowris and Ponsongath.

Cemeteries

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Census

Census information for this parish (1841 - 1901) is held in the Cornwall Records Office. The Cornwall FHS 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

There is a website for the churches of the parish.

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Church Records

Many of the parish records of St Keverne can be downloaded.

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Civil Registration

The parish of St Keverne 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.

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Court Records

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Description & Travel

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Directories

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Emigration & Immigration

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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 St Keverne ecclesiastical parish:

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Land & Property

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Manors

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Maps

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Military Records

The Muster Roll of 1569 for St Keverne, including Manaccan and St Martin-in-Meneage, is available on-line. The Cornwall Subsidies Lists in the reign of King Henry VIII in 1524 and 1543 lists all able-bodied men capable of bearing arms; this is also available on-line.

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Names, Personal

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Occupations

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

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Population

  • Population in 1801 - 2104 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 2242 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 2505 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 2437 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 2469 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 2237 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 1892 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 1841 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 1812 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1630 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 1675 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 1913 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 1745 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1631 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 1709 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 1718 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 1802 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 1840 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 1855 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 2107 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 2147 persons

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Postal & Shipping Guides

A descriptive account of the Postal Service 1832-1836, illustrating the isolation of St. Keverne before proper postal arrangements were established, is 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.

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Societies

The St Keverne Local History Society was founded in 1976 to enable people to meet others who share an interest in local history of St Keverne parish. The Society aims to increase knowledge of earlier times in the parish and the surrounding locality by research and the exchange of information. Activities include a programme of talks and visits
The Society is hoping to place on its website as many of the numerous documents, photographs and illustrations relating to the history of the parish as it possibly can. It hopes to cater for everyone interested in the parish history and the site will be useful to those tracing their family history as well as those with a more general interest in St Keverne.
The Society meets on the first Monday of alternate months during the Winter periods starting in October. Meetings are held in the Church Hall, St Keverne, at 7.30 pm. Contact the Secretary - Mr Don Houghton, Tel. (within the UK) 01326-280516. Email: history (at) st-keverne.com

The Society's website contains many church, census and other records relating to the parish.

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Statistics

The parish consists of 10299 acres of land and 201 acres of foreshore.

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Taxation

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Town Records

An Index of 18th and 19th Century Documents relating to people and events in St Keverne, is available on-line. These relate to warrants, bastardy bonds, Apprentice Indenture bonds, Churwarden Expense books and Church repair accounts, leases, appointments of parish officials and more. Some of these records are increasingly available on-line, courtesy of the St Keverne Local History Society.

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