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Week St Mary

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The parish of Week St Mary, (Cornish: Gwig Sen Maria), is situated in the Deanery of Trigg Major and the Hundred of Stratton. It is bounded on the north by Marhamchurch, on the east by Whitstone, North Tamerton and Boyton, on the south by North Petherwin (which was in Devon) and a detached part of Jacobstow, and on the west by Jacobstow and Poundstock.

The name has Anglo-Saxon origins: wic meaning settlement. The word "Week", "Wyke" or "Wick" which is found in so many English place names is an Anglo-Saxon form of the Latin "vicus" meaning dairy farm or village, and St Mary is the dedication of the village church, so that Week St. Mary was in the old days know as St. Mary Week to distinguish it from other villages, like Pancrasweek a few miles away in Devon. It seems to have been of some importance for centuries; just west of the village is a flat topped circular hill know as Ashbury - all round it can be seen earthworks which surrounded a prehistoric fort dating from the Iron Age. Later the Normans settled in what was then hostile country.The parish is in north-east Cornwall between the Devon border and the coast.

It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086:
Richard also holds WICH. Cola held it before 1066, and paid tax for hide; 1 hide there, however. Land for 8 ploughs; 3 ploughs there; 4 slaves. 6 villagers and 10 smallholders. Woodland, 2 acres; pasture, 1 league long and as wide. Formerly 20s; value now 30s. [2 cattle; 8 pigs; 40 sheep; 20 goats. Exon].

In the 15th century a shepherdess, Thomasine Bonaventure, lived here. She attracted the attention of a wealthy London merchant who took her back to London to work in his household, and on the death of his wife married her. After his death Thomasine married two more weathy men in succession; the last being Sir John Percival who became Lord Mayor of London in 1497. After being widowed for the third time she returned to Cornwall and used her money for good causes. She built a school which has now become a group of cottages, she endowed a chantry in the parish church and left the vicar of Liskeard a beautiful chalice.

The village of Week St Mary is the only village in the parish.

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 Week St Mary is in the Stratton Registration District, and has been since 1st July 1837; there were sub-districts at Kilhampton, Stratton and Week St Mary but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Jacobstow, Kilkhampton, Launcells, Marhamchurch, Morwenstow, Poughill, Poundstock, St. Gennys, Stratton, Stratton and Bude, Week St. Mary, Whitstone. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: The Parkhouse Centre, Ergue Gaberic Way, Bude, EX23 8LF. Tel: 01288 353209.

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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 Week St Mary ecclesiastical parish:

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Maps

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Military Records

The Muster Roll for Weeke Mary of 1569 is available on-line.

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Occupations

Apprenticeship Indentures for Week St Mary (1768 - 1827) can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

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Population

  • Population in 1801 - 566 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 612 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 782 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 769 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 788 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 641 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 611 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 570 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 519 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 518 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 538 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 522 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 452 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 460 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 402 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 410 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 385 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 470 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 525 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 550 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 657 persons

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Religion & Religious Life

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Schools

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Societies

The Bude, Stratton and District OLD CORNWALL SOCIETY covers the parishes of Morwenstow, Marhamchurch, Kilkhampton, Launcells, Poundstock, Week St. Mary, Warbstow, Whitestone, St. Gennys, Poughill and, of course, Bude & Stratton.

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Statistics

The parish comprises 6123 acres of land.

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