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Help and advice for Whitstone

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Whitstone, (Cornish: Mengwynn), is situated in the Deanery of Trigg Major and Hundred of Stratton. It is bounded on the north by Marhamchurch and Bridgerule West, on the east by the River Tamar which separates it from Bridgerule East, Pyworthy and the detached part of Bridgerule, all in Devon, on the south by North Tamerton and Week St Mary, and on the west by Week St Mary. The parish name is of English origin; it stems from 'white stone'.

The parish is located on the Devon border; it is traversed by the B3254 which connects Launceston to Kilkhampton. The village of Whitstone is surrounded by small hamlets such as Boot, Foxton, East and West Balsdon. Whitstone is near the River Tamar valley.

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)


The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 321 entries.


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.
Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:

  • 1841. The 1841 Census of Whitstone (HO107/151), Enumeration Districts 1 and 2, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1851.
    • The 1851 Census of Whitstone (HO107/1897), Enumeration Districts 1a, and 1b, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
    • Part of the 1851 Census of Whitstone is also available from the West-Penwith resources as part of the 1851 British Census 2% sample - Cornwall.
    • The New Zealand Society of Genealogists have compiled separate surname indexes of the 1851 Census for each Cornish registration district; Whitstone is listed in Volume 5. 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 Whitstone (RG9/1514), Enumeration District 9A and 10A, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1871.
  • 1881. The 1881 Census of Whitstone (RG11/2271), Enumeration Districts 9 and 10, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
  • 1891. The 1891 Census of Whitstone (RG12/1798), Enumeration Districts 1 and 2, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Whitstone area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

  • Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SX2698 and was dedicated to St Nicholas or St Anne. It consists of a chancel, nave, and north and south aisles. The north arcade has five four-centred arches, and the south four obtuse four-centred arches; all are supported on monolith granite pillars. The entrances are a south porch, and a priest's door; the north door communicates with a sort of vestry. The tower has four low stages and, including pinnacles, is 56 feet high. It contains five bells.

    The path to the Church is marked by a large granite rock, faced and engraved in large letters 'Gods Acre' followed by a verse. The Church sits on the hill side with most of the grave stones looking down to the church. The tall tapering tower is of the fifteenth century, there are ancient timbers in the aisles and roof. A chair made of bench ends and a Norman font which is engraved with trailing foliage. Here can be seen one of the oldest slate memorials in Cornwall with an inscription to a priest of 1535. Below the church is what appears to be a Holy spring with crystal clear water, inside in the back wall is a niche with a strange carved head above. The niche had small loose stone in it, could this be a form of wishing well where you throw a stone into the niche and, if it remains there, your wish is granted! This is similar to the custom at Launceston St. Mary Magdalane's.
  • Non-Conformist. At Whitstone, there is a Bible Christian chapel, and a Methodist Chapel.

Church Records

  • LDS Church Records.
  • The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1663 - 1981, Burials 1663 - 1963, Marriages 1663 - 1977, Boyd's Marriage Index 1597 - 1673, BTs 1597 - 1673.
  • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of:
    • 1813-37 Marriages
    • 1813-37 Burials
  • Baptisms.
    • Baptisms 1597 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD baptisms 1738 to 1840 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
  • Marriages.
    • Marriages 1663 to 1911 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
    • The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Marriages in the Parish 1598 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
  • Burials.

Civil Registration

The parish of Whitstone 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.

Description and Travel

  • 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).
  • Photographs of Whitstone are available on-line.
You can see pictures of Whitstone which are provided by:


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.

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 Whitstone ecclesiastical parish:

You can see the administrative areas in which Whitstone has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX260980 (Lat/Lon: 50.755387, -4.468276), Whitstone which are provided by:

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Whitstone parish was part of the Stratton Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.


  • Population in 1801 - 345 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 397 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 466 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 481 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 466 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 425 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 391 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 409 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 410 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 394 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 364 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 364 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 361 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 337 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 375 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 350 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 290 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 360 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 430 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 582 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 590 persons


The parish comprises 3921 acres of land and 11 acres of water.