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Withiel, (Cornish: Gwydhyel), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Pydar. It is bounded on the north by St Breock, on the east by Bodmin, Lanivet and Roche, and on the south and west by Roche and St Wenn. The name Withiel has links with a 4th century Irish Saint, St Uvel. and is derived from a word meaning "a place of trees" or 'wooded district' although there is not much evidence of this today. The small parish of Withiel is in the centre of Cornwall north of St Austell. The hamlet of Withielgoose is about half a mile to the east of the village of Withiel. The principal village is the Churchtown.


The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 295 entries.

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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

The Note on the first page of the Phillimore's Marriage Index for Withiel (1586 to 1812) reads:

NOTE: The Marriages hereunder given have been extracted by Mrs. Glencross from two volumes, viz--the old Withiel Register which includes Baptisms and Burials from 1567 to 1786, and Marriages from 1568 to 1770, and from Hardwicke's Register which was commenced in 1754. Marriages between 1754 and 1770 are found entered in both Registers. The books are in good preservation, but in the first volume there is some bad writing and in places the record is almost illegible. The Rev. W. S. Cruddas, M.A.., Rector of Withiel, has kindly allowed the Marriages to be printed. They are given here in chronological order, although, as in pointed out in the notes, such is not always the order preserved in the old Register.

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Civil Registration

The parish of Withiel is in the Bodmin Registration District, and has been since 1st July 1837; there were sub-districts are Bodmin, Egloshayle, Lanlivery and St Mabyn but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district were: Blisland, Bodmin, Bodmin Borough, Cardinham, Egloshayle, Endellion, Helland, Lanhydrock, Lanviet, Lanlivery, Lostwithiel, Luxulion, St. Kew, St. Mabyn, St. Minver Highlands, St. Minver Lowlands, St. Tudy, St. Winnow, Temple, Wadebridge, Warleggon, Withiel.

The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Lyndhurst, 66 Nicholas Street, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 2AG. Tel: 01208 73677.

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Description & Travel

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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 Withiel ecclesiastical parish:

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The Corn Survey of 1630 took the form of a "certificate by Inquirers of the number of persons which are in the houses of every householder", in each parish. The enumerators were required to list the quantity, in bushels, of corn and grain of every inhabitant within each parish. That survey is available, courtesy of the OPC.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Withiel parish was part of the Bodmin Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.

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A list of the inhabitants of Withiel in the 16th Century is available on-line, courtesy of the OPC.

  • Population in 1801 - 283 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 299 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 339 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 406 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 468 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 452 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 367 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 425 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 408 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 338 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 349 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 355 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 329 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 339 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 273 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 291 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 270 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 300 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 339 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 351 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 329 persons

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Religion and 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 OPC has made available the Protestation Returns of 1641 for Withiel on-line.


The parish comprises 3085 acres of land and 6 acres of water.

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