The parish of Germoe (Cornish: Sen Germow) is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier. It is bounded on the north, east and south by Breage, and on the west by St Hilary. The name is derived from Saint Germoch or Germogh, about whom little is known. Germoe has been considered as a separate parish for many years, but the Church has been subordinate to that of Breage. It is located in the far south-west of Cornwall, sandwiched between the parishes of Godolphin and Breage. This was eminently a mining parish, but it also had some good farms. Originally, the houses and shops were built to satisfy the needs of miners digging for tin and china clay, but today both these industries have ceased and the village survives with about a third of the population that existed in 1841. A war memorial stands on Tregonning Hill, the highest point in the parish,.
The Godolphin family (the Dukes of Leeds) were the principal landowners in the parish. The chief villages were the Churchtown, Tresowes and Boscreege. There is a large sandy beach at Praa Sands, which is (was) within the parish (but now more closely related to Breage parish).
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)
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:
- The 1841 Census of Germoe (HO107/137), Enumeration Districts 12 to 14, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- The 1841 census for this parish has also been filmed by the LDS church - film No. 241260.
- The 1851 Census of Germoe (HO107/1913), Enumeration Districts 2a and 2b, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- The New Zealand Society of Genealogists have compiled separate surname indexes of the 1851 Census for each Cornish registration district; Germoe is listed in Volume 33. 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 Germoe (RG9/1574), Enumeration Districts 11 and 12, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1871. The 1871 Census of Germoe (RG10/2308), Enumeration Districts 11 and 12, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Germoe (RG11/2326), Enumeration Districts 11 and 12, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Germoe (RG12/1842), Enumeration Districts 10 and 11, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
Germoe and Breage parishes have been closely linked over the ages, although they are now two distict church parishes.
- Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW5829 and was dedicated to St Germochus. No visible remains of the earliest period of the church foundations survive, and it is almost certain that the services would be held in the open air in the consecrated ground, and any building that there may have been would take the form of a small oratory built of rough timber or dry stone masonry by the priest, in which he would celebrate the sacred service of the Celtic Church. His congregation assembled outside in the open around the Celtic cross under which he stood to preach. In course of time a wooden erection was built to shelter the congregation from the elements. Later, as confidence grew and numbers increased, a small rough stone building followed and served until the advent of the Norman period, when a more permanent and well constructed building was erected. It appears that the services of those far off days were remarkable for their heartiness and volume of sound, and indeed the absence of loud singing was considered to indicate a want of interest and enthusiasm.
The 12th century was remarkable for the building of stone churches and an examination of the stonework of Germoe church reveals indications of a Norman cruciform church building of about this year. Erected probably by William Fitz Robert , Earl of Cornwall. It is possible that this building superseded a small stone church which had been build several hundred years earlier. The south wall between the tower and the porch differs in construction from the remainder of the walls, and appears to be of an earlier date.
The present church comprises a chancel, nave, north aisle, south transept, and a short north transept. The chancel was reconstructed in the mid-19th century, when a major refurbishment occured. The nave is separated from the north aisle by a low arcade of six four-centred arches of fine native granite supported on well-moulded pillars of the same material. At the east end of the north aisle was the Godolphin family pew. There is a south porch, and a north door. The tower is a well-built structure of granite ashlar; it is of three stages and is finished with battlements and pinnacles.
- Roman Catholic. In 1961, Fr. A.P. Byrne C.R.L. had the opportunity to purchase a private Chapel on the main road at Praa Sands. (It is thought that this Chapel was first used for Sunday Mass in 1925). The Chapel had originally been opened and blessed by Bishop Barrett in 1935, and later abandoned. During the period of disuse, Mass was celebrated at "Seaforth", a house on the main road at Praa Sands. Thereafter, it was celebrated at Tregembo Manor, Relubbus.
- Non-Conformist. The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel at Balwest, which was built in 1829 to accommodate the growing population of miners and their families. It replaced the smaller 1798 chapel thought to have been sited close by; the chapel is still active at the beginning of the 21st century, having been refurbished by a grant of money from the EEC. The chapel has a burial ground attached. There was also another Methodist Chapel on Kenegy Common.
- LDS Church Records.
- The LDS Church batch numbers for Germoe are: C022201/2, C053341/2, E053341, M022201/3, M053341. These are searchable by surname.
- The IGI coverage of this parish is 1610 - 1895.
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1679 - 1991, Burials 1682 - 1991, Marriages 1682 - 1985, Boyd's Marriage Index 1610 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1800 - 1812, BTs 1610 - 1673.
- The OPC has placed on-line Baptisms at Germoe 1682 to 1767; however, there are some gaps in years.
- Baptisms at Germoe 1816 to 1913 are also on-line; however there are also some gaps in years.
- Baptisms 1682 to 1906 are available on the OPC database - (C-PROP).
- The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD baptisms 1732 to 1840 for this parish and these are available for purchase on Parish Chest.
- Baptisms of Germoe (1732 to 1840) on fiche by the Cornish Forefathers' Society are available for purchase on Parish Chest.
- Banns. The OPC has placed on-line Banns (1754 to 1812 and 1824 to 1886) at Germoe, which are searcheable either by name or year.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1610 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
- The OPC has placed on-line Marriages (1754 to 1812, 1813 to 1837, and 1813 to 1906) at Germoe, which are searcheable either by name or year.
- Marriages 1682 to 1906 (with early gaps), and Phillimore marriages 1674 to 1812, for this parish are also available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Phillimore's Marriages at Germoe - 1674 to 1812 are also available on-line from UK Genealogy Archives.
- The Cornwall Parish Register Index contains marriage details for this parish 1610 to 1812. The index is searcheable by surname.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book format.
- Burials 1538 to 1936 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The OPC has placed on-line:
- The Cornwall Parish Register Index contains burial details for this parish 1813 to 1837. The index is searcheable by surname.
The parish of Germoe 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.
- The story of an ancient parish, Breage with Germoe, with some account of its armigers, worthies and unworthies, smugglers and wreckers, its traditions and superstitions by H.R. Coulthard (Published 1913) is available on-line, courtesy of the Old Cornwall Society.
- Directories as below
- Kelly's 1856 Directory of Germoe.
- Kelly's 1873 Directory of Germoe.
- Kelly'S 1873 Directory of Germoe.
- Kelly's 1883 Directory of Germoe.
- Kelly's 1893 Directory of Germoe.
- Kelly's 1897 Directory of Germoe.
- Kelly's 1902 Directory of Germoe.
- Kelly's 1906 Directory of Germoe.
- Kelly's 1914 Directory of Germoe.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Germoe to another place.
"GERMOE, a parish in the hundred of Kerrier, county Cornwall, 5 Miles W.N.W. of Helstone, its post town, and 8 S.E. of Penzance. The main road between these towns passes through the village. Mining operations are carried on here, mostly in tin, giving employment to a large proportion of the inhabitants. The extensive Godolphin tin-mines have an expenditure of above £15,000 a-year for working. Stone is quarried for building purposes. The living is united with the vicarage of Breage, value £760, in the diocese of Exeter, and in the patronage of the crown. The church is an ancient stone structure dedicated to St. Germoe. It has an embattled tower and porch, about which there are some antique carvings, and contains a stone font and register chest. A curious seat on the N. side of the churchyard is called St. Germoe's chair. The register commences in the ear 1682. The charities produce annually about £3 for the relief of widows, and £10 for education. The Wesleyans have a chapel, and there is a National school. In the S. of the parish, near the sea-shore, are considerable remains of Pengersick Castle. The lords of the manor are the Duke of Leeds, H. M. St. Aubyn, and - Buller, Esqs."
"BALWEST, a village in the parish of Germoe, hundred of Kerrier, in the county of Cornwall, 4 miles from Helston."
- OPC Assistance.
- Other Assistance.
You can see the administrative areas in which Germoe has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
- Map of the Kerrier Registration District in which the parish lies.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW585294 (Lat/Lon: 50.115157, -5.378968), Germoe which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- Old Maps Online
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
Germoe parish was part of the Helston Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
- Wills & Admons for Germoe parish, 1660-1771 are available on-line.