Merther (Cornish: Eglosverther), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Powder. It is bounded on the north by Probus, on the west by Probus and Lamorran, on the south by St Michael Penkivel, and on the west by St Clement's Creek which separates it from the parish of St Clement and St Erme. The name means 'place claiming relics'. These relics may have belonged to St Coan, patron saint of the local church. It is a sparsely-populated parish bordering the Tresillian River and sandwiched between the parishes of Lamorran and St Clement. Merther starts at Tresillian bridge and follows the river north then goes due south to join the road to Tregony to include Carharthen, Tregerrick, Treveor, Namprathick, Fentongollan, Merther Lane and Tresawsen, Eglos Merther and Treffry.
The chief village in the parish is Merther Lane. In 1934, the parish was united with St Michael Penkivel and Lamorran for civil purposes.
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 Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 186 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:
- The 1841 Census of Merther (HO107/148), Enumeration District 1, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- The 1851 Census of Merther (HO107/1909), Enumeration District 3, 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; Merther is listed in Volume 17. 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 Merther (RG9/1552), Enumeration District 6, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1871. The 1871 Census of Merther (RG10/2273), Enumeration District 6B, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Merther (RG11/2306), Enumeration District 6, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Merther (RG12/1826), Enumeration District 6, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- Anglican. The original parish church was located in OS Grid Square SW8644 and was dedicated to St Coanus. It was built around 1370, and comprised a chancel, nave and south aisle. The name Merther is believed to have been derived from 'martyr' but is generally used to mean a church in honour of a martyr. In this case it was St. Coan, a local saint, who had a well and chapel near the church. The church is in a very remote situation on the east side of the Tresillian river about two miles from Tresillian. Historically the church was a chapelry to the nearby village of Probus, but from the time of Henry VIII onwards there were often disputes about the rights of jurisdiction over the church. At one time it was held by a curate of Probus together with the nearby church at Cornelly. The parish was constituted a 'vicarage' in 1866. A 'bearded effigy', once in this church, is now at Tresillian (the building which replaced it). In the 20th century the church declined with the population. The main centre of population is now at Tresillian. The church was last used for regular worship in the mid-20th century, and is now an ivy-covered ruin.
A separate church was built at Tresillian about 1878 to meet the demands of the population; this was rebuilt in its present style in 1904. The campanile is a well-known feature on the A390 road at the St. Austell end of Tresillian village. With the demise of Merther church, the church at Tresillian is now the de facto parish church.
The parish is now part of the Lamorran with Merther, Tresillian and St. Michael Penkivel Team Ministry.
- Non-Conformist. There was a Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Merther Lane.
- LDS Church Records.
- The LDS Church batch numbers for Merther are: C022841/2, M022842/3. These are searchable by surname.
- The IGI coverage of this parish is 1658 - 1875.
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1675 - 1903, Burials 1680 - 1992, Marriages 1690 - 1975, Boyd's Marriage Index 1608 - 1665, BTs 1608 - 1665.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
- 1813-37 Marriages
- 1813-37 Burials
- Baptisms 1800 to 1901 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, baptisms 1741 to 1840 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest..
- Banns. Banns 1825 to 1901 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
The parish of Merther has been in the Truro Registration District continuously from 1st July 1837. There were sub-districts at Kea, Kenwyn, Probus, St. Agnes, St. Clement and St Just-in-Roseland, but these have now been abolished. Parishes in this registration district are: Cornelly, Cuby, Feock, Gerrans, Kea, Kenwyn, Ladock, Lamorran, Merther, Perranzabuloe, Philleigh, Probus, Ruan Lanihorne, St. Agnes, St. Allen, St. Anthony in Roseland, St. Clement, St. Erme, St. Feock, St. Just in Roseland, St. Michael Penkevil, Tregavethan, Tregony St. James, Truro St. Mary, Veryan.
The address of the Registration Office is: Dalvenie House, New County Hall, Truro, TR1 3AY.
Tel: 01872 322241.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Merther to another place.
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, from where the OPC can be contacted by email.
You can see the administrative areas in which Merther has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
- Map of the Truro Registration District in which the parish lies.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW862447 (Lat/Lon: 50.263486, -5.001176), Merther 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.)
Merther parish was part of the Truro Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
The parish of Merther was transferred to St Michael Penkivel for civil purposes in 1934. Population figures after that date are with that parish.