The parish of Morvah, (Cornish: Morvedh), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith. It is bounded on the north by the sea and Zennor, on the east by Madron, on the south by Madron and St Just, and on the west by St Just/Pendeen and the sea. One interpretation of the parish name is sea-grave, and it is believed a saint's grave was once revered here. This parish is located on the north coast of the south-west 'toe' of Cornwall, between Zennor and Pendeen. Amongst spectactular scenery there is an abundance of prehistoric archaeological sites. Chun castle was a habited fort with surviving hut circles and stone walls. Other sites of interest are Chun Quoit, Lanyon Quoit and Gurnards Head Promontory Fort, which is one mile north of Porthmeor.
Villages in the parish are the Churchtown, Tregaminion, Trevowan, Trevean.
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 OPC has published on-line memorials inside Morvah Church.
- Also available are Gravestone Transcriptions from Morvah. (Transcriptions and Photography by Heather & Tony Carbis July 2009).
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 194 entries.
- War Memorial inscriptions for Morvah parish are separately available.
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 1851 Census of Morvah (HO107/1919), Enumeration District 1, 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; Morvah is listed in Volume 29. 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 Morvah (RG9/1596), Enumeration District 1, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1871. The 1871 Census of Morvah (RG10/2343), Enumeration District 1, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Morvah (RG11/2349), Enumeration District 1, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Morvah (RG12/1860), Enumeration District 1, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1901. The 1901 Census of Morvah (RG13/2256), Enumeration District 1, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1911. A list of people with surnames found in the Morvah Parish Registers enumerated in the 1911 Census for Morvah is available courtesy of the OPC.
- Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW4035; it is now dedicated to St Bridget & Morwetha. It was dedicated on 7th April 1409 to St Morwetha. It was originally a daughter church of Madron (the two parishes were originally known as Morvah-with-Madron, and has been united with Madron ever since): it is a plain square structure of no pretention whatsoever. It was rebuilt in 1828, the Incorporated Society granting £250, for which 292 addtional free sittings were claimed. The east window is of ornamented glass. There is a western gallery, a south porch and a north door. An ancient pew which had borne the the arms of 'Lanyon', and which had the initials " W.L. 1539" unfortunately has been destroyed. The tower is of two stages, and is finished with battlements and pinnacles; it contains three bells.
- Non-Conformist. There was a Wesleyan Methodist chapel in the Churchtown; this was opened in 1810. There also used to be a Bible Christian chapel in the parish but this was altered to become a Board school before 1883.
Photographs of the church and chapel in Morvah are available.
- LDS Church Records.
- The LDS Church batch numbers for Morvah are: C021931/2, C052921, M021932, M052921. These are searchable by surname.
- The IGI coverage of this parish is 1650 - 1875; it is NOT believed to be fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1650 - 1874, Burials 1655 - 1991, Marriages 1617 - 1993, Boyd's Marriage Index 1614 - 1772, BTs 1614 - 1673. For 1772-1812, see Madron.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
- Pre 1813 Marriages
- 1813-37 Marriages
- 1813-37 Burials.
- Baptisms 1840 to 1901 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Parish Register listings: christenings 1650-1700
- The OPC has provide a transcription of parish baptisms at Morvah as follows:
- Baptisms 1840 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 1653 to 1845 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest
- Phillimore's marriages 1617 to 1772, and parish transcriptions 1837 to 1901, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Parish Register listings: marriages 1617-1700
- The OPC has provided a transcription of marriages at Morvah as follows:
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1617 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
- Phillimore's marriages 1617 to 1772, and parish marriages 1837 to 1901, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Burials 1813 to 1910 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Parish Register listings: burials 1655-1700
- The OPC has provided a transcription of burials at Morvah as follows:
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book format.
- Burials 1813 to 1910 for this parish are also available on-line through the OPC Search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Mixed Records.
- Some Baptisms, Marriages and Burials of Morvah are available on-line.
- Church Warden Accounts. The OPC has placed on line Churchwarden Accounts and Rates 1855- 1861 for the parish of Morvah.
The parish of Morvah has been in the Penzance Registration District continuously from 1st July 1837. There were originally sub-districts at Marazion, Penzance, St Buryan, St Just, St Ives and Uny-Lelant but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Gulval, Ludgvan, Madron, Marazion, Morvah, Penzance, Perranuthnoe, St. Buryan, St. Erth, St. Hilary, St. Ives, St. Just in Penwith, St. Levan, St. Michael's Mount, St. Paul, Sancreed, Sennen, Towednack, Uny-Lelant, Wolfe Rock Lighthouse, and Zennor. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Alphington House, Alverton Place, Penzance, TR18 4JJ. Tel: 01736 330093.
- The OPC has transcribed John Norden's "Penwith" From Speculi Britanniæ pars: a topographical and historical description of Cornwall in 1610. (John Norden was topographer and was the first Englishman who designed a complete series of county histories and geographies (a gazetteer). The first part of his Speculum Britanniae in 1593 was of Middlesex, then Hertfordshire in 1598. Three of his studies were printed long after his death, Essex, Northamptonshire, finished in 1610, but only published in 1720, Cornwall also finished in 1610, published in 1728.).
The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
"MORVAH, a parish in the hundred of Penwith, county Cornwall, 6 miles N.W. of Penzance, its post town, and 4 from St. Just. The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the coast of the Bristol Channel, and is wholly agricultural. The parish contains Castle-Chun, the most regular Danish fortification in the county, and near it is a cromlech. The soil consists of killas, with a subsoil of rock. The living is a vicarage annexed to that of Madron, in the diocese of Exeter. The church, which was rebuilt in 1828, is a stone structure with a square tower containing three bells. The interior of the church contains an ancient font and numerous monuments. A Sunday-school is held in the church. There is a school for both sexes."
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Morvah to another place.
- OPC Assistance.
- The West Penwith Resources have also produced a website for Morvah to help family historians.
You can see the administrative areas in which Morvah has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
- Map of the Penzance Registration District in which the parish lies.
- A map showing Morvah in the context of its neighbours is available.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW409352 (Lat/Lon: 50.160361, -5.629457), Morvah 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.)
Morvah parish was part of the Penzance Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
- A Probate Index for Morvah, Cornwall 1664 - 1771 is available on-line.
- Wills and Administration Abstracts for Morvah between 1660 -1856, are also available on-line.
- The OPC has made available some Wills & Admons relating to Morvah parish.
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 Penwith Local History Group aims:
- To encourage and sustain public interest in the history of Penwith to provide mutual support and encouragement to members in their individual research projects, whether related to Penwith or of wider historical interest.
- To work as a group on specific research projects, with the aim of publication to an academic standard.
- To encourage the strong link with the Morrab Library, supporting the Library in its aims and activities.
Entries from the Hearth Tax 1662 - 1664 for Morvah are availble on-line.