The parish of Sithney, (Cornish: Merthersydhni), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier. It is bounded on the north by Crowan, on the east by Wendron and Helston and the Looe Pool which separates it from Gunwalloe, on the south by the sea, and on the west by Breage. It is named after the patron saint of the church, who chose to be the patron saint of mad dogs (in preference to young women). The parish lies about three miles north west of the town of Helston in a mainly agricultural area. In the 19th century there were at least eight tin mines in the area, none of which are working today. There are the ruins of an old farmhouse Plane-an-Gwary, meaning 'place of the plays'. Here Cornish Miracle plays were acted in medieval times, and later Cornish wrestlers were seen here on feast and fair days.
The principal villages are the Churchtown, Porthleven, St Johns, Penrose, Mellangoose, Lower Prospidnick, Dowga, Sithney Common, Sithney Green, Coverack, Crown Town (or Gudna), Lowertown, Chyreen and Lower Tregadjack. Porthleven, which was originally part of this parish, became a separate parish in 1844.
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 parishes in this town (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 Sithney (HO107/139), Enumeration Districts 1 to 8, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- The 1851 Census of Sithney (HO107/1912), Enumeration Districts 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f, 1g and 1his available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project. [District 1b includes Porthleven, but page 2 is missing].
- The New Zealand Society of Genealogists have compiled separate surname indexes of the 1851 Census for each Cornish registration district; Sithney is listed in Volume 31. 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 Sithney (RG9/1571) is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- 1871. The 1871 Census of Sithney (RG10/2302) is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Sithney (RG11/2322), Enumeration Districts 19 to 24 [including Merchant Shipping], is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Sithney (RG12/1839), Enumeration Districts 18 to 23, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW6328 and was dedicated to St Sidinius (Siduinus, or Sithuinus). The existing church was consecrated in 1497, and was built on the site of a Norman Church. It comprises a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, shallow north transept, and a south transept. The arcades each consists of six four-centred arches of granite. There is a south porch, the north porch is used as a vestry, and there is a priest's door. The tower has three stages, and is finished with battlements and pinnacles. It is 50 feet in height or, including the pinnacles, 67 feet. The belfry contains three bells.
- Non-Conformist. There was a Wesleyan Methodist chapel in the Churchtown which was built in 1861, and another at Lower Prospidnick. The United Methodist Free Church had a chapel at Crown Town, built in 1835, and others at Tregathenan and Tuckingmill. A Bible Christian chapel was located at Gwavas.
- LDS Church Records.
- The LDS Church batch numbers for Sithney are: P021561. These are searchable by surname.
- The IGI coverage of this parish is 1666 - 1875; it is NOT believed to be fully included in the LDS Church's International Genealogical Index (IGI).
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1667 - 1834, Burials 1664 - 1895, Marriages 1664 - 1981, Boyd's Marriage Index 1608 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1800 - 1812, BTs 1608 - 1673.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
- Pre 1813 Marriages
- 1813-37 Marriages
- 1813-37 Burials.
- Baptisms 1666 to 1901 in this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Chynhale Wesleyan Methodist baptisms 1880 to 1902 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The OPC of Breage has transcribed Breage Circuit: Bible Christian Births & Baptisms 1821 to 1837. Parishes mentioned include: Breage, Crowan, Gwinear, Helston, Mullion, Porthleven, St Anthony, St Hilary, St Keverne, Sithney and Wendron. These can be searched on-line.
- The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD baptisms 1730 to 1838 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest
- The OPC has listed baptisms at Sithney, which are on-line as follows:
- Banns. The OPC has listed banns at Sithney, which are on-line as follows:
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1608 to 1837, which is available in CD or downloadable .pdf formats.
- Phillimore's marriages 1654 to 1812, and marriage transcripts 1691 to 1901, in this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The OPC has listed marriages at Sithney, which are on-line as follows:
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book format.
- Burials 1663 to 1901 in this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The OPC has listed burials at Sithney, which are on-line as follows:
- Other Church Records.
The parish of Sithney 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.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Sithney to another place.
- OPC Assistance.
- Stray. Persons living in a parish but born elsewhere are known as "Strays". Strays found in Sithney/Porthleven in the 1861 Census are available on-line, as are those strays found only in Sithney.
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 Sithney ecclesiastical parish:
- Truthall (Trouthel, Trovthel, Treuithal), Grid Reference 655303.
You can see the administrative areas in which Sithney has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
- The parish and town tithe maps, and accompanying survey books of c1840, provide a fascinating snap-shot of land use and ownership in the 19th century. In order to preserve the documents and improve access to them, the Cornwall Record Office are digitising these maps and survey books. The CD ROM tithe package include a map and survey books, together with a reader, for this parish; it is now available from the Cornwall Record Office. Details are on their website.
- Map of the Kerrier Registration District in which the parish lies.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SW652302 (Lat/Lon: 50.125597, -5.286422), Sithney which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- OldMaps (Old Ordnance Survey maps.)
- Old Maps Online (Other old maps.)
- 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.)
- Sithney parish was part of the Helston Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
- Overseers' Accounts (1744 to 1788, 1805 to 1823) are available in the Cornwall Record Office.
The parish of Porthleven was created from parts of this parish and Breage parish in 1846.
Sithney/Porthleven Board School Admissions - 1886-1921 are on-line, courtesy of the OPC.