The parish of St Germans, (Cornish: Lannaled), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of East; in 1870, it is bounded on the north by Menheniot and Quethiock, on the east by Landrake, St Erney, St Germans Creek and Sheviock, on the south by the sea, and the west by St Martin-by-Looe, Morval and Menheniot. St Germanus was a well known missionary of Auxerre, but there has been some doubt as to whether he was the saint that gave his name to this parish. The village of St Germans is on the lower reaches of the River Tiddy that eventually flows into Plymouth Sound. Prior to the Norman Conquest the Saxon church was the cathedral of Cornwall. After the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century, the Eliot family bought the priory, which became known as Port Eliot. Although originally a busy fishing port, the major activity now is pleasure boating.
Villages in the parish were Tideford, Hessenford, Minard Cross, Polbathick, and Bethany.
Hessenford in 1834, and Tideford in 1852, were two new ecclesiastical parishes created out of this parish. In 1997, St Germans was split again to make two more parishes: St Germans and a new parish of Deviock. In consequence, the boundaries of the parish have frequently been changed due to this and various local government reorganisation initiatives.
St Germans is now surrounded by (starting on the west at the sea) Deviock, Morval, Menheniot, Quethiock, Landrake-with-St Erney and Sheviock.
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 on-line for the Parish Church - 1211 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 St Germans (HO107/133), Enumeration Districts 1-6, 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. 241259.
- The 1851 Census of St Germans (HO107/1900), Enumeration Districts 2a, 2b and 2g, 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; St Germans is listed in Volume 9. 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 St Germans (RG9/1524) is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- 1871. The 1871 Census of St Germans (RG10/2230), Enumeration Districts 2 and 3 [including Merchant Shipping], is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1881. The 1881 Census of St Germans (RG11/2281), Enumeration Districts 2 and 3, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
- 1891. The 1891 Census of St Germans is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SX3557 and was dedicated to St Germanus. Prior to the Norman Conquest, the Saxon church was the cathedral of Cornwall. Following the Conquest a Cornish Bishopric was formed at St Germans and a group of secular canons were set up in the cathedral. The Norman cathedral was rebuilt in 1261 to become a church.
The conventual church of St Germans was consecrated on August 28th, 1261. The present church comprises a chancel, nave, south aisle, north transept, vestry and a mortuary chapel for the family of Moyle of Bake, through which there is a private entrance from the adjoining mansion of Port Eliot to the church. There was formerly a north aisle but this was taken down at the end of the 18th century. It was divided from the nave by five short thick, round, columns, every one connected with a respond in the north wall by a low surbased arch.
There are two western towers; the one on the north side has an upper part octagonal, and is finished with battlements, but until 1775 had neither floors nor bells. Six bells were installed in 1775, and a further two were added in 1913. The south tower was also octagonal in its upper stages, but is now square. The towers have each two massive pointed arches; those of the south tower open both into the church, one on the south aisle the other laterally into the nave. In consequence of the removal of the north aisle, the eastern arch of the north tower opens into the adjacent lawn. Between the towers is the ancient enriched entrance portal.
In the village of Hessenford, a district chapel was consecrated on 26th September 1833.
There was a Mission Church at Maryfield which was dedicated to St Philip & St James; details about the plans of this church is also available on-line.
There was also a chapel of ease in Tideford; both Hessenford and Tideford eventually became a separate parishes.
St Germans is now part of the united parishes of St Germans, Hessenford, Downderry and Tideford.
- Quakers. There was a chapel belonging to the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Tideford with a cemetery attached.
- Non-Conformists. There were also chapels for the Wesleyan Methodists and the Reformed Methodists in Tideford.
- LDS Church Records.
- The LDS Church batch numbers for St Germans are: C053151, E053151, M053151. These are searchable by surname.
- The IGI coverage for this parish is 1590 - 1837.
- The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1590 - 1880, Burials 1590 - 1906, Marriages 1590 - 1837, Boyd's Marriage Index 1608 - 1675, BTs 1608 - 1675.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published on-line transcripts of:
- 1813-37 Marriages
- 1813-37 Burials.
- A baptism index from 1590 to 1837, and baptisms 1837 to 1880, for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- (See also the on-line parish records for the Rame peninsular parishes).
- The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD baptisms 1720 to 1840 for this parish which can be purchased on Parish Chest.
- Banns. Banns 1876 to 1900 for this parish are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
The parish of St Germans is in the St Germans Registration District and has been since 1st July 1837; there were sub-districts at Antony, St Germans and Saltash but they have now been abolished. Parishes within the district were: Antony, Botusfleming, Landrake, Landulph, Maker, Millbrook, Pillaton, Quethiock, Rame, St. Erney, St. Germans, St. John's, St. Mellion, St. Stephen's, Saltash, Sheviock, Torpoint.
The Superintendant Registrar of St Germans can be contacted at: Ploughastel Drive, Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 6DL. Tel: 01752 842624.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from St Germans to another place.
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 St Germans ecclesiastical parish:
You can see the administrative areas in which St Germans has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
- Map of the St Germans Registration District in which the parish lies.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX359578 (Lat/Lon: 50.397115, -4.310231), St Germans 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.)
- Apprenticeship Indentures for St Germans (1722 - 1840) can be found in the Cornwall Record Office.
- St Germans parish was part of the St Germans Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief. The Workhouse was actually sited in the parish of Antony, St Jacob.
- Overseers' Accounts (1600 to 1667, 1768 to 1802), Settlement Papers (1734 to 1789) and Bastardy Bonds (1697 to 1789), are available in the Cornwall Record Office.