Mary Tavy


"TAVY ST MARY, or Mary Tavy, a scattered village in the Tavy valley, and on the western side of Dartmoor, 4 miles N.E. by N. of Tavistock, is mostly inhabited by miners. Its parish contains 1552 souls, and 4180 acres of land, including about 2100A. of open moorland; the village of Horndon; the high moorland district of Black Down, and other parts of Dartmoor, where there are five valuable copper, tin, and lead mines, called Wheal, and North, South, and East Wheal Friendship; and Kingscott and Bedford. . . . John Buller, Esq., is lord of the manor, owner of a great part of the soil, and patron of the rectory, valued in K.B. at £14. 5s. 7½d., and in 1831 at £260. The Rev. Anthony Buller is the incumbent, and has 30A. 1R. 10P. of glebe, and a small Parsonage. The tithes were commuted in 1843, for £207 10s. per annum. The Church is a small antique edifice, with a tower and three bells. Mrs Carpenter and several smaller owners have estates in the parish, mostly freehold. The Bible Christians have one, and the Wesleyans have two small chapels in the parish. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Lifton Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes, and the Diocese of Exeter. Regarded as part of the Dartmoor area.




Harpley, Rev. W. John Merrifield, Ph.D,. F.R.A.S. [Obituary] Trans. Devon Assoc., 1891, Vol XXIII, pp. 106-108. [Transcript]




MIs for this parish are included in the Devon FHS index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.

Brown, Mike. Mary Tavy (Pre-1950 Survey). In Dartmoor Region Monumental Inscriptions Indexes, Vol. 9. Dartmoor Press, PO Box 132, Plymouth PL4 7YL.

Brown, Mike. Zoar Down Chapel (Full). In Dartmoor Region Monumental Inscriptions Indexes, Vol. 9. Dartmoor Press, PO Box 132, Plymouth PL4 7YL.

Rydings, H.A. Made a Coffin For . . . Devon Family Historian 48 (1988) pp.10-14. [Records from 1841 to 1853]



Nick Mayne has prepared an index to the 1891 census, and is prepared to check for particular names in it on request.


Church History

Hicks, H. Ronald. Rectors of St Mary Tavy. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 22 (1942-46) pp.311-314, 362-364 and 23 (1947-49) pp.10-13.


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1560 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1560 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Baptisms 1813-1840, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

The members' area of the Devon FHS website makes available online images, not at present (Jan 2016) available elsewhere, of the Parish Registers covering Mary Tavy Baptisms, Marriages and Burials: 1560-1682, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials: 1682-1738, Baptisms: 1739-1812, Baptisms: 1813-1865, Baptisms: 1865-1912, Marriages and Banns: 1754-1812, Marriages: 1813-1837, Marriages: 1837-1915, Banns: 1823-1870, Banns: 1876-1915, Burials: 1813-1915.

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1560-1837 Marriages 1560-1837.

Brown, Mike. 1754-1812 Burial Indexes: Mary Tavy. RT30, Dartmoor Press (2000).

Fairmaner, Margaret. St Mary Tavy Parish Register. Trans. Devon Assoc. 81 (1949) pp185-195. [Notes]

King, Marjorie. . . whipt there for a Wandering Rogue . . . Devon Family Historian, vol. 162, (2017) p.19. [Transcripts of entries for Edward Glanvill (1688) and William Warden (1691) in the Mary Tavy Burial Register ]

Kingdon, Eric V. Gleanings of old records of Mary Tavy parish. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 71, (1939) pp.301-309.

S. Extracts from the Registers of Mary Tavy. Western Antiquary 2 (1882) p.59.

The Parish Constables' Accounts of St Mary Tavy, 1672-1709. Trans. Devon Assoc. 82 (1850) pp.311-319.

The Deanery of Tamerton, CD, Devon Family History Society, Exeter (2003). [Contains indexes: Bere Ferrers - Baptisms 1813-1840, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Bickleigh - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1811-1837; Buckland Monachorum - Baptisms, 1813-1839 Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Egg Buckland - Baptisms 1813-1839 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Mary Tavy - Baptisms 1813-1840 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Meavy - Baptisms 1813-1839 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1838; Peter Tavy - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1790-1837; Sampford Spiney - Baptisms 1813-1839 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1770-1837; Sheepstor - Baptisms 1813-1839 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1856; Tamerton Foliot - Baptisms 1813-1840 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Walkhampton - Baptisms 1813-1840 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Whitchurch - Baptisms 1813-1839 Marriages, 1754-1838, Burials 1813-1837]


Description & Travel

Section on Mary Tavy  from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Lockie.

The Mary Tavy parish council web-site has extensive general and historical information.

Conservation Area Appraisal for Mary Tavy - an interesting account of the area, with numerous photographs and maps.

Mary Tavy (archived copy) - two pages of description, history and photographs by Gerry Sargent.

You can see pictures of Mary Tavy which are provided by:



Transcription by Neil Stanton of the entry for Mary Tavy in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.

Copy provided by Val Henderson of the entry (description and names) in Morris and Co's Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of Devonshire 1870.

Brown, Mike. Trade Directory for Brentor, Mary Tavy, Peter Tavy 1850, 1870, 1878, Dartmoor Press (2001).



The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.



The Online Parish Clerk scheme's representative for this parish is Yvonne Holliday, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: PRs on Fiche.)

Dartmoor Press Online Magazine's page for this parish (archived copy), with articles, transcriptions, publication details, etc. - highly recommended.

Maunder, John. Maunder Ancestors in Australia, Devon Family Historian, vol. 136, (Nov 2010) pp.19-23. [William Maunder, son of James and Phillipa Maunder of Cresson Farm, Mary Tavy, arrived with his family in Australia in 1867, and died in Stawell in 1872. This article provides details, from the Stawell Historical Society, of many members of the Maunder family.]

Osborne, Ken. My Devon Ancestors - Part One: The paper trail, Devon Family Historian, vol. 173, (2020) pp.34-37. [Osborne and Nankivell families]

Roach, Barbara. Two Pennyworth, Devon Family Historian, vol. 174, (2020) p.6.  [Re Susanna Doidge, b. 1817]

Roberts, Gwilym. The Mattabel Inheritance (3 vols.), The Author (2002). [Concerns the Anderson and Giles families] [DFHS Library 929.2/GIL]

Wood, Jan. 19th Century Emigrants from West Devon, Devon Family Historian, (2004) pp.32-35. [Pryor Family]

Worthy, C. Devonshire Parishes: or the antiquities, heraldry and family history of twenty-eight parishes in the archdeaconry of Totnes (2 vols), Exeter, W. Pollard (1887). [Chap. VII: S. Mary Tavy - Siward, Earl of Northumberland; Robert de ALBEMARLE; BULLER of Morvall] [Index]



Gerry Sargent's pages on the history of Wheal Friendship (archived copy) copper mine, Mary Tavy.

Brown, Mike. The rise and demise of a Dartmoor mine: the Wheal Friendship minute books and ledgers 1816-1875. Plymouth: Dartmoor Press (1996) 50p: map.

Sargent, F.Gerry. Tavy St. Mary parish: a kaleidoscopic history and guide. [Mary Tavy]: The Author (1992) 82p: ill,map. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/MAR 9/0001/SAR]

Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the Parish of Mary Tavy, Devon. Typescript (1964) 7 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library]

Worthy, Charles. Devonshire Parishes. Exeter: William Pollard (1887) - Vol. 1, pp. 159- 167.


Land & Property

Brown, Mike. Mary Tavy. In "Dartmoor Tithe Apportionments, Vol. 1". The Dartmoor Press (c1997) 16p.



View a map of the boundaries of this town/parish.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX509787 (Lat/Lon: 50.588941, -4.107686), Mary Tavy which are provided by:



Dickinson, M.G. Mining activity and Cornish migration at Mary Tavy. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 34:5, (1980) pp.184-188.