Sancreed: dairy farming and baby farming

The villages and hamlets dotted around the moors and valleys of Sancreed parish in the heart of West Penwith in the mid-1800s housed a population of miners (around half of the labour force), farmers and labourers. In this part of Cornwall, the boundaries between these occupational groups were quite porous. The majority of farmers only … Continue reading Sancreed: dairy farming and baby farming

Saltash: just passing through

Saltash is known mainly for its twin bridges rather than for its architectural splendour or the historical significance of its built environment, which now sprawls voraciously and unstoppably into the nearby countryside. In 1859 Brunel’s Royal Albert Bridge across the River Tamar was opened and trains began to cross to and fro from England into … Continue reading Saltash: just passing through

Some Redruth folk’s marital issues

Occasionally, peering through the routine pages of the nineteenth century censuses examining the lives of our predecessors can seem to veer perilously close to prurient curiosity. Perhaps we discover something that they tried hard to hide – an illegitimate child brought up by the grandparents, a deserted wife describing herself as a widow, a bigamist … Continue reading Some Redruth folk’s marital issues

Rame: a forgotten corner of Cornwall?

Rame is tucked away in the far south-east of Cornwall. Sometimes dubbed Cornwall’s forgotten corner, the district is possibly one of the least familiar in Cornwall to most residents, even those who might pride themselves on their knowledge of Cornwall. Despite its proximity to the busy city of Plymouth across the Tamar estuary, Rame has … Continue reading Rame: a forgotten corner of Cornwall?

Quethiock – the importance of the family context

We have seen in these blogs that many people left Cornwall in the nineteenth century. By now, all but the most casual reader will be aware that those from mining families were more likely to leave. But not everyone did. So why did some emigrate and others didn’t? Let’s look at an example from Quethiock, … Continue reading Quethiock – the importance of the family context