Nineteenth century Mylor on the west bank of the Fal estuary was a relatively diverse parish. Although there were no mines in the parish only about a quarter of the men were employed in farming, while a third earned their living directly or indirectly from the sea or the estuary, as mariners, fishermen, oyster dredgers … Continue reading Mylor: Wales or New South Wales?
Michaelstow is one of those often-overlooked farming parishes of north Cornwall, in this case situated just south of the small town of Camelford. In the 1800s its people got their living mainly from the farms of the parish, with little to interrupt the annual round of ploughing, sowing and harvesting as one year segued drowsily … Continue reading Michaelstow: stay around or seek new ground? Contrasting lives from a farming community
Whether urban or rural, mining or farming, all parishes in Victorian Cornwall would have had a number of men and women who got their living from their craft. For men this might include a variety of jobs such as blacksmiths, shoemakers or masons; for women it tended to be restricted to dressmaking. But did craftsmen … Continue reading Contrasting fortunes for Lezant’s carpenters
In Victorian times Blisland, on the western slopes of Bodmin Moor, resembled its neighbour Altarnun - lightly peopled, rural, an upland parish of hamlets and farms. Even more so than Altarnun, the people in the Blisland database did not stray too far. Not one of the six traced to 1891 had left Cornwall. In fact, … Continue reading Quiet times at Blisland
Does the presence of patronymic surnames (surnames derived from first names) tell us anything about the last days of the traditional Cornish language? I have argued elsewhere that the distribution of the most common surnames in nineteenth century Cornwall – Williams, Thomas and Richards – offers a good indication of the geography of the language … Continue reading Patronyms and the Cornish language
You can find maps of these in 1861 for comparison here. In the meantime, if you want information on a surname that hasn’t appeared in my book or been a subject of a previous blog do let me know.