My Favourite Cornish Genealogy Websites (and They’re Free)

While my own overseas research has taken a back seat for a little while, as I concentrate more on my Australian emigrants, and their families out here, I do have a strong connection to Cornwall with a number of my families hailing from there, as well as a few of Mr Lonetester’s gang too.

As my Cornish roots are ones that I have traced reasonably extensively, I became familiar with a number of free websites that are useful for researching your Cornish ancestors. I don’t claim to be an expert by any means, just someone who’s researching their family history and came across a bunch of websites that I found useful. Anyway  thought I’d share my favourite ones with you here. This did start out as being a “top 10 list”, but as you can see it grew, and grew as I went through all the sites I have bookmarked under Cornish Genealogy <grin>.

For this post I have chosen to exclude commercial data websites such as,, and all of which I have used at various times, but those listed below are all free.

A2A (Access to Archives)
The A2A website is a seriously awesome website. It is an amazing resource not just for Cornwall, but for the whole of the UK. Archives and repositories around the UK have indexed much of their holdings, much of what you won’t actually find online.

Cornwall Family History Society
Since its beginning in the mid-170s, the Society has aimed to become a ‘centre of excellence’ by encouraging Cornish family history research. Along with publishing a quarterly Journal, the Society has co-ordinated the transcription and indexing of over 5 million original records so far, as well maintaining a research library in Truro for members and the general public.

Cornwall GenWeb
Useful for all the links it contains, especially the surname and parish lists.

Cornwall Record Office
If you happen to be in (or visiting) Cornwall, the Cornwall Record Office is one of those places that should be on top of your list.  While they don’t have a lot of records online, they do have a LOT of records which they can search for you.

Cornwall Parish Registers 1538-2010
FamilySearch currently have images (over 200,000 pages of them) of Cornish Parish Registers. These are ÍMAGES ONLY, not indexed. But they have been grouped into years and parishes, to help you narrow down what you’re looking for.  These registers contain baptisms, marriages, banns, and burials. And absolutely amazing collection of records!

FamilySearch Wiki: Cornwall
While you’re on the FamilySearch website, be sure to check out the Wiki for Cornwall, as it has lots of useful bits you’ll learn.

Cornwall Online Census Project
The Free Census Project (FREE-CEN) is transcribing ALL of the UK 19th century census returns in create an online “free-to-view” searchable database. It is part of an initiative helping to make high quality primary (or near primary) records of relevance to UK genealogy conveniently and freely available online. The Cornish ones can be found on FREE-CEN using the link above.

Cornwall Online Parish Clerks (OPCs)
Love the OPCs. This project aided by volunteers parish-by-parish, the Cornish OPC database contains over 2.5 million records covering: Baptisms, Baptisms (Non-Conformist), Banns, Marriages, Burials, Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Death Certificates, Person Search, Apprentice Indentures, Bastardy Bonds, Emigration, Hearth Tax, Institution Inmates, Land Records, Memorial Inscriptions, Muster Rolls, Parish Settlements, Protestation Returns, School Admissions, Voters Lists and Wills.

Cyndi’s List: Cornwall
If you’re not sure where to look next, check out Cyndi’s List to see what else might be around.

Cornish Mining Index
If you have family from Cornwall there’s a huge chance that somewhere along the line you have mining ancestors. This website lists 16,000 of them.

Federation of Old Cornwall Societies (current (new from 2014)
Find out what ‘Old Cornwall Societies’ exists. This website lists them all. The organisation for those who love Cornwall. I’ve given two links as it looks like they’re in to process of slowly changing over.

GENMAPS: Cornwall
There comes a time in our research when we need to look at a map to see what place is where, what places are nearby, what parish it lies in and so on. At GenMaps you can find some fabulous maps and not just for Cornwall either.

Ok, I haven’t used this site heaps, but it contains useful “elusive genealogical data, reliable searchable databases & useful family history links, without the heavy-duty approach. We focus on hard-to-find records, with a total of c.411,740 records  with c.1.2million more on the way”.

GENUKI: Cornwall
I’m a big advocate of the GENUKI website, as there is SO much info contained in it. GENUKI is a website maintained by volunteers which provides a virtual reference library of genealogical information relating to the UK and Ireland. Divided into counties, each county then is divided into sub-categories starting with Archives & Libraries, and finished with Visitations. Details on what records exist and where to find them are listed.

Cornwall Parish Register Index
If the FamilySearch and FreeREG websites aren’t enough, and you still want more Cornish Parish Registers, here’s a small website that someone has created, and they are adding in the Parish Registers

The West Briton Newspaper
Transcripts of Births, Marriages, and Deaths – as well as Fairs, Fishery reports, Court reports, separation notices, absconded apprentices, Coroner’s Inquests, etc., all under “News” – are available by using our search engine, or accessing the year you choose, below.

UKBMD: Cornwall
This website links to web sites that offer on-line transcriptions of UK births, marriages, deaths and censuses. A wide range of other indexes and transcriptions are also available for most counties, these may include parish records, wills, monumental inscriptions etc.


The following links are ones that I have not used myself, but looked useful so thought I’d throw them in for you

Cornish Cemeteries
Not extensive, but it doesn’t have to be if it has the names you’re after.

Cornish Surnames
Dedicated to helping families establish their Cornish roots.

Cornwall Mapping
Links to not only interactive mapping, but also other mapping resources, including maps detailing where monuments are.

Cornwall Maritime Museum
Contain some very useful links for those who had mariners in their family.

Cornwall Online
This is a general site about Cornwall, but it is their list of towns that is useful, for giving you information about each place.

Passenger Lists from Cornwall 1836-1851
This website lists 8 passenger lists all from Cornwall and headed to New York.

So there you go, that my favourite Cornish website plus a few more. If you’ve done a little Cornish research I’m sure you’ve already come across some of these sites. But take a little time, have a look through them, and see what ones might be useful for your research, and remember to bookmark them, so you can come back to them next time.

Happy researching!


10 Responses to “My Favourite Cornish Genealogy Websites (and They’re Free)”

  1. Maureen Trotter says:

    Thanks Alona for sharing such a comprehensive list!
    Some are familar but others are new to me. I intend to check these out very soon.

  2. Catherine says:

    Brilliant!!!… thanks Alona. There is a likely possibility of Cornish links in my tree and this is a great resource to begin a little checking. Especially good ‘cos it’s free… such a nice change 😉

  3. It’s like your psychic!!! i’m doing a heap of Cornish research at the moment and these will be of great help. I don’t know where your Cornish were based in Australia (presumably in the mining areas of SA) but another resource you might want to add to the list is The Cornish in Bendigo – The website details the project but there is no contact info on the website, so best to contact via their facebook page –

    I was able to get some real brickwall breakers from the Cornish Pioneers of Bendigo and District database.

    • Alona says:

      Hehe … the psychic powers were working weren’t they. Thanks for the extra links, it’s always great to know of other resources to try. And I hope you find something useful in the links I’ve put up. All the best with the research.

  4. Sharon says:

    I hope that you are well Alona. I have MANY Cornish relatives but haven’t done much research on them yet. I have book marked this page to assist me with future research.

    Thank you


  5. wendy Blackney says:

    Alona, Hello. I am a complete novice at this game. I have some facts obtained from birth certificates and that the family resided in Hayle. but other than that zilch. Hoping you will be able to help.

  6. Margaret Tweedie says:

    trying to find information for Nicholas Woolcock and his wife Mary Teague and they had a son John circa 1826. immigrated to Australia on a Barque called the Rajah. probably Redruth but not sure, any help greatly appreciated

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