18th century surnames by parish

On this page you’ll find the most common surnames in eighteenth-century Cornwall, parish by parish, taken from the names of brides in marriage registers from 1730 to 1780. I’ve amalgamated spelling variants of names as far as possible and just entered the most common local spelling in the list below.

Why the eighteenth century rather than the more easily available and voluminous nineteenth century censuses? The pattern in the eighteenth century has the advantage of indicating Cornwall’s surname geography before the major migrations of the nineteeth century got going. To recap, the most notable of those were the overseas emigration from the 1840s, the internal movement from west and mid-Cornwall to new mining districts in east Cornwall in the 1840s and 50s and the large-scale migration flows to northern England and south Wales in the 1870s. It goes without saying that it also predates major migration into Cornwall.

Note that small parishes have fewer names so other sources could give us a very different picture.

ADVENT: Roberts, Rowe and Scott (2) [Total number of register entries = 42]
ALTARNUN: Coombe, Rowe and Venning (9); Burnard and Herring (8) [No.= 209]
ANTONY: Rogers (7); Bailey, Mitchell and Stephens (6); Dawe and Lyne (5) [No.= 414]
BLISLAND: Hoskin (9); Chapman and Rogers (4) [No.= 116]
BOCONNOC: Champion and Roberts (3) [No.= 62]
BODMIN: Williams (16); Hawke (10); Clymo, Cowle and Roberts (8) [No.= 529]
BOTUSFLEMING: Barrett and Rickard (3) [No.= 88]
BOYTON: Bailey and Featherstone (3) [No.= 44]
BRADDOCK: Haley and Harding (5) [No.= 84]
BREAGE: Williams (51); Richards (45); Thomas (37); James and Symons (28) [No.= 793]
BUDOCK: Thomas (18); Medlyn (17); Rowe (8): Pellow (7) [No.= 379]
CALLINGTON: Bullen (8); Burt (7); Treise (6); Slade (5) [No.= 202]
CALSTOCK: Collings and Williams (10); Doidge (9); Barrett (7); Cock (6) [No.= 313]
CAMBORNE: Bennetts (43); Hocking (25); Richards (23); Rowe (20); Vivian (19) [No.= 699]
CARDINHAM: Coppin (9); Harris, Lang and Saunders (6) [No.= 165]
COLAN: Solomon (10); Parkyn, Trebilcock, White and Williams (4) [No.= 106]
CONSTANTINE: Roberts (29); Rowe (27); Toy (19); Pascoe (14), Symons (9) [No.= 400]
CORNELLY: James (5); Solomon (4); Husband and Teague (3) [No.= 95]
CRANTOCK: Stephens (7); Rillstone (6); Nicholls (5); May and Morrish (4) [No.= 139]
CREED (includes Grampound): Harris and Pardew (6); Croggan, Ham, Nancarrow, Watts and Williams (5) [No.= 244]
CROWAN: Williams (31); Rodda (22); Thomas (16); Bosanko and Eustice (12) [No.= 539]
CUBERT: Phillips (5); Clemow (4); Rickard and Tizzer (3) [No.= 78]
CUBY (includes Tregony): Beard (13); Tiller and Williams (8); Thomas and Woolcock (7) [No.= 280]
CURY: Caddy and Williams (6); Thomas (5); James (4) [No.= 125]
DAVIDSTOW: Chapman, Earle and Tucker (4) [No.= 56]
DULOE: Clemens (7); Bowden, Broad, Hamley and Trethake (5) [No.= 201]
EGLOSHAYLE: Bray (6); Derry, Marshall, Olver, Strout and Worden (4) [No.= 238]
EGLOSKERRY: Hawke and Pearce (4); Geake and Searle (3) [No.= 80]
ENDELLION: Guy (13); Thomas (11); Brown (10); Bishop and Hambly (7) [No.= 335]
FALMOUTH: Williams (29); Pascoe (28); Richards (22); Thomas (21); Hocking and Rowe (15) [No.= 1468]
FEOCK: Stephens (11); Harvey (10); Williams (8); Lawrence and Pascoe (7) [No.= 277]
FORRABURY & MINSTER: Gard (8); Keales (5), Hoskyn and James (4) [No.= 118]
FOWEY: Redding, Thomas and Williams (5); Cullum (4) [No.= 302]
GERMOE: Richards (9); Williams (6); Carter, Cornish and Harry (4) [No.= 101]
GERRANS: Pascoe (17); Jennings (15); Bennet, Harris and Sawle (10) [No.= 283]
GORRAN: Pill (9); Francis and Oliver (8); Pomery (7) [No.= 261]
GRADE: Harris (7); Oliver and Thomas (6) [No.= 92]
GUNWALLOE: James (6); Hendy and Richards (5) [No.= 98]
GULVAL: Donithorne and Nicholls (12); Eddy, Richards and Rowe (9) [No.= 267]
GWENNAP: Michell (30); Williams (29); Bray (24); Nicolls (21); Bawden (18) [No.= 907]
GWINEAR: Michell (28); Thomas (19); Williams (18); Floyd (15); Pearce (10) [No.= 384]
GWITHIAN: Cock (13); Hockin (12) [No.= 87]
HELLAND: Blake, Hambly and Lobb (3) [No.= 115]
HELSTON: Williams (21); Thomas (20), Pascoe (17); Richards (16); James (11) [No.= 781]
ILLOGAN: Rogers (24); Richards (22); Thomas (21); Michell (17); Pearce (16) [No.= 655]
(Isles of ) SCILLY: Hicks (29); Jenkin (26); Pender and Ellis (17); Nance (16) [No.= 486]
JACOBSTOW: Pearce (7); Hooper (6); Baker and Rowe (5) [No.= 143]
KEA: Stephens (7); Williams (6); Behenna, Crago and Webber (5) [No.= 292]
KENWYN: Roberts (22); Sando (20); Williams (18); James and Northey (17) [No.= 1125]
KILKHAMPTON: Ching (8); Heddon (6); Barry, Elliot and Osborn (5) [No.= 244]
LADOCK: Courtney and Williams (6); James and Thomas (5) [No.= 213]
LAMORRAN: Bice, May and Penrose (2) [No.= 50]
LANDEWEDNACK: Richards (8); Harvey (5); Michel (4) [No.= 57]
LANDRAKE: Roberts (8); Jeffery and Williams (7); Hosking, Parsons and Spiller (4) [No.= 240]
LANDULPH: Barrett and Lee (9); Sambells (8); Scantlebury (5) [No.= 176]
LANEAST: Hender and Venning (3); Burnard and Rowe (2) [No.= 42]
LANHYDROCK: George and Woolcock (4) [No.= 64]
LANIVET: Thomas (15); Hambly and Rowe (8); Hocken (6); Marshall (5) [No.= 234]
LANLIVERY: Treleaven (11); Hill (7); Hick and Littleton (6), Phillips (4) [No.= 214]
LANREATH: Willcock (8); Stephens (7); Tamblinson and Tom (6) [No.= 146]
LANSALLOS: Jasper (10); Pearce (8); Langmaid (7); Rowe and Barret (6) [No.= 230]
LANTEGLOS BY CAMELFORD: Cock (13); Brown (8); Pope (7); Cook, Cornelius and Davy (6) [No.= 296]
LANTEGLOS BY FOWEY: Cossentine, Hoppin, Jane, May and Wilcock (5) [No.= 206]
LAUNCELLS: Gliddon (7); Yeo (5); Row and Hayman (4) [No.= 161]
LAUNCESTON ST MARY: Smith (10); Harris and Lane (7); Deacon and Row (6) [No.= 493]
LAWHITTON: Holman (6); Langman (4) [No.= 93]
LELANT: Uren (27); Stevens (22); Thomas (19); Richards (18); Hosking (16) [No.= 393]
LESNEWTH: Symons and Trink (3) [No.= 38]
LEWANNICK: Daw (11); Cornish, Evans, Jenkin, Sleep and Wills (6) [No.= 163]
LEZANT: Sargent (11); Coomb, Gist and Littlejohn (6); Geake and Pellow (5) [No.= 213]
LINKINHORNE: Caunter and Pearse (7); Bartlett, Budge and Chapman (6) [No.= 257]
LISKEARD: Rogers (21); Row (12); Stephens (12); Moon (11); Hobling (9) [No.= 728]
LITTLE PETHERICK: Bray (3) [No.= 42]
LOSTWITHIEL: Philp (7); Williams (6); Collins, Haley and Westlake (4) [No.= 244]
LUDGVAN: Thomas (25); Williams (22); Chellew (15); Hosking and Roberts (14) [No.= 394]
LUXULYAN: Grose (9); Nichols, Roach and Udy (8); Harris (6) [No.= 225]
MABE: Collins (5); Francis, Halvoso, Medlyn and Rogers (4)) [No.= 91]
MADRON (including Penzance): Thomas (31), Richards (28), Rowe (26), James and Williams (25) [No.= 1406]
MAKER: Oliver (12); Stephens (11); Vallack (10); Couch (9); Matthews (8) [No.= 710]
MANACCAN: Williams (10); John (6); Roberts (5); Retallack and Saunders (4) [No.= 226]
MARHAMCHURCH: Petherick (5); Elliott (4); Box, Ham and Webb (3) [No.= 111]
MAWGAN in MENEAGE: Williams (15); James (9); Hancock (8); Richards and Rogers (7) [No.= 258]
MAWGAN in PYDAR: Benny (8); Dungey and Whitford (6); Hobb and Williams (5) [No.= 159]
MAWNAN: Downing (15); Pascoe (11); Christophers, Harris, Stephens and Thomas (5) [No.= 160]
MENHENIOT: Rowe and Snell (10); Hancock (9); Stephens (7) [No.= 328]
MERTHER: Richards (5); Lilly (4); Mugford (3) [No.= 61]
MEVAGISSEY: Thomas (17); Smith (15); Dunn (14); Ball (13); Robins (11) [No.= 506]
MICHAELSTOW: Hawken and Hocken (4) [No.= 74]
MINSTER: Gard (6); Keales (3) [No.= 61]
MORVAH: Trembath (5); Daniel and Eddy (3) [No.= 34]
MORVAL: Olver (11); Pearce (5) [No.= 152]
MORWENSTOW: Vinson (7); Ashton, Cottle, Gay and Gliddon (6) [No.= 217]
MULLION: Mundy, Lawrence and Thomas (7) [No.= 150]
MYLOR: Stephens (12); George, Richards and Thomas (8); Collins and Harvey (5) [No.= 364]
NEWLYN EAST: Harris (11); Glanvil (9); Roberts (8); Trenerry (7); May (6) [No.= 246]
NORTH HILL: Coumbe, Harris and Harvey (7); Bennett and Hawke (6) [No.= 233]
NORTH PETHERWIN: Reed (8); Pearse (7); Gilbert (6); Gregory and Wroath (5) [No.= 227]
NORTH TAMERTON: Furse (4); Bickle, Bridgman and Philp (3) [No.= 79]
OTTERHAM: Jenkin and Moyse (3) [No.= 58]
PADSTOW: Martin and Nance (8); Burd (7); Pearse and Williams (6) [No.= 314]
PAUL: Pentreath (26); Richards and Tonkin (22); Harvey (20); Matthews (17) [No.= 634]
PELYNT: Hill (7); Jago and Slade (6); Hawke and Tregenna (5) [No.= 188]
PERRANARWORTHAL: Williams (10); Martin (9); Cornish (7); Spargo and Trengove (6) [No.= 185]
PERRANUTHNOE: Laity and Rowe (8); Richards, Stephens and Symons (6) [No.= 151]
PERRANZABULOE: Michell (18); Richards (11); Bennet (10); Jenkin (10); Harris and May (9) [No.= 532]
PHILLACK: Wearne (12); Mitchell (11); Gilbert (8); Harris, Hockin and Hoskin (7) [No.= 252]
PHILLEIGH: Collett and Davey (6); Bennett and Pascoe (4) [No.= 111]
PILLATON: Cloak (5); Jeffery and Littlejohn (3) [No.= 111]
POUGHILL: Harris, Rowland and Short (4) [No.= 92]
POUNDSTOCK: Bray and Mark (5); Hacker and Smeeth (4) [No.= 161]
PROBUS: Annear (10); Harris (8); Rowe and Stanaway (6) [No.= 199]
QUETHIOCK: Rogers (10); Garland and Lamerton (6) [No.= 189]
RAME: Spriddell (10); Booth (7); May (5); Langdon, Moor and Vercoe (4) [No.= 210]
REDRUTH: Williams (42); Michell (41); Thomas (31); Johns (23); Cocking (17) [No.= 1,098]
ROCHE: Dyer (21); Cock (16); Stephens (10); Brokenshire and Phillips (9) [No.=236]
RUANLANIHORNE: Thomas (5); Blamey (4); Crocker, Daniel and Stephens (3) [No.= 114]
SANCREED: Hosken (21); Nicholas (10); Ellis (7); Rodda, Rowe and Warren (6) [No.= 218]
SENNEN: Nicholas (13); Humphry (7); Dennis, George, Roberts and Row (6) [No.= 149]
SHEVIOCK: Martin and Warren (4); Baber, Harris, Phillips and Stephens (3) [No.= 140]
SITHNEY: Pascoe (36); Richards (20); Williams (13); James and Thomas (11) [No.= 436]
SOUTH HILL: Bennett (7); Grills (4) [No.= 134]
SOUTH PETHERWIN: Batten (7); Harvey and Roose (6); Congdon (5); Hawke and Mitchell (4) [No.= 211]
ST AGNES: Tonkin (24); Martin (21); Williams (20); Paul (19); James (18) [No.= 727]
ST ALLEN: James and Jory (7); Harris (5); Charles (4) [No.= 137]
ST ANTHONY IN MENEAGE: Williams (6); John, Nicholls, Retallack and Saunders (3) [No.= 91]
ST ANTHONY IN ROSELAND: Oxenbury (2) [No.= 31]
ST AUSTELL: Stephens (28); Williams (21); Hancock (19); Rosevear (17); Hore and Thomas (15) [No.= 945]
ST BLAZEY: Baker, Beale, Eliot, Geach, Giles and Rundle (3) [No.= 99]
ST BREOCK: Buscombe (8); Key (7); Martin and Williams (6) [No.= 255]
ST BREWARD: Greenway and Hawken (5); Matthews (4) [No.= 88]
ST BURYAN: Richards and Williams (12); Nicholas and Tonkin (9); Thomas (8) [No.= 292]
ST CLEER: Kingdon and Sibly (7); Lyne, Mildren and Rowe (6) [No.= 272]
ST CLEMENT: Allen (10); James (8); Tregaskis (7); Cock, May and Thomas (5) [No.= 300]
ST CLETHER: Venning (4) [No.= 35]
ST COLUMB MAJOR: Stephens (9); Brewer and Rowe (7) [No.= 444]
ST COLUMB MINOR: Ellery (10); Martyn (9); Stephens (8); Whitford and Williams (7) [No.= 309]
ST DENNIS: Osbourne (7); Brokenshire, Cundy and Grigg (6) [No.=132]
ST DOMINICK: Bennett and Martyn (6); Fletcher (5) [No.= 153]
St ENODER: Williams (8); May (7); Francis, Hooper, Jenkyn and Martyn (6) [No.= 242]
ST ERME: Richards and Roberts (4); Carveth and Casier (3) (No.=101]
ST ERTH: Wearn (16); Blight (12); Tremelling (9); Hockin (7); Phillips and Trevascus (6) [No.= 256]
ST ERVAN: Brewer (13); Hicks (5); Gill, James and Strongman (4) [No.= 118]
ST EVAL: Hicks (5); Bilkey, Eplett, Kent and Leverton (4) [No.= 102]
ST EWE: Williams (10); Vercoe (8); James (7); Harris and Truscott (6) [No.= 322
ST GENNYS: Bray (12); Marshall (10); Stacy (9); Smeeth (7); Rogers (5) [No.= 162]
ST GERMANS: Rogers (12); Austen and Stephens (10); Lobb (9); Hicks and Pearce (8) [No.= 610]
ST GLUVIAS (includes Penryn): Nicholas (25); Thomas (21); Michell and Williams (17); Richards (16) [No.= 1001]
ST HILARY: Williams (19); King (15); Thomas (13); Hill and James (11) [No.= 676]
ST ISSEY: Gill (8); Hawkins and Trebilcock (6); Warne and Williams (5) [No.= 172]
ST IVE: Hoskin (11); Henwood (7); Bennet (6); Short (5) [No.= 164]
ST IVES: Stevens (26); Thomas (23); Williams (22); Richards (18); Harry (17) [No.= 595]
ST JOHN: Ball (4) [No.= 54]
ST JULIOT: Bath (4) [No.= 32]
ST JUST IN PENWITH: Williams (55); Thomas (34); Warren (27); Grenfell (25); Oats (22) [No.= 860]
ST JUST IN ROSELAND: Jenkin (13); Pascoe (11); Pearce and Vincent (9); Hocking (8) [No.= 353]
ST KEVERNE: Williams (35); Roberts (24); James (17); Nicholls (16); Richards and Martin (15) [No.= 591]
ST KEW: Thomas (9); Brown, Inch and Martyn (7); Worden (5) [No.= 288]
ST KEYNE: Hicks (8); Worden (4); Hancock and Little [No.= 104]
ST LEVAN: Richards (7); Thomas (6); Jeffrey (5) [No.= 84]
ST MABYN: Hamley (7); Martyn and Menhennick (4) [No.= 147]
ST MARTIN BY LOOE (includes East Looe): Bray, Collins and Olver (6); Kite and Williams (5) [No.= 305]
ST MARTIN IN MENEAGE: Johns (6); Williams (3) [No.= 70]
ST MELLION: Smith (4); Grylls, Hawke and Hoskin (3) [No.= 103]
ST MERRYN: Bennet (8); Trevethan (5); Stribley (4) [No.= 124]
ST MEWAN: Clemo (13); Gaved (10); Williams (9); Snell (6) [No.= 221]
ST MICHAEL CAERHAYS: Pearce (3) [No.= 41]
ST MICHAEL PENKIVEL: Crocker, Huddy, Jenkin, Kneebone, Stephens and Sawle (2) [No.= 53]
ST MINVER: Guy (15); Hicks and Mably (8); Kent, Varcoe and Wills (6) [No.= 260]
ST NEOT: Davey, Jane and Laundry (9); Keast and Rundle (7) [No.= 276]
ST PINNOCK: Jay and Parkyn (5); Rundle (4) [No.= 96]
ST SAMPSON: Mitchell (4); Smith (3) [No.= 64]
ST STEPHEN BY LAUNCESTON: Isbell, Kingdon and Martyn (4) [No.= 180]
ST STEPHEN IN BRANNEL: Truscott (33); Trethewy (26); Best and Trudgian (12); Rickard (11) [No.= 497]
ST STEPHENS BY SALTASH (includes Saltash): Williams (15); Hoskin (10); Roberts and Stephens (9) [No.= 662]
ST TEATH: Brown and Inch (12); Kellow (7); Bunt (6); Thomas (5) [No.= 216]
ST THOMAS BY LAUNCESTON: Batten (5); Isbell (4); Pearce and Shilson (3) [No.= 140]
ST TUDY: Hooper (6); Hill, Lang, Philp and Sleeman (4) [No.= 127]
ST VEEP: Wilcock (13); Hill (8); Glanville, Husband and Roberts (4) [No.= 181]
ST WENN: Retallick, (6); Curtis and Merryfield (5); Blake (4) [No.= 118]
ST WINNOW: Thomas (8); Philp (6); Curtis (5) [No.= 168]
STITHIANS: Marten (34); Spargo (23); Dunstan (20); Andrew (18) [No.= 244]
STOKE CLIMSLAND: Deacon, Littlejohn (8); Masters (7); Daw, Gumb and Williams (6) [No.= 343]
STRATTON: Heale (17); Heddon (10); Marshall (8); Petherick (7); Balhatchet (6) [No.= 301]
TALLAND (includes West Looe): Johns (9); Barret, Peake, Toms and White (5) [No.= 254]
TINTAGEL: Brown (13); Avery (11); Martin (8); Hayne (7); Symons (6) [No.= 198]
TOWEDNACK: Curnow (25); Quick (8); Stevens (7); Berriman (6) [No.= 198]
TREMAINE: Kittow and Sandercock (3) [No.= 74]
TRENEGLOS: Sandercock (5); Parsons and Pearce (4) [No.= 92]
TRESMERE: Prout (4); Marshall and Sandercock (3) [No.= 53]
TREVALGA: Parsons (4); Martin (3) [No.= 36]
TREWEN: Buckingham, Cooke, Mullis, Trink and Westlake (2) [No.= 38]
TRURO ST MARYS: Williams (18); Allen and Pascoe (15); Hodge (12); Donnithorne and Stephens (10) [No.= 791]
TYWARDREATH: Bate (7); Johns and Trevithick (6); Lobb and Prynn [No.= 217]
VERYAN: Johns (10); Ball, Hall and Thomas (8); Williams (7) [No.= 236]
WARBSTOW: Pearn and Pearse (3) [No.= 35]
WARLEGGAN: Joll, Pearce and Welch (4) [No.= 93]
WEEK ST MARY: Clifton (7); Heard and Pethick (5); Henning and Pengelly (4) [No.= 130]
WENDRON: Pascoe (34); Treloar (31); Richards (25); Thomas (23); Johns (22) [No.= 628]
WERRINGTON: Bayly, Bluett and Martyn (4) [No.= 119]
WHITSTONE: Cole (6); Smale and Spry (4) [No.= 153]
WITHIEL: Julian (6); Pedlar (5); Giles and Williams (4) [No.= 120]
ZENNOR: Eddy (22); Stevens (11); Berriman (10); Thomas (9) [No.= 140]

3 thoughts on “18th century surnames by parish

  1. Interesting that surnames familiar to us in Wales – Thomas, Richards etc – appear so frequently. Any hypothesis? Maybe imposition of the same system of surnames by an alien government rather than migration?

    • Not sure it was explicit state imposition but it was a very similar process. It’s easily explained by the lateness of hereditary surnames in west and mid Cornwall. As in Wales this was because of the presence of a Celtic language and meant that surnames wre coined from a relatively small number of male first names, thus producing lots of patronymics.

  2. No mention of Hill of Carwithennack near Constantine. Probably not enough of them. They have a burial plot in Helston Churchyard.

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