Friday, September 29, 2006

Public Relations No 3

The Cornwall online Census Project aims to transcribe all the Cornish 19th century census returns and make them accessible online free of charge. You’ll find the complete 1841 and 1891 censuses for Cornwall already online at as is 83 per cent of the 1851 census, 96 per cent of the 1861, 35 per cent of the 1871, and seven per cent of the 1881. There area also three pieces (donated and unchecked) for the 1901 census.

Most of the transcribed records are also available at – the Free Census Project site.

The Online Parish Clerk scheme began in Cornwall about five years ago and has spread to Cumberland & Westmorland, Devon, Dorset, Kent, Lancashire, Sussex, Warwickshire and Wiltshire. Volunteers adopt one or more parishes and collect family history information about the parishes, offering free ‘look-ups’ for researchers.

You can now search a combined database at which contains around 330,000 records from the Cornish OPCs. At present, the information is mainly from Church of England parish registers, but Nonconformist registers and other records are expected to be included in the future.

Four volunteers are currently transcribing births, marriages and deaths from the 19th century West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser newspaper, plus court cases. Go to to view the transcripts.

[Published in the October 2006 edition of Practical Family History magazine]

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