Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cornish Family History Research Online

Not Cornwall! My favourite city.

Cornwall is an unusual English county, not least because many people will tell you that it is not English or a county! It is also unusual in that it is further advanced towards becoming fully online, as far as family history research is concerned.

At the centre of Cornish online research are the Cornish GENUKI pages (http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/Cornwall/). These provide links to anything and everything to do with Cornish family history. The pages are organised on a hierarchical basis and lead to some 260 town and parish pages and some more general pages. Normally GENUKI aims to use the county and parishes as they were in 1850 but these Cornish pages also include new parishes created towards the end of the 19th century. The Cornish GENUKI pages are constantly being updated, so it is worth checking them frequently.

The Cornwall Online Census Project 9COCP) started in the summer of 2000, transcribing the 1891 returns from fiche supplied by the LDS. By 1st June 2007 the 1841, 1861 and 1891 censuses were complete along with 99% of the 1851; 85% of the 1871; and 25% of the 1881). The aim of the project is to transcribe all the Cornish 19th census returns and place them online free-to-view at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~kayhin/ukocp.html.

The Online Parish Clerk scheme (OPC), originated in Cornwall about five years ago and has now spread to half a dozen other counties. Volunteers adopt a parish or parishes and seek to accumulate information and data about their parish. Their primary aim is to offer free “look ups” for researchers, usually via the Cornish mailing lists. Many of the OPC have their own web sites but the central site is on http://www.cornwall-opc.org/index.htm Some of the individual web sites and the central web site contain data.

The OPC scheme has now launched its own searchable online “free-to-view” database – known as C-PROP – the Cornish Parish Register Online Project (http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/). Starting about a year ago it already has over a half of a million records online. Initially it concentrated on Church of England registers, but its scope encompasses other types of data.

The C-PROP database contains “hatches, matches & dispatches” from the 19th century West Briton newspaper. The West Briton Project aims to transcribe all the interesting information from the newspaper and place it online at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~wbritonad/cornwall/intro.html

There are two Cornish mailing lists. The main Cornish list, Cornish-L, is for all things Cornish, while Cornish-GEN is a list strictly for family history. The Cornish-L list is home to the famous (or infamous) virtual Christmas party! Details of how to subscribe can be found at Rootsweb.

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