Marriages for the Cornish Parish of St Stithians


Feb. 8, 2009 - Belerion books has announced the release of 3 CDs, "The Martin Family of Stithians in Cornwall", "Stithians Families 1" and "Stithians Families 2", by Edward Martin, the renowned genealogist.  This body of work details the lineages of the major families of Stithians, including the following names:

 Martin, Bath, Bishop, Dunston/Dunstan, Gill, Morton, Odger, Pearce, Penhalurick, Reed, Spargo, Andrew, Coode, Knuckey, Oppy, Phillips, Polsue/Polzew/Polsew, Sarah, Trelease, Trevena, Treweek, Veale, White, Williams, Winsor and many other names of people who married into these lines. 

 Together they comprise an indispensible resource for anyone doing family research in this parish. A must have!!

          Follow this link to Belerion Books to order your copy:   Stithians Families



Marriages 1614 - 1812 Marriages 1813 - 1837

Marriages 1838 - 1900

    Traditionally, the bride married in her home parish. Therefore, many of the brides in this database lived and had their families in other parishes. The researcher should check the strays for grooms who married out of Stithians, but brought their brides home.

    Society, during the early period represented in this database, was very patriarchal. In all classes, the father/husband dominated the family and was supported in this by the church. Children were not forced by law to accept the spouse their father chose for them, but aside from communal pressure he could dispose of his estate and provide doweries as he saw fit. Even for the poorest classes economic considerations outweighed love and romance.


The following document is a transliteration of a copy of an original document held by the Cornwall Record Office:

MARRIAGE SETTLEMENT  -     20th September 1631

       Edmund Bath of Stithians gent. On the marriage of Henry his son and heir apparent with Anne Rawle the daughter of Francis Rawle of St.Tullett gent. Settles among other lands his estates of Enys alias [or also] Nouys and Carbens in Stithians aforesaid to the use of himself during Life after his decease to the wife of the said Henry during his [her] Life and after the decease of the said Edmund and Henry to the Wife and behoofe of the Heirs of the body of the said Henry on the Body of the said Anne lawfully begotten or to be begotten, and for Default of such Issue to the use and behoofe of the Heirs of the said Henry lawfully to be begotten, and for default of such Issue to the right Heirs of the said Edmund forever.

SETTLEMENT    -       4th January 1663

      The said Richard Polsew on the marriage of Nicholas his Son and heir apparent with Margaret Pearse Settles the said Estates of Enys and Carbens on the Heirs of such marriage.


    Couples married progressively later between 1500 and 1800, primarily due to their having to accumulate the means of supporting a family. Chastity before marriage was paramount and generally respected. One theory attributes the rapid growth of the British Empire to the aggressive efforts of multitudes of sex-starved men desperately endeavouring to acquire enough money in order to return home and marry.

    Unlike today, women did not more often outlive their husbands. Multiple childbirths and the low level of obstetric medecine kept their life expectancy to an average of 34 years. Adult mortality rates suggest that if Stithians follows the English average then some 25 % of the marriages in this database were second (or third) marriages for the bride or groom. Three out of four times these were remarriages for the groom.   

                (See Lawrence Stone - "The Family Sex and Marriage in England 1500 -1800")


Provided by Heather Pearce - Phillimore Marriages at St Gluvias

                 OPPY Christopher               MORTIMER Ursula of Stythons                  m.  4 Aug. 1707

           SPARGOE John of Stithians       COLLINS Margery of Constentine by lic.     m.  -  June 1721

         PENNALURICK James of Stythians      COPLYN Jane                                        m.  6 Apr. 1725

          MITCHEL William of Stithyans         NICHOLAS Grace                                   m. 14 Oct. 1754

           PENHELURICK Francis of Stithians tinner     JAMES Frances widow of Penryn              m. 29 Nov. 1757

           ANDREW Stephen of Stithians     MICHELLS Winifred of Penryn                  m. 22 Oct. 1766

          GILL John of Gluvias                  DUNSTONE Joan of Stithians   by lic.        m. 10 Feb. 1770

           WILMOT Thomas of Stithians           WALLS Mary of Penryn                           m. 21 Oct. 1775

          JENKINS Francis of Stythians           FLOYD Eliz.                                           m. 30 Oct. 1790

           OPPEY Richard of Stythians          GILL Grace                                           m. 21 Dec. 1790

          GREY John of Stithians             PENALURRICK Frances                            m. 24 July 1791

          WEEKS Joseph of Stythians         JENKIN Anne                                        m.  9 July 1796

           REED Robert of Stythians             JOHNS Anne of Penryn                          m. 10 Dec. 1805

          MARTIN Martin widower of Stythians     LUGG Susanna widow              by lic.      m. 22 Apr. 1806

            SPARGO George of Stythians          STAPLE Blanche                                   m. 25 Oct.1806

          NICHOLAS Stephen                  REED Eliz. of Stythians                           m. 12 May 1807

          HIGGS William of Stythians         WILMOT Eliz.                                       m. 28 Nov. 1810

         HEARLE Richard of Stythians           GILL Ann                                            m.  1 Jan. 1811

           HILL Richard of Stythians         THOMAS Eliz.                                      m. 17 Aug. 1812

Marriages 1838 -1900

      Marriages recorded during this period for Stithians reflect the boom and bust of the 18th century Cornish economy. Copper mining had become the mainstay of the Stithians economy, just as tinning had been in the centuries before. The reasons for the collapse were twofold: 1. the importation of higher grade, cheaper copper ores from Chile, South America (something my antecedants had a hand in through their firm Henry Bath and Son) ; 2. the replacement of wood by steel in the construction of ships - copper sheathing was no longer required. Copper prices collapsed and most of the Cornish mines shut down.

       We can see this reflected in the occupations reported by individuals in the Stithians register. By the 1860s fewer and fewer of the grooms are miners and by the 1870s more of the brides are given occupations, primarily of domestic servants. Mining doesn't disappear as an occupation, but stone working comes to dominate. Granite quarries, farming and the opening of a black powder plant became the primary sources of employment.

      For those who enjoy statistics we can see the progression :

                For the decade 1840 to 1849 the population of the parish was approximately 2530 and the number of marriages was 161. 1:15.7

                For the decade 1850 to 1859 the population of the parish was approximately 2385 and the number of marriages was 163. 1: 14.6

                 For the decade 1860 to 1869 the population of the parish was approximately 2358 and the number of marriages was 136. 1:17.3

                 For the decade 1870 to 1879 the population of the parish was approximately 2174 and the number of marriages was 58 ! 1: 37.5

                 For the decade 1880 to 1889 the population of the parish was approximately 1823 and the number of marriages was 61 ! 1 : 29.9

                 For the decade 1890 to 1899 the population of the parish was approximately 1768 and the number of marriages was 26 !!! 1 : 68 - In 1896 there were no marriages recorded !!

          The statistics appear to indicate a significant decline in the local economy - fewer people could afford to marry and raise a family and / or the migration of younger adults out of the community. The latter is a known fact. The men of Stithians, as with the men of other Cornish parishes, took their families to the far corners of the earth - to Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, South Africa, South America   etc. to improve their circumstances. This is attested to by the "ClustrMap" you'll find on the index page of this site.

           Notes on the transcription: Due to space considerations some information is left out of this transcript, these being; Ages-when given, marital status, mark or signature, Groom's father's occupation and witnesses. If you want a copy of the full record email me.

                               Stithians place name meanings by Ron Reed       Stithians Parish Locations

                       Historic photos of some locations from  Kernowman      Photo Gallery

                       Old maps of the parish are available at                      Stithians Parish Map

Marriages 1838 -1900