This page will be used to compile
information about Stithians and post readers' questions and surname
There appears to be some confusion regarding the origin of the name of St. Stithians Parish. Ancient authorities claim the parish is dedicated to St Stithian, or St Stedian, or St Stedianus, who, some assure us ,was a woman. However, no such person by these names, nor any derivative of these names, is listed on any Catholic Church roll of the Saints. Nor can I find any reference to Stithian being used as a forename, in any language.
Not to be outdone, others say the church was dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket, thereby explaining the Stithians Feast Day being held on the 7th of July. However, no contemporary record is given as evidence and nor is any explanation given for the name Stithian. Furthermore, the current St. Stithian's feast day is July 13th.
The parish was not specifically mentioned in "Domesday" (1086). In 1268 we have "Ecclesie Sancte Stethyane". In 1291; "Ecclesie Sancte Stediane",1421; "Stythiane", 1733; "Stedians, or Stythians"; indicatiing some question about the correct pronunciation of the name.
It surprises me that no one seems to have considered St. Swithun as the patron saint of the parish and the person to whom the church was originally dedicated.
Born about the year 800 AD, St. Swithun rose from ordained priest to Bishop of Westminster in 852, under the patronage of Egbert of the West Saxons. He died in 862 after having built several churches and was beautified (made a saint), sometime around 971. His name was recorded in various Anglo-Saxon documents as Swiððhun, Suuiðun, Swyðun, and Suitthun. His feast day is July 15 as opposed to St Stithians July 13.
It's not hard to imagine a couple of Anglo-Saxon missionaries venturing into Cornwall in the late 10th century, building a church and dedicating it to St. Swithun, or Swithin. Time, isolation and the Cornish tongue may very well have transformed the name.
If anyone has a better explanation I'd like to hear it.
The number of Houses and Inhabitants as in ye parish of Stithians taken in ye year 1801. By order of Parliament.
228 houses inhabited by 238 families. Total of Inhabitants 1269. Males 622. Females 647. Employed in Agriculture 165. In trade, manufactures and handicraft 28. The remainder chiefly Miners and their families 1076.
The above account was taken by George Martin and Thomas Spargo, overseers of ye poor.
The numbers as above in 1811
Inhabited Houses 183. Inhabited by 255 families. Houses now building 3. Other houses uninhabited 5. Families chiefly employed in agriculture 122. Families chiefly employed in trade, manufactures and handicraft 117. All other families not combined in ye two preceding classes 16. Males 630. Females 764. Total of Persons 1394.
Taken by Thomas Martin of Burncoose Constable.
The numbers, taken in 1821
. Inhabited houses 277 - families 299. Houses now building 2. Other Houses unhabited 23. Families employed in agriculture 91. In trade, manufactures 42. Other families not included in ye two preceding classes 166. Males 794. Females 894. Total 1688.
The above taken by Tristram Bath of Sawrath, Overseeer.
Ron Reed is reseaching....
REED - all Cornwall, TRELOAR - Wendron, Sithney etc., CURNOW - Mawgan-in-Meneage, St Martin-in-Meneage etc., WEARNE - Wendron, Constantine etc., CHEGWIDDEN - Constantine, ROBERTS - Wendron, Constantine, etc., MOYLE - Wendron, DOWAR/DOWAH - Wengron, Helston etc., EDDY - Wendron, Stithians, etc. GUNDRY - Wendron.
Michael Bath is researching English and Irish Baths, anywhere, anytime.
Brian McLean (EMail address available upon request to persons of interest - contact OPC.)
Hello from ?&%$/"!& Australia, I hope you can give me some guidance. I am searching for any records for a James Williams whom I think moved to Stithians from Wales pre 1654. He is said to have built a home he named Bushahan (not sure of spelling) at Stithians. I also think that it is his Grandson John Williams, born c 1685 who managed the Poldice mine and who purchased Burncoose in 1715. I am hoping that you can advise me on where to look to find imformation on James, his spouse and children so that I can try to connect James to John. I note on the Poll Tax records 1660 there are a couple of Jam. Williams on the 1 shilling list. Is there any way of investigating these on line? Any suggestions would be gratefully received.
Ida Stockwell, nee Orchard (EMail address available upon request to persons of interest - contact OPC.)
Hello, My name is Ida Stockwell, nee Orchard. My Aunt Dorothy left me some notes several years ago and as I am now 72 and in the winter of my years I am interested in trying to get more details.This is what I have:- The Orchard’s – 1600
Edmond Orchard was
Curate of Camborne, 1613-14. Became Vicar of St.Stithians 1614 until his
death in 1667. He was the brother of William Orchard Vicar of Breage with
[???] Ceury… and Gunwalloe from 1608. Another brother Richard Orchard
of Breage in his will dated 1634 made a bequest to the Parish of Week St.
Mary from which the family originated. The above
is exactly and all that my Aunt wrote.I found all the following information
in the St.Stithians Death Register notes for the Orchard’s:-
16/01/1639 Breage – Johan Wife of William vicar of this
29/091681 “ Walter
23/08/1682 “ Mary
22/02/1683 “ Alexander
I also have some items from the marriage register:- Orchard, Edmundus 12/11/1610 - Sparnon, Jana
Orchard, “ 07/02/1613 - Harding, Jana
Orchard, Gabriel 15/06/1629 - William, Katerina
Orchard, Georgius 26/04/1625 - Cood, Dorcas
Orchard, John 28/03/1649 - Peers, Margaret
Orchard, John 28/03/1649 - Peers, Jane daughter of Benet Peers
Orchard, William 27/04/1648 - Sparnon, Anna daughter of Edward Sparnon
Orchard, William 23/04/1649 – Teag, Christian
Orchard, Gabriel 23/06/1656 - Humbrel, Jane
My Grandfather Thomas Robert Orchard [one of eight children] was born at Penlean, Poundstock on January 31st 1890 and married Elsie Constance Congdon, who was born at Penfound Manor [which is, I believe, mentioned in the Doomsday book], near Bude. I am am looking into joining one of the Ancestry search sites, but have to be careful as I am on a fixed and tight income!!! I don’t know whether you could help me to fill in any of the gaps, but I thought as I found Edmond mentioned a couple of times on your web-site, Poll tax 1660 [clerk??] and Hearth tax 1664, you may be interested in the above anyway. It would appear that they are all my ancestors and I think it’s quite exciting.
Thankyou, Ida E, Stockwell
John Bath (EMail address available upon request to persons of interest - contact OPC.)
My name is John Bath and I live in ?%$/"!, *&?(%$/. I hope you don't mind me contacting yourself, as I found your name on the http://www.cornwall-opc.org/Par_new/q_s/stithians.php web site.I am currently researching my family tree and I have strong evidence of family connections in Cornwall , especially in Stithians and Perranarworthal. Please find attached an excel page showing my family tree. The last record I have is William Henry Bath born 26/09/1822 from Stithians and married on 13/05/1854 to Sarah Jane Stephens born 04/04/1822 from Deveron William's son Robert John Bath was a foreman at the Perran Foundary. I wonder if yourself as the Parish clerk can help me or guide me in anyway to proceed further with my family tree.
Much appreciate if you can help. PS - Are we related !!!!!!
(OPC note- John Bath and I branched off some 10 generations ago)
Michael J McCormick (EMail address available upon request to persons of interest - contact OPC.)
Janet Ralph (EMail address available upon request to persons of interest - contact OPC.)
Pam Vivian (EMail address available upon request to persons of interest - contact OPC.)
I found your name on the Cornwall OPC website.
My grandmother Elizabeth Melville (Nee Collins)'s family are originally from Stithians.
At the moment I am researching the Collins family who lived in Stithians during the 19th Century, and probably a long time before that too. The people I have found are William J Collins (1858 - ??), his father William Collins (1831 - ??), his father James Collins (1807 - ??) along with wifes and siblings. This is where I get stuck!!
I have been using Ancestry and now need to use the parish records. Could you help me?
My husband is researching his family in St Eval, Susan Old has been helping him.
We have visited Stithians in the past and had a look around the churchyard, and found some graves. My husband and I are planning a weekend in Cornwall at the end of Feb to continue the search.
I would be very grateful for any help you could give me in my search.
P.S. My husband is also researching his Canadian family (Vivians and Sandersons of Thurlow, and Winnipeg).
From everything I've read so far, St. Stithians is and always has been primarily an agricultural community. Despite most of the parish having a substrata of granite Stithians did not share in the wealth of tin and other metals that its near neighbours enjoyed. Perhaps that's for the best as Gwennap is described as an industrial wasteland in the mid 19th century.
John Daniell's 1880 "Compendium of the History of Cornwall" states "...formerly a mining parish, it has yielded large quantities of tin in times past- very little is however obtained at present, indeed very few mines are still at work in the locality."
One exception appears to have been the copper mine at Tresavean that had reached 1572 feet in 1837 and 2112 feet by 1858, making it the deepest in Cornwall at that time.
An 1838 report to the Royal Institute of Cornwall states that, " ...recent examination of registers of Gwennap and Stithians by Mr. Blee... gives the average longevity for miners as 46 and 60 for other males."
Destitute individuals became a "charge on the Parish". This was particularly the case of women that became pregnant out of wedlock when their families rejected them and the biological father could not be identified. For obvious reasons many women refused to name their lovers and the churchwardens sometimes went to extreme lengths to to force it out of them, so that the man could be obligated to support his child. The parish officials also tried, whenever possible, to claim the destitute individual as belonging to another parish, to which they could then be transferred, sometimes forcibly. Barring that, they might compel a local tradesman or farmer to accept a parish charge as an apprentice, servant or farm worker and thereby relieve the parish of the responsibility of supporting them.
Some cases from the Quarter Sessions Order Books:
held at Lostwithiel - date: 13th July 1802
Sessions held at
Lostwithiel - date: 10th January 1804
Sessions held at
Lostwithiel - date: 12th January 1808
Sessions held at
Lostwithiel - date: 11th January 1814