West Briton Newspaper


A Project
created by Julia Symons Mosman and Rita Bone Kopp


Transcripts of Births, Marriages, and Deaths - as well as Fairs, Fishery reports, Court reports, separation notices, absconded apprentices, Coroner's Inquests, etc., all under "News" - are available by using our search engine, or accessing the year you choose, below.

Also   ACTUAL SAMPLES of West Britan pages, including bad pages (give them a look, and try your hand at transcribing them), advertisements, and poetry
     - old terminology you'll find in our transcriptions, as well as explanations of various subjects such as jury requirements and poor laws


The New Monthly Magazine, 1816 to 1834 - postings regarding Cornwall from many of the issues, from Sue Dent

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1836        1837         1838        1839  


1840        1841       
  1842        1843      1844       1845

1846        1847         1848        1849

1850        1851           1852         1853       1854       1855

1856          1857           1858        1859

1860                                    1887

Also available, Snippets from various dates and newspapers in several countries, involving Cornwall and the Cornish, by LaVelda Faull


Please be aware these transcriptions have also been shared with the Cornish and Cornish-Gen mailing lists at Rootsweb. Many caused discussion and further research; therefore, one might want to look at the list Archives (for Free, of course) to see if there was any potentially useful discussion on newspaper topics of interest to you.
(https://lists.rootsweb.com/hyperkitty/cgi-bin/search )
As of March 6, 2011, there were 37,551,432 messages in the Cornish-Gen Archive alone - so be sure to use 'filtering' terminology in your search.

Our project was started by Rita Bone Kopp and Julia Symons Mosman in 2003, as a way to enable people to share a glimpse at the lives their families led. At first, we started with Rita transcribing 1887 - which had several issues each week - and Julia transcribing 1836-39. These transcriptions were posted to the Rootsweb Cornish Lists. We decided to retain the transcriptions on this website, too. In 2005, Isabel Harris and Bill Kemp joined us in the work. Isabel transcribed 1850, 1853, and 1854, while Bill took on 6 months of BMDs for each year. Since the completion of the 1887 issues, we've all been working on the same year.  In December, 2007, we asked for volunteers to help us transcribe more of the news; the generous people shown as "additional transcribers" responded, and have been participating enthusiastically ever since.

We are not part of any other group, or organization. We're completely independent, merely sharing our love of History and Genealogy with as many people as possible..

As we add to our data base each week, we hope you stop back frequently.

- You will leave this site by clicking on the links below - please be sure to stop back.

For further information on all newspapers of Cornwall, please click here, then scroll down to ""newspapers and periodicals". While this site has information on various research resources, some are not quite up-to-date, nor is the list complete. To help your search, we recommend you -

Visit the Cornwall Census Project, which covers 1841 through 1891.

Visit the Cornwall On-line Parish Clerk database, for all of Cornwall.

All material copyright; not for commercial use. Site last updated 2 August 2014.

Search by Website search technology courtesy FreeFind.com

 WB  Transcription Details

 The Transcribers:

Isabel Harris
Lorena Loubsky
Julia Symons Mosman

additional transcriptions by:

Allison Ashton
Maureen Chambers
Bill Curnow
Bern Currie
Graeme & Sue Dawson
Philip Green

Maurine Nuttall


Webmaster, and former Transcriber,

Rita Bone Kopp

We transcribe each newspaper as it is, with mis-spellings, unique sentence structures, etc. Many of the originals are wrinkled, torn, or blotted, making it difficult. When we've been forced to "guess" or paraphrase a word or item, we encase it in [...]. All parentheses appeared in the original paper.

While we try to be accurate, we know there are errors. Some corrections have been posted to the searchable Rootsweb archives by active genealogists, which might help researchers.

We use images from micro-films purchased by the St. Piran Society, held by the University of St. Thomas, as our source material. We thank them, for without these resources, we wouln't be able to do this work..


The West Briton, a Liberal newspaper, was started in 1810 by 10 gentlemen. Between the years 1836-1855, it was published by Mrs. Elizabeth Heard, widow, 32 Boscawen-Street, Truro; afterwards, it was published by her son..

Each page was 6 columns wide, and each issue included Domestic News, International News, Parliament, Ireland, Shipping, Mining, and Poetry, as well as Advertisements. We concentrate on Local Intellegence, and all Court cases, highlighting 'ordinary people" whenever possible. We have eliminated long political meetings, pages of Agricultural Society meetings, etc.

The West Briton maintained an 'edge' on the competition; it had twice rhe circulation as their next nearest competitor during these years. It is still published today.

Perhaps this is why more information was not listed in the Birth, Marriages, and Deaths section of the newspaper. "Simple announcements of Births, Marriages, or Deaths, forwarded by subscribers, are inserted gratis. When 'No Cards,' or anything else beyond the simple announcement, is added the charge is at the rate of 6d. for every 10 words, the minimun charge being (1s?), and postage stamps must accompany the order. No announcements will be inserted unless duly authenticated either by the name and address of the sender or by one of our regular agents."