Status: Ancient Parish

Parish church: St. Protus & St. Hyacinth

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1539
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1608

Nonconformists include: Wesleyan Methodist

Parishes adjacent to Blisland

Parish History

Parochial and Family History of the Parish of Blisland 1868

The name of this Parish is derived from that of the manor which was anciently written BLUSTON and BLISTON. The Parish is five miles in length and two and a half in breadth, and is in the form of a parallelogram, except that the little parish of Temple slightly protrudes through the boundary on the S E side. It lies north east and south west. On the north west side it is, throughout its whole length, bounded by the Delank river, which separates it from St Breward. On the north east side it adjoins the parishes of St Breward, Alternon, and St Neot. On the south east side it is bounded by the parishes of St Neot, Temple, and Cardinham, and on the southwest by Helland and St Mabyn, from which latter parish it is separated by the river Camel, whilst an angle of St Tudy touches the boundary at the north west corner. The village or Church-town as it is called, is situate about five miles from Bodmin, which is the post town, but the southern extremity of the parish is not more than three miles from that place. The parish contains 6338 statute acres upwards of one third of which is moor. The land on the eastern side of the parish overlies a granite formation which in places crops through the surface in rugged tors. This land is generally coarse and unprofitable but the strata on the western side consists of alternate layers of schist and compact rock some of which approaches nearly to greenstone. This part of the parish is fertile and well wooded whilst an abundance of water gives it always a fresh and verdant appearance.

Besides the Church-town there are two ancient outlying hamlets containing a few tenements, each called respectively Tregenna and Pendreve or Pendrift, and a modern one which has arisen within the present century called Waterloo.

Streaming for tin has been practised on the moors from time immemorial perhaps in ancient days to a greater extent than at present for now the works are of a very insignificant character. The toll belonged to the lord of the manor and formed items of account in the fifteenth century.

Of late china clay of good quality has been discovered on Durfold and on Carwen and works have been opened and are being still carried on with the expectation of profit to the adventurers. The immediate result is the pollution of the bright rippling rivulets with which the parish was once enriched and the destruction of the fish.

In other respects the parish is purely pastoral. The land generally is better adapted for the pasturage of cattle than for the cultivation of corn nevertheless corn is grown to a considerable extent especially on the western side. Wool is one of the staple productions of the parish as the extensive commons admit of large flocks of sheep being kept at a comparatively trifling expense. A great number of horned cattle also are grazed on the moors.

Wages are somewhat low. Men employed in the clay works receive about 12s a week and good agricultural labourers receive not much less. They also have generally the advantage of garden plots attached to their cottages, and moreover of hiring from the farmers small quantities of land for the growth of potatoes, for which the labourers provide manure. This enables them to keep and feed one or two pigs for the support of their families. The condition of the peasantry therefore upon the whole is not inferior to that of the same class in other agricultural districts.

Fairs. An ancient fair & for the sale of horses cattle and sheep is held at Blisland Church-town on the Monday within the octave of St Protus.

Two other fairs have been established at Poundscawnse in this parish within the last fifty years for a similar purpose. One is held on the 24th June and the other on the last Monday in November.

The parish registers are of early date but the earliest appears to have fallen into bad condition and was rebound in 1786. It is in places torn and illegible and some of the leaves have been lost. The entries of marriages and burials begin in 1539 at which date it is probable the register was commenced. The earliest baptism is in 1563 some leaves being missing. The earliest names recorded are Robyns, Martyn, Kempe, Rogers, Layne, Marrett, John, and Burnard. Some of these names still continue in the parish.

Source: Parochial and Family History of the Parish of Blisland, in the County of Cornwall By Sir John Maclean. 1868.

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BLISLAND, a parish in Bodmin district, Cornwall: on the border of the moors, 4 miles NNE of Bodmin, and 5½ N of Bodmin Road r. station. Post Town, Bodmin. Acres, 6,338. Real property, £3,649. Pop., 553. Houses, 121. The property is divided among a few. Granite, schist, stream-tin, and other minerals are found. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £571. Patron, the Rev. F. W. Pye. The church has a fine brass of 1410; and is good. There is a Wesleyan chapel. A fair is held on 25 Sept.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Blisland, 2 m. N. Bodmin. P.688

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.

Parish Registers

Blisland Parish Registers Marriages

Marriages at Blisland, 1539 to 1812.

Note. — The Blisland marriages from the earliest entries to 1812 are contained in four volumes. The oldest of these includes ail entries (Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials) down to the year 1704. From 1539, when the Marriage Registers begin, to about 1658 it appears to be a copy of an older record neatly written in a clear hand, but in places the ink is a good deal faded.

At the time of the Restoration of the Monarchy and afterwards the Registers suffered, and. indeed, but little attention seems to have been paid to them until the second book was begun. This second book contains the entries from 1704 to 1716. The third book, begun in
17 16, brings the Baptisms and Burials down to 18 12. The Marriages therein contained include, in addition to the entries from 1716 to 1755 (when Lord Hardwicke’s Act came in force), entries of Marriages from 1755 to 1778. All but two of these are also found in the fourth volume. The last book gives the Marriages from 1755 to 1812, and also a Register of Banns, which, however, was kept only down to 1781. These names which appear in this last list, but not among the Marriages, have been added in a separate list at the end though they, of course, are no evidence of the ceremony having been performed.

The entries hereunder have been extracted by Mr. R. M. Glencross, B.A., of Lavethan, and are printed by kind permission of the Rev. E. Vernon Collins, M.A., rector of Blisland.

Parish Records

FamilySearch – Birth Marriage & Death records, Census, Migration & Naturalization and Military records – Free


England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010

Cornwall Online Parish Clerks

Cornwall Parish Register Index


Cornwall Burials A-Z index of surnames of people buried in Cornwall

Records for England

Births and Baptism Records

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Marriage Records

England Marriages, 1538–1973

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Death Records

England Death Records, 1998-2015

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

England and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-1660

Non-Conformist Records

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977


England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales Census, 1911


United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

War and Conflict

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners’ Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries

Cornwall OPC

The Cornwall OPC parish page for Blisland has a wealth of information for the parish including an online searchable database of parish registers.

Other records from Cornwall OPC include:

Bastardy Documents:

12 Jan 1774, Order naming John ARNOLD

Coroners’ Inquests:

1852 Arthur PHILLIPS


Settlement Documents:

2 Jul 1833, Removal of Thomas PERRY from Blisland to Little Petherick

Voters Lists:





1617 Oliver HOCKAYDAY

1621 John LEY als BRACHER

1623 Henry TREGARTH alias HOCKYN

1624 Humphrey HICKES

1636 Humfrye JOHN, proved 1636

1645 Elisabeth HOCKEN

1650 Humfrey ROBYNS, proved 1655

1652 Edward BERNARD

1654 George ROGERS

1654 Dorothy MARROTT

1656 Richard BORNARD

1658 Henry HOCKADAY

1699 Francis REYNOLDS

1747 Phillippa PEAKE

1748 Christopher LEAN

1768 Humphry VIVIAN

1774 Thomas HARRIS

1812 Thomas HARRIS

1832 John PEARCE, proved 1849

1832 Revd William PYE

1840 Elizabeth LEAN

1848 William MARSHALL

1853 Robert LEAN

FamilySearch Catalog


Census returns for Blisland, 1841-1891

Church Records

Bishop’s transcripts for Blisland, 1682-1805 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Blisland (Cornwall)

Blisland parish, Cornwall, notes from the church records Author: Madge, S. J. (Sidney Joseph); Church of England. Parish Church of Blisland (Cornwall)

England, Cornwall, Blisland, bishop’s transcripts, 1596-1812 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Blisland (Cornwall); Devon Record Office (Exeter)

England, Cornwall, Blisland, parish registers, 1837-1907 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Blisland (Cornwall); Cornwall Record Office

Marriages at Blisland, 1539-1812 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Blisland (Cornwall)

Parish chest materials, 1724-1840 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Blisland (Cornwall)

The parish register of Blisland Co., Cornwall : baptisms, 1563-1837, marriage, 1540-1837, burials, 1539-1837 Author: Deacon, J. N.

Parish register transcripts, 1563-1837 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Blisland (Cornwall)

Parish registers for Blisland, 1539-1976 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Blisland (Cornwall); Cornwall Record Office

Settlement papers, 1833 Author: Blisland (Cornwall)

Computer printout of Blisland, Cornwall, England

Parish of Blisland Author: Ivall, Dennis Endean; Thompson, Gillian; Ivall, Dennis Endean, Mrs.

Genealogy and History

Parochial and family history of the parish of Blisland, in the county of Cornwall Author: Maclean, John, b. 1746?


Vision of Britain historical maps


  • County: Cornwall
  • Civil Registration District: Bodmin
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Cornwall
  • Diocese: Exeter
  • Rural Deanery: Trigg Minor
  • Poor Law Union: Bodmin
  • Hundred: Trigg
  • Province: Canterbury

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