Putting my waders on

18 August 2015

As regular readers will know, I have been down in the FWL South West Office for a few days – well, since Sunday. I was delighted to find that everything was running very smoothly down there – did I ever doubt that fact?!

Cornwall is not all that close to our Wiltshire HQ so, having made it as far as the office, I decided to continue to Truro. Any genies will know that when travelling, it is usually compulsory to stop in a cemetery or two and also visit a museum, heritage centre or other archive. Today was my first ever visit to Cornwall Record Office. What an amusingly minute place and nothing like what I had expected! If I had blinked, I would have quite honestly missed the entire building and it holds much of the county’s records…. staggering ….


In my usual style, I had some semblance of a plan for my research. It was largely a finding mission and I had come prepared with my waders. As well as running FWL, I am also Chair of The Surname Society and I do a surname study on the Sillifant name (when I have time!). Sillifant is not a common name but Devon and Cornwall seem to have had more than their fair share of name bearers residing within their boundaries over the past few centuries. This means that in many parishes, I literally have to wade through each and every page of the baptism, marriage and burial registers to track down any references to people holding the Sillifant name (or one of its many variants). Kilkhampton, Launceston St Mary Magdalene, Launceston St Thomas, Launceston St Stephen and a smattering of other outlying mini-parishes….

The toughest part of researching nowadays is that I know so many other people researching particular surnames. I cannot turn a blind eye to discoveries for them along the way so today, I also took copies of documents associated with the names Braund, Stribling, Chandler, Penaluna, Millington and Lashbrook. Watch your inboxes dear friends!

The waders fared well today with a good return on Sillifant documents (and some information for my own family tree), as well as new discoveries for my one-place studies of Tetcott, Luffincott and Porcupine. Yes, it’s a real place…. take a look at the map!

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