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The Early History of the Trenbath Surname

Last reviewed 05 October 2014

It should be noted that the n and m were interchangeable in Cornish surnames until at least the eighteenth century.

The earliest mention of the name, found so far, is that of Andre Trenybah (Andrew Trenbath) in a tax list of Madron. The next is an indenture of 1442, whereby Thomas Polper granted to Richard Trenbagh Wartha 'all my lands in the vill of Trenbagh Wartha' at a specified rent. (Seen at Truro Records Office ref a/13/5A). One of the witnesses was Wm Trenbagh Wolas. This implies, I think, that Richard Trenbagh inhabited the larger Trenbagh homestead (wartha='on the high ground'), and Richard the smaller one 'on the low ground'.

The Trembath house still stands (1990s), although, doubtless much altered. It is near the cross-roads at Buryas Bridge in Penwith. Lower Trembath Farm is down a lane on the opposite side of the road from 'Trembath'. It is a much meaner building, in contrast to Upper Trembath.

Sketch of Trembath Wartha by Ronald Trenbath.

This is an imaginary sketch by Ronald Trenbath, architect, of how the Trenbath house may have looked in the past. Click on the thumbnail to see larger version.

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