The 1851 Census at St. Erth
courtesy of Bill Curnow
The goal of the 1851 Census of Great Britain was to record all individuals who spent the night of 30 March 1851
in each household. For purposes of conducting the 1851 Census, the Parish of St. Erth was divided into five
Enumeration Districts. Each Enumeration District (ED) was of a size deemed to be a manageable piece of work
for assignment to a single Census Enumerator. The 1851 Census includes the following descriptions of the five
St. Erth Enumeration Districts:
ED 1a Enumerator: Henry James Harvey
All that part of the Parish of St. Erth which lies to the North of the Road leading from Joffra to the Churchtown
as far West as Chenhalls to Hayle River, including Foundry, Foundry hill, Trelissick, Mellenear, Joffra & Chenhalls.
ED 1b Enumerator: John Sandow
All that part of the Parish of St. Erth which lies to the South of the Road leading from the Churchtown to Joffra
as far as Pooleys from thence down the Valley between Gurlyn and Trannack to the River Hayle, including Chyanowith,
Trannack Mill, Porthcolumb, Tremelling, Trenedsar [Trenedras], Carnebeggars, Trenhale, Vicarage, Jesicho, Tolvy,
Tregenhorne, Trevin Keskeys, Gear, Trelean, Praze, Biddyvarran & Killenown.
ED 1c Enumerator: John Berryman
All that part of the Parish of St. Erth including Bridge Cellars, Churchtown, Greenwich & South America.
ED 1d Enumerator: Christopher Cardell
All that part of the Parish of St. Erth which lies South of the Valley between Trannock & Gurlyn on to Pooleys,
including Pooleys, Boswangce [sp?], Kerstenwood, Bosence, Gurlyn, Relubbus, and Greenland.
ED 1e Enumerator: John Goldsworthy
All that part of the Parish of St. Erth which lies to the West of the River Hayle including Trevessa, Tregethan,
Trewinnard, Tredsco, Treloweth, Roseingrows, Penpons, Start, Lane, & Little Mill.
A note on spellings
The notion that spelling is a precise science has always been something of an aspirant goal. It certainly fell
far short of reality in mid-19th century Cornwall. Spelling of place names in the official ED definitions shown
above are often at variance with those used by the Enumerator in recording the Census for his assigned district.
Moreover, spelling used by an Enumerator sometimes varied from one page of the Census to the next.
For purposes of this transcription an effort has been made to preserve the exact spellings shown in the Census
for names, locations, and occupations. Spellings have been standardized for relationships (e.g. niece, not neice)
of individuals to the head of each household.
With regard to relationships, bear in mind that "in-law" was used in two distinct ways. A son-in-law might be
either "the husband of my married daughter" (the same as modern usage) or "the son of my spouse born before our
marriage" (known as a stepson in modern usage).
A word of caution
A best effort has been made to prepare an accurate transcript of the 1851 Census at St. Erth. The transcriber
begins with the microfilmed image of a register filled out in longhand by a Census Enumerator. The Enumerator
undoubtedly strived to do the best possible job, but the information recorded was no better than what was told
to him. There was certainly potential for that information to be modified by his notion of spellings, by
misunderstanding, or by simple error. The transcriber, working a century and a half after the original Enumeration,
must adapt to 19th century penmanship that varies from one ED to the next and must do so using a microfilm of good
but not perfect quality. Just as the Enumerator was a "filter" through which information from each household passed,
the transcriber is a second "filter" involved in the process before the data became accessible to you. Therefore,
if information from this transcription is extremely important to your family history research, it is highly
recommended that you look at the original data with your own eyes. The 1851 Census at St. Erth is available on
microfilm #0221071 available in many parts of the world through Family History Centers of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter Day Saints.
© Dee 2001