The Genealogy of the Tregenza Family

TTHE GENEALOGY OF THE TREGENZA FAMILY runs to nearly 900 pages and is the work of Paul Tregenza. The 2023 edition updates the authoritative study of Tregenza genealogy. Thank you, Paul, for allowing the results of many years of research to be used at Information about living family members is limited to inhibit identity theft. Copyright remains with Paul Tregenza.


The large family tree is broken up into a series of ‘branches’ that are each called a ‘family’. Most of these link together and go back to the first Tregenzas in the St Stephen in Brannel area of Cornwall. This is the first ‘family’ in this book and subsequent families eventually link back to it. At the end of the book are unconnected families that do not yet link up.

For each of all these families the first page is a genealogical tree. Each horizontal line represents the siblings (brothers and sisters). In the case where a father had more than one wife a small number appears in the line to indicate which children were born to which wife where this is known. The forenames of one person are written in upper case and connected by hyphens. In the case of large families where there is not enough of space to place all the forenames alongside each other, they are stacked below the first forename. Below this is the date of birth as accurately as known. Below this in lower case for married men is the name of their wife preceded by the letter ‘m’ for marriage (or wives in order ‘m1’, ‘m2’ etc.).

St Stephen Family Tree

Vertical lines represent connections to other generations (up to parents and grandparents down to children etc.) If a child to an unmarried TREGENZA mother is given the surname TREGENZA or if a child of a non-TREGENZA mother is given the name TREGENZA by official or unofficial adoption then they are represented on the tree in the same way as other children.

Subsequent pages headed ‘NOTES ON’ have the names of all the TREGENZAs from the tree page in the same order (left to right then down the page). The forenames of all, including wives, are shown in upper case and in order with hyphens. Any nicknames or diminutives are shown in brackets following. To distinguish wives a lower case ‘x’ is placed in front of their name. The following information is then in date order so birth, christening/baptism, marriage, death and then burial. Information from census records and from birth marriage or death certificates of relatives and other information are shown in date order between the events above. In some cases information after death is shown to confirm death and connections with relatives. Information connected to both a husband and wife (such as about their marriage) is shown against the husband only. Otherwise where there is significant information about two or more people it is usually repeated so that a full record appears against each name. Where possible sources are given in the sequence.

After these pages are pages entitled ‘OTHER INFORMATION ON’. These include acknowledgements to others who have supplied information, and details of public sources, certificates obtained, letters received, copies of census entries etc. It also indicates what sources and records were used to construct the family tree. It also indicates where families that were formerly unconnected have been joined in. It also shows records that may be relevant to the family for example by being in the same town or area. Any similarities between the forenames used, maiden names of wives etc. with those of other families will be indicated. 

On some pages the genealogical tree shows that the offspring of one person make up another family. Details of this family appear elsewhere (see the next page for an index to the families). On each of the connected families (except the first) you are referred back up the tree to the previous generation in a family earlier in the book.

Searching the Family Tree for an Ancestor 

If you use the word version of this document you can use the ‘find’ function (usually in the ‘edit’ folder on the toolbar). It is best to use advanced functions like ‘match case’, ‘wildcards’ etc.  Most pdf readers have a similar function.

Searching by first name 

If you search for ‘JAMES’ for example it will result in many answers so a more subtle approach is required. If the first name is rare the chances of finding the correct person are much increased. Note that spellings may not be the standard ones used now and may vary in the records associated with one person as many people were illiterate at the time. As a last resort it may be necessary to go through the whole document to find all the people called ‘James’ and check each against other information known about him!

If the person has two first names (even if one is an initial) a quick way is to search for ‘THOMAS-HENRY’ is to enter ‘S-HENRY’, ‘S-H’ or even ‘-H’. However this may not produce the tree as sometimes lack of space requires first names to be stacked one under the other on the tree however it will produce the details of the person in the “notes on the family” following the tree. This is much more likely to reduce the number of possible persons found that have to be checked against other information known about the person.

Nicknames or diminutives of first names are often not recorded officially and so do not appear in records used to construct the tree but are shown in the notes on a person where known. In this case they can act as confirmation of that the correct person has been found. Searching for ‘Tom’ will not find all the other persons called ‘Thomas’ that were probably also called ‘Tom’.

Searching for a wife can be done by entering an ‘x’ in front of the name e.g.: ‘x SUSAN’.

Searching by surname

The surnames of the wife of a male Tregenza (or husband of a female) will reduce the number of potential ancestors found. Rarer surnames may take you directly to the correct person. However surnames rare in the UK may be Cornish surnames that are common in the Tregenza family. Again spellings may vary, particularly, in the presence or absence of the final ‘s’ and if the surname is from the Cornish language (Baragwanath, Baragwaeneth, Baragwaneth etc.). Many surnames repeat in this family tree such as ‘Collings’ but rarer names do not.

Searching by place

Search for a place may be useful if it is not in Cornwall or is a rare place-name in Cornwall.

Searching by date This is rarely useful if just using the year of birth, marriage etc. as these may not be recorded accurately and the date will be found many times in the family tree. A full date to the day is very useful (ddMMMyyyy format such as 01APR1777) as it may occur only a few times in the family tree.

Searching by occupation Rare occupations may be a useful way of finding your ancestor but of course it may not be recorded on the tree. Entering ‘boot’, ‘shoe’, ‘cobbler’ and ‘cordwainer’ may be necessary to find your ancestor who is a ‘boot-maker’ or ‘boot seller’ etc.


Use several items of information to select the correct person – a good rule is to use at least three elements such as dates, names of close relatives, occupation, location, etc. as well as the name.