The earliest Tregenza records
It might be hoped that these would come from Creed or nearby and so confirm the connection of the family and place-name. The records however are not conclusive.
The common family name Tregenna may account for some of these records. However it is interesting to find the alias Tregensyth being used as a surname. The family tree starts in St Stephen in Brannel and there are several early records from there. St Stephen is north of Creed, St Ewe to the east and Probus to the west.
1470 Hilary Term
John Tregellest by his attorney brought an action against John Tregensowe late of St Laurence yeoman on a plea of trespass at Tregellest near Wolvedon. De Banco Rolls of Edward the Fourth. (A few years later this name reappears and may be a variant of Tregenza. St Laurence is near Bodmin and on the other side of Cornwall from Creed. Tregellest however is in the adjacent parish of Probus).
1525 Richard Tregennow G6 Ewa (St Ewe)
1543 John Tregennow G8 Ewa (St Ewe)
1543 John Tregynsyth G3 Crede (Creed)
1543 Thomas Tregensyth W1 Probus
Mary Tregenza widow with inventory 1625 St Stephen in Brannel
Michael Tregenza husbandman with inventory 1625 St Stephen in Brannel
Charity, Susan and Nicholas mentioned in Michael's will
1660 John Tregesa and wife St Stephen in Brannel
1660 Thomas Tregesam and Mary wife St Stephen in Brannel
1660 Olive Tregena St Stephen in Brannel
ca 1641 Thomas Tregenza St Stephen in Brannel
Assize Rolls (page 208 extract Cornwall 25 Hen III to 6 Hen VI)
“Prior of Bodmin gave half mark for licence of agreement with Silvester de Tregensan and Meliora his wife of a plea of the advowson of the church of St Madern”. The writing is difficult to read but the name is Tregensan or close to it. The date of this was not recorded but in or between the reigns of Henry III and VI so in the 13th – 15th centuries.
Spread of the family
Records such as the marriages listed in Boyd's Index show the spread of the family from the St Stephens area. In the second quarter of the 18th Century marriages appear at the head of the Fal estuary (Mylor, Veryan and Philleigh) and in the third quarter the St Erth area appears. In the fourth quarter Truro (the county capital town) records appear especially military ones. Later records appear in the industrial areas of Penryn/Falmouth, Camborne/Redruth, St Austell and also in Mousehole/Newlyn area.
In the 19th century the spread becomes much wider to England and English speaking parts of the world where there are mines such as USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Coats of Arms
A search through various lists have failed to show any coats of arms. All the heraldic visitations to Cornwall failed to attribute arms to the Tregenza family.
The heraldic tradition is largely Norman and the family is clearly of celtic origin not Anglo-Saxon or Norman. After the Saxon conquest of the Cornish (celtic) princes in AD 814 and defeat of the later rebellions, the saxon feudal hierarchy was imposed on the Cornish peasants who played little part in the upper echelons of this hierarchy and its political structures. A similar situation occurred under the later Norman rule. Only a couple of landed families of the aristocracy of Cornwall bear celtic family names (for example Vyvyan).
• Lists of Cornish Wills etc.
• Transcripts of important parish records
• Copies of Phillimore et al (Lists of Cornish Marriages)
• Copies of Boyd’s Index of Marriages
Royal Institution of Cornwall (Truro Museum)
• Various old records and microfilms of documents
• Index to Phillimore et al
Public Record Office (London) later Family History Centre then on-line
• Court records
• Census and electoral rolls
Devon Record Office
• Bishop of Exeter transcripts (near contemporaneous copies of Cornish parish registers)
• Tithe maps of 1840
Society of Genealogists
• Glencross and Great indexes
• Non-conformist records
• Kelly’s directories
• Extracts from The Genealogy of Tregenza Family by Paul Tregenza.