Cornwall, England

Cornwall is a county on England’s rugged southwestern tip. It forms a peninsula encompassing wild moorland and hundreds of sandy beaches, culminating at the famous promontory Land’s End. It has variously been described as “the pointy bit on the bottom corner of England”, “an independent land which has never formally joined Great Britain” and “God’s Own Country”.

It has spawned a race of independent, rugged and yet wonderfully warm and generous people. It is the legendary land of King Arthur; the land of fishermen, smugglers and miners (“look down a hole anywhere in the world and you’ll find a Cornishman at the bottom”).

Our family roots began in Cornwall.

The map below shows the various places in Cornwall where many of our Priske ancestors lived and worked from the 15th through the 19th century. Switch to satellite view and zoom in (or out) on the map to see what these places look like today.  Click on the various place icons and then the link to see the ancestors that made these places in Cornwall home.

Many of our ancestors were tin miners, working in sometimes intolerable conditions.

Coastal mining in the region stretches back 3,500 years and has claimed many lives over the millennia. Toiling fewer than 40ft under the ocean floor, the men knew that one false pick stroke could be their last.

With the roar of the sea in their ears, these brave miners were forced to tunnel closer and closer to the surface in their quest for tin. Stretching for more than a century, the dangerous work to extract metal from seams located under the Cornish coastline claimed many lives and was only ended by economic concerns.

Learn more about tin mining in Cornwall by visiting the Cornish Mining World Heritage website.