A Cornish family in Seattle in the USA, c. 1930s (credit Cornish Audio Visual Archive, Institute of Cornish Studies) 

Making the hidden history of Cornish migration count

Stories of emigration from Cornwall in 1851 overseas and to other parts of the UK are the first topic in the new series of research seminars led by the Institute of Cornish Studies (ICS), at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus on Saturday 14 February at 2pm in the Chapel Lecture Theatre.

The focus of this initial seminar focuses on two aspects of migration from the miners’ wives remaining in Cornwall while their husbands worked abroad throughout the 19th century to following the large cohort of children from their homes in Cornwall in 1851 to their destinations in 1891 or their graves. Academics associated with the ICS Dr Bernard Deacon, Liz Bartlett and Lesley Trotter will discuss the numbers of people involved in the migration from Cornwall to better understand their lives and provide a more rounded account of migration and its impact.  The talks will also look at how a population-scale census database was employed to establish the numbers of women involved and examine various aspects of their experience.

Dr Garry Tregidga, Director of the Institute of Cornish Studies said:"This seminar series offers an ideal opportunity for members of the public to gain a greater understanding of Cornwall both in the past and present. It is appropriate that the first session will focus on the history of migration since one of our key aims is to show the global significance of Cornish culture and identity’."

Next in the seminar series will be on 11 March focusing on the topical subject of Cornish devolution, this event will involve both politicians and academics

In the autumn on the 16 October Cornish folk music features as the main topic to be discussed. The research seminar will be held in association with Lowender Peran, the international Celtic festival, at Newquay. All the seminars are free-of-charge.

Date: 9 February 2015

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