Publications relating to Gerrans by Hilary Thompson
Hilary Thompson has written several well-researched books on the history of Gerrans and its people. If you are interested in how your Gerrans
antecedents lived then you need to read some of these books!
A History of Gerrans and Portscatho 1700-1830
ISBN 09518 0 77 06 Published in 1991
An academic study of life in a South Cornwall parish. The tables contain many local family names.
91 pages including index. 24 illustrations, 9 maps, 18 tables, 5 figures.5 chapters:
Landlord and tenant
Occupation and population
Smuggling and prevention
Out of print but available (at least in the UK) through inter-library loan.
A Portscatho Mariner, Edward Peters, Sailmaker, 1804-1882
Published in 1990, revised and reprinted 1991
24 pages, 8 maps and illustrations. The story of the life of the author’s great-great-grandfather who sailed as a
sailmaker, first with the Falmouth Packets and later with the Royal Navy in The
Crimean War. Details of life on sailing vessels extracted from ships’ logs.
A History of The Parish of Gerrans 1800-1914: Part 2, Mariners and Fishermen
ISBN 0 95180772 2 Published in 1995
80 A5 pages including index, 26 maps and illustrations. This book gives extensive details of the merchant schooners owned, skippered or crewed by men from Gerrans and Portscatho. The second part of the book is devoted to a description of the operation of fishing, particularly for pilchards.
Out of print but available (at least in the UK) through inter-library loan -
although I saw copies on sale in the Village Stores in Portscatho so it may be
back in print.
A History of Gerrans and Portscatho 1800-1914: Part 3, Village Life
ISBN 0 9518077 4 9 Published in 2005
120 pages, index, 4 maps, 50 illustrations including local buildings and photos of village characters. 6 chapters plus appendix
Population and Employment
Smuggling and the Coastguard
Local Administration, Welfare and Education
Recreation and Festivities
Appendix---Building in Gerrans and Portscatho in 19th and early 20th centuries
A Cornish Seaman, Captain Stephen Sawle, 1830-1910
ISBN 0 9518077 3 0 Published 2002 24 pages, 4 illustrations. Captain Sawle was master and owner of the trading
schooner, Naiad. At the age of 42 he gave up the sea and took up farming in
Wisconsin. The story is told as a poem by his son, William, who wittily
describes his father's efforts to apply his nautical skills to farming. In so
doing he also describes his own Portscatho boyhood, his apprenticeship to his
father and subsequent life in USA.
Published in 1992
25 A5 pages, 5 illustrations. In 1757 George Roberts of Gerrans lay dying. Several of his relatives conspired to
forge his will and deprive his widow of her inheritance. The story is told largely by quotations from records of the subsequent court cases.
Price £2 (see below for ordering information)
Rocks. Coves and Fishing Marks
Published in 1999
21 pages, 3 maps, 6 pictures. This book records the local names of coastal features between Nare Head and Zone Point along the South Cornish coast. It also gives rarely disclosed information of the marks used by local fishermen before the demise of inshore fishing.
Price £3.50 (see below for ordering information)
E-mail enquiries to:
Orders, accompanied by sterling cheque to:
Mrs. H.J. Thompson
1, The Quay
Cornwall TR2 5HF
N.B. Postage and packing is £1.50/book for UK orders and £2/book for Overseas
When you order please quote the Gerrans OPC web site as the place where you found out about Hilary's books.