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Encyclopedia > Cornish emigration
Flag of Cornwall
Flag of Cornwall

Cornish emigration consists of Cornish emigrants and their descendants in other parts of Great Britain and in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Mexico. Image File history File links Flag_of_Cornwall. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Cornwall. ... Cornwall (Cornish: Kernow) is a county in South West England, United Kingdom, on the peninsula that lies to the west of the River Tamar. ... Emigration is the action and the phenomenon of leaving ones native country to settle abroad. ...


Cornish emigration has been caused by a number of factors, but due mainly to economic reasons and the lack of jobs in the 18th and 19th centuries when many Cornish people or “Cousin Jacks”, as they were known, migrated to various parts of the world in search of a better life. A driving force for some emigrants was the opportunity for skilled miners to find work abroad, later in combination with the decline of the tin and copper mining industries in Cornwall. It is estimated that 250,000 Cornish migrated abroad between 1861 and 1901 and these emigrants included farmers, merchants and tradesmen, but miners made up most of the numbers. There is a well known saying in Cornwall that "a mine is a hole anywhere in the world with at least one Cornishman at the bottom of it!" Cornwall (Cornish: Kernow or occasionally Curnow) is the part of Great Britains south-west peninsula that is west of the River Tamar. ...


The Cornish economy profited from the miners’ work abroad. Some men sent back “home pay”, which helped to keep their families out of the workhouse. At the end of the 19th Century, about £1 million a year was being sent back from the Transvaal in South Africa alone. Flag of Transvaal For the Russian theme park, see Transvaal Park. ...


As well as their mining skills, the Cornish emigrants carried their culture and way of life with them when they travelled. They formed tight-knit communities, and did not lose contact with either the people or the customs of their home land. Wrestling competitions took place in the new settlements, Cornish Methodist chapels were constructed, pasties and saffron cakes became well-known to natives of Australia and the United States alike, and the air resounded with the sound of brass bands and Cornish carols, wherever the miners went.


The passion for Cornish rugby was exported overseas by the Cornish miners and this helped develop the game in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, all of whom have played in Cornwall (New Zealand 1905, 1924, Australia 1908, South Africa 1906, 1912 and the Māori in 1926). Flag of Cornwall The Cornish Rugby Football Union (CRFU) was formed in 1883. ... Languages Māori, English Religions Māori religion, Christianity Related ethnic groups other Polynesian peoples, Austronesian peoples The word Māori refers to the indigenous people of New Zealand and their language. ...


Many Cornish customs still thrive today. In the Grass Valley, California, the tradition of singing Cornish carols lives on and one local historian of the area says the songs have become “the identity of the town”. Some of the members of today’s Cornish Carol Choir are in fact descendants of the original Cornish gold miners. Statues and monuments in many towns pay tribute to the influence of the Cornish on their development. In Moonta, Australia, the Kernewek Lowender (Cornish for "Cornish happiness") is the largest Cornish festival in the world and attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. Grass Valley is a city in Nevada County, California, United States. ... The town of Moonta () is located on the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia 163 kilometres north-northwest of Adelaide. ... The Kernewek Lowender is a Cornish-themed festival held biennially in the Copper Triangle towns of Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ...


In the State of Hidalgo in central Mexico a local speciality originates from the Cornish pasty, called pastes which was introduced by miners and workers from Cornwall who were contracted in the silver mining towns of Mineral del Monte and Pachuca. The majority of migrants to this region came from what we now term the Cornish "central mining district" of Camborne and Redruth. Mineral del Monte's steep streets, stairways and small squares are lined with low buildings and many houses with high sloping roofs and chimneys which indicate a Cornish influence. It was the Cornish who first introduced football to Pachuca and indeed Mexico, while Mexican remittances helped to build the Wesleyan Chapel in Redruth the 1820s. The twin silver mining settlements of Pachuca and Real del Monte are being marketed in 2007 as 'Mexico's Little Cornwall' by the Mexican Embassy in London and represent the first attempt by the Spanish speaking part of the Cornish diaspora to establish formal links with Cornwall. The Mexican Embassy in London is also trying to establish a town twinning arrangment with Cornwall. Hidalgo is a state in central Mexico, with an area of 20,502 km². In 2000 the state had a population of some 2,231,000 people. ... A pasty from Cornwall A pasty from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan A Cornish pasty or Cornish pastie is a type of pie, originating in Cornwall, United Kingdom. ... Pastes is a type of Mexican pastry eaten in the Hidalgo region of central Mexico. ... Mineral del Monte (also Real del Monte) is a city and municipality in Hidalgo state in central Mexico, lying at an altitude of 2700 metres (8,800 ft). ... Pachuca (elevation: 2,426 meters) is the capital of the Mexican state of Hidalgo. ... Not to be confused with Cambourne in Cambridgeshire. ... Map sources for Redruth at grid reference SW700420 Redruth (Cornish: Rysrudh) is a town in the south-west of Cornwall, Britain. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


Today, in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other countries, some of the descendants of these original migrants celebrate their Cornish ancestry and remain proud of their Cornish family names. This is evidenced by the existence of both Cornish societies and Cornish festivals in these countries, as well as a growing overseas interest in the Cornish language. Many of those with Cornish ancestry are now reviving their heritage and a plethora of Cornish family history and genealogy groups exist. Genealogy is the study and tracing of family pedigrees. ...


See also

This is a list of topics related to Cornwall, UK. The Cornwall category contains a more comprehensive selection of Cornish articles. ... Cornwall, in the United Kingdom, though administratively part of England, has many cultural differences from the culture of England. ... The history of Cornwall begins with the pre-Roman inhabitants, including speakers of a Celtic language that would develop into Brythonic and Cornish. ... The Six Nations considered the heartland of the modern Celts Celtic nations are areas of Europe inhabited by members of Celtic cultures, specifically speakers of Celtic languages. ... Ruin of Cornish tin mine Mining in Cornwall has existed from the days of Stone Age man and mining in Cornwall dates back to between 1000 and 2000 B.C. when Cornwall is thought to have been visited by metal traders from the eastern Mediterranean. ... The Camborne School of Mines commonly abbreviated to CSM, is a specialist department of the University of Exeter. ...

External links

  • BBC The Cornish Diaspora - I’m alright Jack
  • The Cornish Transnational Communities Project
  • Kernewek Lowender - The world's largest Cornish festival
  • Cornish Miners and the Witwatersrand Gold Mines in S.Africa. 1890-1904
  • Overseas Cornish Associations
  • UK Cornish Associations
  • The Cornish in Latin America
  • The Celtic League
  • Cornish American Heritage Society - Cornwall on the Web

 
 

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