Our Projects

CAHS Supports & Promotes Cornish Heritage

CAHS Projects of Note

The Cornish American Heritage Society has several projects designed to support and promote Cornish heritage in North America.

Cornish Global Migration Program

Cornish Global Migration Program LogoThe importance of the Cornish Global Migration Program (CGMP) continues to grow.  The growing number of visitors to the Program, both personally and via the mails, encourages the volunteers working with the program.  The success of the program depends on the having the names of all migrants from Cornwall, whether to Britain or overseas recorded in the CGMP database.

The mission of the CGMP is to build a database of all emigrants regardless of how little information is available.  The main interest comes from the family historian but the data also enables anyone who has a particular interest to establish certain statistics. The CGMP is a non profit organization working for the benefit of Cornwall.

To provide a comprehensive database, the CGMP is dependent on families recording their personal emigration information with the program.  The database has about 38.000 names recorded from around the world.

The CGMP database is comprised of information submitted and should you wish to participate in the worthwhile program please contact the CGMP at:

Murdoch House
Cross Street
Redruth, Cornwall TR15 2BU
Great Britain


CAHS Paul Smales Awards

CAHS established the Paul Smales Fund in honor of Paul who died in 1990 at the age of 44.

A resident of Flushing, Cornwall, he was a man dedicated to Cornwall and to Cornish people everywhere. He founded the Cornish Music Guild, the Cornish Literary Guild, and was one of the founders of the Conference on Cornwall and Cornish Worldwide. He was also the chairman of the Cornish Barristers Association. He was principal speaker at the Cornish American Heritage Society’s 5th Gathering and enthusiastically encouraged the work of CAHS. He was truly interested in forging links between those Cornish descendants here in North America and those back in Cornwall.

The fund is used to encourage talented persons from Cornwall to attend our biennial “Gathering of Cornish Cousins”. Contributions to the Fund are welcome from all friends and members of CAHS.

Additionally, proceeds from each Cornish Heritage Certificate purchased from CAHS are applied directly to this fund.

For information on donating to this fund, please use the form on the Contact Us page.


The West Briton Project

The West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser is the weekely newspaper read by Cornish Cousins since 1810. Not unlike some modern newspapers, the West Briton had stock market reports, accident coverage,’world news’, bakruptcy hearings, police activity reports, births, marriages, deaths, Letters to the Editor. It also included reports from the Country Corn Markets on sales of wheat, barley and oats, reports by mine of the volume of ore sold, purchased and the price, West Country railway traffic by numbers of miles in operation and the amoutn of ‘receipts’. Shipwrecks were often reported in a country surrounded by so much water and marine activity and these would sometimes have dramatic reports of rescue activities — and perhaps pillaging!

The paper reported not only events in Cornwall, but the wanderings of Cornish all over the globe. Many consider it the best available source on Cornish life during the 19th century emigration of the Cornish from Cornwall. It is a valuable resource for Cornish Cousins researching their heritage.

All BMDS and LOCAL NEWS (aka LOCAL INTELLIGENCE, All Court cases, and some advertising, has been transcribed from 1836 to 1856, and is online, available for researchers. The BMDS have also been sent to the cornwall-opc.org website. News and the BMDS are also available at the Cornish List and Cornish Gen List at Rootsweb. For a link to all past transcriptions go here.

St. Piran’s Society of Minnesota is proud to have initiated the project to purchase the West Briton on microfilm to make this resource available in North America. With the contributions of individual members, regional societies and matching funds from CAHS, microfilm of 52 years of the paper have been purchased. The collection includes all years of the paper from 1836 through 1887. Some reels of microfilm contain more that one year of the paper.

Whatever your personal research interest, we sincerely hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to use this valuable resource. The microfilm is available for interlibrary loan from the library at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. There is no charge for loans, but it is asked the requests be limited to three reels at any time, or less if you need to spend a lot of time on each reel. The loan period is six weeks including shipping time. Although St. Thomas does not normally circulate microfilm via interlibrary loan, a special arrangement has been made for these films. To use the microfilm through interlibrary loan, you must request the film through a public library and use it at the library.

A second set of microfilm is available for use on site in the Special Collections section of the St. Thomas library.

Here is the information needed for requesting interlibrary loan for the West Briton films:


Interlibrary Loan, Mail 5004
O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105-1096

OCLC Symbol: MNT
Phone: 651-962-5405
FAX: 651-962-5406

St.Thomas library prefers to receive requests via OCLC but will accept ALA request forms send via fax or mail.

Donations to purchase additional microfilm are always welcome, as are donations of time to work on the indexing of Births, Marriages and Deaths.

Inquiries may be directed to:

Flora “Tommi” O’Hagan
651 East Scott Street
Fond du Lac, WI

CAHS Founders Award

The Cornish American Heritage Society is dedicated to the preservation of the unique Cornish American heritage throughout North America by providing links to other Cornish Heritage Associations and to Cornwall.

Members of CAHS are encouraged to educate themselves in regard to Cornish history, the history of the Cornish in North America particularly as it relates to their families whom they seek to know through genealogical research. Further, members are encouraged to be involved through artistic endeavors, by embracing Cornish language and literature, and in documenting and publishing their accomplishments. Attendance at the biennial Gatherings enables us all to share the joy of being Cornish.

Members who have fulfilled our Mission Statement in an exemplary manner will be nominated by a Cornish Association or by two or more CAHS members to be considered for the Founders’ Award.

Nominations will be received in writing. Cornish ethnicity is not a pre-requisite, only members of CAHS.

To qualify the member should have been effective in any area which has promoted Cornwall in North America.

Nominations for the Founders’ Award(s) are now being accepted. There are many worthy candidates! Nominations should be e-mailed or postal mailed to the CAHS President, Tommi O’Hagan . The entire CAHS Executive Board will act as judges.


Cornish Heritage Certificate

The Cornish American Heritage Society is pleased to offer a Cornish Heritage Certificate to anyone whose ancestors were born in Cornwall and subsequently settled in North America.

A separate application form and documentation should be submitted for each ancestor to be considered. Appropriate payment must accompany each application.

The certificate is beautifully designed on 8 1/2 x 11 inch parchment-like paper suitable for framing. Each certificate is numbered and authenticated by the Cornish American Heritage Society seal.

Applications and documentation will be held by the CAHS Research Librarian to help preserve the history of your ancestors. The information provided will be shared with The Cornish Global Migration Program, a major research project based in Cornwall.

The data you provide will be a valuable addition to the history of the Cornish in North America and a source of information to members of your family for years to come. An index of the ancestors collected in this project will be made available in the future. The modest charge for the certificate helps CAHS raise funds for the Paul Smales Fund. The full application fee will be donated to the CAHS Paul Smales Fund. Contact Jim Thomas, 3409 Elmwood Drive, Clio, MI 48420-2903 or email: jim_jeanne2000@hotmail.com for information.

Get a Heritage Certificate Application Form here.

Get a 6 Generation Pedigree Chart here.