Polperro Family History
The PERRY family of Polperro
The Perry family was once one of the largest of all the old Polperro families but by the beginning of the 20th century it had all but disappeared. The first recorded presence of the family is the baptism of Bernard Perry at Talland in 1624 following the marriage of his parents, Silvester and Margaret a few years earlier.
By the end of the 18th century, nearly 200 years later, the number of Perrys living in Polperro had increased considerably. Many of the Perry family menfolk were fishermen, some of whom were involved in smuggling and privateering during the latter half of the 18th century.
The inscription on a gravestone in Lansallos churchyard records the untimely death of John Perry at the age of 24 in 1779 "unfortunately killed by a cannon ball by a person unknown," probably as a result of an encounter with a Revenue vessel at sea.
As a result of his death, John Perry's wife Elizabeth was left with a baby son named after his seagoing father.
John Perry (1811-1883)
Another John Perry, born in 1811, was among more than 80 Polperro men who were photographed by Lewis Harding in the latter half of the 19th century. Their portraits can be seen today in the Polperro Heritage Museum.
See also our 'People' page - click here
Further information on the family would also be welcomed.
Jeremy Rowett Johns, Polperro Heritage Museum © 2000