The LONG Family


Much of the material in this section is based on the second draft of the history of the Long family written by Jillian Trethewey dated January 1994.  Jillian is a direct descendent of Martha Long (1828), daughter of Hugh Long (1784) who is also Elizabeth's great great grandfather.

The Surname Long

The earliest known member of the Long family lived in Cornwall sometime in the fourteenth century, when surnames were first commonly used in England. He was nicknamed ‘Long’ perhaps because he was tall, and so his sons took the surname Long.

There are of course many Long families with English or Scottish roots, but they are not necessarily related.  ‘Long’ was probably often used as a nickname for a tall man in the fourteenth century and so it is easily possible that quite unrelated families acquired the same surname.

Surnames of families related to our Long ancestors include Youren, Blamey, Hodge and Petherick.

NB Spelling of surnames in the parish registers and other early records is variable even within the same family eg Long and Longe, Hodge and Hodges and Odgers, Uren and Youren. In those days the spelling of a name was not so much how any particular family wanted it to be spelt but how the Vicar or the government clerk thought it should be spelt.  Add a thick West Country accent and perhaps a deaf or hurried parish clerk and spelling variations become even more likely.  It was not until last century, with the growth of education, that the spelling of names became consistent.

First mention of the Long family in Gwennap and St Day

The original records for the parish at Gwennap have survived from 1658.  These are now deposited at the Cornwall Record Office in Truro and copies of this information is held by the Society of Genealogists in London.  These records show that there were Longs living in Gwennap as early as these records exist.  For example, the following marriages are given:

1666, Nov 17   Hugh Longage and Mary his wife
1681, Jun 4     Hugh Longe and Temperance Mitchell
1702, Nov 5    Nicholas, son of Joseph Oats, tinner and Mary, daughter of Hugh Long
1706, Jun 8     John, son of Ralph Nicholls, tinner and Temperance Long

St Day's records start in 1835 and it appears that before this, villagers had to have their marriages and baptisms blessed in Gwennap.

The individuals included within this family history are as follows.

Name Birth/baptism date & place Marriage date & place When & where died
Hugh Long 1729, April 27 at Gwennap, Cornwall 1751, May 27 in Gwennap, Cornwall  
William Long 1756, October 2 at Gwennap, Cornwall 1783, August 10 in Gwennap, Cornwall  
Hugh Long   About 1784 at Gwennap, Cornwall 1810, February 28 in Gwennap, Cornwall 1831
John Long   1823, June 10 in St Day, Cornwall 1852, April 8 in Stoke Climsland, Cornwall 1882, April 16 in Burnley, Lancashire
Fred Long 1876, July 16 in Burnley, Lancashire 1902, May 13 in Burnley, Lancashire 1959, January 13 in Blackpool, Lancashire
Jessie Long 1905, November 19 in Burnley, Lancashire 1927, September 20 in Burnley, Lancashire 1955, October 22 in Liverpool, Lancashire

Hugh Longage and Hugh Longe may be the same person or may be father and son.  Hugh Long (Longage) and Mary had at least six children before she died in 1680.  The six were: Philippa d 1687, John 1672, William 1673-1676, Katherine 1676, William b&d 1678 and Grace 1679.  Hugh and Temperance had four more children: Mary 1682, who married Nicholas Oats, Temperance 1684, who married John Nicholls, Margaret 1687 and Anthony b 1692, d 1693.

Further research may prove a link between this family and the Longs living in Gwennap in the eighteenth century.


The source of the following information is unknown.

GWENNAP is near Redruth in Cornwall, about 270 miles from London in the south-west corner of England, about 25 miles from Land's End.  Gwennap is the name of both the parish and the village.  There are three possible derivations of the name Gwennap: from Lanwenep, its Cornish name; after a female saint St Wenepp or Sainta Weneppa (1269); or the name may have come from 'gwen enep' or fair face.

Near Gwennap is Gwennap Pit, a natural amphitheatre formed by the subsidence of an ancient tin mine.  The Pit is circular, about 340 feet in circumference, with the thirteen steps or seats up the sides covered by grass.  John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, first preached in Gwennap in 1743, but it was not until 1762 that he discovered the Pit, when a gale forced him and his congregation to shelter there.  The Pit was remodelled in 1806, with seating for 20,000 people, and services are still held in it.  (See here for the Pit today.)

ST DAY is a large village near Gwennap.  It was part of the Parish of Gwennap until 1835, when a separate Parish of St Day was created.  St Day was named after St Dye, a fifth century Breton saint who lives in popular tradition though not in official records. There was a church, the Holy Trinity, at St Day at least as early as 1269.  St Day then lay upon the principal thoroughfare through Cornwall, the ancient pilgrim road from London to St Michael's Mount.  In those times St Day was a larger and more important town than Gwennap.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the tin and copper mines developed so rapidly that St Day soon became the capital of a thickly populated industrial area, and its wayside character was eclipsed by the construction of a new line of road through Scorrier and Mount Ambrose.  Between 1801 and 1851 the population of St Day and Gwennap trebled as men poured in to find work in the mines.  Gilbert wrote of St Day in 'The Parochial History of Cornwall' in 1838:

“Not far from this place is that unparalleled and inexhaustible tin-work called Paldys; ie the top or head of St Dye's Town, which for above forty years space hath employed yearly from eight hundred to a thousand men and boys, labouring for and searching after tin in that place, where they have produced and raised up for that time yearly, at least twenty thousand pounds worth of that commodity, to the great enriching of the lords of the soil, the bound owners, and adventurers in those lands.”

Later, when the mines began to close, many, as did a whole generation of the Long family, left to find work in other parts of the country or to try their luck in the colonies.