Tracing Your Ancestors from 1066 to 1837

Pen & Sword Family History
7/19/2012

Tracing Your Ancestors from 1066 to 1837 Overview

The trail that an ancestor leaves through the Victorian period and the twentieth century is relatively easy to follow — the records are plentiful, accessible and commonly used. But how do you go back further, into the centuries before the central registration of births, marriages and deaths was introduced in 1837, before the first detailed census records of 1841? How can you trace a family line back through the early modern period and perhaps into the Middle Ages? Jonathan Oates's clearly written new handbook gives you all the background knowledge you need in order to go into this engrossing area of family history research. He starts by describing the administrative, religious and social structures in the medieval and early modern period and shows how these relate to the family historian. Then in a sequence of accessible chapters he describes the variety of sources the researcher can turn to. Church and parish records, the records of the professions and the courts, manorial and property records, tax records, early censuses, lists of loyalty, militia lists, charity records — all these can be consulted. He even includes a short guide to the best methods of reading medieval and early modern script. Jonathan Oates's handbook is an essential introduction for anyone who is keen to take their family history research back into the more distant past.


Tracing Your Ancestors from 1066 to 1837 Table Of Content

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xl

1 The State and Church, 1066-1837 1

Medieval England, 1066-1485 1

Tudor and Stuart England, 1485-1714 5

Hanoverian England, 1714-1837 8

2 The Church, Part 1: Archiepiscopal and Episcopal Records 11

Ecclesiastical Courts 13

Wills 15

Bishops' Registers 18

Licences 18

Visitations 19

Records of Religious Houses 20

3 The Church, Part 2: The Parish 22

Parish Registers 23

The Civil Parish 28

Miscellaneous Parish Records 33

Nonconformists and Catholics 33

4 The Professionals 35

University Records 35

Schools 36

The Inns of Chancery and of Court 37

The Apprenticeship System 37

The Church, Law and Medicine 39

Business Records 41

The City Livery Companies 41

Politicians 43

Civil Servants 44

The Army 44

The Royal Navy 46

The Royal Household 47

East India Company 47

The Police 47

5 The Courts, Part 1: Criminal 49

Assizes 49

The Court Leet 51

Quarter Sessions 52

Punishments 53

Prisons 55

Appeals for Mercy and Pardons 56

Treason 56

Other Sources 57

6 The Courts, Part 2: Civil 60

Chancery 60

Exchequer Equity Court Proceedings 61

The Court of Star Chamber 62

The Court of Requests 62

The Court of Augmentations 62

The Court of Wards 63

The Palatinate Courts 63

The Duchy of Lancaster Court 63

High Court of the Admiralty 63

High Court of Delegates 64

Debtors 64

Petitions 65

Pleas Rolls 65

7 Published Sources and Lists 66

Newspapers 66

Directories 71

Poll Books 72

Pamphlets 73

Gentry and Nobility 73

Famous People 74

8 Manorial Records 75

Manor Courts 77

Rentals and Extents 79

9 Property Records 82

Deeds 83

Surveys 87

Valuations 88

Enclosure Records 89

Fortfeited Estates Commission 89

Royalist Composition Papers 90

Estate Papers 90

Auctions and Sales Catalogues 91

Insurance 91

Maps 92

Other Records 92

10 Taxation 93

Poll Tax 93

Subsidies 95

Rates 96

Hearth Tax 98

Tithes 99

The Ship Tax 99

The Free and Voluntary Present 100

Window Tax 100

Game Duty 100

The Land Tax 100

Miscellaneous Taxes and Duties 101

Death Duties 102

11 Lists of People 103

Early Census Records 103

Militia and Volunteer Forces 105

Lists of Loyalty 107

Other Lists 109

Friendly Societies and Masonic Lodges 110

Freemen's Rolls 110

12 Miscellaneous Sources 111

Immigration 111

Naturalization 113

Emigration and Foreign Travel 114

Charities 114

Coroners 114

Patent Rolls 114

Hospitals 115

Seals 115

Tontines and Annuities 115

Existing Pedigrees 116

Heraldry 117

General Points 117

13 Places to Visit 119

The National Archives 120

The British Library Newspaper Library 121

The British Library 121

The Guildhall Library 121

The Society of Genealogists' Library 122

The Borthwick Institute 123

County Record Offices 123

Borough Record Offices 124

University Libraries 124

Local History Libraries 124

Libraries 125

Cathedral Archives 125

Specialist Responsitories 126

Museums 126

Principal Websites 127

Conclusion 129

Appendix 1 Reading Old Handwriting 130

Appendix 2 Calendars 134

Bibliography 138

Index 140


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