WW1 & WW2 Memorial Books 1914 – 1945

Memorial Books, 1914-1945Ancestry has just released a set of three books that will add greatly to London researchers genealogy. They comprise details of people from the University of London Officers Training Corp and London City Council  who served in WW1 and residents of Croydon Borough who served in WW2. Details vary, but may contain the following information.

  • name
  • birth date
  • residence
  • military unit(s)
  • rank
  • dates of service
  • date, place, and cause of death
  • place of burial
  • POWs
  • honours and awards
  • photograph

Good see that such valuable, but generally unknown sources are becoming available on the internet.



Warwickshire Occupation Records

http://landing.ancestry.co.uk/popularmedia/hs1.aspxAncestry has been putting a teaser online over the last few days saying that new occupational records are going to be available on the 24th. These records which are now available come from the Quarter Session records held at the Warwickshire County Record Office so say Ancestry, but I am not sure they all do.

However it doesn’t matter if they have got confused as to what comes under quarter sessions (and it may well be me who is wrong!!) they are a very handy set of records. In my option the most valuable of the datasets are the Hearth Tax Returns, Freeholder Lists and the Juror’s Lists. If you are lucky enough to have ancestors in Warwickshire you will certainly be getting value for money out of your Ancestry subscription!!

The records have all been indexed and are also able to be browsed page by page.

  • Boat Owners Records, 1795-1796: Though Warwickshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands, four major canals run through the area, and shipping by barge has been an important industry. These records list owners of boats.
  • Flax Bounty Records, 1774-1797: Flax was used to produce linen, an industry the government was interested in encouraging because processing, spinning, and weaving flax into linen could create many jobs. To promote linen production, the government offered a bounty to farmers who raised flax. These records are bonds of the flax growers and their sureties to the clerk of the peace that the grower was duly entitled to the bounty.
  • Lists of Freeholders, 1710-1760: These are lists of people entitled to vote, or of people who voted, at elections. A freeholder was a man who owned his land outright or who held it by lease for his lifetime or for the lives of other people named in the lease. This collection is largely 18th century.
  • Lists of Freemasons, 1799-1857: These annual returns of the names and descriptions of the members of Masonic lodges had to be presented to the Quarter Sessions in pursuance of the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799.
  • Hair Powder Certificates, 1795-1797: The practice of powdering hair began in England in the 17th century. At the end of the 18th century a duty of one pound one shilling a year was levied on everyone who continued to use hair powder. clip_image002[6]
  • Gamekeepers Records, 1744-1888: These records name individuals who were appointed as gamekeepers for specific estates, manors, forests, etc. These individuals may have had other occupations as well.
  • Hearth Tax Returns, 1662-1673: The hearth tax was a tax based on the number of hearths, or fireplaces, in a building.
  • Jurors’ Lists, 1696-1848: These lists of potential jurors can include occupation and street/residence.
  • Printing Press Owners Records, 1799-1866: These records include printers, publishers, and type founders.


Articles of Clerkship 1756 – 1874

Articles of Clerkship 1756 – 1874

I’ve just been looking at the Articles of Clerkship dataset that has recently been released on the genealogy website Ancestry.co.uk and it looks as if it will be of great interest for those who have solicitors in their family history.

What are Articles of Clerkship?

http://landing.ancestry.co.uk/offers/uk/learn/trial.aspx?cj=1&o_xid=0005822094&o_lid=0005822094The articles were legal agreements between an apprentice clerk who wanted to advance to become a solicitor and a solicitor who was willing to train him. As with most apprenticeships of this time period (1756 – 1874) the contract was entered into by the father on behalf of his son and often lasted between five and seven years although some only lasted a matter of months.

What can you expect to find in Articles of Clerkship?

There are two kinds of documents in this dataset. The first are the affidavits that are sworn when the apprenticeship has been completed they generally will include ….

  • Date
  • Term in years of the clerkship
  • The clerks name, parish, father’s name
  • Name of the solicitor who had been the apprentices master
  • Name of person swearing the affidavit, often an assistant to the solicitor

The second set are registers recording the details of the articles of clerkship. They have similar details to the affidavits, but some details may be different and there may also be additional information. They usually have ….

  • Dates of when article sworn, filed and read in court
  • The clerks name, parish, father’s name and his residence
  • Name of the solicitor and residence
  • Name of person swearing the affidavit

Where can the Articles of Clerkship be consulted?

The originals can be viewed at The National Archives, Kew, Surrey. They are referenced there as “Court of King’s Bench: Plea Side: Affidavits of Due Execution of Articles of Clerkship, Series I, II, III” and “Registers of Articles of Clerkship and Affidavits of Due Execution” and come under series CP71 – see below for The National Archives link.

Ancestry.co.uk have scanned and indexed the two sets of documents and now offer them online to subscribers.


I have been working for a client on a familyAn image of the Court of Kings Bench. The original picture was by Thomas Rowlandson; J. Bluck later engraved the picture. Source WikiMedia Commons. who were involved in the legal profession, we had tried, without success, to link the London family to a family of the same name in Dorset. A search of this dataset turned up an affidavit that named one of the London family, an attorney of His Majesty’s Court of Kings Bench at Westminster, as taking as his articled clerk his nephew who was name and described as of Shaftesbury, Dorset. This has opened up a new line of research that may prove to confirm the link.

This dataset will be of great value to those with family connections to the legal profession.




Middlesex Convict Records 1682 – 1787

Ancestry has just put online Middlesex Convict Transportation Contracts, 1682-1787. Transportation was a punishment for convicted criminals in England and other parts of the British Empire, came about in the seventeenth century. At first transportation was primarily to America and the Caribbean. However, transportation to America stopped with the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1776 and a new penal colony in Australia was developed. Transportation was formally abolished in 1868, but had not been practiced for nearly a decade before that.

What’s Included?

This is a collection of Middlesex Quarter Sessions Court orders for convicts to be transferred to British Colonies. Specifically the convicts were transferred to America, the Caribbean, or, in later years, Australia. Information available in these contracts includes:

  • Convict Name
  • Ship Name
  • Captain Name
  • Destination
  • Transfer Dates

These records can be used to help find court records relating to the original conviction. Search the records for the Middlesex Quarter Sessions Court for more information.


Victoria Cross Medal List

clip_image002Ancestry.co.uk have announced a new addition to their military collection. Even if you don’t have a recipient on your family tree it would be interesting to find out if anyone from your ancestors village or town was awarded the highest bravery award.


The Victoria Cross is Britain’s highest award for bravery “in the face of the enemy”. Our latest record collection provides extensive details of the 1,354 soldiers, sailors and civilians under military command who had earned it up to 2007.

Victoria Cross Medals, 1857–2007, provides each recipient’s name, birth and death dates, their last known rank or unit and a full description of the courageous act that won them the medal. For most of these heroes, you’ll even find a portrait photo, plus details of their final resting place.


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