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.




Surrey Historic Records go online in 2013

Surrey Historic Records go online in 2013.

Surrey Historic RecordsIt’s amazing how the internet allows news, good & bad, to whizz round so quickly ! Thanks to Chris Paton & Kathryn Hughes on Twitter for the great news that the Bishop of Guildford has allowed Ancestry.co.uk to start to scan and put online the parish registers of Surrey. The Surrey History Centre has also entered into a partnership with Ancestry so that a wide range of Surrey records will be made available next year.

The Surrey History Centre has issued a statement that tells researchers that whilst the process of scanning the images is taking place some records each day will not be available. A phone call in advance of any visit would be advisable.  

The records being scanned are

  • Church of England parish registers from 1538 (baptisms to 1912, marriages to 1937 and burials to 1987)
  • Land tax records 1780-1832
  • Electoral registers 1832-1945
  • Brookwood Hospital Woking, Registers of Admissions 1867-1906
  • Holloway Sanatorium, General Registers 1885-1904
  • Calendar of prisoners: Surrey Sessions and Assizes 1848-1902
  • Freeholders Lists 1696-1824
  • Licensed victuallers 1785-1903
  • Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment enlistment registers 1920-1946
  • Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment transfers in registers 1939-1947
  • Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment World War II Honours Indexes [1939]-1946
  • East Surrey Regiment enlistment registers 1920-1946
  • East Surrey Regiment transfers in registers 1924-1946
  • East Surrey Regiment 21st – 24th Battalions the London Regiment Nominal Rolls of Officers 1914-1919

Great news if you have Surrey ancestors and remember that Surrey has Middlesex as one of it’s neighbours and that means that these records could of great help to those who have lost people in Middlesex/London.



The Society of Bushmakers Descendants

imageI came across this website by accident and unfortunately I don’t have any brush
makers on my family tree, but thought someone out there is sure to have one !

The website says it all …..

Do you have Brushmaking Ancestors, or are you just interested in discovering more about the brushmaker’s trade?
The SBD is a Historical Society/ Family History Society that specialises in the brush/broom making trades and those who have worked therein for the past few hundred years.
The Society of Brushmakers’ Descendants aim is to help and inform its members,
and to discover and prove links between brushmakers families.


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The Waterways Trust

The Waterways Trust Family HistoryThis website is a must for those with ancestors who worked the canals. The site includes the National Waterways Museum, Gloucester Waterways Museum and the Canal Museum, in Northamptonshire. The archives of the trust hold a host of material concerning the history of canals & inland waterways, include early canal companies records, boat-building plans, working records, accounts, letters and photographs.

Remember that if you have family who were canal folk then search along the canal for churches were children may have been christened, family members buried and where marriages might have taken place. Canal people weren’t attached to a static parish, but it is known that some families did favour certain churches along the canal route.


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