Scottish Property Records go online

Scottish Valuation Rolls Genealogy

News from the Press Office of ScotlandsPeople about the release of 2,000,000 Valuation Rolls giving the names of Owners and Occupiers of Scottish property in 1895. The records have been digitised and the images are now available for research. Every building in Scotland that was assessed as having a rateable value has been included.


image – The copyright on this image is owned by Chris Eilbeck and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Sun Fire Office documents

Sun Fire OfficeThese documents can offer a peek into our ancestors lives and are a wonderful addition to your genealogy if one of your family names features in the database.

There would be an outcry these days if a house was on fire and the fire brigade simply watched it burn down because the owners hadn’t contributed to the fire station funds!! But that was exactly what happened in the 18th & 19th century. A number of insurance companies owned teams of fire fighters dotted around the country mainly in the larger towns and cities, these fire fighters with their hand pump engines would race to see if the burning building displayed one of their plaques, if they did then they fought the fire, if it didn’t then they simply watched. Simple really Winking smile

The National Archives A2A website has a list of those living in London who insured with The Sun Fire Office I am not convinced it is a complete list, but there is quite a large number of names and addresses so well worth a look if you have London ancestry. There is a good brief description and history  of the collection at the beginning of the page.

I did a search for the surname Pottinger and found the following ….

MS 11936/557/1256077

16 August 1837

Insured: William Pottinger, 27 Queen Street, Cheapside, tailor and draper
Other property or occupiers: Parish of Great Pornder, Essex (Law and others); Parish of Bloxham, Oxon (baker)

No doubt ordering a copy of the whole document from the London Metropolitan Archives who have the originals would give much more detail. I wonder if this set of documents might find its way onto Ancestry under their agreement with the LMA?

NSW Colonial Secretary Papers 1788 – 1825

New South Wales Colonial Secretary Papers 1788 – 1825Just this minute Ancestry has added a new dataset to their Australian Collection. Hot off the press is the New South Wales Colonial Secretary Papers 1788 – 1825, NSW was the first part of Australia to be settled by the British so these documents are important to those who have early Australians on their family tree.

I’ll get around to posting a more in depth post later, but the Colonial Secretary Papers include requests for permission to marry, land grants, convict petitions and much more. Lots of lovely papers to browse through or to focus in on for an ancestor.

More Dorset Records on

Dorset Archives family history

My friend Judy will be so pleased with the latest release on, not that her tree is full of pirates & rascals !! The six new datasets added today are as follows –

Calendars of Prisoners 1854 – 1945
These records take you back to the trials and often include detailed accounts of the offences.

Transportation Records 1730 – 1842

Prison Registers 1782 – 1901

Jury Lists 1719 – 1922
Even if you only have law abiding folk in your family they may appear in this list.

Militia Records 1757 – 1860

Land Tax Returns 1780 – 1832
These records are often under rated by historians, they actually are almost a list of heads of households for an area.

I think Ancestry must be working their way through the Dorset Record Office. What a great joy it is to have access to these records from home.

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Medieval English Towns

Medieval English TownsIf you have established family lines back to the Medieval period then this website will interest you. Working with material as far back as the Middle Ages it is essential to have a good understanding of the social background of the records, the why, where and how of the records you are looking at.

This site states ….

The aim of the Medieval English Towns site is to provide historical information about cities and towns in England during the Middle Ages, with particular but not exclusive emphasis on medieval boroughs of East Anglia and on social, political and constitutional history. A growing selection of primary documents (translated into English) relevant to English urban history is included.

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