Little-Known British Isles Records You May Not Have Researched. Yet.

As I was preparing  for my presentations at the British Isles Genealogy Seminar held last weekend in Culver City Ca, I encountered several historical records new to me.  And I think they will be new to you too.  And if you have a 20-year genealogy research problem, knowing about some alternative sources could be very useful.

  1. Cromwellian Debentures.  Examples in James Carty, Ireland From the Flight of the Earls to Grattan’s Parliament, 1607-1782.  Dublin:  C.J. Fallon, 1949.  These records are agreements for the composition of payment for services rendered to the Commonwealth and Protectorate Oliver Cromwell from 1646-1649.  Vouchers were submitted for payments in arrears after the death of King Charles I in 1649.  A special form was printed and circulated, with the data handwritten in the blanks.
  2. Parish Notebooks.  See Geoffrey Yeo, “Some Little-Used Sources for Vital Registrations in the City of London,” Genealogists’ Magazine 20 (June 1980): 98-102.  Have you ever read a clean parish register or a Bishop ‘s transcript–one without ink blotches, smudges or smears,  crossed out entries,  words inserted between the lines?  And wondered,  is this a re-copied  record?   I have.   The notebooks originally kept in the parish chest include the working entries made by the parish clerk or the sexton at the time of the events.   And from these notebook entries,  the parish register and the transcript  are copied.   Makes sense–lots of people need a rough draft first.   The notebooks often contain additional information  that does not fit  the  fill-in-the-blanks  pages of the “original” records.  And where years are missing because of record neglect or mistreatment, the notebooks can fill in the gaps.  Seek these notebooks in county record offices and private muniment rooms.
  3. Toll Books.  Described and illustrated in”Machynlleth Toll Books, 1632,”  National Library of Wales Journal 6 (1949-50) 96ff.  The toll booth register along  turnpikes was the place where livestock bought and sold at local fairs was recorded.  The register includes toll paid for using the road, name of buyer and place of residence, name of seller and place of residence, number and kind of livestock, price paid per head.  In the article there is  also a map of Wales showing the relationships and distances between the places of residence.  Very enlightening record.

Here is a question to get you thinking about British record types and their contents:  What is a magistrate’s caution?  Stay tuned to the next issues of this Genealogy News Sheet for the answer to check and expand your knowledge.

Your favorite genealogy evidence guru, Arlene Eakle.

P.S.  For those of you have inquired, Afton is doing quite well.  She accompanied me to the British Isles Seminar last week, stopping along the way to visit our dentist.  And she stayed 4 days longer to be with her granddaughter and her family.

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One Response to Little-Known British Isles Records You May Not Have Researched. Yet.

  1. arlene says:

    This response was sent by Donald J. Martin, a genealogy friend of long-standing. And I thought everyone would be interested in the German source he shared:

    “Another splendid column that appeared on your website on Sept lst! Of particular interest to me was the reference to the Cromwellian Debentures…can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy of the work!!

    Here’s an important work at the FHL for you to put in your German research bibliography:

    Title Österreichische und Salzburgische Emigranten in der Ansbacher und Gunzenhaüser Gegend
    Authors Clauss, Hermann (Main Author)

    Note Location
    Also on microfilm. Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1982. On 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. FHL INTL Film
    0795862 Item 3.”

    I’m finding that many Americans could trace their “German” lines back to Lutherans in Austria through the regions of Ansbach and Gunzenhausen, Mittelfranken, Bayern.”

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