English Property Records relating to Sub-infeudation, Sale, and Transfer

English Property Records: A preliminary, Descriptive Checklist for English research. See Walter Rye, Records and Record Searching.  London: George Allen, 1897. [Dates are regnal years; calendar dates must be calculated.]

Grants/Charters–Royal grants of land and jurisdiction.  Many series, some published.

  1.  Ancient Charters, before 1200
  2. Charter Rolls, begin 1199

Deeds–Transfers, conveyances.  Cities registered deeds for city property.

  1. Middlesex Registry, 7 Queen Anne (now called Land Registry Office, Greater London)
  2. East and West Yorkshire Registry, 7 Queen Anne
  3. North Riding Registry (York), 8 George II

Feet of Fines–Land records transferring title at end of court case, from Richard I.  Cases tried in the Curia Regis (King’s Court).  Temp. Edward I became three courts: King’s Bench, Common Pleas, Exchequer Pleas.  Also included remission of services, freedom of villeins/serfs, admission to benefices/church appointments.  Can be searched by seller/vendor (now called grantor)

King’s Silver Books–from Henry VIII (most from George I)

  1. Post Fine–fee paid to King for liberty to pursue

Recovery Rolls–Judgments recovering “what was owned of old.” 13 Edward I, indexes 22 Henry VII

DeBlanco Rolls–Common Plea Rolls.  Almost every English family of any size experienced conflict over land, these rolls give long pedigree descents and proof of relationship.  1 Edward I to 5-6 Phillip and Mary.  Indexed.  Immense body of information–151 rolls of 102,566 skins for Henry VIII

Chancery Rolls, 17 Richard II.  Before 1 Elizabeth I, 39,038 documents.  Duchy of Lancaster had exclusive jurisdiction over its own tenants

Close Rolls–Closed or sealed up and delivered to persons directly.  From 1204

Patent Rolls–Open for everyone to read.  “Public Records.”  From 1204

Inquisitions Post Mortem–Recorded first on the Pipe Rolls.  From 1185.  Second Inquisition for proof of age.  Jury inquiries as to the age of the heir

  1. Chancery series, 2 Henry III
  2. Exchequer series, Edward I

Manor Court Rolls–Only way to trace pedigrees of non-armigerous families before the beginning of parish registers

  1. Leet Roll, presentment of offenses against the custom law of the manor
  2. Court Baron Roll, presentment of deaths of tenants, admission of heirs and legatees, conveyancing of land including sales, mortgages, leases.  Called “surrenders” or “conditional surrenders”

New Forest Documents–Disputes, inquests, judgments regarding miss-use of the forest lands and trees which were owned by the Crown.  Petty crimes and misdemeanors.  Begin about 1224

Manor and forest documents are local records, all the rest are national in scope.  Their advantage is that they identify counties and local jurisdictions for your ancestors–where you can search manor and forest documents.  Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle  http://arleneeakle.com

PS  I am thinking of launching a separate blog for English and British Isles research with the exception of the Scots-Irish.  If you have thoughts one way or another, please email me at arlene@arleneeakle.com.


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