Business Accounts for family historians

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Uncategorized

This is a brand new topic for me, not one covered in either of my books, Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors.  Gloucestershire Archives has begun to catalogue two large collections of documents from Cirencester solicitors.  As the Gwinnetts do not, so far, appear to have had any connection to Cirencester, I didn’t expect to find anything of particular interest to my one-name study there, so I was very pleasantly surprised to discover about a dozen account books belonging to the Cheltenham solicitor, Theodore Gwinnett.

Most of the account books have few mentions of Theodore Gwinnett himself, except when dealing with his clients and their financial affairs, but two of the books look as though they will prove to be a treasure trove of little facts on him and his family.  For instance, on 1st April 1809, there is an entry: “Paid fare by Mail to London for Mr Gwinnett’s son.  £2 5s 0d”.  The next entry states: “Paid expenses for him to London including coachman, etc. 18s 0d”.

At this time, Theodore Gwinnett had three sons:  Thomas (1800-1810), Edwin (1803-1812) and Theodore junior (1804-May 1809).  Which could it have been and why was he going to London, apparently on his own?  Where was he going to stay?  Was he going to school or to a hospital?  None of these three boys lived beyond childhood …

Hopefully, further entries will clarify the situation and reveal further snippets about the life of the solicitor and his family.  Watch this space!