Alney Island map

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Books, Genealogy, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Research

Whilst looking for information on Alney Island on the outskirts of Gloucester yesterday, I came across an early map of the area, c. 1750. It was beautifully drawn, showing the western end of the city of Gloucester, where the River Severn separates into the Upper and Lower Parting. It shows other streams, the outlines of the fields, which are all named, and even little gates in the hedges. To one side of the map runs what was called Over’s Causey – the causeway leaving the city and heading to Over and the Forest of Dean. It even shows the arches underneath the causeway which were left to allow the flood water to pass through – they knew about the flood plains in those days!

The map is very clear, neat and precise and includes The Island with tiny houses drawn on it, between the West Gate Bridge and, what was called on the map, Fording Bridge, which later became Foreign Bridge and which now no longer exists.

I have no idea why the map was drawn. It may be over 250 years old but this is a little gem of a map – I wish I had found it before I wrote my chapter on Gloucestershire Maps as I would certainly have included it. For anyone with ancestors living in the Alney Island/The Island area of Lower Westgate Street, Gloucester, this would really bring your house history to life.

Sexton’s registers

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Gloucestershire, Parish Registers, Research

I recently found a source of information that I hadn’t come across before – maybe because not many seem to exist for Gloucestershire – sexton books. The duties of the sexton varied; usually he was the grave-digger, possibly the bell-ringer and general odd job man associated with a church. He was employed by the church, often for many years, and therefore his appointment, pay, etc., should be included in the parish chest records. He recorded the burials in the churchyard and usually noted the name, date of burial, age of the deceased and a location for the grave. In some cases, there may even be a map of the churchyard.

So far, I have found 8 sexton registers – for Blockley, Cirencester, Minchinhampton, Newnham & Parkend, Painswick, Rodmarton, St Mary de Crypt in Gloucester and Cheltenham Methodist Church.

Pre-1841 Census with names

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: census, Gloucestershire, Research

My book, Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors, lists the 10 pre-1841 censuses which include names as opposed to the merely statistical data that the government of the day required.  They are from Arlingham, Aust, Bisley, Great Badminton, Hawkesbury, Horsley, Kemerton, Naunton, Stratton and Stroud.

Today, at Gloucestershire Archives, I discovered an 11th pre-1841 census – this one for Rendcomb.  Dated 1831, it mentions 30 inhabited houses, the number of families in each and how many families are involved in agriculture, trade or other occupations.

Two columns identify the number of males and the number of females in each household but of most interest to the family historian are, of course, the names of the heads of each household.  The surnames are:  Reeve, Cox, Harding, Orchard, Price, Chappel, Hayward, Guise, Jayne, Williams (2), George, Trotman, Preston, Potter, Munday, Golding, Neal, Crump, Gegg, Barradine, Painter, White, Tayler, Griffin,  Line, Newman and Burrows.  Two properties did not have a head of household but were just called Barn Field and Marsden Farm but both had residents.

So – having found an 11th early census, I am wondering if there are more out there for the county – can anyone tell me of others?

 

Coroners’ Records

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Books, Coroners, Genealogy, Gloucestershire, Research

I came across a very sad entry in the Coroner’s Records today.  Dated 4th February 1904, it stated:

 At Whaddon, on George Leonard Salt, aged 1 year and 8 months, son of George Henry Salt of The Brickyard, Whaddon, ridge tile maker, died on the 2nd day of February from phosphorus poisoning (secondary cause convulsions) caused by sucking England’s Glory matches.

Jury 12/-, Room 2/6d, Med. Wit. £2-0-0d, Wit. 2/-.

Gloucestershire Archives Reference: CO3/2/3

England’s Glory matches were made in Gloucester by S.J. Moreland and Sons.  The story reminds me of my school history lessons when we were taught about ‘phossy jaw’ and the strike of the London Match Girls in 1888.

 You can find out more about Gloucestershire Coroners’ Records from my book Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors, Volume 1.  You can only purchase it through me or the GFHS Family History Centre.  You can order online now, at:

www.hidden-heritage.co.uk/books/discover-gloucestershire-ancestors/

Buy my book!

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Books, Gloucestershire, Research

My latest book, Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors, Volume 1, is now available for purchase

  1. online, with payment via Paypal, ONLY from MY website
  2. directly from me, with payment by Sterling cheque
  3. from the Gloucestershire Family History Centre in Gloucester

Details of how to order can be found on my website at:

www.hidden-heritage.co.uk/books/discover-gloucestershire-ancestors/

My book is NOT available from any of the online book stores such as Amazon, The Book Depository, etc., despite the adverts you may find there.

Order your copy now!

Beware of scams!

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Uncategorized

Due to the rocketing number of scams from people trying to part you from your money, I have been asked by the heir hunters, Fraser and Fraser, to point out to those of you seeking ancestors and living relatives that the company do NOT contact people by email and that, if contacted in that way, you should not part with any money up front.  Most genealogists are wise enough to spot the scam but you can never be too careful.

 

Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors: Volume 1

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Books, Genealogy, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Maps, Nonconformist, Parish Registers, Research, Self-publishing

After more than two years, my book, Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors has finally gone to the printers!  At least, Volume One has.  There turned out to be far too much to go in one book so I have split it into two – and begin to wonder if there might even be a third volume.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the research process and learnt a lot about layout and design during this, my first, self-publishing experience.

The book fills a gap in the family history market because there is no other book in print today that refers specifically to Gloucestershire and the records you can find in our beautiful county.  Although necessarily the book includes mostly documents to be found at Gloucestershire Archives, it covers other sources as well.

To help the beginner get started with their family history research, the book covers basic chapters on civil registration and the censuses.  Did you know there were ten Gloucestershire parishes for which a pre-1841 census with names exists?  Maybe your parish of origin is one of them?

The book then leads the reader through chapters on parish registers and nonconformist records before looking in more detail at records relating to births, marriages and deaths, such as adoption, illegitimacy, irregular marriages, divorce, monumental inscriptions, suicide, etc..

Finally, this volume covers the justice system, looking at petty sessions, quarter sessions and the assizes followed by the given punishments, the inevitable incarceration in gaols and houses of correction or transportation ‘to foreign parts’.

The book, Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors, ISBN: 978-0-9571440-0-2, will be available from 1st March 2012, price £14.99 plus p&p.  Check out the details on my website at:

www.hidden-heritage.co.uk/books/discover-gloucestershire-ancestors

 

 

Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Books, census, Genealogy, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Parish Registers

Having researched at Gloucestershire Archives for over twenty years, I am finally writing what I hope will be the definitive guide to tracing your Gloucestershire family history. I have learnt so much over the years and even more recently whilst researching this book. It has been designed as a basic family history guide but with specific details for Gloucestershire records and documents. It will have something useful for both beginners and experienced genealogists.

I am very excited to have finally managed to get the first four chapters of my forthcoming book “Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors” available online. They are:

1. Gloucestershire Born and Bred:
An introductory chapter for family historians with useful background information on the County of Gloucestershire and Diocese of Gloucester.

2. Civil Registration:
Chapter 2 includes details on civil registration of births, marriages and deaths, how to order certificates and where to find indexes to help with your search.

3. The Censuses:
This gives information on the 1841 to 1911 censuses and particulars and samples from the 10 pre-1841 Gloucestershire censuses.

4. Parish Registers:
As well as background information on parish registers and Bishop’s Transcripts, this chapter includes which registers are the oldest, where the gaps are in some parish registers, available indexes and which parishes are not on the IGI. Please check out: http://www.hidden-heritage.co.uk/books/discover-gloucestershire-ancestors/

This is a still very much a ‘work in progress’ so comments on the content of any chapter could still affect what goes into the final book. I would be delighted to be get some feedback on the chapters to enhance the content.

Self-publishing is a new experience for me so any advice on content, advertising and marketing will be much appreciated. (My previous book, A Rogues’ Gallery. Victorian Prisoners in Gloucester Gaol, was published by The History Press last year.) One of my main objectives of self publishing and particularly of publishing the individual chapters online was to allow this to be a “living document” where I can engage with the Gloucestershire genealogical community and receive feedback.

This has been a steep learning curve and I would love to get comments from others who have self-published and from Gloucestershire genealogists who have found unusual sources.

The Whole Duty of Man

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Books, Gloucestershire

I am seeking a particular copy of the 18th century book called ‘The Whole Duty of Man’. It used to be chained to the lectern in Fairford parish church in Gloucestershire. It was definitely there in 1939. It is thought to have been there in the 1970s but that is not absolutely definite. It was not there in 1984 when a survey was taken of the church archives. Does anyone know what happened to it? It is only this copy that I am interested in.

Espousal Books

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Genealogy

Today I came across a new source that I had never heard of before – Espousal books. It seems they were used to record betrothals up until the early seventeenth century. A betrothal was considered to be almost as binding and valid as a marriage.  Few such books have survived and I haven’t managed to locate any Gloucestershire examples. Has anyone ever seen one?