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?

Pre-1841 censuses & population lists

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: census, Genealogy, Gloucestershire

For my book on Researching Gloucestershire Ancestors, I have nearly completed the chapter on pre-1841 Gloucestershire censuses and population lists and have found 16 parishes with, at least, names of the householders and numbers of occupants and, in some cases, full details of the families living there. I would hate to omit a parish by mistake so if anyone knows of a parish with either a census or a population list for the period 1780 to 1840, please let me know. I will work on earlier population lists in a later chapter.

Gloucestershire Research

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Genealogy, Gloucestershire, Nonconformist, Parish Registers, Poor Law

Having completed my first book on ‘Victorian Prisoners in Gloucester Gaol’, I am now embarking on a new project to document the records available in the county for researching Gloucestershire ancestors. Having researched locally for twenty years now, I am obviously familiar with the main repositories such as Gloucestershire Archives, the Local Studies collections in the various libraries, the GFHS Family History Centre and the local history societies but want to produce as comprehensive a list as possible in the book so I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has found any funny, quirky or downright unusual sources of family information that could be included. Any references used in the book will be acknowledged.

Victorian and Edwardian Prisoners

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Crime, Genealogy, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Photographs

Are you missing an ancestor in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?  Perhaps they were in Gloucester Gaol?  My book containing photographs and criminal records for prisoners held in Gloucester Gaol during 1870 and between 1883 and 1906 is now available. Entitled ‘Victorian Prisoners in Gloucester Gaol – A Rogues’ Gallery’ it costs £14.99 from all good bookshops.  Published by The History Press it has ISBN: 978-0-7524-5129-9.  It contains information and mugshots of men, women and children from all round the world, not just from Gloucester or Gloucestershire.  Perhaps your ancestor was there …..

 

Overseers of the Poor

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Apprentices, Genealogy, Poor Law

Poor Law was administered by each parish following an Act of Parliament in 1597. It authorized the parish to levy a rate to be paid by those who could afford to so do. Collection of the rate was the duty of the Overseers, who also distributed the money to those in need, either in cash or in kind. Overseers had to keep accounts and they are very useful for finding out more about the poorer members of society.

As well as distributing money, the Overseers could organize apprenticeships for poor children and orphans, could question single mothers and order reputed fathers to pay maintenance so that the illegitimate children were not a charge on the parish, and could examine and remove people to their parish of origin who were in need of funds but who perhaps were not qualified to belong to that particular parish. So Overseers Papers include apprenticeships, bastardy bonds, settlement examinations and certificates and removal orders as well as rates for the poor and details of poor relief.

Early censuses

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: census, Genealogy

Having been asked about existing early (pre-1841) censuses and population lists with names in Worcestershire, I remembered Colin Chapman’s book on the subject and found the following for Gloucestershire:
Bristol 1695
Olveston 1742
Stroud 1756
Uley 1795
And, of course, in Gloucestershire , we have Smith’s Men and Armour for 1608 which lists all the adult males as well as some females.

Shortwood near Horsley.

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Baptist, Genealogy, Nonconformist, Uncategorized

I have just been asked to find out about someone born in Shortwood in the first half of the nineteenth century. The name Shortwood tells me that the family were nonconformists – Baptists in fact. The original site is no longer in use, the graveyard sadly neglected when I last went and took photographs of all the tombstones there a couple of years ago. Some records do remain for the church which is now situated in the town of Nailsworth so it may be possible to locate ancestors who attended the church.

Inclosure Award

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Genealogy, Local History, Maps

I am in the process of transcribing the Inclosure Award for Badgeworth and Shurdington. If you are seeking the lands that belonged to your ancestors, you may find some clues here. Only the landowners seem to be mentioned. With the section I am transcribing at the moment, that includes Joseph Ellis Viner, William Edwards Lawrence, William Henry Hyett and Joseph Sadler. The transcript accompanies maps of the area.  The final version will be put on the computers at Gloucestershire Archives – many Inclosure Awards have already been installed there.

Find these books on Amazon:

Maps for Family History Maps for Family & Local History
Maps for Family History Maps for Family & Local History