Placing your ancestors on the family tree, using births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials, along with the census records, is fairly straightforward. Filling in the gaps between these vital events is not only more difficult, as little is online, but it is also much more interesting.
I did not have space in my books Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors, Volumes 1 & 2 to write about alehouse licences in any detail and it was only yesterday that I checked some of them out at Gloucestershire Archives. (Ref: GBR/GV/AV/1 – 5). These records cover the period from 1674 to 1836 with a few gaps.
The records include the date of the application (made annually in September), the name of the person applying for the licence, the sign (name of the pub), the names of two people acting as sureties and the surety or fee that they put up on the publican’s behalf. If the publican broke the rules of his licence, the surety would be lost.
I had known that my Gwinnett ancestors were frequently recorded as being victuallers but had no idea where they had carried out their trade. Imagine my surprise to discover that Samuel Gwinnett, later his wife Ann and later still his brother Charles had all applied for a licence to run the prestigious 15th century New Inn!
The earliest inn known to be run by a Gwinnett was the Bolt Inn in Eastgate Street. George Gwinnett, who died in 1739, left his inn to his sons, William and George. William was recorded as being one of the sureties for Joseph Grazebrook in 1749 so presumably the Gwinnetts had given up the licence during the years from 1740 to 1749. Earlier records are still to be checked.
Other inns run by the Gwinnett family in Gloucester included The Red Lyon, the Greyhound, the Golden Cock and the City Arms.