Volume 2

Volume 2 of Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors is now completed and will be published in December 2013; there was just too much information for it all to go into one book.  Whilst Volume 1 covered the basics of family history research, this volume will extend your knowledge and offer more sources for you to check out in the hunt for additional background information on your forefathers.

There is still much that has not been covered, such as borough records, but anything else will appear on these web pages in future as a separate chapter.  Copies of the individual chapters can be purchased online.

After nearly 25 years of researching Gloucestershire ancestry, I feel that I am only just beginning to chip away at what is available. There is always more to find! I hope this book will enable researchers to consider aspects that they have not looked at before.

Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors – Volume 2

  • is the second in the series concentrating on Gloucestershire sources
  • goes beyond the basics to look at more advanced topics
  • provides new sources for those seeking background information
  • offers possibilities to those who have hit the brick wall
  • is full of tables, illustrations, maps and examples
  • includes a full surname, place name and subject index

Volume 2:

  • to be published in December 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-9571440-1-9
  • 272 pages.
  • Price £14.99 plus p&p as shown

Contents include:

Each chapter sells individually as PDF (Portable Document Format) for £2.50.  After purchase, the chapter will be sent to you by email.

Chapter Overview
#1 The Parish Chest The original oak parish chest held the church silver, the parish registers and other documents essential to the smooth running of the parish.  The term ‘parish chest’ has come to stand for these documents which include information on many aspects of parish life, from assisting the poor and sick in times of need to maintaining the roads and bridges to permit access to the outside world.

#2 Education Records The earliest reference to a school in Gloucestershire is made in the 15th century and some founded soon afterwards do still exist.  However, most children received no formal education until the late 19th century.  Few records survive for the early schools but, since 1870, schools have been required to keep admission registers and log books many of which are still in existence.

#3 Apprentices and Freemen  If your ancestor wished to enter a trade, he would have to serve an apprenticeship.  Once that was completed, they could, if wished, become a freeman of the city.  There are some good sources of apprentices and freemen for Gloucestershire and they usually include the name of at least one parent to help you link them to their correct family.

#4 Military Service Was your ancestor in the Armed Forces?  Most recent records relating to military service are held nationally but there are many records relating to the local militia, the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars and the Gloucestershire Regiment held locally.  Indeed, Gloucestershire researchers are fortunate in that two total county military surveys remain to help us locate our ancestors in 1522 and 1608.

#5 The Workhouse Did your ancestor spend time in the workhouse? Was he born there, did he die there or did he and his family just stay for a while when life became too hard for them?  This chapter will help you to discover the type of information you might find on your ancestors in the archives.

#6 Medical Records Gloucestershire Archives holds a variety of hospital and asylum records relating to the people in the county who suffered from ill health.  Some records, particularly those of the NHS, are still closed but others give an insight into the lives of the people who lived here.  Records of the cholera and smallpox epidemics are discussed.

#7 Emigration  From the early 17th century, Gloucestershire people travelled to foreign shores, many never to return.  Particularly in the first half of the 19th century, when life became very tough for those working on the land or in the mills, emigration held out the prospect of a better life.  Many documents remain which tell of Gloucestershire people sailing to all parts of the globe.

#8 Maps of Gloucestershire Maps are a very useful aid to developing your knowledge of your ancestors.  They can help you to determine where your ancestors lived, when their property was first built and how the area changed over the years.  Gloucestershire Archives has a wonderful collection of tithe maps, inclosure maps and awards, Ordnance Survey maps, estate maps and many more.

#9 Directories, Poll Books and Electoral Registers Directories are a neglected source of information about our ancestors and the areas in which they lived.  They provide a vast amount of information about each locality, some going back to the late 17th century.  Poll books can tell us how some of our ancestors voted and electoral registers help to document their move from one property to the next.

#10 Taxes and Tithes Taxation records for Gloucestershire go back to the 14th century with lay subsidy rolls.  Whilst they do not help with sorting family relationships, they do give an understanding of the status of your ancestor as inclusion depended upon property owned and rented.  Hearth tax records in particular provide an understanding of the size of the property in which each inhabitant lived.

#11 Manorial Records Manorial records as a source of family history information are much under-used.  They can cover very early periods of Gloucestershire history but could be as recent as the 20th century.  They include court records dealing with minor crimes and mis-behaviour as well as property records including rentals and changes of tenancy.

#12 Estate Records Like manorial records, estate records deal with events on the many great estates in the county of Gloucestershire.  As well as details about farming the land, you can expect to find information on your ancestor’s tenancy of a cottage, the work he did to build and maintain the ‘big house’ and the payments made for his services waiting on the landowner.

#13 Newspapers and Periodicals If your ancestor was mentioned involved in a crime, accident or disaster, you can expect to find the event written up in the local newspapers.  Many of these are now appearing on line with search facilities to help narrow down the hunt.  This chapter gives you a sample of what can be found and a list of the newspapers held locally.

If you have any comments or queries, please email me or follow me on Twitter