Tracing History Through Title Deeds: A Guide for Family and Local Historians

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 232 pages
Author: N. Alcock
Year: 2017
ISBN: 9781526703453
Other: b&w photos, appendixes, glossary, bibliog, indexes
Publisher: Pen & Sword

Title deeds are perhaps the most numerous sources of historical evidence but also one of the most neglected. While the information any one deed contains can often be reduced to a few lines, it can be of critical importance for family and local historians.

Nat Alcock's handbook aims to help the growing army of enthusiastic researchers to use the evidence of these documents, without burying them in legal technicalities. It also reveals how fascinating and rewarding they can be once their history, language and purpose are understood.

A sequence of concise, accessible chapters explains why they are so useful, where they can be found and how the evidence they provide can be extracted and applied. Family historians will find they reveal family, social and financial relationships and local historians can discover from them so much about land ownership, field and place names, the history of buildings and the expansion of towns and cities.

Deeds also bring our ancestors into view in the fullness of life, not just at birth, marriage and death, and provide more rounded pictures of the members of a family tree.

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Image Credits
1. Introduction
 - Deeds as History
2. Why
 - Deeds for People
 - Deeds for Places and for Houses
 - Large-scale Studies of Deeds
3. Where
 - What to Look For
 - Where to Look
 - On the Trail
 - New Ways to Find Deeds
4. How
 - Tenure
 - Post-Medieval Deeds
 - Medieval Deeds
Appendix 1. Flowchart to Identify Deed Types
Appendix 2. Sample Deed Record Sheet
Appendix 3. Post-Medieval Letter Forms
Appendix 4. Texts of Typical Deeds
Further Resources and Select Bibliography
Glossary of Deed Terms
Index of Subjects
Index of People and Places 

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Tracing History Through Title Deeds: A Guide for Family and Local Historians


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