Tracing Your Rural Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 176 pages
Author: J. Brown
Year: 2011
ISBN: 9781848842274
Other: b&w photos, bibliog, index
Publisher: Pen & Sword

Many family historians will come across direct links to ancestors who lived and worked in the countryside as farmers, labourers, landowners, village tradesmen and professionals - for most of us have rural ancestors. Yet despite the burgeoning interest in genealogy, these people have rarely been written about with the family history in mind.

No previous book has provided a guide to the documents and records, from medieval times to the twentieth century, that researchers can use to find out about their rural ancestors and the world in which they lived. That is why this easy and informative introduction by rural historian Jonathan Brown is such an important book.

He describes the make-up of country and village society - the farmers, large and small, the farm-workers, the landowners and the estate-owners, and the local business people, the tradesmen and merchants. At the same time he identifies and discusses the relevant national and local records, indicates where they can be found, and offers essential advice on how this information can be used to piece together the lives of distant and not so distant relatives. 'Tracing Your Rural Ancestors' is essential reading for anyone who is looking for an insight into the history of English rural life, work and society.

1. The Nature of Country Society
- Rural migration
2. Who Was Who on the Farm> The Labourers
- Specialist workers
- Hiring fairs
- Farm servants
- Outdoor labourers
- Casual workers
- Women's work
- The Women"s Land Army
- Labour mobility
- Twentieth-century change
- Trade unions
- Sources for farm labourers
3. The Farmers of Old England
- Farmers
- Graziers and cowkeepers
- Tenants and owners
- The farming ladder
- Farmers' families
- Enclosure and the farmer
- Yeomen and peasants
- Cottagers
- Smallholders
- Gardeners and nurserymen
- Sources for farmers
4. The Aristocracy and Gentry: The Rural Landowners
- The landowner and rural society
- Sources for landowners
5. The Great House and Estate
- Sources for estate families
6. Village Tradesmen and Businessmen
- Rural crafts and rural industries
- The wheelwright
- The blacksmith
- Carpenters and builders
- Millers
- Shops and retailers
- Shoemakers
- Butchers and bakers
- Transport services
- Sources for rural trades
7. Village Society
- Rural clergy
- The professions
- Private residents: the middle class of the village
- The new services
- Village schools
- Village organizations (Village charities, Benefit societies, Recreation)
8. Rural Migrants and the Rural Poor
- Evacuees
- The poor
9. Some Records and Sources
- Births, marriages and deaths
- Census returns
- Church records
- Churchwardens' accounts
- Copyhold records
- Coroners' records
- Court records
- Criminal records
- Diaries and reminiscences
- Diocesan records
- Directories (nc. the Historical Directories Project)
- Emigration
- Enclosure records
- Estate agents' records
- Estate records
- Family papers
- Farm records
- Farmers' clubs and agricultural societies
- Farmers' unions
- Friendly society records
- Gamekeepers' registers
- Hearth tax
- Inquisitions post mortem
- Land tax
- Manorial records
- Maps and plans
- Memorials and monuments
- Obituaries
- Official sources
- Photographs
- Poll tax
- Probate inventories
- Quarter Sessions records
- Rates books
- Terriers
- Tithe records
- Title deeds
- Trade union records
- Vestry records
- Wills
10. Where to Find Information
- Getting started
- Record Offices (inc. The National Archives, Local Record offices, Specialist Record offices)
- Libraries (inc. The British Library, Local Studies libraries, Specialist libraries, Family History Library, Society of Genealogists)
- Museums
- Local History societies
- Internet sources
11. To continue ...

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Tracing Your Rural Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians


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