Our latest Hangout-on-air, led by Kim Baldacchino, was full of suggestions, encouraging us to look at the earlier history of our places. Unfortunately the sound quality was not brilliant, especially at the beginning but Kim’s slides were very detailed so hopefully viewers managed to follow along.
We cannot expect the name-rich plethora of resources that are available for the nineteenth century, as we reach back in to the sixteenth century and earlier but early research can still be rewarding. Here are just some of Kim’s many ideas:-
- Immerse your self in the history of the Medieval period, so that you understand the context and such things as manors or the feudal system.
- Look for printed sources such as Victoria County Histories or publications of Record Societies; this helps with the problems of handwriting and Latin.
- Search the National Archives Discovery catalogue for your place name and a date range before 1600. Unless your place name contains a common word, even an internet search for the place name and ‘Medieval’ may be fruitful.
- Even if you cannot cope with the handwriting/language archives’ catalogue entries can be informative.
- Consider getting interested parties together to help fund digitisation/transcription/translation of early documents.
- Look for the results of archaeological surveys of your area
- Look at maps or the landscape for ancient features, such as Iron Age Forts. Place and field names may hint at Anglo-Saxon origins.
- Look for architectural features, such as churches, that pre date 1600.
- Churches often list early clergymen of the parish, compare this with the Church of England Clergy Database
- Available records may include:-
Early parish registers
- See also:
Some of our places don’t date back this far as settlements but if they do, we really should be considering their early history as well as more recent times.
You can view this hangout on our YouTube Channel.
As you may be aware, Google+ is changing its system for Hangouts-on-air. We are in the process of going through the learning curve that will enable us to present our next hangout without technical hitches. We hope to see you there.