England Research Guidance: Marriage, 1066-1537

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

England | Marriage | 1066-1537[edit | edit source]

Search Strategy[edit | edit source]

1. Probate Records, Pre-1858: Probate records[edit | edit source]

Strategic Research Log--(England, 1066 to 1537).gif

Probate records are court records dealing with the distribution of a person's estate after death. Before January 1858, Church of England courts had the responsibility to prove wills and other probate records. In these records you may find names and relationships. Probate records include wills, testaments, administrations (admons), inventories, codicils, act books, and bonds.

Since probate records are well indexed, you should search them for your ancestor and other relatives whether or not you think they would have left a will.

For more information, do the following:

2. Manorial Record: Manors[edit | edit source]

Manorial records are private records of an estate held by a lord of the manor. They include court minutes listing tenants, leases, land transfers, manorial appointments, rental fees, and petty crimes. In these records you may find names and relationships of tenants. Sometimes you can trace a family back several generations. Most of our ancestors lived on someone else's land which may have been a manor.  While these records are not as well indexed or readily available as some other records, you should search them if you suspect your ancestor lived on a manor.

For more information, do the following:

  • Go to the Wiki article on England Court Records and read further.
  • Go to the Wiki page for a county of interest and select the topic of 'Court Records.'
  • Go to the FamilySearch Catalog and do a Place Search for a county of interest and click the link for the topic of 'Manors.' 
  • Go to www.GENUKI.org.uk, click on the link for England, then on the link for the topic of 'Manors.'

3. Chancery Court Records: Court records[edit | edit source]

Court records are government documents concerning civil matters. Most court records name people who were defendants, plaintiffs, jurors, or witnesses. In these records you may find a person's residence, occupation, physical description, family relationships, name of spouse, and some death and marriage information. Court records seldom provide birth information but may give ages.

Use court records after you have searched other records. Court records tend to be difficult to use because the handwriting is hard to read and they include unfamiliar legal terms.

For more information, see England Court Records.

4. Inquisitions Postmortem: Land and property[edit | edit source]

An inquisition post mortem is a record of the estate of a deceased person who held land directly from the King. A summoned jury determined the extent of his or her possessions and who was entitled to inherit them. In these records you may find the name and birth date or age of the heir and a description of the property. Names of tenants and jurors are also given.

For more information, see England Land and Property.

5. Land Records: Land and property[edit | edit source]

Land and property records are records of land ownership and transfers. Use land records to learn when and where an individual lived. In these records you may find names, dates, addresses, occupations, a description of the property, terms of land transfers, and names of heirs, relatives, and neighbors. Land records usually do not provide birth, marriage, or death information but may give clues that can help you find records that do. Land records include surveys, grants, deeds, registers, and plat maps.

For more information, see England Land and Property.

6. Occupational Records: Occupations[edit | edit source]

Occupational records provide information on a person's employment or training for a craft, trade, or profession. Knowing a person's occupation can distinguish him or her from other individuals with the same name. Occupational records may include name, age, residence, sometimes father's or widow's name, and other information about a person's life and family. Some types of occupational records are apprenticeship and freemen records; trade, guild, or livery records; and histories of occupations.

For more information, see England Occupations.

7. Biography: Biography[edit | edit source]

A biography is a history of a person's life. A biography may provide an individual's date and place of marriage and spouse's name, as well as other details. Look for biographies in biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias, society journals, periodicals, and in local histories. Verify information in biographical sources.

For more information,see England Biography.

8. Family History: Genealogy[edit | edit source]

The term family history describes a variety of records containing personal and family information gathered by researchers, societies, or archives. These records can include published family histories, pedigree charts, family group records, research notes on families, correspondence, ancestor lists, research exchange files, record abstracts, and collections of original or copied documents. Family histories can be excellent sources of information that can save you valuable research time. Because these records are compiled from a variety of sources, the information must be carefully evaluated and verified for accuracy. Internet genealogy sites can be helpful in researching a specific family name. If your ancestor emigrated from another country, look for more information in his or her country of birth.

For more information, see England Genealogy.

9. Visitations: Visitations, Heraldic[edit | edit source]

The government commissioned men called heralds to periodically visit all areas throughout the country to grant and regulate the use of coats of arms. Heralds granted coats of arms to knights, gentlemen, landed gentry, and others entitled to bear them. In these records you may find names, dates, places, and relationships. Sometimes these records may help you trace the descent of a family. These records include coats of arms and visitation pedigrees. Verify heraldic information.

For more information, see England Biography, Heraldry, or Nobility.

10. Church Monuments: Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Monumental inscriptions and church monuments are memorials to persons who have died. Monumental inscriptions are engraved on stones placed at the graves of deceased persons. They are commonly found on headstones, tombstones, gravestones, or plaques, depending on the area. Inscriptions may include the deceased's name and age, dates, and names of relatives.

Church monuments are memorials to wealthy, noble, royal, or other distinguished people. They are often a brass plaque, stone statue, or effigy placed inside the church or on church grounds. Information on church monuments may include only names and dates.

You can access the information on monumental inscriptions and church monuments through printed transcriptions or by visiting the church. Verify information from monumental inscriptions and church monuments.

For more information, do the following:

  • Go to the Wiki article on England Cemeteries and read further.
  • Go to the Wiki page for a county of interest, select the topic of 'Cemeteries.'
  • Go to the FamilySearch Catalog and do a Place Search for a county of interest and click the link for the topic of 'Cemeteries.'  Also search for a parish of interest.
  • Go to www.GENUKI.org.uk and search for a county of interest and the topic of 'Cemeteries.'

11. School and Alumni Records: Schools[edit | edit source]

School and alumni records are lists of individuals attending a school, college, or university. In these records you may find name, age, date and place of birth, residence, father's name and occupation, marriage information, and other biographical details. School records list teachers, students, and graduates.

For more information, see England Schools.