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Help and advice for Shropshire

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Shropshire

"SHROPSHIRE, (or Salop), an inland county in the W. of England, is bounded on the N. by Cheshire, E. by Staffordshire, S. by Worcestershire and Herefordshire, and W. by the Welsh counties of Radner, Montgomery, and Denbigh. It lies between 62° 18' and 53° 0' N. lat. and between 2° 14' and 3° 12' W. long. Its extreme length from N. to S. is 48 miles, and its greatest breadth from E. to W. is 40 miles. The area of the county is 1,343 square miles, or 859,520 acres, of which 790,000 acres are arable, meadow, and pasture. The population at the commencement of the century was 169,248; in 1851 it was 229,341; and in 1861, 240,959, or 42 per cent: over the number in 1801....................."  [Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

 

Bibliography

  • Salter, Mike - The Old Parish Churches of Shropshire. Folly Publications: ISBN 1-871731-47-X. I can recommend this book personally - like others in his Old Parish Churches series, it is extremely well-researched, and for me, a regular source of reference.
  • The Shropshire FHS website advertises a variety of Local Interest Publications.
  • The Rev. R.W. Eyton's "Antiquities of Shropshire" is a unique source of Shropshire history, places and people in the 11th-14thC. It's in 12 volumes and not an easy read but is worth persisting with if you're looking up a specific place. Available at Mel Lockie's website..

Cemeteries

Census

Church History

  • The Britannia, "America's Gateway to the British Isles" Index of Parish Churches features Shrewsbury Abbey Church - "Home of St. Winifred & Brother Cadfael".

Church Records

  • Transcriptions of Hereford Bishops' Registers, and in particular the names of Rectors (or Vicars) and their Patrons for each Benefice of Hereford Institutions, provided by Mel Lockie. N.B. a significant number of Shropshire parishes were in Hereford Diocese.
  • The searchable LDS website - IGI and Familysearch. Note on using IGI Batch Numbers It is not always easy to locate your ancestors in the IGI using the search mechanisms provided at the above LDS site. Manually typing the batch numbers into the IGI search screen can be tedious. Hugh Wallis has made an exhaustive search of the likely ranges of batch numbers and created a database of those numbers and the source records that they apply to. A very powerful feature included is a hotlink from each batch number to the actual search engine provided at the Family Search site, including the ability to enter the surname you are looking for. This makes it very easy to search all the batches for a particular geographic location using just the last name you are searching for - something that is not possible directly from the LDS site without doing a lot of typing. This is Hugh Wallis's site.
  • Information about Shropshire Marriage Indexes. However, amongst many other products, the SFHS (see below) also have available a Shropshire Marriage Index.
  • The Shropshire FHS website advertises various Printed Registers on Microfiche. For Burials see Cemeteries above.
  • Ancestry.com (under "Shropshire, England: Parish and Probate Records") has a number of indexes of parish registers. Searching is free; a subscription is required to see the detailed results.
  • The Society of Genealogists web site has a searchable list of their holdings of Parish Register copies.
  • Information on the location of Quaker Records in Shropshire provided by the Quaker FHS.
  • The Anguline Research Archives, Shropshire page contains a number of resources for sale for Shropshire, including Parish Registers, and Nonconformist and Roman Catholic Registers.
  • Transcriptions of some of the Shropshire parish registers published by the Shropshire Parish Register Society are available online at Mel Lockie's site.

Civil Registration

  • Copies of certificates of Birth, Death and Marriage may be obtained from either the General Register Office (GRO), or from the Superintendent Registrar's Office in the District they were first issued. If the District no longer exists, this would be the Office to which its registers have been moved.
  • If ordering from a District (Superintendant's) Register Office, please note the following:
    1. the cost of a certificate is £9.25 - send a Sterling cheque payable to the Superintendent Registrar plus return postage or two International Reply Coupons;
    2. the General Register Office (GRO) Index references (available via FreeBMD) are of no value;
    3. for marriage certificates, the precise place of marriage must be given;
    4. Civil Registration in England and Wales began on July 1st 1837.
  • Information about which Local Register Office to contact may be found in Brett Langston's list of Shropshire Registration Districts (1837-1974).
  • Alternatively, details about ordering copy certificates is available from Shropshire Council's website (follow the link to Registration Services).
  • If you have a GRO reference, you can order certificates through the General Register Office's own website, via their Certificate Ordering Service, for the same price as locally.
  • You can obtain a GRO reference in several ways:-
    1. Searching microfilm or fiche at a Library or LDS Family History Centre.
    2. FreeBMD is an ongoing project to make the General Register Office (GRO) Indexes freely available online. More volunteers are needed and details of how you can help are available on-site.
    3. findmypast.com (formerly 1837online) - images of the complete BMD indexes from the GRO online. Fee payable
    4. The images are also available on Ancestry.co.uk for which a subscription provides access to a wide range of other records.

Correctional Institutions

  • The Prison Service Museum near Rugby houses HM Prison Service's historical collection of exhibits, illustrating the history of imprisonment from medieval times to the present day. Housed in a converted stable block, the museum contains reconstructions of Victorian prison architecture, and exhibits include the last set of Gibbet Irons used in England. Smaller items include bone carvings and paintings made by prisoners in their cells, and a nineteenth century sampler embroidered by a female prisoner from her own hair.

    Admission to the museum is by appointment only, please contact:- The Curator,
    HM Prison Service Museum,
    Newbold Revel,
    Rugby,
    CV23 0TH
    Tel: 01788 834168

    [Information compiled from "The Penal Lexicon Home Page", formerly at www.penlex.org.uk/pages/index.html.]

Description and Travel

  • The Geograph British Isles project - "aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of the UK and the Republic of Ireland..."

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Gazetteers

Genealogy

Historical Geography

  • English Heritage Viewfinder - site with historic photographs, searchable by county. Has some unusual ones of the Industrial Age which won't be found amongst the more usual postcard collections!.
  • The Francis Frith Collection - a collection of over 700,000 photographs of the UK, Europe and the Middle East taken by the Victorian photographer Francis Frith.
  • A Vision of Britain Through Time - information about your home area from the 2001 census, and from each British census back to 1801. Presented both as maps of the whole country and as graphs showing change over time.
  • An extract from Leland's Itinerary of England and Wales (c. 1540) consisting of his references to Shropshire.
  • A table of Shropshire Townships to show the attribution of townships to parishes and hundreds, derived from Gregory's 1824 Gazetteer.
  • A list of Shropshire Hundreds with their parishes and townships derived from Gregory's 1824 Gazetteer.
  • Parishes on the County Borders, which may cause difficulty - provided by Michael J Hulme/Alan Stanier.

History

  • A digital library of medieval and modern sources of the history of the British Isles - British History Online. Notable souces include Journals of the House of Commons and House of Lords, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae, and the Victoria County History.
  • An Encyclopaedia of British History: 1700-1950 - useful for seeing local events against a national perspective. Scroll down the introductory page on this site to see topics - Monarchy, Child Labour, The Railways, &c. .
  • The Domesday Book site - "to enable visitors to find out the history of the Domesday Book and to give an insight into life at the time of its compilation". Note this site does not provide the original text, but does include a list settlements existing in 1086.

Land and Property

  • Some abstracts of Shropshire Feet of Fines (land conveyances) of various dates - on Chris Phillips Medieval English Genealogy web site.
  • Mike Durtnall is providing a country-wide collection of Historical Manuscripts Pages recording details of deeds that have been offered for sale on eBay and in auction catalogues. In most cases whereabouts of the documents will be unknown, but sufficient details of the property involved and of buyers, sellers, mortages, &c. is provided to make them a useful research tool.
  • Pat Johnson has a large collection of original Family Deeds. Abstracts, with name and parish indexes are provided onsite, with transcriptions of the full documents available for a modest fee. In addtion, the original deed may also be available for purchase if required. Added 3 Oct 2004.

Law and Legislation

Maps

  • Access to various satellite map sites (Google, MS Live, &c.) via the convenient front end of Flash Earth. .
  • The London Ancestor site has maps from the 1885 Boundary Commissioners report for all parts of the British Isles, including Shropshire (Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1885).
  • A most useful set of maps for the whole of England and Wales, showing parish boundaries, on a one inch to the mile scale - see: Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R., Historic Maps of England and Wales: Boundaries before 1850.
    From Feb 2007, these maps were withdrawn from sale, but some classes of user can still download the maps free of charge.
  • The Old Maps web site has a wonderful series of 1:10,560 scale historical maps for the whole of the UK available on-line.
  • The Genmaps site contains a fine collection of Old Maps of the British Isles for Genealogists and Historians. In particular, see Old Maps of Shropshire.
  • The above Genmaps Links pages lists Great Britain - Medieval Maps, which in turn provides several maps including an intriguing Ecclesiastical Map of the British Isles in the Middle Ages, which shows the principal Monasteries, demonstrating some of the earliest centres of habitation and influence.
  • Detailed Maps of the area you may be interested in Shropshire are viewable at the UK Street Map Page. The site provides a most useful service, with superb address searching and street map facilities for anywhere in mainland Great Britain.
  • Clear, Large Type and Braille Maps. .
    David Hawgood has produced Maps of Shropshire with Braille labels (large print labels) to help people with visual disabilities, with similar Tactile and large print Maps for other English counties.
  • There is an article, Production of Tactile maps with Braille labels explaining how these maps have been produced.

Medical Records

  • Medical Heritage of Great Britain, a site produced by the Bath & Wessex Medical History Group, providing detailed information on a county level of the history of medical treatments, and locations of some associated buildings.

Military History

  • A very comprehensive site featuring Castles and Fortifications - CastleUK.net.
  • The Age of Nelson - a website providing general information about the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815, and specifically searchable databases of those present at Trafalgar (and more) and of all Commissioned Naval Officers 1787-1822.
  • Names from Musters of the Shropshire Militia 1781-82 are available for purchase on floppy disk or microfiche through Family History Indexes (the link to Militia Musters is part way down the page).

Newspapers

  • The British Library's building at Colindale includes reading rooms providing access to newspapers. See also the British Library's Newspapers Digitisation Project for up-to-date details of research facilities.
  • For other English Newspapers see OnlineNewspapers.com - England.
  • Richard Heaton's site, Last Chance To Read, now includes about 550 copies (or eleven years worth) of the Salopian Newspaper starting in 1810. The runs aren't yet complete but a few more will be added when Richard gets time. While the site is free to search, it's pay to view, so be prepared (2 copies - 27/10/1813 and 17/02/1830 - are free of charge). However, anyone interested in Shropshire and surrounding counties should find it helpful.

Occupations

Politics and Government

  • Shropshire County Council. This new unitary authority now provides all the services and functions formerly run by Shropshire County Council and Bridgenorth, North Shropshire, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and South Shropshire District Councils.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • A site "dedicated to the Workhouse - its buildings, its inmates, its staff and administrators, and even its poets..." - The Workhouse - created by Peter Higginbotham.
  • GENUKI's own list - Shropshire Poor Law Unions - is provided by Michael J Hulme/Alan Stanier.

Postal and Shipping Guides

  • The Regency Collection has a section on Postal History, and also includes other interesting material relating to the Regency period - e.g. Turnpike Trusts, Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire, and more.

Probate Records

  • See Shropshire Archives site for information about Probate Records in Shropshire.
  • For Shropshire parishes in St Asaph Diocese, the National Library of Wales has put the Wills on line, though you cannot download them.
  • For Shropshire parishes in Lichfield Diocese, Chris Potter has a database of 32,000 Probate grants before 1858, complete from 1660 and 30% complete before that date.
  • For Shropshire Parishes in Hereford Diocese, Chris Potter has a a database complete from 1660-1858, with 27,000 Grants.

Religion and Religious Life

Schools

Social life and Customs

Taxation

  • The E 179 Database (on the National Archives website) contains detailed information about over 26,000 documents relating to the taxation of lay people in England and Wales between c.1200 and c.1700. These documents are likely to contain many names.