Location Guides for Family and Local Historians


by Jeremy Gibson and others

A very useful set of guides to the whereabouts of records, published by the Federation of Family History Societies. They are available from the GENfair.

With Pamela Peskett

Record Offices: How to Find Them.
Seventh edition, forthcoming, 1996. 60 pp.
Street maps of over a hundred cities and towns in England and Wales, and Edinburgh in Scotland, showing record offices, car parks, railway and bus stations. English and Welsh historic counties.

With Elizabeth Hampson

Marriage, Census and Other Indexes for Family
, Sixth edition, forthcoming, 1996. 64 pp.

A Guide to indexes, published and unpublished, compiled and maintained mostly by family history societies or individuals. An amazingly useful little book, the best seller of the series.

Census Returns 1841-1891 in Microform:
A Directory to Local Holdings in Great Britain.

Sixth edition, 1994. 56 pp.
There are locally held microfilms of the censuses in libraries and record offices throughout England, Wales and Scotland (also the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands). Opening hours are usually longer and access easier than the central reposi-tories in London and Edinburgh. Now includes 1891 census.

Unpublished Personal Name Indexes in Record Offices
and Libraries.
New edition in preparation.
The record offices and reference or local studies libraries of Great Britain have a wide variety of indexes to often unsus-pected categories and sources. Over 600 of these were circulated to compile this Guide, an essential companion to Marriage, Census and Other Indexes.

Local Newspapers, 1750-1920: A Select Location List.
England and Wales; Channel Islands; Isle of Man.

New edition in preparation.
From the mid-18th century the provincial press began to carry news of local events. This indispensable location list describes concisely, by county and local area, what newspapers were published, when they were published and where they can be consulted today.

Quarter Sessions Records for Family Historians.
Fourth edition, 1995. 48 pp.
Not the easiest of sources to use, the records of Quarter Sessions contain a wealth of administrative information on all classes and are invaluable for fleshing out the bones of skeleton pedigrees. Generally but not invariably in county record offices, the survival of the records and provision of finding aids vary widely.

Probate Jurisdictions: Where to Look for Wills.
Fourth edition, 1994. 72 pp.
Wills and their associated records are amongst the most useful and important records for family and local historians. Before 1858 (when centralised civil courts were introduced) there was a wide variety of ecclesiastical courts throughout England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland, with over-lapping jurisdictions. This Guide, arranged by pre-1974 counties, provides simply presented information on the courts, their jurisdictions (with maps), periods of coverage, indexes and other finding aids, and present locations of records. Also included are locally held post-1858 records and copies of the printed indexes for all England and Wales.

Bishops' Transcripts and Marriage Licences, Bonds and
Allegations: A Guide to their Location and Indexes.

Third edition, updated 1992. 40 pp.
These records, which often supplement parish registers, vary in their extent and finding aids and are not always in the most obvious record offices. Covering England and Wales, Ireland and the Isle of Man, this is an essential reference work.

The Hearth Tax, Other Later Stuart Tax Lists
and the Association Oath Rolls.

Second edition, forthcoming, 1996.
The Hearth Tax, for which records survive between 1662 and 1674, is the best known of taxation sources for local and family historians, listing the inhabitants of most houses in England and Wales, by county and parish. This booklet at last provides a clear and simple Guide to the lists that survive in the P.R.O. and elsewhere, with their dates, condition and any published transcripts. Similar records for Scotland and Ireland are listed. Also included are an assortment of subsidy rolls, poll tax lists and the 'Marriage Tax' of the late 1690's (where they survive, of very comprehensive interest). Additionally references are given for the 1695/6 Association Oath Rolls, for England and Wales, Channel Islands and transatlantic colonies, signed by many of the adult male population.

With Judith Hunter

Victuallers' Licences: Records for Family and Local
1994. 56 pp.

Of all widely held occupations, those who ran pubs. are the best recorded. For the 19th and 20th centuries there are voluminous records in local archives, and much in Quarter Sessions for the 18th century and earlier. National archives record the issue of wine and even occasional ale licences from 1552 on, naming the licensee, place and often the inn.

With Heather Creaton (Centre for Metropolitan History)

Lists of Londoners.
Updated 1993. 40 pp.
Finding aids for the whole Metropolis, with indexes in over 100 locations; complex sources and jurisdictions explained.

With Colin Rogers

Poor Law Union Records, 1834-1930.
1993, in four parts. 64-80 pp.
1. South East England and East Anglia (with Cliff Webb).

Beds., Bucks., Cambs., Essex, Herts., Hunts., Kent, London, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex.
2. The Midlands and Northern England.
Ches., Cumbd., Dbys., Durh., Lancs., Leics., Lincs., N'hants., N'humb'd, Notts., Rutland, Staffs., Warw., Westm'd, Yorks.
3. South West England, The Marches and Wales.
Berks., Cornw., Devon, Dorset, Glos., Hants., Herefs., Oxon., Shrops., Som., Wilts., Worcs., Wales (incl. Monmouths.).
4. Gazetteer of England and Wales (with F.A. Youngs).
County by county, each PLU and its constituent places. PLU's formed the basis for Civil Registraton and Census districts.
Parts 1-3 list the records of the Unions created under the New Poor Law of 1834 to their abolition in 1930; some earlier 'Gilbert Union' and other 18th century incorporation records are also included. In many counties PLU records survive in vast quantities, whilst in others they have all but disappeared. Mostly in CRO's, some are found in smaller repositories. References to the PRO holdings in MH9 (staff registers) and MH 12 (correspondence) are also included. County sketch maps show PLU boundaries and county overlaps.
Entries under each PLU are divided into categories 'A', those likely to include names of paupers, and the general public (as in rating valuations), of most interest to family historians, and 'B', administrative records, of great importance to local and social historians.

Poll Books, c.1695-1872: A Directory to holdings in Great Britain. Third edition, 1994. 56 pp.
Until 1872, when the secret ballot was introduced, voting for Members of Parliament, by those entitled to vote, was a public matter, and a record of just how they did so was kept and frequently published. Before 1832, in England and Wales, only those with 40s. freeholds could vote (for County members) but these included many of relatively humble status. After 1832 the franchise was greatly widened, but poll books continued to be published. This Guide lists concisely the location of all known printed and manuscript poll books in public repositories, throughout England, Wales and Scotland.

Coroners' Records in England and Wales.
Updated 1992. 48 pp.
Another Guide to break new ground, the first ever listing of such records, revealing the spasmodic state of their survival and the continuing risk of their destruction. Colin Rogers provides a detailed and informative introduction to the records and a Glossary of terms, whilst Dr R.F. Hunnisett, the authority on medieval coroners' records, describes the holdings at the Public Record Office.

In Preparation:
School Admission Registers in England and Wales.

With Mervyn Medlycott and Dennis Mills

Land and Window Tax Assessments, 1690-1950.
1994. 52 pp.

The Land Tax Assessments list the owners, in England and Wales, of property worth 40s. or more in annual income, and often the occupying tenants as well. From c.1780 to 1832 they were used to establish voting qualifications and are usually found in Quarter Sessions records. For 1798 there is a nationwide assessment in the P.R.O. There are also many pre-1780 lists, and the tax and its records continued until the mid-20th century. LTA records for Scotland are also included.
Perhaps the most notorious of 18th century taxes, the Window Tax, has left few records, but those lists of taxpayers that are known to survive, identified in a recent nationwide survey, are incorporated in the Guide.

With Mervyn Medlycott

Militia Lists and Musters, 1757-1876.
Third edition, 1994. 48 pp.
The Militia Lists date from 1756 to around 1830 (with later regimental records). Parishes had to provide several militia-men for training, and all males between 16 and 45 (with variations) were liable for ballot. In some counties such lists survive, with occupations and, in the 19th century, ages, number of young children, infirmities etc. Even more useful are the Posse Comitatus of 1798 and the Levee en Masse of 1803, with similar wide-ranging lists of those liable for service or able to provide necessities such as horses and carts. These have been researched in detail for the first time and many previously unknown listings discovered, important additions to the number of quasi-census lists pre-dating the official records.

Local Census Listings, 1522-1930:
Holdings in the British Isles.

Second edition, 1994. 52 pp.
Quasi-censuses pre-dating the decennial national census records survive in unexpected quantity. They include locally retained lists made for the 1801-1831 censuses; and many others in earlier centuries. For the first time these have been comprehensively listed.

With Alan Dell

Tudor and Stuart Muster Rolls,
Updated 1991. 40 pp.

The records of 'Dad's Army' in the 16th and 17th century Muster Rolls, mainly in the Public Record Office in a variety of classes, have been examined and listed. They often include all able-bodied men in the parish.

The Protestation Returns 1641-42 and other listings.
1995. 84 pp.
As well as the Protestation, this includes the Collection in Aid of Distressed Protestants in Ireland, for both naming every place for which returns are known, and lists the Subsidies and 1642 Assessment.

[Transcribed by permission, Nov. 1995, Brian Randell]