[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013

"CAMBRIDGESHIRE, an inland county of England, lying in the south-east part of the island. It is situated between 52° 2' and 52° 45' north lat., and between 0° 30' east and 0° 16' west long. It is bounded on the north by Lincolnshire; on the east by the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk; on the south by Essex and Hertfordshire; and on the west by the counties of Bedford, Huntingdon, and Northampton. In form it approaches an oblong, and extends in length from north to south about 50 miles, and in breadth in the southern part about 30 miles. It is about 200 miles in circuit, and comprises an area of 818 square miles, or about 523,861 statute acres, including within its limits 37,677 houses, inhabited by a population of 175,950 according to the census of 1861, against 185,405 in 1851, showing a decrease of no less than 9,455 in the decennial period, while the inhabited houses have augmented by 451, marking a progressive amelioration in the social condition of the people." (There is more of this description).

[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]


Archives & Libraries

  • Department of Manuscripts and University Archives
    • Cambridge University Library
      West Road
      CB3 9DR

      Telephone:- U.K. 01223 333143, Overseas +44 1223 333143

      Note: Please check that copies of the records you are trying to access are not held eslewhere before trying the University Library. A prior application for a reader's ticket must be made to The Keeper of the University Archives.

  • Cambridgeshire Archives
  • Cambridgeshire Collection
    • Central Library
      Lion Yard
      CB2 3QD

      Telephone:- U.K. 01223 699399, Overseas +44 1223 699399
      Fax:- U.K. 01223 703895, Overseas +44 1223 703895

      9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday to Friday
      5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tueday evenings strictly by appointment*
      9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. every third Saturday in the month strictly by appointment

      The office is closed on public holidays

      * Documents for Tuesday evening must be requested by 2:00 p.m. the same day, documents for Saturdays by 12:45 p.m. on Friday

      Email: Cambridgeshire Collection

  • Wisbech and Fenland Museum
    • Museum Square
      PE13 1ES

      Telephone:- U.K. 01945 583817, Overseas +44 1945 583817
      Fax: - U.K. 01945 589050, Overseas +44 1945 589050

  • Imperial War Musem
    • Duxford Airfield
      CB2 4QR
  • Historical Manuscripts Commission - National Register of Archives
    • The on-line Historical Manuscripts Commission site has search capabilities to find various document references.
  • Here is a Summary of Documentary and Library Holdings in the Cambridgeshire Archives for Cambridgeshire.

Business & Commerce Records

  • Victuallers' Licences
    • Details of the location of Victuallers' Licences can be found in the book "VICTUALLERS' LICENCES - Records for Family and Local Historians" by Jeremey Gibson and Judith Hunter, published by the Federation of Family History Societies, ISBN 1 86006 048 X. This book contains details and descriptions of all records held for the Victuallers' Licences. Extracts specific to Cambridgeshire Victuallers' Licences are listed separately.
    • Here are some details of the location of Victuallers' Licences for Cambridgeshire.


  • A large number of Monumental Inscriptions are available for sale, on CDrom from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Bookstall.
  • Cambridge American Cemetery, Madingley
    • The World War II Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial is located three miles west of Cambridge on the A1303 and sixty miles north of London. The site, thirty and a half acres in extent, was donated by the University of Cambridge. It lies on a north slope with wide prospect.The west and south sides of the cemetery are framed by woodland. There are 3,812 American military dead buried there. On the wall running from the entrance to the chapel are inscribed the names of 5,126 Americans who gave their lives in the service of their country, but whose remains were never recovered or identified. Most of these died in the Battle of the Atlantic or in the strategic air bombardment of Northwest Europe during World War II.
    • From the flag platform near the main entrance the great mall with its reflecting pool stretches eastward. From this mall the headstones in the burial area form a sweeping curve across the green lawn. Along the south side of the mall is the Wall of the Missing. At its far end is the chapel containing two huge military maps, stained glass windows bearing the State Seals and military decorations, and its mosaic ceiling with a memorial to our Air Forces Dead.
    • In the summer the cemetery is open to visitors daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and in the winter from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Return to top of page


  • The availability of census information for the Cambridgeshire parishes is given on each Towns and Parishes page.
  • The Cambridgeshire Family History Society Bookstall has published full transcriptions, on microfiche, for the 1841 and 1851 Census. There were a few parishes where the 1851 Census was lost at source and these parishes have been supplimented with the 1861 transcription. There is also a full Census Index for the Isle of Ely in book form.
  • A list of 1891 references is available. The progress of the transcription of the 1891 Census by FreeCen is available.
  • There is a Searchable 1841 Census Index for Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely available on-line from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society.
  • At various times local census, as opposed to the Nation Census, were taken. Provided here is a listing of Cambridgeshire Local Census extracted from the book "LOCAL CENSUS LISTINGS 1522-1930" , by Jeremy Gibson and Mervyn Medlycott, published by the FFHS ISBN 1 872094 759.
    Year Census Date Population present
    1891 April 5/6 276,156
    1901 March 31/April 1 282,336
    1911 April 2/3 301,239
    1921 June 19/20 307,502
    1931 April 26/27 327,745
    1939 Mid-year estimate 345,592
    1951 April 8/9 389,477
    1961 April 23/24 434,915
    1971 April 25/26 503,785
    1974 The County Borders changed and
    Hunts was incorporated
    1981 April 5/6 *573,200
    1991 April 21/22 643,439
    * = Based on preliminary counts (rounded to the nearest hundred)

  • Here is a list of Census reference numbers for Cambridgeshire.
  • Here is some information on Local Census Listings for Cambridgeshire.

Church History

  • The county has 169 civil parishes (131 parishes in Cambridge proper, and 38 parishes in the Isle of Ely) and 180 Ecclesiastical parishes and parts of 13. The greater part is the Diocese of Ely, forming the archdeaconry of Ely, which is subdivided into the rural deaneries of Barton, Bourn, Cambridge, Camps, Cheveley, Fordham, North Stowe, Quy and Shingay; four parishes are in the diocese of Norwich and three in that of St. Albans.
  • The Isle of Ely (which is the northern portion of the county) forms, for ecclesiastical purposes, part of the archdeaconry of Wisbech, which is divided into rural deaneries of Ely, March and Wisbech.
  • For details of the churches of Cambridgeshire, access and other snippets then its is worth visiting the Churches of Cambridgeshire web site.
  • Information about Baptist Churches in Old Cambridgeshire can be found here.

Church Records


Civil Registration

  • The GRO District volume numbers for Cambridgeshire are:
    • 37 to 1852 - Vol. 14
      1852 to 1946 - Vol. 3b
      1946 to 1974 - Vol. 4B
      1974 to date - Vol 9.
  • The Unions of parishes, established by the Poor Law Commissioners under the 1835 Act of Parliament, became registration districts with the introduction of civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in 1837, so superseding the medieval division of the county and even breaking with the ancient county boundaries. Only the Chesterton, Cambridge, Ely, North Witchford and Whittlesey Registration Districts lay wholly within the county; the district of Caxton contained parts of Huntingdonshire, the district of Linton contained parts of Essex, the district of Newmarket parts of Suufolk and the district of Wisbech parts of Norfolk.
  • Finally, several parishes on the western edge were assigned to the Huntingdonshire Registration District of St Ives, and others on the southern edge to the Hertfordshire Registration District of Royston.
  • These points need to be borne in mind, in particular by users of civil registration and Poor Law records.
  • Brett Langston has provided details of Registration Districts 1837-1930.
  • Certificates of birth, death and marriage can be obtained from the Superintendent Registrars at the following District Register Offices:
  • For Huntingdon see Huntingdonshire
  • If ordering from a District Office, please note the following:
    • (a) the cost of a certificate can be found on the Cambridgeshire County Council website under Certificate Applications
    • (b) the St Catherine's Index references are of no value;
    • (c) for marriage certificates, the precise place of marriage must be given;
    • (d) Civil Registration in England and Wales began on July 1st 1837.
  • Details of Births, Marriages and Death information is available on a Cambridgeshire County Council webpage. There is a searchable index database for births, marriages and deaths available from the Registrars Office on-line. This database allows on-line ordering of certificate from the results of the search.
  • There is a listing of marriages for 1849 Quarter 1 for District 14 covering Cambridgeshire and also marriages for 1856 Quarter 1 for District 3b for Cambridgeshire.

Court Records

  • The Gibson Genealogical Guides include " Quarter Session Records ", 4th edition in which the Cambridgeshire records are cited.
  • Isle of Ely Quarter Sessions:
    • Sessions files 1890, 1893, 1920-65
    • Order books, 1801-1965
    • Special sessions minutes 1774-1807, 1823-1845
    • Register of charity memorials 1812-13
    • Licensed victuallers recognizance register 1822-23
    • Commissioners of the Peace 1837-78
    • Oaths registers 1830-36, 1895-1931
    • Very early records of Ely are in the diocesan records at Cambridge University Library
    • Sessions files 1607-1775 with various gaps Minutes, 1740-47
    • Sacrament certificates, 1706-36
  • Cambridgeshire:
    • Sessions rolls or bundles, 1730-195
    • Jurors' books, 1828-34, 1847
    • Order books, 1660-72, 1689-96, 1699-20c
    • Oaths registers, 1715-32, 1793-1858
    • Recognizance registers, 1661-89, 1694-1757
    • Licensed victuallers recognizance registers, 1728-58, 1764-1828
    • Estreat registers, 1730-65, 1796-1880
    • Land tax assessments, 1829-32
    • Commissions of the peace, 1754-1878
    • Register of annuities, 1767-1835
    • Treasurer's accounts, 1799-1888
    • Register of gamekeepers, 1804-1921
    Cambridge Borough:
    • Files, depositions, examinations etc 1677, 1795, 1809-35, 1857-68, 1871-76, 1886-88
    • Order books, 1733-1847, 1863-1945
    • Gaol delivery, 1503
    • Commissions of the peace, 1703-1877
  • All of these records are at Cambridgeshire Archives, Shire Hall, Cambridge, where there is also a card index to all persons accused, convicted, or convicted at petty sessions, reported to quarter sessions 1660-1883.
  • Coroners Records - see separate page
  • Here is a list of Coroners Records for Cambridgeshire.

Description & Travel

  • The structures of Cambridgeshire are described in Nikolaus Pevsner's book " The Buildings of England - Cambridgeshire, published by Penguin Books ISBN 0 14 9710.10 8.
  • The Fen Causeway was a major Roman road providing access through the fens, the Causeway passes through March and Whittlesey.
  • There is a collection of photographs from The Francis Frith Collection for Cambridgeshire villages on-line.
  • Wandlebury Country Park - Cambridge's First Country Park includes the Iron Age Hillfort which is set on the distinctive chalk slopes of the Gogs, overlooking southern Cambridgeshire.
  • When the photographer HES Simmons went round the country taking photographs of windmills in the 1930s he made notes about some of the mills he visited. Copies can be obtained from the Muggeridge collection at the University of Kent. Notes are kept in the HES Simmons collection at the Science Museum in London. Address; Science Museum Library The information librarian is a Mr. John Underwood, who will check the collection for you, and for a small charge photocopy any relevant information. You can email him here.
  • The Church Monument Society have listed several buildings in Cambridgeshire. This site used to have a listing by county, however this is no longer the case, and a search for "Cambridgeshire" brings up Derbyshire and Hertfordshire, so I've no idea how you use the search. The other misleading thing is that they call War Memorials "Monuments", so don't expect any graves, just War Memorials.



Emigration & Immigration



  • Samuel Lewis's Topographical Gazetteer - 1831
    • This gazeteer provides a synopsis of the various parishes as well as the county. The whole of the country is available on CD-rom from Family Tree Maker.
    • The details for the county of Cambridgeshire have been transcribed here.
  • A Brief History of Ely and neighbouring villages in the Isle by J.H. Clements, 1868
    • Cambridgeshire Libraries and Information Service have published acopy of the above which states it is "from the best sources, with other subjects of interest." Short descriptive details for Ely, Chettisham, Prickwillow, Burn Fen, Stuntney, Quaney farm, Coveney, Downham, Haddenham, Littleport, Manea, Mepal, Stretham, Sutton, Wenworth, Wilburton, Witcham and Witchford can all be found in this book.


  • General
    • The LDS Church have produced the International Genealogical Index (IGI) of England which includes Cambridgeshire. However, the county is not well represented on the IGI with less than 15 percent of the county included. An easy to use look up of the IGI and link to the Family Search has been provided by Hugh Wallis for Cambridgeshire.
    • The Bishop of Ely delegated authority to each parish as to whether they would permit their parish registers to be filmed by the LDS. Very few have agreed, although the situation is constantly under review and it is hoped that permission will be given for more registers to be filmed for inclusion. In the meantime, the Cambridgeshireshire Family History Society are transcribing the registers eventually putting them onto microfiche; available fiche are listed on the Parish Register Publications List and are described on each parish page (see {Towns and Parishes} index).
    • The Cambridgeshire Look-up Exchange. Volunteers are offering look-ups in various research references.
    • The Cambridgeshire FHS have provided their database of Strays in searchable form on their website and also their Members websites.
  • CCAN Cambridgeshire Community Archive Network
    • The aim of the project is to provide 50 communities throughout Cambridgeshire, over a two year period, the opportunity to record their heritage on the CCAN online archive ( www.ccan.co.uk). These archives consist of photographs (old and new), oral and written reminiscences, video and hotspots (the latter can link people and names across different records). Each archive will have a constituted history/archive group that will act as custodians/researchers for their archive. Sustainability has been built into the project and groups will be able to carry on recording their history after the project funding has ended.
    • This network of 50 archives will provide a substantial resource for web users interested in local history, particularly genealogists, with each community archive potentially listing hundreds of names. In a pilot project, involving 7 villages the archive groups added 1000 records and they received many emails requesting genealogical information. The current project has just set up its first 10 groups and in two months the groups have added 500 records. The CCAN website is in the latter stages of its development with hotspots now functional. Another 1000 records will be added from the pilot project during Spring 2007. The website is fully searchable and information can be easily accessed.



Land & Property

  • The Deeds Collection of the Harvard Law School Library is a rich and diverse body of over 1,000 English legal documents dating from circa 1170 to 1888. This collection brings together in one group three smaller collections. The largest one is made up of some 820 deeds, originally owned by the English antiquarian Frederick Arthur Crisp (1851-1922). This group of documents was sold to A. T. Butler of the Royal College of Arms, and was subsequently purchased by Harvard College Library in 1923. In 1925 it was transferred to the Harvard Law School.
  • The second part of the collection is a group of documents known as the Hale Collection. This consists of 132 deeds spanning from the late sixteenth to the late seventeenth century. These documents are part of the records of the Hale family of King's Walden (Hertfordshire). In addition to their family seat in Hertfordshire, the Hales also possessed property in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, and London. The collection documents the history of a wealthy land-owning family from the Elizabethan period to the Restoration. Property transactions in the King's Walden, White Waltham (Berkshire), and Edworth (Bedfordshire) are particularly well represented. The third part of the collection is made up of miscellaneous deeds acquired by the Library through purchase or donation.


  • A site providing address searching and road atlas maps for the UK, is available at The UK Street Map Page.
  • A Cambridgeshire Parish Map and the O/S Map of Cambridegshire 1925 are both available from the Society of Genealogists bookshop.
  • If you are trying to locate a building or place which is/was in Cambridgeshire then there are some notes of how to use various links to do this.
  • Various maps can be located for Cambridgeshire on the Internet. There are maps available on the Antique Maps website.
  • For the acquisition old maps of the county and Acts of Parliament there is Lesley Aitchison's Maps, Plans, Manuscripts, Documents, Engravings, Ephemera, etc. site.
  • Tithes
    • "Township" maps were produced in the 1840's and show each field and property in a township, which is a subdivision of a parish. Each field or plot is numbered. These numbers are listed in the apportionment tables which show the field or plot owner, the tenant and the acreage and the tithe payable. These were produced when tithes, which were a tenth of the produce, were to be paid to the church in cash rather than kind. Theese maps are usually available at the County Archives.
  • Land Tax
    • From 1908 Land Tax maps were created. These maps were to be used for taxation purposes existed until past the First World War. Although they were never used for the purpose they were intended for they, and their accompanying documentation, provide an invaluable source as to the land owners and occupiers. These maps should be available in the Cambridgeshire Archives or at the PRO.
  • Agricultural Maps
    • At the start of the Second World War agricultural maps were drawn up. These were used to monitor the success or failure of individual farms in order to maintain the food requirement for a country at war. The accompanying information details the farms and, with Cambridgeshire being an agriculutural county, are invaluable for tracing ancestors during this time. These maps should be available in the Cambridgeshire Archives or at the PRO.
  • Railway Maps
    • With the advent of the railways in ernest from 1860 maps were drawn up for proposed rail routes. These detail the properties along the rail route, another source for locating ancestors. These records can be found with Assize Records or in the Cambridgeshire Archives. As the migration increased heavily in the late 19th and early 20th centuries these can give a good insight into the routes families may have taken when entering or leaving the county.

Medical Records

  • A list of medical connections for the county including Gonville and Caius college, Cavendish Laboratory, Addenbrook's Hospital and Papworth Everard is available on-line on the Archive.org site
  • Directory of medical licences issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury 1535-1775 including those for Cambridgeshire

Military History

  • Formation and History of the Cambridgeshire Militia
    • In Cambridgeshire, the Militia Regiment was raised in August 1759 (the month of the Battle of Minden), with a quota of 480 men formed into 8 companies.
    • Details of the location of Militia Lists and Musters 1757-1876 for Cambridgeshire records can be found in the book " Militia Lists and Musters 1757-1876 " compiled by Jeremy Gibson and Mervyn Medlycott, 3rd edition 1994 and published by the Federation of Family History Societies, page 13.
    • 'Records of the Miltia & Volunteer Forces 1757-1945' by William Spencer published by the Public Record Offices.
  • Formation and History of the Cambridgeshire Regiment
    • The Cambridgeshire Regiment traces its history to the formation of the Cambridgeshire Rifle Volunteer Corps in the year 1860. 'A Guide to the Cambridgeshire Regiment' is available ISBN 0 9531942 1 3 © The Cambridgeshire Regiment Collection, 1998.
  • Formation and History of the Royal Anglian Regiment.
    • The Royal Anglian Regiment is the Regiment of ten counties of East Anglia and the East Midlands with a history going back to 1685. It was formed in 1964 from the regiments of the East Anglian Brigade, which themselves had been formed through a series of amalgamations of six former County Regiments between 1958-60.
  • First and Second World Wars
    • The war memorials for Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely for both the first and second world wars are gradually being put on-line with details of the men and women honoured on them.
    • 'SOLDIERS DIED IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-19 - The Cambridgeshire Regiment' is available ISBN 1 871505 77 1 © J. B. Hayward & Son
  • Pre-18th Century Cambridgeshire Military History

Names, Personal

  • The Waddelow Society is a One Name Study Group which is interested in the Waddelow and Wadlow names. The name is most common in and around the Littleport and Little Downham area. Rebecca Waddelow who was involved in the Littleport Riots.
  • Bevan Whitechurch has a fairly extensive record of the name Whitechurch in Cambridgeshire from 1644. He would be happy to have any one with queries on this subject contact him by e-mail and he do hist best to answer their queries.


  • In the book " An Introduction to Using Newspapers and Periodicals " by Colin R. Chapman and published by the Federation of Family History Societies, page 12 includes the reference:
    • "The Northampton Mercury , for example, was the only paper published in that part of the country for many years and regularly reported events in Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, as well as further afield."
  • The book " NEWSPAPERS AND LOCAL HISTORY" by Michael Murphy and published by the British Association for Local History carries several references to Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely.
    • Page 4 contains a cartoon from The Cambridge Chronicle , 5 December 1913, p. 8, entitled "Swavesey Parish Council's Fear of the Press".
    • Page 8 contains "One of the most important pioneers in the transformation of the provincial press emerged, rather surprisingly, from the county and university town of Cambridge. From 1793 to 1803 Benjamin Flower, a radical Unitarian, published the Cambridge Intelligencer".
    • Page 10 contains "In 1895, for example, reporters from the Cambridge Independent Press toured Cambridgeshire discussing with chairmen of newly formed parish councils the problems they saw confronting their villages."
    • Page 11 contains an illustration of an early railway-train with locomotive, tender and two coaches from the Cambridgeshire Advertiser, 17 June 1846.
    • Page 12 contains "After 1918 a principal feature of many local newspapers was to reproduce old photographs and illustrations sent in by readers weekly. These range (in the case of the Cambridge Chronicle ) from general views of town streets and buildings to quite rare pictures - such as steam tugs working on the River Cam."
  • Michael Murphy also published the book Cambridgeshire and Opinion, 1780-1850 (Cambridge, 1977) examining the interaction between local press and public opinion during the same period.
  • The Cambridgeshire Collection has a highly organised indexing project which is remarkably comprehensive and also commercial. Everything within the library system - newspapers, books, maps, pictures and tapes - are indexed cover to cover, paragraph to paragraph. For the period 1916-34 all pictures from newspapers are indexed, and from 1953 a cuttings file has also been available. The headings used match the catalogue numbers for books, and the cards themselves carry all the information needed by the researcher to find the material he or she wants, be it in a newspaper, in a book or elsewhere. A number of local groups in the county have also produced 'village chronicles' which detail local news and events in their respective parishes by reproducing quotes from the various local newspapers.
  • The Cambridge Evening News is on-line, has been in existence since 1888 and has seen many events in its time.
  • Extracts from the Soham Chronicle 1787-1899 can be found on Sharon Walker's web site (now on Archive.org).
  • The "Isle of Ely and Wisbech Advertiser" became the "Fenland Advertiser" and then the " Fenland Citizen".
  • Here is a Summary of Documentary and Library Holdings for Newspapers for Cambridgeshire.


  • Due to the nature of the area many of our ancestors were wind or water millers. There is a page of links to information relating to Windmills of Cambridgeshire.
  • Rosalind Dunning has kindly provided transcripts of the list of apprentices who came from Cambridgeshire that has been extracted from Guildhall Library London.
  • The Cambridgeshire Coprolite Industry - In the second half of the 19c hundreds of men, women and children across Cambridgeshire were engaged in digging "coprolites". Depending on local accent and the spelling of the census enumerators they were also known as "copralites", "coprelites", "coproilites", "coperlites", "coperalites", "coparlites", "copperlites", "copperlights", "copper lights", "coprolithes" and "coupperlites". Some thought they were "bears' muck", "lizards' muck", "fish droppings" or even "sun dried wildebeest droppings". The Times described them as "a mass of petrified dung of extinct reptilia, found in the green sandstone formation, often mingled with bones and fossils." The word 'coprolite' came from the Greek 'kopros' meaning dung and 'lithos' meaning stone.
  • A list of Cambridgeshire Apprentices information can be found here.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Cambridgeshire contains several poor law unions which are constructed from various parishes.
  • Peter Higginbotham has made available a website which details information about Workhouses, the Poor Law, etc.
  • Further reading: 'Poor Law Union Records - 1. South - East England and East Anglia' by Jeremy Gibson, Colin Rogers and Cliff Webb, published by the Federation of Family History Societies.
  • See also J. Hurst and J. Gilmour, 'Pauper lunatics in Victorian Cambridgeshire', Cambridgeshire FHS, 8.6 (1992).
  • The Cambridgeshire FHS have provided on-line their colection of poor law papers as a searchable database, these cover settlements, apprenticeships and bastardy agreements between the periods 1604-1860.
  • Here is a list of the Poor Law Unions and the parishes within them for Cambridgeshire.

Probate Records

  • Details of the location of Cambridgeshire Probate records can be found in the book "PROBATE JURISDICTIONS: Where to look for Wills " compiled by Jeremy Gibson, 4th edition 1997 and published by the Federation of Family History Societies, pages 18-19.
  • Specific details of locations are also published in the book " GENEALOGICAL SOURCES IN CAMBRIDGESHIRE " by Michael Farrar, 2nd edition 1994, pages 10-16.
  • An index to " Consistory Court of Ely Probate Records 1449-1858 " has been published, in 3 volumes A-E, F-P, Q-Z, by the British Records Society.




  • Land Tax
    • Details of the location of Land Tax Assessment records for Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely can be found in the book " LAND and WINDOW TAX ASSESSMENTS " compiled by Jeremy Gibson, Mervyn Medlycott and Dennis Mills, 2nd edition 1998 and published by the Federation of Family History Societies, page 20.
  • Window Tax
    • Details of the location of Window Tax Assessment records for Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely can be found in the book " LAND and WINDOW TAX ASSESSMENTS " compiled by Jeremy Gibson, Mervyn Medlycott and Dennis Mills, 2nd edition 1998 and published by the Federation of Family History Societies, page 20.
  • The Hearth Tax
    • The majonty of the taxes and their records relate to the reign of Charles II (1660-1655), of which the Hearth Tax generated by far the most (surviving) records. and consequently is the best known and most useful. Others were the 1661 Free and Voluntary Present to the King, Subsidies and Aids, and the Poll Tax. On the accession of William and Mary. the Hearth Tax was repealed (1689). beIng replaced eventually by the Land Tax and the Window Tax - few records of which survive pre-1715, and these only for the more prosperous - and, for a short time, the 'Marriage Tax', which is of great use and interest to genealogists, but unfortunately only exists for a few places.
    • Details of the location of these records and other later Stuart Tax Lists and the Association Oath Rolls can be found in the book " THE HEARTH TAX and other later Stuart Tax Lists and the ASSOCIATION OATH ROLLS " compiled by Jeremey Gibson, 2nd edition 1996 published by the Federation of Family History Societies, pages 16-17. Details of these can be found on the Hearth Tax page.
  • Protestations Returns 1641-42
    • The Protestation, a form of oath of loyalty ostensibly to the King, but in fact to Parliament, was initiated in the House of Commons in May 1641, when Members themselves took it. Nine months later its scope was vastly widened, when instructions went out that it should be taken by every adult (male); very occasionally women were also recorded. Closely assodated with the Protestation was the Collection in Aid of Distressed Protestants in Ireland. The oath was taken and the collection made, often simultaneously, in February 1641/2 and March.
    • Parliament-approved taxation records recommence, after Charles l's eleven years of personal rule, with Tudor-type Subsidies, to be collected during 1641. In July 1641 a Poll Tax was voted, but few records of this survive. Thirdly, an Assessment or Grant was agreed, to be collected in May and November 1642. This Assessment had a much lower tax threshold and consequently many more taxpayers are named.
    • Details of the location of these records and other contempary listings can be found in the book " THE PROTESTATION RETURNS 1641-42 and other contemporary listings " compiled by Jeremey Gibson and Alan Dell, 1995 published by the Federation of Family History Societies, pages 21-22. Details of these can be found on the Protestation Returns page.
  • Cambridgeshire Tax on Male Servant
  • Church Taxes
    • Church Commissioners. The body that manages the temporal affairs of the Church of England. Created in 1948 by the amalgamation of the former Ecclesiastical Commissioners (first appointed in 1836) and the commissioners of "Queen Anne's Bounty", the Church Commissioners are responsible for the administration of church properties and finances and for the reorganisation, when necessary, of parishes. These include the tithes due on church owned land; this was a common occurence throughout Cambridgeshire and the tithes were levied by a system whereby a landowner had to collect the money from other landowners in the parish), whether he managed to collect it or not, he had to pay it for the patish. Each landowner was nominated in turn each year. As can be seen by the various Twons and Parishes listed here much of the property was owned by the church.
    • Tithes a tenth part of the produce of the land paid from quite early years of the Church to maintain the Clergy. In England, when the lord of a Manor built a Church on his estate, he often enforced payment of tithes to its priest as its endowment, and in time such allocation of tithes became general law. A Synod in 786 strongly enjoined the payment of tithes, which was enforced by law in 900. Tithes were of three sorts :- 'praedial', of the fruits of the earth; 'personal', of the profits of labour; and 'mixed', partly of the ground and partly of the industry of man. They were further divided into 'great' (tithes of wheat, oats and other major crops) and 'small' (tithes of lambs, chicken and other minor produce). A Rector had all the tithes, but a Vicar only the small tithes. Gradually many landowners substituted annual cash payments instead of tithes. The Tithes Commutation Act (1836) converted tithes into rent charges dependent on the varying price of corn, but in 1918 the value was fixed, and in 1925 and 1936 further acts were passed (Tithe Redemption Act) to extinguish tithes. There are now no such things as tithes in England.
    • Ecclesiastical Commission a permanent body, consisting of Bishops and certain lay members appointed by the Crown and the Archbishop of Canterbury, created in 1835 by Act of Parliament through the efforts of Sir Robert Peel to hold much of the property of the Church of England and make better use of it. The Commission abolished sinecures, diminished the chapters of cathedrals brought the incomes of bishops nearer to equality and increased the endowments of poor parishes. In 1948 it was united with Queen Anne's bounty to form a new body, the Church Commissioners for England.
    • Queen Anne's Bounty. A fund established by Queen Anne in 1704. She surrendered her revenues from first fruits and tenths to the fund, which was to be used for the benefit of poorer beneficed clergy. In the 19th century the fund also received parliamentary wants and private donations. In 1948 the administration of the fund passed to the Church Commissioners.
    • First fruits and tenths were payments made to the Pope by beneficed clergymen. In 1534 in England these were acquired by the King under Act. Various exemptions were made in 1535, 1536, 1558, 1706 and 1707. In 1703 an Act was passed enabling Queen Anne to employ these moneys in augmenting poor benefices, and since then they have been known as Queen Anne's Bounty, and have been administered by commissioners, first appointed in 1704. Existing legislation regarding Queen Anne's Bounty are Acts of 1703, 1716, 1777, 1780, 1801, 1803,1805, 1830, 1837, 1838, 1839, 1840, 1846, 1865, 1870, 1874, 1875, 1881, 1890, 1894, 1908. The Acts known as Queen Anne's Bounty Acts are those of 1703, 1716, 1803, 1838, 1840 and 1870.
    • Here is a list of information for The Hearth Tax and other associated records for Cambridgeshire.
    • Here is information about The Protestation Returns 1641-42 etc. for Cambridgeshire.

Voting Registers

  • Poll Books
    • Details of the location of Poll Book records for Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely can be found in the book " POLL BOOKS c 1696-1872: A Directory to Holdings in Great Britain " compiled by Jeremy Gibson and Colin Rogers, 3rd edition 1994 and published by the Federation of Family History Societies, pages 16-17.
    • The 1772 Poll Book of Cambridgeshire is available on microfiche from the Society of Genealogists bookshop.