Manorial Records for Family Historians, 2nd ed.; by Geoffrey Barber; 2018; 88 pp; 5.75x8.25; b&w & color photos, glossary, further reading, index, paperback; ISBN: 9781925781649; Item #: RUTP0131
The manorial system, introduced to England and Wales by the Normans, lasted until 1926 and the surviving records can provide wonderful insights into the personal lives of our ancestors.
Henry Chandler wrote in 1885 that manorial records 'enable us to drop down suddenly on an obscure English village five hundred years ago, and almost to see with our own eyes what the inhabitants are doing'.
However, it seems that few genealogists understand manorial records, and how the manor operated. The aim of this book is to cut through a complex mix of social and legal history to give family historians the knowledge and confidence to start utilizing these records. Once understood, the rewards are immense.
The book also contains many examples of how records from the manors of Rotherfield in East Sussex and Datchurst (alias Hildenborough) in Kent were used by the author in how own research.
Access to manorial records
The origins of the manor
The manor: an overview
Social structure on manorial estates
Freemen (free tenants)
Villeins (unfree tenants)
Administration of the manor
Copyhold or Customary tenure
A description of the Manor of Rotherfield, Sussex in 1400
Locating property using manorial records
Example 1. Widow Barber's Cottage
Example 2. Drapers
Example 3. Bonnetts
Appendix: The Feudal system and the history of wills