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Discover Your Ancestors

Discover Your Ancestors

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The City from Bankside

The City from Bankside by Thomas Miles Richardson, c.1820

TheGenealogist has released a collection of searchable early trade and residential Directories that cover the years 1816–1839 to help researchers find ancestors in the period before the usable census records began.

Prior to 1841 all of the UK censuses were generally statistical: that is, mainly headcounts, with virtually no personal information such as names recorded and so family history researchers need to turn to a substitute to find out the address where their ancestors had lived. Trade and residential directories list names of tradespeople, prominent citizens and in some cases other residents of a town as well.

Many of these directories will also give a good description of the town or area which can give family historians an interesting insight into the social history of their ancestors’ locality at the time. This information usually includes the main industry, topographical details, communication links with the surrounding towns by stagecoach or railway, and details of local administration offices, post offices, the clergy, charities hospitals and schools.

These directory records have been digitised by TheGenealogist and made searchable by name, so they can help researchers to find their ancestors in the Georgian and very early Victorian period.

The early trade and residential directories being released in this batch include volumes that cover Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Derby, Devonshire, Dorsetshire, Durham, Essex, Glasgow, Hampshire, London, Liverpool, Middlesex, Northumberland, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire and Suffolk. Find out more about directories and how they can help you research your ancestors here:

Latest tithe map release reveals Essex changing over time

TheGenealogist has released colour tithe maps for Essex, fully integrated with its MapExplorer. This release allows users to see the area in West Ham, Essex on which the ExCel centre now stands and to discover the changes from Victorian pasture land to dock complex then exhibition venue, and now to the new Nightingale Hospital as the Covid-19 emergency builds.

This versatile tool can give the family history researcher a fantastic insight into what our ancestors’ city, town or village looked like over a number of periods and can also help them to find an ancestor’s property.

Joining the georeferenced Lloyd George data layer, headstones and war memorials, the colour tithe maps are an important enhancement of the ever-expanding Map Explorer.

TheGenealogist has linked these highly detailed tithe maps to the apportionment book records so providing researchers with the details of the plots, their owners and their occupiers at the time of the early Victorian survey. The coverage ranges from large estate owners to ordinary people occupying small plots such as a homestead or a cottage. Colour tithe maps make it easier for the researcher to understand the terrain as the streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, houses and trees are often highlighted in different colours.

TheGenealogist’s colour tithe maps collection now covers the counties of Buckinghamshire, Cumberland, Huntingdonshire, Middlesex, Northumberland, Rutland, Surrey, Westmorland, the City, North and East Ridings of Yorkshire along with this new addition of Essex. These are available to subscribers to the site’s Diamond membership package, along with greyscale tithe maps for the rest of England and Wales.

You can read more about the new records in the article here:

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