News and Blog

The latest news and information from the Achievements team.

  1. Odd words in family history . . . . a pightle?

    Odd-sounding words can be found in all sorts of genealogical sources.  From occupations on census returns unrecognisable to us today, such as a puddler (someone who made iron) or ostler (working with horses), to local dialect words found in wills.

    One of our searchers found a more unusual word in a will of an East Anglian ancestor, being the term “pightle”, apparently referring to land.  In fact, this word refers to a small amount of land, being a field or enclosure.  It is particularly used in Norfolk, where the word can be found as the name of a property, or small road.

  2. Interested in delving deeper into your family tree?

    Genealogical research can give you information on names, and dates and places of birth, but what about putting flesh on the bones of your ancestry, so-to-speak?  Clues can be given in addresses, for example, about the type of area our ancestors lived in, but prior to the nineteenth century census returns and General Registration records, exact addresses are not always given in historical records.

    But there are other ways to find out more in-depth information about our ancestors.  Parish chest records can provide information on renting pews, whether our ancestors received poor relief, or were churchwardens, for example.  Census substitutes such as 17th century Hearth Tax records can show how many fireplaces our ancestors had, and the thus the relative size of their houses, whilst Protestation Returns show whether they were conforming to the Anglican church in the 1640s.

    Further back in time, manorial records can provide information on where our ancestors rented or purchased land, or whether they were fined for any misdemeanor in the local manorial court.  Thus, genealogy can be much more than names and dates: it is finding out about the historical context of our ancestors lives, and how they fitted into the historical landscape of the past.

    If you would like to find out more about your family history, contact us today to see what we can do for you.



December 2018
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