Local & Social History

Have you ever wondered what a peruke-maker[1] is or why there were so many stone-pickers in the parish register occupation list? This is just an example of the type of questions that could emerge when researching ancestral history. What was the local economy of your ancestor’s home community based upon? Where did that ancestor fit in to that community? Where did they work? Where were they baptised, married and buried? Do the buildings attached to their ancestral history survive and are there any monuments to them? I may be able to help answer some of these questions.

The history of an individual house may be the focus of your investigation. There is a great deal of information that can be discovered about the history of a house from surviving documentation. This documentation may include land registry documents, title deeds, photographs, maps, manorial records, Wills, census returns, county histories, electoral registers, local directories, sale catalogues and local rates and tax records.

If requested by the client these aspects of an individual’s or family’s ancestral heritage can be investigated. Photographs can be taken, if permissible and accessible, of important ancestral history landmarks.

Alternatively, the interest may be in the more general local history of a village or town. How much was a particular town or village influenced by nonconformity, the Chilterns for example has a long nonconformist tradition, or what was a village or town’s setting in the local landscape? How did such factors shape a particular settlement’s history?

Buckinghamshire also has its share of famous people and events. John Hampden is one of the most famous historical Buckinghamshire figures. He was a Puritan and lived in Great Hampden in the Chilterns. He was also the Parliamentarian who came to fame for refusing to pay in 1635 the Ship Money Tax on his lands. The Buckinghamshire Ship Money Papers of 1635 are an example of an important surviving local history source that can be examined. These papers reveal who did pay the tax that year and the community in which they lived.

[1] Wig Maker