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The wonderful Archives

duckweed

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#1
I'm back in Sheffield Archives. It was closed for several months last year and I have not been able to go. If you have access to your local Archives go and see what they have. You could be surprised.

Right now I am back noting down particulars from the key for an 1846 Tythe map. It is a remarkable document as it lists all the tennants and the size of the fields they have and the names of the fields. So by comparing names with the 1841 census I can actually pinpoint the farms and who lives on them which I couldn't do before. It helps me see where the boundaries for each Hamlet are and whether the fields are crops or pasture.

Hopefully I can build up a resource that I can give to the Archives as well as use myself so anyone can see the history of the land their house is on and anyone looking for a particular family will be able to put in the name and it will come up on a map together with census details and whatever else I can glean.

It also shows me the position of all the smithies which no census maps do on their own. It also has the value of the lands so you can get an idea of how prosperous a landowner was. And the size of the woodland so I can add that all up and make comparisons. All from one map and its key.

My point is that don't stop at census and BMD when you are looking for a family history. Look for tennancy agreements maps etc. Also look for photo Archives. Sheffield has a great photo archive online so you can often find photos of long demolished streets. I have written our family's story and used old photos of where they lived and I think it really gives a feel of the life they led.

Then there are school records and Workhouse, and hospital. Apprentice records.

I especially like Army records as they describe the physical characteristics so you know how tall they were and whether they were fat or skinny.
 

duckweed

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#3
My mother took me to see the House her grandparents lived in. It was a revelation. The house was so tiny that the people in the nearest house had bought it to use as a garage for their car and it wasn't even a double garage.
 

benny1982

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#4
Well done Duckweed. Very good when things all come together. Tithe maps will come in handy for me locating the exact position of any ancestors who were tenant farmers.
 

duckweed

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#5
I have loads of tennant farmers in my family. My brother actually found them in the estate records in the 17th century. Estate records are harder to find especially if the family still exist as they often have their own private archive which is not accessible.

If you have got a lot of stuff such as from a local family business that goes back generations you might consider offering them to the local archives.

Someone sent their company records to our archives and when the Archivist was listing them he found a letter on company notepaper but written to a girlfriend and describing what life was like in Sheffield during the General Strike. Such a great find as eyewitness accounts are so rare.

The only things I have from my farming ancestors are some photos of the farm and a cattle sale. I'm wondering what we will do with them as there is no guarantee that anybody in my family would want such things and I would hate for them to be lost forever.

I imagine the Cumbrian Archives might like the photos. One farm definitely still stands but is much altered as it is holiday flats and a conference centre. I have a late Victorian photo of it.
 

leefer

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My mother took me to see the House her grandparents lived in. It was a revelation. The house was so tiny that the people in the nearest house had bought it to use as a garage for their car and it wasn't even a double garage.
The one in Cumberland...any photos?
 

duckweed

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#7
re my grandfather's house haven't found them alas. Only have one of the Methodist Chapel my grandfather built. The farms yes got three or four of them.
 

ianto73

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#8
DW, the magic of this site is the information that gets passed around from all the people on it. Learning is a life-time process, and it saddens me that much of my family history no longer exists. However, during the years I lived back home in the Rhondda in the 90's, the local community group had the full census records for our village for the years 1871/1881/1891. I was able to take them home and on reading them my wife looked at one particular house which showed 12 residents including 2 lodgers - the house was tiny two bedrooms, a front room and the kitchen (open hearth type), no garden as such. My wife (a Londoner) asked how the lodgers slept and I replied, "Well, one would be on the day shift and the other on the night shift at the pit" - and that is how it was told to me as a boy. Those houses are still there today and the only improvement would be the insides of them.
 

leefer

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#9
http://www.swindonweb.com/index.asp?m=8&s=116&ss=341

A little like this......i love this place....a modern living village but the history smacks you in the face.
Little terrace cottage like houses with miniature rooms and a tiny kitchen.
But to those who had nothing all those years back a job inside as they called the railways meant a home like a palace heathcare.....and a job that fed the family.
The 12 hours spent toiling was hard....often 6 days a week but these people were used to it.......many walked 10/15 miles across open countryside to work at the GWR.
Happily these little pieces of the past are now listed.
 

ianto73

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#10
Lee, your houses look far more posh than those of our mining village. As you know when driving through the Rhondda, many of the houses are built on a mountain. Our house had a 30+foot retaining wall at the back, the back room light was on permanently, and bear in mind that we did not have electric light up stairs when I was a child, and we were roughly about 1000 feet above sea level. If I was more clued up on computers I'd put a couple of photos on here. :2fun: I am glad that we have moved on from then, but still remember the freedom of using the mountain behind us as the best "PLAYSTATION" ever!:2fun::2fun::2fun:
 

leefer

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#11
Brian...i love driving through South Wales...i often drive the Heads of the Mountains road.....was in Rasseau yesterday near Ebbw Vale......i go to Blaenavon most weeks.
The houses are incredible hanging onto mountainsides....the town houses on top of steep hills.
There is some photos on the photo thread when i passed Glyneath just north of Swansea....lovely canal.
Driving through the beacons is magical...........especially when the sun is shining.
 

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