Locating Clent manorial landholdings and SLIG

Having recently completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies with the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, I have been looking around for further educational opportunities.

As my diploma dissertation was a study of manorial land records between 1712 and 1927, of Clent Manor, Worcestershire, England, the “Advanced Research Tools: Land Records” track presented by Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) 2012 peaked my interest.  The course runs from 23-27 January 2012.

Although my study focused on land inheritance, I had originally intended presenting results by mapping land holdings belonging to individuals or families.  However, faced with vague property descriptions, I realised this was more difficult than I had anticipated.  Of the copyholdings bought, sold or inherited by the Waldron family of the Fieldhouse, I could locate less than half.  Below is the map that I did not include in my dissertation because of these difficulties.

The Fieldhouse itself was easy (no 13), it is marked on current maps and the listed building records confirm that the house was built in the 1750s.  Some fields that were enclosed and first granted by the Lord in 1788 were described well enough for me to work out their location relative to roads and adjoining property (nos 1-7).   Descriptions referring to ancient field names that so not appear on any maps are more difficult, but I managed to find an archaeological report that gave approximate locations for a few names like Kitchen Meadow, Long Meadow and Wallfields.  So I could approximate the locations of land (the rest of the nos on the map) with descriptions like the following example:

“three pieces of land called the Halfmoon Hills containing about sixteen acres two pieces of land adjoining called the Wallfields containing about eight acres and Meadow called the Kitchen Meadow containing about six acres and one Meadow called Long Meadow containing about four acres and one close adjoining called Ollerpiece containing about two acres in Upper Clent”

Winden Field is a place name that occurs frequently in the manorial court records, but I do not know where it was.  It is thought to be the name of one of the open fields dating back to the medieval farming system.

Occasionally, land descriptions refer to the tithe map.  In Clent this dates to 1838 and records the landowners who were liable to pay tithes, a tax collected by the church which supported the clergy.  None of the land owned by my study family is directly linked to the tithe map in the court rolls, but it may be still possible to correlate the two.

So what does all this stuff about English land records have to do with and course on American land records?  Well the problems are similar and the SLIG course offers some tools applicable to land records anywhere.  The Strathclyde program is biased toward Scottish research and records (it is a Scottish university!), which some think a disadvantage for English based researchers.  However, I benefited from seeing how English and Scottish records differ and the comparison has deepened my understanding making me a better researcher.  American records will be different again, and that is interesting.

As I am based in England the main expense of attending SLIG is the airfare.  However, as RootsTech (2-4 February 2012) and APG Professional Management Conference (1 February 2012), follow a few days later, I could attend all three.  Now the airfare seems a little less extravagant!

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12 Comments on “Locating Clent manorial landholdings and SLIG”

  1. [...] The following is a guest post written by Sue Adams, the winner of my SLIG Blogging Contest Contest! This post originally appeared at her blog, Family Folklore. [...]

  2. Is the “Advanced Research Tools: Land Records” track what you ended up selecting after winning Michael Hait’s SLIG contest? That was my second choice. Looking forward to meeting you at SLIG in January.

  3. Since writing this post I have discovered that the Clent and other Worcestershire tithe maps are now online at http://gis.worcestershire.gov.uk/website/tithesmapping/

    Just fabulous!

  4. Wendy Larmour says:

    Hi Sue! Having spent more time than I care to admit researching the various Waldron families of Clent in an attempt to verify my own line, I am amazed that I haven’t come across your blog before now. Like you I have tried to connect property to people and people to people using whatever original documentation I have been able to find. Also like you I have found the on-line tithe map most useful and it has saved many trips to Worcester Record Office (incidentally now closed until transfer into the city next summer). I would be most interested to hear your conclusions in regard to lineage of the numerous Waldron families in Clent and beyond. Wendy

    • Hi Wendy

      I have emailed you privately, which should answer some of your Waldron questions. Tangled lot aren’t they?

      So, how did you find my blog? Was it by a google search or some other route?

      Sue

      • Wendy Larmour says:

        Just googled Waldron, Clent and up you came! Very impressed with the accuracy of your research, well done!

  5. [...] But I was in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, the home of the Family History Library (FHL), the largest in the world.  If you are wondering what I was doing in SLC see my previous post. [...]

  6. Pennie Waldron says:

    Hi Sue, like Wendy I have been searching to tie up some of the Waldron family my lot are from the Hill Tavern in Clent and earlier members from Fieldhouse – It is such a hard one as they usedt he same names over and over – One day regards Pennie

    • Hi Pennie

      Who was from Hill Tavern? I concentrated on the Fieldhouse lot, so have not made wider connections. I know of at least four Thomas Waldrons, so I appreciate how confusing they are. I will email you directly with some more information as I would like to know how Hill tavern fits in.

      Sue

  7. How interesting! I have never worked with land records in the British Isles so this is all new info for me. None of my American lines back to the British Isles until before the Revolutionary War (my maternal lines are 100% in Germany/Prussia).

  8. [...] “’Locating Clent manorial landholdings and SLIG,’ posted in October 2011, marks the time when I had just started to develop the topic of mapping manorial land holdings for my master’s degree.  Since then, I have had a good deal of fun and deepened my understanding of the interaction of manorial and cartographic sources going back to around 1600.” [...]


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