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Estate Records & Maps (Manorial) (Land & Property)

Nature of Source

Documents relating to the administration of an estate which can include plans, accounts, terriers, rentals, valuations, surveys, leases, deeds, maps and correspondence. Many villages were controlled by an estate owning family. Estate maps were drawn up by the landowner showing the extent of his lands. The amount of detail varies and could include every dwelling and building or just the boundary, paths and key landmarks.

Estate records were only considered manorial documents before about 1540 and were written in Latin until 1734. The names of tenants are often listed in estate records. Leases could name family members when a plot of land or dwelling was handed down through the family. The lease could also indicate the date of death of a person. Some families owned land in Ireland and England, so their Irish estate papers might be found in English archives.

Later maps especially from the 19th century were drawn up for the purposes of land redevelopment following the breakup of large estates. The municipal authorities produced detailed maps showing street names with the names of individual owners and occupiers of land earmarked for redevelopment.

Also see
Court Baron/Customary Records
Court Leet Records
Land and Property Records including Title Deeds
Maps & Gazetteers
Palaeography/Handwriting

Where Found

County Record Offices (Manorial records including court rolls. ARCHON Directory: Find the details of a UK archive from a searchable list of over 2,500 archives The catalogue can be found on the TNA Discovery home page)
The National Archives (The Manorial Documents Register. The Manorial Documents Register identifies the nature and location of manorial records. To access the catalogue, click on ‘Advanced Search’, then click on ‘Record Creators’ and select ‘Manor’ from the dropdown list)
British Library
Lambeth Palace Library
Parliamentary Archives (Archives of the House of Lords)
Bodleian Library (The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford with their holdings including estate records, deeds, rolls and maps. Their activities can be followed on Facebook and Twitter)
National Library of Scotland (Estate Plans)
National Records of Scotland (Estate records. The National Records of Scotland was created on 1 April 2011 by the amalgamation of the National Archives of Scotland [NAS] and General Register Office for Scotland [GROS])
National Library of Wales (Manuscript Estate Maps)
Other corporate bodies
Solicitor Archives
Private family archives and collections

Period Covered

1500 - Onwards

Genealogical Value

Names, dates of death and marriage, family relationships, occupation, status, address.
Land held and addresses. Estate maps are useful for house history research.

Further References

Bailey, Mark. The English Manor c.1200 - c.1500: Manchester University Press, 2002 (Preview available from Google Books)

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Beech, Geraldine & Mitchell, Rose. Maps for Family & Local History: The National Archives, 2004 (Preview available from Google Books)

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Bennett, H.S. Life on the English Manor: A Study of Peasant Conditions 1150-1400: Cambridge University Press, 1937 Buy Now on Amazon

Chambers, Paul. Medieval Genealogy: How to Find Your Medieval Ancestors: Sutton, 2005

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Delano-Smith, Catherine & Kain, Roger. English Maps: A History: British Library, 1999

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Durie, Bruce. Documents for Genealogy & Local History: The History Press, 2013

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Ellis, Mary. Using Manorial Records: Public Record Office, 1997

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Foxell, Simon. Mapping London: Making Sense of the City: Black Dog Publishing, 2011

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Foxell, Simon. Mapping England: Black Dog Publishing, 2007

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Franklin, Peter. Some Medieval Records for Family Historians: FFHS, 1994

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Harvey, P.D.A. Manorial Records: British Records Association, 1999

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Hindle, Paul. Maps for Local History: Batsford, 1988

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Hindle, Paul. Maps for Historians: Phillimore, 1998

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Hindle, Paul. Medieval Roads and Tracks: Shire, 2008

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Howgego, James. Printed Maps of London circa 1553-1850: Dawson, 1978

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Hyde, Ralph. Printed Maps of Victorian London, 1851-1900: Dawson, 1975

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McLaughlin, Eve. Manorial Records: McLaughlin, 1996

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Masters, Charles. Essential Maps for Family Historians: Countryside Books, 2009

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Mills, Anthony. A Dictionary of London Place Names: Oxford University Press, 2010

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Mitchell, Brian. A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009

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Oates, Jonathan. Tracing Your Ancestors from 1066 to 1837: Pen and Sword Books, 2012

Oliver, Richard. Ordnance Survey Maps: A Concise Guide for Historians: Charles Close Society, 1993

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Palgrave-Moore, Patrick. How to Locate and Use Manorial Records: Elvery Dowers, 1985

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Park, Peter. My Ancestors were Manorial Tenants: Society of Genealogists, 2002

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Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Guide to Landed Estate Records: Belfast 1994

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Stuart, Denis. Manorial Records: An Introduction to Their Transcription and Translation: Phillimore, 2005


Whitfield, Peter. London: A Life in Maps: British Library, 2006

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Whynne-Hammond, Charles. English Place Names Explained: Countryside Books, 2005

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Winchester, Angus J. L. and Straughton, Eleanor A. Sources in Local History: Finding and Using Manorial Records: The Local Historian, 2007



TNA Research Guides

Websites

www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/projects/manorialrecords/index.htm (Guide to manorial records)
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-place/manors.htm (TNA Guide: Looking for records of a manor)
www.netserf.org/Glossary (Medieval Glossary)
www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/projects/manorialrecords/glossary/index.htm (Manorial Glossary)
www.nottingham.ac.uk/ManuscriptsandSpecialCollections/ResearchGuidance/Manorial/Glossary.aspx (Manorial Glossary)
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/mdr/help/mdr/glossary.htm (Manorial Glossary from the Manorial Document Register)
www.msgb.co.uk/glossary.html (Glossary of Manorial Terms from the Manorial Society of Great Britain)
www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk (Some Notes on Medieval English Genealogy)
www.ancestrysolutions.com/Defsland.html (Legal Terms in Land Records)
Manorial Records (Guide from the Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service)
English Manorial Court Records as a Source for Eighteenth- and Nineteenth Century Families, by Cecil Humphery-Smith
www.nottingham.ac.uk/manuscriptsandspecialcollections/researchguidance/manorial/types.aspx (Types of manorial record)
www.history.ac.uk/gh/Estate.htm (Estate Maps at Guildhall Library, by Stacey Gee)
www1.somerset.gov.uk/archives/Leaflets/Maps.pdf (Somerset Record Office Information Leaflet: Maps)
http://maps.nls.uk/estates/index.html (National Library of Scotland: Estate Maps of Scotland, 1772-1878)
www.nas.gov.uk/guides/plans.asp (National Archives of Scotland Research Guide: Topographical, architectural and engineering plans in the NAS)
www.dorsetforyou.com/dorsethistorycentre/manorial (Life in a Dorset Manor: This pack studies the lives of ordinary people from medieval times up to the twentieth century, through the activities of the manor)

Online Databases

England
Online Catalogues (Listing of online catalogues for the partial whereabouts of records including Access to Archives [A2A], National Register of Archives [NRA])
Manorial Documents Register (Partial whereabouts of records)
www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20187/information_and_advice/1099/worcestershire_tithe_and_inclosure_map_project (Worcestershire Tithe and Inclosure Map Project: On-line access to digitised 18th and 19th century inclosure, tithe and estate maps searchable by name with transcribed entries from the original documentation)
www.sutherlandcollection.org.uk (The Sutherland Collection. The Sutherland Papers are the massive archive created by the Leveson-Gower family, Marquesses of Stafford and Dukes of Sutherland. It is the single most important archive collection relating to past life in Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent. The collection contains hundreds of thousands of documents, volumes and maps created and preserved over 10 centuries)
www.nottingham.ac.uk/manuscriptsandspecialcollections/collections/allcollections/family.aspx (University of Nottingham: Family and Estate Collections. The collections represent some of the most important Nottinghamshire landowning families whose influence stretched the length and breadth of the country and even extended abroad. Users can browse the Manuscripts Online Catalogue for descriptions of all family and estate collections)
www.staffsnameindexes.org.uk (Tenants of the Manor of Newcastle under Lyme, 1700-1832)
http://familyrecords.dur.ac.uk (Durham University Library: Family and Local History Records: Bishopric and Cathedral Estates, 16th-20th centuries. Manorial records from the estates and manors in County Durham and Northumberland as well as in Allertonshire and some other parts of Yorkshire. The records include the property transactions of leasehold and copyhold tenants)
www.1611macclesfieldsurvey.info
(The website lists all freeholders, copyholders and tenants living on the Manor and Forest of Macclesfield around 1611)
www.worldvitalrecords.com (Court Rolls of the Honor of Clitheroe in the County of Lancaster, 1377 - 1567 in partnership with Anguline Research Archives) www.kentarchaeology.org.uk (Wotton Survey, Kent, 1557-1560. Transcribed survey of land owned by the Wotton family whose estate covered 6,000 acres in nearly every part of the county, from Ringwould in the east to St Mary Cray in the west and from Cliffe on the Thames estuary to Lydd on Romney Marsh)
www.sog.org.uk/search-records
(SoG Data Online: Index to the Manor of Markeaton, Mackworth & Allestree, Derbyshire 1650-1851)
www.dhi.ac.uk/conisbrough
(University of Sheffield: Conisbrough Court Rolls. Conisbrough was one of the important royal manors of Yorkshire. The Court Rolls provide a unique account of the working lives and relationships of its inhabitants. Discover the historic workings of a manor and learn more about Conisbrough and how its past has contributed to its present)
Scotland
Online Catalogues (Listing of online catalogues for the partial whereabouts of records including the National Register of Archives for Scotland [NRAS])
Scottish Archive Network [SCAN] (Online catalogue covering archive records but not printed material of 52 Scottish archives. The site also includes an extensive links page, a Knowledge Base and other research tools. The catalogue includes the catalogues of the National Archives of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland. The records includes business and society records and family and estate papers but not those held in private hands or in solicitor's offices. SCAN also maintains the websites www.scottishhandwriting.com and www.scottishdocuments.com. Used with National Register of Archives for Scotland, a search should cover all available family and private archives)
http://maps.nls.uk/estates/index.html (Sample of digitised estate maps of Scotland held at the National Library of Scotland)