England Research Guidance: Death, 1066-1537Edit This Page

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England Research Guidance for Death
England | Death | 1066-1537















1. Probate Records, Pre-1858: Probate records
Probate records are court records dealing with the distribution of a person's estate after death. Before January 1858, Church of England courts had the responsibility to prove wills and other probate records. In these records you may find names and relationships. Probate records include wills, testaments, administrations (admons), inventories, codicils, act books, and bonds.
What you are looking for
A will or administration for your ancestor or your ancestor's name in another person's will.
Why go to the next record
You may want to go to the next record because:

1. You did not find any information in the above record.
2. You found information, but it conflicts with what you know.
3. You found information but would like to find additional details.
2. Manorial Record: Manors
Manorial records are private records of an estate held by a lord of the manor. They include court minutes listing tenants, leases, land transfers, manorial appointments, rental fees, and petty crimes. In these records you may find names and relationships of tenants. Sometimes you can trace a family back several generations.
What you are looking for
Your ancestor's name in manorial records.
Why go to the next record
You may want to go to the next record because:

1. You did not find any information in the above record.
2. You found information, but it conflicts with what you know.
3. You found information but would like to find additional details.
3. Chancery Court Records: Court records
Court records are government documents concerning civil matters. Most court records name people who were defendants, plaintiffs, jurors, or witnesses. In these records you may find a person's residence, occupation, physical description, family relationships, name of spouse, and some death and marriage information. Court records seldom provide birth information but may give ages.

Use court records after you have searched other records. Court records tend to be difficult to use because the handwriting is hard to read and they include unfamiliar legal terms.
What you are looking for
Your ancestor's name in chancery court records.
Why go to the next record
You may want to go to the next record because:

1. You did not find any information in the above record.
2. You found information, but it conflicts with what you know.
3. You found information but would like to find additional details.
4. Inquisitions Postmortem: Land and property
An inquisition post mortem is a record of the estate of a deceased person who held land directly from the King. A summoned jury determined the extent of his or her possessions and who was entitled to inherit them. In these records you may find the name and birth date or age of the heir and a description of the property. Names of tenants and jurors are also given.
What you are looking for
Your ancestor's name in an inquisition post mortem.
Why go to the next record
You may want to go to the next record because:

1. You did not find any information in the above record.
2. You found information, but it conflicts with what you know.
3. You found information but would like to find additional details.
5. Land Records: Land and property
Land and property records are records of land ownership and transfers. Use land records to learn when and where an individual lived. In these records you may find names, dates, addresses, occupations, a description of the property, terms of land transfers, and names of heirs, relatives, and neighbors. Land records usually do not provide birth, marriage, or death information but may give clues that can help you find records that do. Land records include surveys, grants, deeds, registers, and plat maps.
What you are looking for
Your ancestor's name in land and property records.
Why go to the next record
You may want to go to the next record because:

1. You did not find any information in the above record.
2. You found information, but it conflicts with what you know.
3. You found information but would like to find additional details.
6. Occupational Records: Occupations
Occupational records provide information on a person's employment or training for a craft, trade, or profession. Knowing a person's occupation can distinguish him or her from other individuals with the same name. Occupational records may include name, age, residence, sometimes father's or widow's name, and other information about a person's life and family. Some types of occupational records are apprenticeship and freemen records; trade, guild, or livery records; and histories of occupations.
What you are looking for
Your ancestor's name in occupational records.
Why go to the next record
You may want to go to the next record because:

1. You did not find any information in the above record.
2. You found information, but it conflicts with what you know.
3. You found information but would like to find additional details.
7. Biography: Biography
A biography is a history of a person's life. A biography may provide an individual's date and place of death or burial, as well as other details. Look for biographies in biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias, society journals, periodicals, and in local histories. Some information in biographical sources may be inaccurate.
What you are looking for
Your ancestor's name in a biography.
Why go to the next record
You may want to go to the next record because:

1. You did not find any information in the above record.
2. You found information, but it conflicts with what you know.
3. You found information but would like to find additional details.
8. Family History: Genealogy
The term family history describes a variety of records containing personal and family information gathered by researchers, societies, or archives. These records can include published family histories, pedigree charts, family group records, research notes on families, correspondence, ancestor lists, research exchange files, record abstracts, and collections of original or copied documents. Family histories can be excellent sources of information that can save you valuable research time. Because these records are compiled from a variety of sources, the information must be carefully evaluated and verified for accuracy. Internet genealogy sites can be helpful in researching a specific family name. If your ancestor emigrated from another country, look for more information in his or her country of birth.
What you are looking for
Your ancestor's name in a family history.
Why go to the next record
You may want to go to the next record because:

1. You did not find any information in the above record.
2. You found information, but it conflicts with what you know.
3. You found information but would like to find additional details.
9. Visitations: Visitations, Heraldic
The government commissioned men called heralds to periodically visit all areas throughout the country to grant and regulate the use of coats of arms. Heralds granted coats of arms to knights, gentlemen, landed gentry, and others entitled to bear them. In these records you may find names, dates, places, and relationships. Sometimes these records may help you trace the descent of a family. These records include coats of arms and visitation pedigrees. Verify heraldic information.
What you are looking for
Your ancestor's name in heraldic visitation records.
Why go to the next record
You may want to go to the next record because:

1. You did not find any information in the above record.
2. You found information but it conflicts with what you know.
3. You found information but you would like to find additional details.
10. Church Monuments: Cemeteries
Church monuments are memorials to wealthy, noble, royal, or other distinguished people. They are often brass plaques, stone statues, or effigies placed inside the church or on church grounds. Information on monuments may include names and dates only. Many church monuments have been transcribed and published.
What you are looking for
Your ancestor's name in a church monument record.
Why go to the next record
You may want to go to the next record because:

1. You did not find any information in the above record.
2. You found information, but it conflicts with what you know.
3. You found information but would like to find additional details.
11. Court Records: Court records
Court records are government documents concerning civil matters. Most court records name people who were defendants, plaintiffs, jurors, or witnesses. In these records you may find a person's residence, occupation, physical description, family relationships, name of spouse, and some death and marriage information. Court records seldom provide birth information but may give ages.

Use court records after you have searched other records. Court records tend to be difficult to use because the handwriting is hard to read and they include unfamiliar legal terms.
What you are looking for
Your ancestor's name in court records.
Why go to the next record
You may want to go to the next record because:

1. You did not find any information in the above record.
2. You found information, but it conflicts with what you know.
3. You found information but would like to find additional details.
12. School and Alumni Records: Schools
School and alumni records are lists of individuals attending a school, college, or university. In these records you may find name, age, date and place of birth, residence, father's name and occupation, marriage information, and other biographical details. School records list teachers, students, and graduates.
What you are looking for
Your ancestor's name in a school or alumni record.
Why go to the next record
You may want to go to the next record because:

1. You did not find any information in the above record.
2. You found information, but it conflicts with what you know.
3. You found information but would like to find additional details.
13. Church Records: Church records
Church records are parish, chapel, or congregation registers created by church authorities. They contain baptisms or christenings, marriages, and burials. In these records you may find names and dates and places of births or christenings, marriages, and burials. In the absence of a birth date, use a christening or baptism date.
What you are looking for
Your ancestor's name in church burial records.
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