With interest in family history at an all-time high, opening up historical resources, via the internet, to people around the world means that many more can pursue this fascinating hobby.
Warwickshire County Record Office has recently launched the ‘Tithe Apportionments’ website, which is an online database of the information held in the schedules that were produced to give details about land shown on tithe maps. The website address is http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tithe.
The tithe maps and apportionments were produced in the 1840s and 1850s to stop disputes over tithe payments. Tithe payments by this time were mostly payments ‘in kind’ and the Tithe Commission set out to convert these to a monetary rent charge. To do so, they produced maps of titheable land and schedules which listed the land owner, the occupier, the name of the land, the state of cultivation, the size in old measurements and the new rent charge.
These records are particularly useful for family historians as they give details about whether their ancestors were landowners or tenants, how much land they owned or occupied, where this land was and what type of land it was.
The Tithe Apportionments website means that people can now search these records on the internet by the occupier and owner name, and land name, whereas searching for these using the original documents would have taken much longer. It is also possible to view the details of all the schedule entries for each completed parish on the website.
Warwickshire has an excellent collection of tithe apportionment records and the record office volunteers have been working hard to enter the information from the schedules into the database. The schedules for the diocese of Birmingham are now available on the website and our volunteers are working on transcribing the schedules for the Coventry diocese, which will be uploaded as they become available.
Caroline Sampson, Head of Archive Service for Warwickshire County Council, said “This is a fascinating website, which will provide essential information for those researching their Warwickshire ancestors. It would not have been possible without our team of volunteers, who have helped create a database rich in information about Warwickshire land and people.”
Warwickshire County Record Office collects, preserves and makes available records charting over 900 years of Warwickshire’s documentary past. The collections cover all aspects of life and work in Warwickshire.
Visitors are welcome at the record office, Tues-Thurs 9am-5.30pm, Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-12.30pm. No appointments are necessary, but ID is required to obtain a free readers’ ticket.
For further details please visit http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/countyrecordoffice.