Tuesday, November 10, 2009

West Hampshire Tax Subsidy

I decided to turn the 30+ pages of text images into a flat file for use in my West Hampshire families (that spill back and forth across the Wiltshire and Berkshire borders). Although my great grandfather was an agricultural labourer his ancestors were farmers on his paternal line. They lived in the Andover area at least from the late 1400s on. I managed to get through about 1/3 of the entries yesterday yielding me just over 600 entries. I have fields for the Division, Hundred, Tithing, Parish, Year of Subsidy, Forename, Surname, Suffix (or additional information), Category of Land Occupancy, Value of Subsidy, and Image number. I think that captures everything that is available to capture but there is still lots more room to add items if I change my mind!

I have completed Andover Hundred where most of my families were but the Blake family was large in the early 1500s and they quickly radiated out from this area into other sections of Hampshire. Eventually many settled in the Southampton area (my father was also born in this area) and the Blake lines coming directly down from Calne Wiltshire also gravitated to this area through the New Forest thus creating a lot of Blake lines and loss of knowledge of how they fitted into this family grouping. I can not say personally if my Blake line is descendant of the Calne Blake family although published literature indicates that they are. I am still with the father of my Nicholas Blake who was born at Andover in the late 1400s and married to Jone who left a will in 1527 which names all of their children but does not give the name of her husband which was thought to be William. But if it is he didn't leave a will which exists in the Hampshire Record Office. There are wills for a Robert and a Richard which I must purchase.

I completed the West Hampshire Tax Subsidy chart today from the material that I copied at Salt Lake City. It will let me sort on all the entries by surname, by area and help me to understand the movements of the various families in this time period 1571 - 1598.

Back to the proving of the 4x great grandparents. I have about 1000 images of the 2500 images left to look at, enter into pertinent spots in my Legacy file or transcribe. One set will take quite a while - the Manor Books for Upper Clatford and they are all in Latin. What do I hope to learn with all this reading of Manor Books/Poor Law Rates/Subsidies? Not so much what they owned but rather are there any interesting stories that come out of the records that would let me really feel close to my ancestors.

I once had someone ask me if I was looking for "a lost inheritance" but actually that doesn't interest me. I just would like to know as much about my ancestors as it is physically possible for me to know about them. Until I went to Italy and England in 2001 I really thought I knew all that I would ever know about my ancestors and there wasn't a driving urge to know more. But walking in places where they may have walked or did actually walk has an effect on you that you cannot just walk away from.

In a different century my Bishops Nympton ancestors walked up the same walk towards the parish Church that I walked. The trees (now chopped down perhaps because they were just too large) would have been there in their days and if they could whisper to me they could tell me about Robert Pincombe and Elizabeth Rowcliffe as they walked down this path on their wedding day after they were married. They could tell me about the baptisms of each of their eight children. They could tell me about the sadness as they buried William at 15 years of age. The sadness of Robert as he buried his wife just two years later and then Robert himself just two years after that. They could tell me about the weddings of their children, my 2x great grandparents were married at Bishops Nympton and Elizabeth Rew's cousin came all the way from Higher Upcott Farm near Wootton Courtney Somerset to be one of the witnesses.

Trees are amazing on our planet as they are here before we are and they will be here after we are gone. But back to work and entering all the proofs into my Legacy file for those who will come after me so that they can know as much as I know about my ancestors.

Tomorrow I shall continue working on my proofs for my 4x great grandparents.

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