Where would we be without our transcribers? Answer – a very long way to go. Thanks to everyone who has helped us. We have had help from people in New Zealand, Australia, England, Canada and the USA. A worldwide effort indeed!

We have been trying to think (never an easy task) of how to honour our transcribers. They certainly deserve a medal.

Now I believe we have done most of the work, but there are still about 50 wills and administrations and a few court cases still to do, mostly of the 18th century.

Transcribing such old records, many of which have not been seen since they were written two hundred or more years ago, is very rewarding. It is an intellectual challenge, and requires diligence, perseverance and patience.

So if any of our viewers would like to help, especially those with ancestors from Milton Abbas, then please get in touch here. You will certainly learn something of the social history of a rural English village, and share with others in our excitement and discovery

Nearly there!

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Old Taxation Records

Just found that Discovery now has a database of early taxation records at E 179, which can be searched for places. It is not easy to search, but from 1333 to 1678 there are 126 records covering Milton Abbas. These lists are generally organised by County/Hundred/Parish and give the names of those people who were to pay tax.

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Milton Abbey Priory Archive

This roll of parchment contains 20 documents written in a very clear Medieval Latin.

Considering it was written over 600 years ago it is in remarkable condition.

Our history group has bought a digital copy which can be studied in detail.

Only one of the documents has so far been translated – The Boundaries of Milton Abbey Manor 1384. So if there is anyone who would like to have a go, please get in touch. We would be very grateful indeed for help.

The original document is in the Dorset History Centre catalogue D-357 with details of the various documents on the roll.

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Churchwarden’s Accounts books

A huge thank you to one of our new transcribers who has completed the Churchwardens Accounts of Milton Abbas 1673 – 1689, in double-quick time.

Not an easy task as some of the writing is very difficult to read. We now have a complete transcription of all CW records from 1638 to 1805. Now we can begin our research!

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The Dress of the People

This excellent book by John Styles is just what we wanted to understand more of the social history of the 18th century. In particular, did the people in Milton Abbas have disposable income to buy new clothes? How much social status was attached to the clothes that were worn? How many changes of clothes did they have? What might they have worn to work? To Church?

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Overseers of the Poor, Book 2, 1798 – 1818

I have just finished putting together the spreadsheets from the four transcribers, and editing it. We now have 13 879 records transcribed and into one spreadsheet.

A huge thank you to the dedication of our transcribers without whom this would not have been possible. At times the writing of the Overseers has been difficult to read.

A huge thank you too to the member of our history group who kept these books safe for so long and allowed me to photograph every page. His family have kept them for 200 years – quite an achievement!

We now have a resource for Milton Abbas history which is not available anywhere else in the world.

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Who Do You Think You Are – Magazine

Starting on page 81 of the June issue is a piece about Dorset. Milton Abbas Local History Group is mentioned with the website address.

This magazine has a wide circulation so we are hoping that our website will see many more visitors once the magazine is published.

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Lloyd George Domesday Survey 1910

We have the complete Assessment IR58 for Milton Abbas as 120 digital images.

We are about to start transcribing these into a database. Does anyone have any experience of the easiest to set up and free database apps?

There about 100 fields and 120 records.

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Manors and estates of MIlton Abbey at Domesday

We have started to research these places using Place Names of Dorset, A D Mills; An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, by the Royal Commission, and History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset by John Hutchins, 3rd edition.

We would love to hear from anyone who has information on the history of these manors. Contact us here.

Little Puddle2
Twynham12 acres
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Sunday School Usher in 1789

In our transcription of the Sunday School records of 1789, one boy is given the job of “Usher” and receives more money than the other attendees. We have not been able to find out what the role of usher at Sunday School was this soon after their foundation. We would be grateful if any of our readers would care to research this. It is no use typing “usher” into Google as it brings up thousands of results for modern day America!

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