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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
We will be holding an exhibition of some of the stories of Milton Abbas in the 18th century in the south aisle of St James’ Church, during the famous Street Fair, Saturday 27 July 2019. We hope to meet you there.
The Milton Abbas Local History Group meet on the first Wed of the month Oct – June at 19:00 in the Reading Rooms Milton Abbas. Membership is £10pa.
Our next meeting is on Wed 2 October 2019. This is our AGM.
Are you interested in exploring old documents?
You can help us by transcribing documents and audio recordings. We already have transcribers around the world who are working on Churchwardens Books and Overseers of the Poor Books. The pages are shared using Google docs, although MyAirBridge, One Drive or Dropbox is also possible.
Although we are a local history group, we are carrying out family and social history research to see how the ordinary people lived, how they were treated, their economic fortunes, religious beliefs, health, demographics, etc. We are particularly interested in the mobility of families in the 18th century.