Category Archives: local history

Your family history!

Tired of reading books about kings and queens, the rich and famous? Fed up with Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn? The lives of ordinary people are just as tragic, difficult, triumphant and revelationary. How your ancestors survived the traumas and … Continue reading

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Dorchester Gaol

In the Dorset History Centre and available on Ancestry is the Criminal process register. 1782-1808, Catalogue Reference NG-PR/1/D/1/1. This gives much information, such as the prisoner’s name, the magistrate who committed them, their place of residence, their description, age, date … Continue reading

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Who built the new village of Milton Abbas?

It is not certain who was responsible for the design and building of the new “model” village of Milton Abbas. The names that have vied for credit are Sir William Chambers, one of Lord Milton’s architects, and Lancelot “Capability” Brown, … Continue reading

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Bills and Receipts of the Overseers of the Poor of Milton Abbas 1787- 1823

In the Dorset History Centre there are some 140 pieces of paper catalogued at PE-MIL/OV/2. These are the bills and receipts of our Overseers of the Poor. We are in the process of transcribing them. They provide further information to … Continue reading

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Telling Stories of the Old Town of Middleton

We came across this piece in the Summer 2020 issue of the magazine ‘Who do you think you are?’. It is on page 46, in an article titled ‘The Lasting Value of Vouchers’. This magazine is free to read for … Continue reading

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Milton Abbas house history

For those exploring their house histories we have just transcribed the 1920 Electoral Register, and are transcribing all of the available Registers. We have saved the electoral rolls using the Dorset Library free access to Ancestry. There seems to be … Continue reading

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A House Through Time, BBC2

We have been watching David Olusoga’s third series on ‘A House Through Time’ broadcast on BBC2 This is a fascinating programme showing how good research can bring to life ordinary people and how they faced tragedies in a particular household. … Continue reading

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Free Access to Ancestry

During Covid19 Libraries West are giving free access to the library edition of Ancestry to members at home, (previously only available at the library). If you have a Dorset Libraries card you first need to log in to your Libraries … Continue reading

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The National Archives free downloads

TNA are providing free downloads of some of their digitised documents. These are mostly probates of wills. These were previously £3.50. Go to their website to find out more. The downloads are pdf. We have taken advantage of this to … Continue reading

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Milton Abbey Customary 1317

I am so excited by the fantastic progress one of our translators is making on this strange, but interesting document. It gives the terms of the tenancies for the villeins on the estates of Milton Abbey in 1317. These were … Continue reading

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