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From: Stephen Hayes
To: All
Date: 2004-07-20 06:18:56
Subject: Re: 3 Pieces of Evidence?

* Forwarded (from: GEN_BRITAIN) by Stephen Hayes using timEd/2 1.10.y2k.
* Originally from Roy Stockdill (8:8/2002) to All.
* Original dated: Mon Jul 19, 07:52

From: roy{at}stockdill.com ("Roy Stockdill")

> From:          un_believer{at}btinternet.com (Richard)

>            Having read the "Family Tree From 1010 to 2004 for Current
> US Resident (Fox/Vaux)" thread I was intrigued by the references to 3
> pieces of evidence. As a novice to this sport I have tried on several
> occasions to get various people to give me an opinion on what
> constitutes "proof", mostly to no avail as the responses were along
> the lines of "Proof is in the eye of the beholder", also none of the
> books I've read had any clear pointers.
> 
>  I set myself a target of 3 pieces of evidence as it seemed to make
> sense, as in most lines I can find my ancestors birth & marriage
> details + at least one census entry, which seems adequate. However, my
> research has not got past the internet and into pre-1837 really, so
> I'm wondering SKS can explain to me what 3 pieces of evidence you old
> hands look for in the pre-census era?>

1) An entry in an original parish register (NOT the IGI, which is an 
index only and not a primary source).

2) Confirmation in the bishops' transcripts (and though supposed to 
be an identical copy of the PRs, in practice there are often 
differences since the registers were not always written at the same 
time and sometimes not even by the same person).

3) Non-parochial registers in the case of Nonconformists.

4) A will, either by the testator themselves or someone mentioned 
in the will with an identified relationship to the testator.

5) Memorial inscriptions which identify the relationship of one 
person in the grave to another.

6) Marriage licence records, bonds, allegations etc.

7) Apprenticeship records, identifying the master, apprentice and 
apprentice's father or parent.

8) Manorial court rolls, which identify a particular person at a 
particular place of occupation and / or their landlords or heirs.

9) Land taxes, estate records or other documents identifying people 
as in (8).

10) Court records, such as Quarter Sessions, which may list the names 
of people and their relationship to others in the case.

These are the main ones to be going on with, and all these are known 
as Linkage Records, i.e. they act as proof in linking one person to 
another. Of course, birth, marriage and death certificates and census 
returns are major Linkage Lecords, too, but you asked specifically 
about pre-1837. I might add to the list newspaper announcements of 
BMDs etc, also stories which mention people and their 
relationships, though these are much less common before 1837.

The point about Linkage Records is that they must identify one person 
in relation to another, with proof of their connection within the 
family. A record which relates only to one person who happens to 
possess the right name and be in the right place at the right time is 
not sufficient. For instance, a burial entry which names someone 
without giving their relationship to someone else, i.e. son 
daughter, wife, husband, etc, is clearly not a full Linkage Record 
and more evidence would be needed to identify them.

Roy Stockdill
Web page of the Guild of One-Name Studies:- www.one-name.org
Newbies' Guide to Genealogy & Family History:- www.genuki.org.uk/gs/Newbie.html

"People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to
their ancestors."

Edmund Burke

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