Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Early English Records

Just as the "Welsh Rolls" were actually English records, much of what is used in researching the family tree in Wales are English records. The context and titles of these records are often very confusing to the genealogist (especially American) who has little background or exposure to their history. A "big picture" is frequently helpful to view things in historical context. The following is my attempt to put many of these "early" [starting 1086 AD] records into a historical framework. The framework is the name, date, and when the record(s) are generally initiated. These items are placed under the name of the English monarch who was responsible for their beginnings. This also gives a historial context to the records which can be helpful to the genealogist when a name like "Pipe Rolls" appears. So here goes.

William I 1066 AD reigned 21 yrs.
Domesday Book 1086-1087 AD

William II 1087 AD reigned 13 yrs.

Henry I 1100 AD reigned 35 yrs.
Pipe Rolls 1129-1130 AD [became continuous 1155-1832 AD]

Stephen 1135 AD reigned 19 yrs.

Henry II 1155 AD reigned 34 yrs.
Red Book of the Exchequer 1166 AD
The Black Book of the Exchequer 1166 AD
Feet of Fines 1182 AD [continued until 1834 AD]

Richard I 1189 AD reigned 16 yrs.
Curia Regis Rolls 1193 AD
Assize Rolls 1195 AD
Receipt Rolls 1196 AD [continued until 1782 AD]

John 1199 AD reigned 17 yrs.
Fine Rolls 1199 AD [continous 1216-1641 AD]
Chancery Records 1199 AD
Charter Rolls 1199-1516 AD
Liberate Rolls 1200-1436 AD
Patent Rolls 1201-1920 AD
Close Rolls 1204-1903 AD

Henry III 1216 AD reigned 56 yrs.
Memoranda Rolls 1217-1884 AD
Issue Rolls 1220-1797 AD
Inquisitions post mortem 1235-1660 AD
Curia Rege Rolls 1236 AD
Gascon Rolls 1253-1467 AD
The Wardrobe 1257 AD

Edward I 1272 AD reigned 35 yrs.
Hundred Rolls 1273-1279 AD [The JONES surname first appears here!]
Scutage Rolls 1277 AD
Feudal Aids (taxes) 1284-1431 AD
Scotch Rolls 1290-1515 AD

The Welsh Rolls begin under Edward I.

So there you have a chronolgy of English records that will have some dealings with Wales, that is before Wales became under English jurisdiction. Certainly John [1199-1216 AD] had his hands full. The Magna Carta had its roots here! Please make any corrections to the dates listed above if found to be in error.

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