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Tracing History Through Title Deeds (Paperback)

A Guide for Family and Local Historians

Local History Family History Social History

By Dr Nat Alcock
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Pages: 217
ISBN: 9781526703453
Published: 14th December 2017

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Property title deeds are perhaps the most numerous sources of historical evidence but also one of the most neglected. While the information any one deed contains can often be reduced to a few lines, it can be of critical importance for family and local historians. Nat Alcock's handbook aims to help the growing army of enthusiastic researchers to use the evidence of these documents, without burying them in legal technicalities. It also reveals how fascinating and rewarding they can be once their history, language and purpose are understood. A sequence of concise, accessible chapters explains why they are so useful, where they can be found and how the evidence they provide can be extracted and applied. Family historians will find they reveal family, social and financial relationships and local historians can discover from them so much about land ownership, field and place names, the history of buildings and the expansion of towns and cities. They also bring our ancestors into view in the fullness of life, not just at birth, marriage and death, and provide more rounded pictures of the members of a family tree.

Although a major source of information about field and place names, property history and the growth of towns and cities, these documents are some of the most neglected. Useful reading for beginner and experienced family and local historians, Dr Nat Alcock, of the University of Warwick, aims to put this right by demonstrating how these records can be found, analysed and interpreted. With information presented in a series of concise and easy-to-read chapters, it reveals how fascinating and rewarding title deeds can be once their history, language and purpose are understood.

Family Tree, February 2018

About Dr Nat Alcock

Dr Nat Alcock is an emeritus reader at the University of Warwick. He has worked for many years recording vernacular buildings, compiling house histories and reconstructing households and lifestyles. Among his publications are Documenting the History of Houses and People at Home. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a past President of the Vernacular Architecture Group.

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