Tracing Your Nonconformist Ancestors (Paperback)
A Guide for Family and Local Historians
We all have Nonconformist ancestors. In the mid-nineteenth century almost half of the English population were Nonconformists. And there were very few villages where there was not at least one Nonconformist chapel. Local and family historians need to be aware of the diversity of Nonconformity, and of the many sources which will enable them to trace the activities of Nonconformist forebears.
Stuart Raymond's handbook provides an overview of those sources. He identifies the numerous websites, libraries and archives that local and family historians need to consult. These are described in detail, their strengths and weaknesses are pointed out, and the contribution currently made by the internet is highlighted.
Most Nonconformist denominations are discussed – not just the mainstream Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Quakers and Methodists, but also obscure sects such as the Muggletonians and Glasites, and even the two groups who regularly appear on our doorsteps today – Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons.
The religious activities of our Nonconformist ancestors tell us a great deal about them, and provide fascinating insights into their lives.
For over 500 years, between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Justices of the Peace were the embodiment of government for most of our ancestors. The records they and other county officials kept are invaluable sources for local and family historians, and Stuart Raymond's handbook is the first in-depth guide to them. He shows how and why they were created, what information they contain, and how they can be accessed and used. Justices of the Peace met regularly in Quarter Sessions, judging minor criminal matters, licensing alehouses, paying pensions to maimed soldiers, overseeing roads…By Stuart A. Raymond
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