Monday, June 30, 2014

Genealogists' Magazine - June 2014

Because this magazine, the Journal of the Society of Genealogists, covers a very wide field this issue has no articles directly connected with Hertfordshire - but two could be of interest to readers of this Newsletter.

The Loyalty Oath Rolls of 1723: an early census, by Sylvia J Dibbs, is a useful article on the history of these documents. It includes a reference to the web site History Working Papers - including a list of all the known surviving copies. Hertfordshire has a surviving roll which includes over 6000 names. While the site does not include these names they have been recorded in Hertfordshire County Records:  Volume VII, ed. W. Le Hardy (Hertford, 1935), pp. 477-563 - which is available on CD (Archive CD Books).

It is an Illegal Date, by Robin Bailey, provides good reasons for looking very carefully at the dates you find in parish registers around 1752. While you may be aware the when the calendar was changed there were 11 missing says in September 1752 - but the change stared the day after 31st December 1751. The change in the law meant that the next day was 1st January 1752 - which must seem obvious to us now - but if the change hadn't happened the next day would have 1st January 1751. What the law did was to change the start of the year and in England 1st January 1751 to 24th March 1751 never existed. However changing the law does not mean that people understood the change and mistakes "carrying on in the old way" can often be found in original registers, sometimes for several years. The lesson is to check the individual register entries (and noy just the one affecting your ancestor, to see if the minister got the year wrong!

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