Nearly a year ago, I wrote a blog post detailing a large importing project I had begun to undertake. (Sadly?) As I publish this it is my final day Gloucestershire Archives. I will be jumping across the country to West Sussex, and so I thought it would be worthwhile to write about all the hard work our volunteers have contributed to our catalogue. Many of these collections have now been listed to piece level, providing greater detail with names, occupations, dates and other information that will undoubtedly come in handy for family and house historians. To list them first crudely, these collections have now had additional information added to their series and items:
- D123 – Curtis-Hayward family of Quedgeley, 81 records
- D1340/C3/Z1 – Transcripts of proceedings at military service tribunals held in Gloucester to hear the cases of conscientious objectors (many of whom were members of the Society of Friends), March & April 1916, 31 records
- D1359 – Minsterworth: manor; Pury and Barrow families, 17 records
- D1512 – Stanton family of Stroud, 68 records
- D1578/8/3/1 – War Tribunal, Thornbury: applications for exemption from military service and related papers, 391 records
- D4292/1/1-5 – Registers of ships [built 1759-1825, with particulars of cancellations to 1854], 1,999 records
- D4367/2/2 – Papers relating to James Smart, coal merchant and carrier on Thames and Severn Canal, 74 records
- D4855/1/1 – Young and Howes of Thornbury, estate agents and auctioneers sales particulars, 885 records
- D5845 – Scrapbooks from ‘The Gloucestershire Echo’ of Cheltenham, newspaper, 11 records
- D13439 – South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, 97 records
- GBR/G2/1 – Record of Coroners’ inquisitions (inquests), 99 records
- GBR/G3/AV/5 – Register of alehouse licences, 1,994 records
- GBR/L4/4/4 – Register of common graves, 23 records
- GBR/L9 – Emergency Planning and Civil Defence, 144 records
- CBR/C5/6/1/1/2, 3 – Building Control Files, 975 records
- CBR/C5/6/1/2/1-11 – Building Control Files, 4,811 records
- CBR/C5/7/1/1/1-3 – Building Control Files 1,241 records
- DA26/226/1, 2 – Dursley Rural District Council, Register of arrivals and departures for Records kept under 1915 National Registration Act, 1,955 records
- DC137 – Cheltenham Borough Council Green Environment Group, 2,077 records
- GDR/79 – Bishop’s Act Court Book of Depositions, 304 records
- GDR/Q1, Q2, and Q3 – Marriage allegation licences and bonds, 76,559 records
- HO22/62/1, 2, 4-8 – Gloucester, Horton Road Hospital and Coney Hill Hospital registers of discharges and deaths, 8,521 records
- HO22/70/1, 2 – Gloucester, Horton Road Hospital and Coney Hill Hospital case books, 758 records
- S57/1, S57/2, S57/3, S111/3 – Bream Primary, Secondary and Junior Schools, 36 records
- RR342.59GS – Alphabetical transcription of the 1841 census for Winchcombe, compiled by Mr Harvey, 1 record
All of the above collections are fascinating in their own ways, and I have already spoken of the import monster that was the GDR marriage license allegation and bonds series in the initial blog post, so let us take a look at some other collections in this list.
Of interest to anyone researching their house history they can now peruse through CBR/C5/6 and 7 to see thousands of entries relating to building alterations, planning permissions and plans from 1895 through to the late 1930s. A special thank you is directed to David Drinkwater, who listed these five and a half thousand records.
Mr Drinkwater also contributed to a few military tribunal collections for conscientious objectors. These records can be found under D1340/C3/Z1 and D1578/8/3/1 for the Society of Friends and for the Thornbury area. Not only do these give names, occupations and ages, they also note on what grounds their objection was heard, and if it was upheld. Even though the anniversaries for World War One have come to an end it may be worthwhile looking through these records, to see what kind of men requested an out from conscription.
HO22 is our collection for Horton Road and Coney Hill Hospitals, and where you can find a recent import for case books details discharges and deaths that occurred at the asylums. Listed at piece level until December 1918 (the final batch of 1919 entries will be viewable in the New Year, 100 years after they were first written), they provide a detached look at their patients, where they had come from and where they were going. Causes of death where usually given along the lines of ‘general paralysis’ or heart failure aggravated by an ‘accidental fall’. One can’t help ponder the accuracy of these listings.
Long time volunteer Judy Kimber contributed to a Diocesan Depositions in GDR/79, which detail statements made by parishioners over assorted conflicts that occurred in the 1590s. These can range from matrimonial, testamentary, and tithe disputes to the more outrageous and borderline farcical under immorality and defamation. A personal favourite of mine was an ongoing conflict between the Bosley family and the vicar of Badgeworth, Mr Rea, which seemed to have reached a boiling point regarding a knife’s true owner. It is difficult to piece together what the origin of the conflict was but reading through the entries and coming across details like bigamy, debt, assault, flashing, prostitution, and name calling such as poxy knave, scurvy priest and whoremaster, the event as a whole seems more at home in an episode of Season 2 of Blackadder than real life. It is somewhat reassuring that people have always been eccentric in their everyday livings.
Somewhat related to this borderline anarchy of early modern living is Record of Coroners’ inquisitions under GBR/G2/1 which detail death inquests. These entries can range from the heartbreaking – a mother murdering her child immediately after giving birth – to the gruesome – a man was run over by a dung cart whereupon the wagon wheel ‘crushed out his brains so he died instantly’ – to the darkly humourous – it seems that about a third of all inquests in this series come from those who fell (intentionally or otherwise) into some form of ditch or vat, and proceed to drown. Again, one wonders about how accurate this information is, as the factor of sobriety is never brought up, and I can’t help feel like ditches should not be directly responsible for what feels like a third of all deaths in Gloucestershire.
A final collection of note was contributed by Mr Conway-Jones, whose interest in the docks of Gloucester helped greatly expand the HM Customs and Excise; Port of Gloucester collection under the Registers of Ships Registered at Gloucester series at D4292/1. Each ship is named, and given an identifying letter is multiple ships with the same name crop up, a year they were built, a year of registration, an owner and master, and sometimes additional information regarding types of cargo and the fate of the vessel. An excellent resource for tracking down boats and their crew members, this collection works quite neatly with D3080, another Port of Gloucester collection, which lists crew members and registration numbers for ships sailing in the later half of the 19th century.
All of the above work, plus much more, is all thanks to the hard work of our volunteers. Countless hours have been spent listing these thousands of records. My job was to try and find a way to string them together for importing. As the image below shows, it could sometimes get a little hard to keep track of
But it was worth it. All of these records were already in our catalogue in some format or another, but now are listed in greater detail, so that searching for a name or an address can pull up the record with greater speed and accuracy. Whereas before you would had to have known what collection it would maybe fall under, then do a lot of guesswork within that. Unfortunately despite my leaving there is more to be done, but with over 100,000 records imported, our collections seem much bigger than before.