This week's Treasure has been chosen by Julia Pincott, Archive Assistant, who shows us how she managed to solve a puzzle in her family history by using sales particulars. Julia tells us more:
One of the many problems facing family historians is how to find the exact location of a property listed on a census return; names and house numbers change, buildings are demolished or redeveloped and often in rural areas the only address given is the name of the village. In the 1911 census, one of my ancestors, Matthew Corbett, was living in 'Salt Bog', Stoulton, Worcestershire. His place of abode is also given as 'Salt Bog' on the entry of his burial in the Stoulton parish register in 1916. So where was 'Salt Bog'?
Current maps do not show such a place existing.
Luckily for me, in 1917 Lord Somers sold his estate at Stoulton. The estate had been in the Somers family for two hundred years. Sale particulars were produced describing the properties to be sold, many of which had sitting tenants, so their names, when the tenancy started and the amount of rent they paid were also listed. These particulars are held at Worcestershire Archives at reference b705:73 BA14450/463(4).
Lot 36 describes the property as let to 'the representative of the late Mathew Corbett'.
The particulars contain a map showing the location of the various lots, so I was finally able to locate the property.
The list of tenants also contains other family members, including Kate Howse, who ran the local grocers shop.
I discovered the particulars within the Croome archives by carrying out a search of our online catalogue available at http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/CalmView/ for any mention of ‘Stoulton’ and investigating the results. It shows that occasionally a little lateral thinking, perseverance and luck can be needed to solve a family history puzzle!