Genuine documents for the genealogist researching English ancestors, or their family roots in England; and local historians.
I sell genuine Antiquarian documents and ephemera – mostly written during the 18th and 19th centuries, (but some earlier, or later). My aim is to pass them on to people researching the individuals to whom the documents relate. If you would like to buy real documents relating to your ancestors, check my stock list to see whether I have any of interest to you.
This web site has been arranged by county. There will not always be documents available for every county listed, but I will be making frequent updates – so if you cannot find something of interest today, please look again, in a few weeks. The “Miscellaneous” page lists items for which the county is unknown, or which relate to places other than England, or other items which may be of interest to the Family, or Local Historian.
Contact: me to check availability and my postal address, or to obtain further information, on my email address info(at)ancestordocs.co.uk but replace (at) with the symbol @ and copy to my other address email@example.com . If you do not receive a response from me within a few days, please send a text to O7811229893 giving your email address, name and the reference of the document. Please also tell me which country you live in, as this affects the cost of postage.
Prices: are shown in £ sterling and include postage within the U.K. Orders for documents costing £16 or more, will be sent by Recorded Delivery. Payment must be made with the order, in £ sterling.
Documents: (with the exception of a few miscellaneous items) are listed under the county of residence. Within each County, documents for which there is one main party – such as a Will – are listed alphabetically, by surname; documents for which there are two or more main parties – such as Property Conveyances, Leases, Marriage Settlements, or Mortgages, are listed alphabetically, by place name, followed by the names of the main parties. The majority of entries also include details of other surnames appearing in the document.
Antique Embroidery Samplers: Did your great grandmother sew a Sampler? For a selection of Samplers available for sale, please turn to my Embroidered Samplers page. I have a number of Samplers for sale, many of which I have conserved by hand-sewing the Sampler onto either natural unbleached linen, or raw silk and mounting this onto museum quality board before having it framed and glazed (using the original frame where possible). If you are interested in making a purchase, I can email a photograph of a particular Sampler to you, quoting a price. Most of my Samplers are for sale at Great Grooms Antiques Centre, Hungerford, Berks photographs of some of my Samplers can be found under the antiques centre’s heading “Rugs, Carpets and Textiles” or “Pictures” on the Home page www.greatgrooms.co.uk .
Property etc. documents: frequently written on several skins of parchment.
Leases and releases: An owner who wished to sell property to another, leased it initially to that person for a sum of money (i.e. bargained and sold a lease) , if before the expiry of the lease, the owner granted (or released) his reversion to the purchaser, the conveyance was complete. In the fully developed form, the lease was made for one year, in return for a nominal payment and a nominal rent: the release, containing the details of the conveyance, was dated the next day.
Fine (or Final Concord)-agreement. These are the official records of the case in the Common Court of Pleas undertaken to confirm a change of ownership. The document was prepared in triplicate on a single sheet of parchment, and cut into 3 with indented cuts, so that the pieces could later be shown to match up. After preparation, the feet of fines was retained by the Court and the other 2 copies went to the seller and purchaser. The records were open to public inspection and the property description is formal, does not identify the precise location and the purchase price shown is a fictitious amount. There would have been separate private Deeds – which may not have survived – which normally contain a full description of the property. The Fines system was abolished in 1833.
Wills: original – the one actually signed, or ‘marked’ by the Testator, and Witnesses – normally written on paper.
Probated copy of the Will – the copy of the original, normally written on vellum, or parchment, which was submitted to the Probate Office, and to which was attached the Grant of Probate and the Court Wafer Seal.
Letters of Administration: issued by the Probate Court, normally where the Deceased died intestate, or if the Will did not name Executors.
Copies: these may be contemporary, or later. They were made for a variety of reasons and include Attested copies prepared by the Probate Court, and Solicitors office copies. Attested copies of Wills were often prepared to establish ‘Title’ in connection with property conveyances.
For an extensive collection of extracts from historical documents and transcripts of Somerset parish registers, visit Mike Durtnall’s website at www.durtnall.org.uk/DEEDSIndex.html
Documents can also be found for sale on Allan Azzaro’s web site at www.familychest.co.uk