England Land Records Glossary T to Z (National Institute)

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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course English: Land and Property Records including Manorial Documents and Maps  by Dr. Penelope Christensen. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Glossary (cont.)[edit | edit source]

Transfer Convey a property
Trust Estate held on the express condition that it is for the benefit of another
Trust Deed Deeds held in trust for another person or organization, including charitable purposes
Turnpike Trust The group of trustees which administered a stretch of turnpike
Turnpike Roads administered by trusts authorized by private Acts of Parliament on which tolls were charged at toll gates.
Ultimogeniture Inheritance by the youngest son
Undersettle Sub-tenant of a small-holding
Unitary authority A local government body which forms a single tier of administration.
Use(s) Right to beneficial ownership of estate, as distinguished from seisin or legal possession
Valor A summary of the financial value of the holdings of a manor or other estate
Valor ecclesiasticus The survey and valuation of all benefices, including religious houses and Oxford and Cambridge colleges, performed after the Dissolution and prior to their sale to private individuals.
VCH Victoria County History
View of frankpledge The twice yearly inspection by the county sheriff of the system of tithings, which were groups of 10-12 men mutually responsible for their own good behaviour.
Virgate An area of land covering roughly 18-50 acres, generally scattered in many small parcels and constituting one farm.  Also known as a yardland, bovate or oxgang
Vouchee Someone who vouches for another e.g. in a Common Recovery
Wapentake The Danelaw equivalent of the Anglo-Saxon hundred, a subdivision of a county for administrative and judicial purposes.
Ward (a) Division of a county in the four northern counties of England
(b) administrative division of a borough
Wardship Feudal right of a lord to the custody of the person of his tenant's heir during his minority, and to take the profits of his estate. One of the profitable incidents of tenure.
Waste Uncultivated land within a manor
Water meadow Low-lying meadow where controlled flooding allowed silt and nutrients to deposit, thus improving the quality of hay and fodder crops.
Woodmote A woodland court
Yardland Another word for a virgate, bovate or oxgang
Yeoman A term which has changed its meaning over time and in different areas of the country. In 13th - 15th centuries he was a knight's servant or retainer, later generally a prosperous working farmer below the rank of the gentry. He may have held land by freehold, copyhold or leasehold but was certainly more prosperous than a husbandman.


Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course English: Land and Property Records including Manorial Documents and Maps offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at wiki@genealogicalstudies.com

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.