England Land Records Timeline (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 ($).

Land Records Time Line

England has a remarkable body of historical records covering over a millennium, the most extensive in the world. Genealogists are so fortunate to be able to access this treasure-trove, but its sheer immensity has daunted many. Now technology is making it accessible to the average family historian who has neither the specialist archival training nor infinite time available. A brief time-line of records is shown below. It must be remembered that most record groups are far from complete, and the reasons for gaps are varied, a problem discussed knowledgeably by archivist Wormleighton (Gaps in the Records. Devon Family Historian #92 page 3-7,1999).

Land Records Time Line

DATE RANGE
TYPE OF RECORD
Early - 1530s
Monastic cartularies
1086
Domesday
1100s
Wills
1182
Final Concord
1182 - 1833
Feet of Fines
1200s
Road maps
1235
Enclosure maps and awards
1236 - 1600s
Inquisitions Post Mortem
1279
Hundred Rolls of Edward I
Mediaeval - 1700s
Borough land registration
Mediaeval - 1922
Copyhold tenure
Mediaeval - 1922
Manorial records
1350, more detailed from 1550
Manorial surveys
1400s
Common Recovery
1500s
Coastal charts
1530
Valor Ecclesiasticus
1535
All transfer of freehold land had to be enrolled
1550
Manorial maps
1574
County maps
1500s (late) - late 1900s
Estate Maps
1600 (early) - 1845
Lease and Release
1612
Town plans
1646 - 1660
Parliamentary Surveys
1600 - 1882
Private Estate Acts of Parliament
1662 - 1692
Hearth Tax
1663 - 1920
Bedford Level land registration
1675
Strip maps
1692 - 1963
Land Tax Assessments
1700 - 1875
Turnpike maps
1704 - 1970
Yorkshire land registration
1708 - 1938
Middlesex land registration
1736 - 1925
Trust Deeds
1737 - 1925
Charitable deeds enrolled in Close Rolls
Circa 1750
Fire Insurance plans
1700s (late)
Freehold land (building) societies
1700s (late) - early 1800s
Canal maps
1792 - 1832
Land Tax Redemption
1800
Street maps
1800s (early)
Building plans
1801 - 1873
Ordnance Survey maps 1st edition
1829
Omnibus schedules
1830s
Railway maps
1831
Lewis' Gazetteer
1838 - 1845
Tithe agreements, awards and maps
1841
Enfranchisement of copyhold allowed
1841 - 1901
Census
1844 - 1930
O.S. maps Godfrey editions
1862
Land registration voluntary
1870 - 1960s
Tram maps
1871 - 1876
Return of Owners of Land
1873
Return of Owners of Land
1891
Land Registry compulsory
1894 -- >
Death duties
1909 - 1915
Valuation Office Records
1911 - 1972
Trolleybus maps
1914
Creation of new entails prohibited
1922
Enfranchisement of copyhold compulsory
1940 - 1943
National Farm Surveys
1960s
Motorways
1974
New counties and unitary authorities


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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.