Family history

As history enthusiasts and researchers nothing surprises us, well almost nothing.

Whilst researching our family tree or history we all love the idea of discovering a black sheep, philanthropist, accomplished entrepreneur, author, inventor or similar.  How about discovering a Lord or Baron?  This is possible, if you have the time, resources, and inclination to research and really dig deep you might do just that.

It never ceases to amaze us at Manorial Counsel what we unearth during our research.

As many of you will know from researching your own family history records the further back you go the more difficult the task becomes.

This is partly because prior to 1538 detailed Parish records were not kept.  However in 1538, after the split with Rome, Thomas Cromwell Henry VIII’s Vicar General, ordered that each parish priest must keep a book, and that the Parson, must enter all the baptisms, marriages and burials of the previous week. The book was to be kept in a sure coffer with two locks (one key for the vicar, the other for the wardens). Many parishes ignored this order, believing it to be the forerunner of some new tax.

In addition to this, prior to the 16th Century the majority of people were illiterate and paper was an expensive luxury few could afford.

For many of us over the years our own family history has become an ever-increasing area of interest we want to pursue. Where we come from, what happened back in our families past, and who our ancestors were.  This is important to many of us, we require that certainty to establish as much knowledge as possible about our roots, and what impacted on our family history.  We all know that events good or bad have shaped and influenced history.  For some it may simply be a hobby, for others it has become a way of life or a business.

So what happens if you do discover a Lord or Baron in the family?  Well you may be able to return the title to your family, bringing it back into use.  The revelation of such an ancestor can be coupled with excitement around the funny customs in use at the time, or interesting events that they may have been involved in.  Here are just a few examples; Lordship and manor given by Henry VIII, on each of his marriages, to all six of his wives. The Baron dies on his way to the Holy land accompanying King Richard I – Lionheart.  The Baron joins the conspiracy against Henry IV and is beheaded at York.  The lord travels to Jerusalem and with the knights of Rhodes builds the castle of St Peter.

We are contacted all the time by people who are in the process of researching their family history and believe they have discovered such an ancestor. They ask for our assistance in establishing whether the title can be returned to their family.  Often people feel a strong urge to return the title to their family, being able to do so and becoming a custodian for future generations is accompanied by a sense of pride, and achievement – getting back what was belonged to their family, that final missing piece to the ancestral puzzle.

We really enjoy hearing your stories, do you think there was a Lord or Baron in your family, did a grandparent talk of a lordship?  Get in touch we’d love to hear from you.