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Manorial Court Rolls in England

Manorial Court Rolls in England
Winter 2000 and Revised 24 Oct 2000

By E-mail of 23 Oct 2000, Ian Prentice provides us with helpful information about the Manorial Court Rolls in England. It reads, in part, as follows:

Ian Prentice has suggested t hat if anyone wishes to trace their English
ancestors further back than the early 1500s when Parish Records were first
kept, then they could try the Manorial Court Records for the appropriate
village/town. Many of these documents have been losts or destroyed over the
centuries but a lot still remain.
They pose two main difficulties: first locating them and secondly reading
them (they are almost entirely written in medieval Latin, in handwriting
that is fiendishly difficult to read and uses abbreviations which leave the
beginner totally bemused. It does get easier to read them with practice,
though! In any case there are always professional researchers who will do
the translations for you, at a price.

As far as locating them is concerned, the Historical Manuscripts Commission
in London has a database of all court rolls which have been deposited (some
are in America) and they will tell you where to find them. They have a web
page with an enquiry link for a reply by e-mail. You can find the site at:

If you have any information about the subject of this article, please contact us at dewald@prenticenet.com
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