Archive for December 2010

Tuesday's Tip: Devon ancestors? Search the Tithe Apportionments database

Category: Handy Family History Links

In 1998, the Friends of Devon's Archives undertook a project to make the information from the county's tithe apportionments more accessible. Most date from the 1840's, and they cover 97.4% of the total area of the county. However, coverage does not exist for the urban parishes of Exeter, nor for Kingsbridge, Dartmouth St Saviours, East Stonehouse in Plymouth, the town of Tiverton, etc. - therefore, many highly-populated areas are not included.

The names of owners, lessees and occupiers, together with the names of the holdings and their acreages, have been extracted and a database of this information has been created. Several border parishes in Cornwall and Dorset have also been included.

This database is available to search for free on the Friends of Devon's Archives website.

The data can be accessed in two different ways, - by searching on a parish to obtain a complete listing of the parish, or searching on a name to obtain all occurrences of that name.

The main limitation with the database is that it does not contain field names or numbers and, except for named holdings whose location is known, the searcher will have to resort to the original Tithe Apportionment and map to obtain a geographical location of property.

I put in the surname, Horn, to try and find my 5 x great-grandfather, William Horn of Black Torrington, and the database rendered the following results:

Parish, Owner, Occupier, Holding, Acreage,
Black Torrington, Burden, John, Horn, William, Hole, 92.0.30
Black Torrington, Burden, John, Horn, William, Uptcott, 34.3.06
Black Torrington, Horn, William, Collacott, William, unnamed cottage etc, 0.0.03
Black Torrington, Horn, William, Dart, John, unnamed cottage etc, 0.0.04
Black Torrington, Horn, William, Horn, William, unnamed cottage etc, 0.0.20
Black Torrington, Horn, William, Horn, William, unnamed land, 1.3.34
Black Torrington, Paige, George, Horn, William, unnamed land, 1.0.00
Bradworthy, Oke, Hugh, Horn, William, unnamed house etc, 0.0.19
Holsworthy, Stanhope, Earl, Horn, William, unnamed house etc, 0.2.16

Area given in acres, rods (or roods), and perches (40 perches = 1 rod, 4 rods = 1 acre)



Used in conjunction with the 1841 census, I found the Tithe Apportionments database to be a useful tool. For instance, the census showed George Paige, the owner of an acre of unnamed land occupied by William Horn, lived at Bridge, Black Torrington. Using the Ordnance Survey maps at Bing, I discovered Hole Farm, Upcott Farm and Bridge Farm are all still in existence today.

[Why Tuesday's Tip? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]