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How far back can one go?

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How far back can one go?

Postby Sucher » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:58 pm

With the aid of a couple of web sites whose records are largely substantiated by FamilySearch, I have traced ancestors several generations further back than my previous sticking point. The most distant ancestor is one Anthony Stempe born around 1522 and who died probably in 1588, West Sussex Records Office holds a copy of his Will. Can one go back even further and how?

Many of the trees on Ancestry establish a link begween Anthonie and a supposed father Stempe/Stampe who lived in Berkshire and was married to Sybell Plott. It looks like a case of people copying other trees without supporting evidence.

Anyhow, I’m more than pleased with what I have and would welcome any comments about getting further back in time. No nobility, just farmers, etc and a few poor house occupants.

Sucher
Sucher
 
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Re: How far back can one go?

Postby Guy » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:57 am

First I would say be very careful with any records largely substantiated by FamilySearch.
FamilySearch is a useful website but you must be very careful where the records you are using are sourced. If the FamilySearch source is the IGI they could be very suspect, but if the source is parish registers they will be as accurate as any other transcribed record.
The same warning goes for Bishop’s transcripts.

However the main point of your post was about earlier records.
There are hundreds of different types of early records that can help to build a family tree beyond the start of Parish Registers but unlike Civil Registers and to a certain extent Parish Registers one needs to use a number of sources to be modestly confident in the complied result.
You have already mentioned wills, you could be lucky to find wills as early as 1384, but for most they will be later.
However manorial records offer useful information but many if not most of these are still in private hands with limited public access. (Take a look at the Manorial Documents Register, to find out where the documents are held).
Then there are numerous tax records which locate the family or the head of the house such taxes cover practically everything you can think of from poll taxes, windows and hearths through land tax, apprentice tax, carriages to wigs etc.
Inquisitions Post Mortem are another group of records that can be of help as may Manorial Court Records, Pipe rolls, Protestation Returns, not to mention records of different guilds, the registers of Inns of Court and old University records.
Then there are Poor law assessments and many, many other records.

The best advice is switch off your computer and visit a library or archive that covers the area your ancestors lived, they will be able to tell you what records they hold and often where other useful records for the area are held.

Cheers
Guy
As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.
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Re: How far back can one go?

Postby Sucher » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:33 pm

Thanks Guy for your time and words of caution about FamilySearch records. Also, thanks for the good advice, with luck I hope to get to see the 1588 Will and am hoping to even get a copy.

Kind Regards

Sucher
Sucher
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:23 pm


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