When was my house built? How has it changed over the years? Who were the previous residents? If these are questions you would like to find answers to, we are here to help.  Hampshire Archives and Local Studies holds a wealth of resources including maps, building control plans, sales particulars, census records and local history books, ready and waiting for you to explore!

The key to starting your search is to begin with what you already know and work backwards to find out when the property disappears from the records; this will give you an idea of when the house was built.  One such way to do this is through the use of maps; once you have pinpointed your property on a map, find a map published at an earlier date and keep going until you can no longer spot your house.

In 1836 the Tithe Commutation Act came into force, followed by the production of tithe maps and accompanying awards for each Hampshire parish.  Plot numbers listed on these maps can be found in the accompanying awards and detail individual plots, giving a description, listing the owner, the occupier and the agricultural use of the land.  What a brilliant way to gain insight into both the property and its residents!


Longparish Tithe Map section of 21M65/F7/147/2 and accompanying award 21M65/F7/147/1

In our archives we hold a large collection of Ordnance Survey maps including County Series and National Grid Series.  The County Series consists of three editions, the first published c1870, the second c1896 and the third c1910, as well as a collection of post World War One editions.  The National Grid Series in our collection date from c1945 to c1980, providing you with a wide date range to research within.

OS County Series Maps of Totton – a section of 25” sheet 64.8 3rd Ed and 6” sheet 64 1st Ed

Not only do maps allow you to see how the local area has developed over time, they are full of minute details such as woodland, ponds, church buildings, schools and even the varying shapes of properties.  You can look at them time and time again and still spot something new!  It is extraordinary to think that such intricate maps were being produced over 150 years ago.

Census returns have been collected in England and Wales every 10 years since 1801 and are an excellent way to determine who was living in a property at a particular time.  The information provided in the census has increased over time and earlier censuses may be not be as detailed, but generally speaking you can determine the names and ages of individuals, their occupation and place of birth from 1841 up to 1911.

This gives a brief overview of some of the archival material available to you. A more detailed guide of sources can be found on our House History section in the online A-Z of records: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/archives/hals-collections/house-history.htm .

House History Workshop
Hampshire Record Office is hosting a House History Workshop; don’t forget to book your place and begin the journey to uncover the history of your property!
Date and venue: 2pm, Tuesday 25th April 2017, at Hampshire Record Office.
Cost: £20 – booking is essential, please contact us on 01962 846154.

Happy House Hunting!

Steffanie Palmer, archive assistant

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