Digitithe Hampshire Project

Tithe maps are a fascinating depiction of parishes in the early 19th century and, together with their awards, or apportionments, are a great resource for family and local historians, as well as those studying agricultural and land use patterns, rights of way, or the history of a house.

Using a Geographic Information System (GIS), the aim of the Digitithe Hampshire project is to overlay digital copies of the tithe maps onto modern maps to help users explore the information they contain.

tithe map alton

Alton tithe map, 21M65/F7/3/2 Continue reading “Digitithe Hampshire Project”


More mysteries in the archives

Last autumn we showed you a selection of photographs and other documents from our holdings that we had been unable to identify, and we were delighted that several blog readers got in touch to suggest identifications, which we were able to verify. Those documents are now fully catalogued and it is more likely that researchers will be able to find them using the catalogue. Link to previous blog.

Here is another selection of documents that are mystifying us, and which we hope you may be able to help us with. In some cases the fact that we have found them among the papers of a particular family or organisation means that we have some clues. It is a great pity when we have to admit defeat and fall back on descriptions such as ‘unidentified large house’ in catalogue entries – while being aware that, if only we could identify it, it might be exactly the house that someone is trying to research.

k 136A09_6 GroupPhotoUnidentified event. Continue reading “More mysteries in the archives”

The General Strike – two sides to every story!

The first general strike in Britain was called on 4 May 1926 when striking miners were joined by workers from other industries. The aim of this ‘national strike’ (as the Trade Union Congress (TUC) preferred to call it, not liking the more revolutionary connotations of the term general strike) was to support miners who were in dispute with the mine owners over pay and working hours.  The return to the gold standard after WW1had resulted in a fall in the amount of coal exported.  In response to these difficult economic circumstances, the mine owners chose to reduce wages by 13% whilst increasing shift lengths from 7 to 8 hours.  However, as 80% of miners still worked with picks, investing in modern machinery could have increased production without hitting wages and working hours.

Was this the start of a revolution? The national press certainly portrayed the co-ordinated industrial action as a danger to the stability of the nation.  The Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, declared that Britain is “threatened with a revolution.”  On 5 May 1926, just a day after the strike was called, the government took greater control of the BBC. It also started to publish its own newspaper called The British Gazette, with Winston Churchill as editor.

The British Gazette 12 May 1926The British Gazette 12 May 1926, ref 65M90W/233B. Continue reading “The General Strike – two sides to every story!”

‘Come on you Hawks’ promoting a football project and club

As the English football season draws to a close, and some fans of the beautiful game are looking forward to the World Cup in Russia, spare a thought for this region’s fans as they celebrate or commiserate with the successes or failures of their teams.

Bournemouth secured another season at the top table in the Premier League, whilst Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton were made to sweat from the last few games. A couple of leagues below and Portsmouth have failed to live up to the early season promise by missing out on the play-offs to the Championship. In the lower echelons of the professional game, National League sides Aldershot and Eastleigh have had unexceptional seasons, with the latter club currently up for sale.


Alresford Football Club: winners of the Harvey Charity Cup and friends, 1923, ref HPP5/P3/12. Continue reading “‘Come on you Hawks’ promoting a football project and club”

Passing Out Parade Photographs

We hold a large number of passing out parade photographs here in the Royal Green Jackets (RGJ) regimental archive, most of which have no dates, names, or platoon numbers. This means that they are largely inaccessible and not used. We do receive requests from former riflemen for copies of the relevant picture when they passed out at the end of basic training, but without much detail for the items, it is almost impossible for us to track down the relevant image.


Continue reading “Passing Out Parade Photographs”

Calendrical complications

What day is it today? This post is being uploaded on 18th April 2018 – but how many other ways could we think of to express that? In a blog post on 14th February, exploring some of the features found in title deeds, I mentioned some points to bear in mind about dates we find in deeds and other documents, and I thought it might be worth delving further into a few calendrical complications.

In documents throughout the date range found in most local archive service holdings, you may find dates expressed in the AD form we are used to, and from the mid 18th century this is almost, although not quite, universal in the UK. AD, or ‘Anno Domini’ (In the year of [Our] Lord), is sometimes replaced by ‘Anno Salutis’ (In the year of salvation) but the number remains the same.

93M86W-1 Philpot pedigree section 1 top

The heading of the pedigree of the Philpot family of Compton, dated 1620, includes the use of the wording ‘Anno Salutis’ (93M86W/1). Continue reading “Calendrical complications”

Voices for Heritage

During the past year Y Services, a youth group charity, have been working on an intergenerational LGBT+ oral history project called Voices for Heritage. Supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund the group have been interviewing older LGBT+ Hampshire residents about their experiences. In addition to this, they have been exploring the archives at Hampshire Record Office to discover documents making reference to LGBT+ individuals from the past.vfh1 Continue reading “Voices for Heritage”

A year in the life of a new archivist

It has been just over a year since I finished my Master’s course at Liverpool and started my new role as Outreach Archivist at Hampshire Archives and Local Studies. I was surprised when several friends in the archive community told me that my job would be boring since it didn’t include any cataloguing! However, the activities of the past year, including hosting special events, workshops, talks, behind the scenes tours, social media, an open day, writing various articles, a community archive forum and much more, have, in my opinion, been anything but boring. It has been a steep learning curve, at times daunting and terrifying, but always rewarding and enjoyable.

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Images from our Jane Austen event. Continue reading “A year in the life of a new archivist”

Pets in Diaries at Hampshire Record Office

Today almost half of British homes contain at least one pet animal. A recent survey found that eighty-nine percent of owners considered them to be part of the family. Although people have had pets for hundreds of years, pet-keeping as we know it today didn’t emerge until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


Jennie Gauntlett Hill and her cat, Trix, ref 130M82/52-p26. Continue reading “Pets in Diaries at Hampshire Record Office”

Lady Laura Ridding

100 years ago the first British women were granted the vote and to mark this occasion I would like to share with you a small selection of papers from the Earl of Selborne and Laura Ridding collection we hold at Hampshire Record Office (collection ref 9M68).  The items relating to Lady Laura Ridding include correspondence, letters to family, foreign and domestic travel diaries, war time diaries, poems and articles written by Lady Laura, and periodicals containing her contributions.

Laura RiddingPhoto of Lady Laura Ridding – Courtesy of the Earl of Selborne. Continue reading “Lady Laura Ridding”

Finding your way through title deeds

Have you used title deeds as a source for local history or family history, or have you found some deeds in your attic, or been handed a bundle of deeds when you paid off your mortgage? Are you baffled by complicated conveyances, mystifying mortgages or tangled tenancies? Title deeds can be a wonderful source of information about properties and the people who have owned or lived in them, but being faced with a mountain of parchment documents filled with seemingly endless repetition can be daunting. Fortunately, title deeds run on very predictable lines, and once you can spot where to find the key pieces of information it becomes much easier to work out what they are telling you. So here is a quick guide to finding your way around a title deed. Continue reading “Finding your way through title deeds”

Poor law records: please, sir, I want some more

How did the past look after their poor? What would have happened to your ancestor if they couldn’t work? Records at Hampshire Record Office can often provide a revealing insight into the stories of the poor and how society treated them. Unsurprisingly, the poor and homeless have left few records to tell us how they felt about their situation, so for the most part we have to rely on the official records of church and state, the authorities attempting to deal with the widespread problem of poverty.  Nevertheless, these are important social documents which can reveal a great deal of information. Continue reading “Poor law records: please, sir, I want some more”