a) No comment: when I did my research computers were still exotic. Desktop PCs were a couple of decades away
b) If a description is precisely the same and the reserved rent is also the same, it is likely to be much the same property, but the possibility of less formal exchanges of selions within the common fields should not be ruled out. The procedure with copyhold was probably that the old document was brought to the court and the steward copied from it, so that the descriptions are very stable over long periods. This means that it is feasible to jump over periods where the records are missing. However, it is desirable to deal with all the property in your manorial records and everything else you can find about the place together to yield the best results. The diverse nature of the sources may mean that a database (unless with a wealth of free text fields) may prove style-cramping.
49, Stourbridge Road,
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From: From: Local-History list [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On
Behalf Of Christopher Pipe
Sent: 21 April 2010 17:36
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Property records
My thanks to all those who replied, on and off list. The consensus seems to
i) that a great deal of useful information is to be found in the records,
especially if different categories are combined;
ii) that it is very time-consuming to tabulate the information and identify
iii) that several attempts have been made to use general database software
to record the details.
I notice, however,
a) that no standard seems to have been established for recording the
information using an agreed database application;
b) that no-one refers to using computers to automate the linkage of property
records across time or with plots on the map - probably because the
information is too complex (and because descriptions in manor court records
are repeated verbatim over many decades and often across centuries, and it
cannot always be assumed that the same descriptions apply as accurately in
later instances of the formulae as when they were first used).
If I am wrong, will someone please let me know. Otherwise, I shall continue
to mull over the possibilities ready for the day when I can devote a lot of
time to this issue, probably in advanced old age!
-- Christopher Pipe BA DipLib MCLIP
editing & indexing Norfolk history
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