Wonderful words

I first came across the word wapentake about 12 years ago when I started working at the record office - I understood that it described an ancient jurisdiction, similar in meaning (though not necessarily in geography) to the district and borough jurisdictions we have today.  I also discovered that the term hundred was also an area delineating … Continue reading Wonderful words

Newspapers

A guide to the uses of local newspapers and where to find them (updated Jul 2020). From the 18th century to the present day, newspapers are an invaluable source of information for family and social historians: births, marriages, deaths, advertisements, crime, coroners' reports, sports and entertainments, elections, farm and property sales, bankruptcies, disasters, scandals, and … Continue reading Newspapers

Derbyshire Probate: Wills and Administrations

A guide to locating Derbyshire wills and administrations  A Will is a legal document by which a person outlines their wishes for how their property and estate should be managed, divided or disposed of after death. Letters of Adminstration/Admon were granted to an administrator where a person died intestate, i.e. without making a valid will.  … Continue reading Derbyshire Probate: Wills and Administrations

The Monocled Mutineer’s early career at Blackwell Colliery

On the 100th anniversary of the death of Percy Toplis, I thought it appropriate to look into the connections he had to the local mining industry. Toplis, better known as the Monocled Mutineer, is a bit of a local celebrity for being an imposter, claiming to be an army officer, being mutineer, deserter and a … Continue reading The Monocled Mutineer’s early career at Blackwell Colliery