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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Warwickshire, England, Occupational and Quarter Session Records, 1662-1866 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data: Occupational and Quarter Session Records. Warwick, England: Warwickshire County Record Office.

About Warwickshire, England, Occupational and Quarter Session Records, 1662-1866

This database contains a collection of records from Warwickshire Quarter Sessions, most of which relate to occupations.

Historical Background

The records in this database were typically generated by Quarter Sessions in Warwickshire. The Quarter Sessions were a system of quarterly meetings of the justices of the peace for each county and county borough. The Quarter Sessions court had both judicial and administrative functions, so the records include both court minutes and many aspects of local administration. The records in this database relate to some of the administrative functions and feature lists of names of local people collected for various purposes.

Record types include the following:

boat owners records, 1795-1796: Though Warwickshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands, four major canals run through the area, and shipping by barge has been an important industry. These records list owners of boats.

flax bounty records, 1774-1797: Flax was used to produce linen, an industry the government was interested in encouraging because processing, spinning, and weaving flax into linen could create many jobs. To promote linen production, the government offered a bounty to farmers who raised flax. These records are bonds of the flax growers and their sureties to the clerk of the peace that the grower was duly entitled to the bounty.

lists of freeholders, 1710-1760: These are lists of people entitled to vote, or of people who voted, at elections. A freeholder was a man who owned his land outright or who held it by lease for his lifetime or for the lives of other people named in the lease. This collection is largely 18th century.

lists of freemasons, 1799-1857: These annual returns of the names and descriptions of the members of Masonic lodges had to be presented to the Quarter Sessions in pursuance of the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799.

hair powder certificates, 1795-1797: The practice of powdering hair began in England in the 17th century. At the end of the 18th century a duty of one pound one shilling a year was levied on everyone who continued to use hair powder.

gamekeepers records, 1744-1888: These records name individuals who were appointed as gamekeepers for specific estates, manors, forests, etc. These individuals may have had other occupations as well.

hearth tax returns, 1662-1673: The hearth tax was a tax based on the number of hearths, or fireplaces, in a building.

jurors' lists, 1696-1848: These lists of potential jurors can include occupation and street/residence.

printing press owners records, 1799-1866: These records include printers, publishers, and typefounders

What You May Find in the Records

These records vary in form and content, but they can provide name, age, profession, residence, dates, and other details. Images may be browsed according to the record type.

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