Ancestry.com. Oakes' Diaries 1778-1827 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2003.Original data: Fiske, Jane, ed. The Oakes Diaries: Business, Politics and the Family in Bury St Edmunds 1778-1827. Vol. I-II. Suffolk, England: Boydell, 1990-1991.
This database contains the diaries of James Oakes, a yarn merchant and prominent citizen of Bury St Edmunds. The diary entries themselves are businesslike and difficult to comprehend without background research. Therefore, the editor has written an introduction that helps acquaint the reader with the Oakes family and the town and society of Bury St Edmunds that surrounds them. Through Oakes' writings one can see that the politics, economics, and society of Bury are very closely related, as Oakes himself was heavily involved in each of these areas. In addition to this, through Oakes' diary historians may study the life of a family and individuals in Bury from the years of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars up to the latter end of Georgian England. The combination of the political, economical, and social data provided about Bury and the information provided on family life in this time and place make this database valuable for researchers with ancestors from this area of Suffolk.