New British historical records from London and Surrey

This week’s Findmypast Fridays marks the release of almost 550 thousand records from London and Surrey in the UK. A range of fascinating sets, from will indices to apprenticeship abstracts  dating back to the fifteenth century, these diverse records reveal information about many different sectors of society, and can help you fill in the gaps in your research.

Courts, wills and apprenticeship records

The Surrey and City of London Livery Company Association Oath rolls, 1695-96 comprise 32,965 records of tradesmen who signed an oath of loyalty to the British King William of Orange. Browse the collection to discover if your ancestors were among them, and if so, what their trade or occupation was.

London Consistory Court Depositions Index 1700-1713 is a collection of 3,100 records held at the London Metropolitan Archives. These records are also known as Bawdy Court records, as they often refer to matrimonial matters such as separation, breech of promise, and arguments over estates. Over half of the records are for women, so they offer a rare opportunity to find details of our early 18th century female ancestors. They also offer a broad view of society, as people from all walks of life appear in these records, including servants and tradesmen who were often called to give evidence against their master or neighbour

The Archdeaconry Court of London Wills Index 1700-1807 contains 4687 surviving wills which are a useful resource for those looking for ancestors who pre-date parochial records. In London, the Archdeacon had jurisdiction over nearly half the parishes in the City of London, as well as other nearby parishes including St Leonard Shoreditch and Clerkenwell.

The Sussex, Eastbourne Monumental Inscriptions 1610-2008 set contains records of nearly 20,000 inscriptions from three Eastbourne cemeteries, as well as records from St Andrew in Jevington, an Eastbourne village.

The London Apprenticeship Abstracts 1442-1859 includes almost 500,000 names, of  apprentices, their masters and parents. These records contain incredibly valuable genealogical and biographical information on members, over seventy per cent of whom came from outside London.

Before 1858, areas exempt from archidiaconal and episcopal jurisdictions were known as “peculiars”. The Surrey Peculiars Probate Index 1660-1751 includes nearly 2000 wills proved in the Peculiars court in Surrey.

To read more about all of this week’s records, head to our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page.