Tithe maps – how to pinpoint the ancestral cottage
Records held by National Archives (TNA) include those of the Tithe Commission, whose maps are often the earliest large-scale mapping that exist of individual towns and villages. Related text documents can provide names of property owners and occupiers, with other details such as crop acreage and field names.
Not all parishes were included in the Tithe Commission’s surveys. For instance, earlier parliamentary enclosures had sometimes extinguished tithe payments before the Commission began its work. However, for the parishes where they exist, tithe maps and the associated schedules greatly increase the chances of discovering exactly where our forebears lived or owned property in the 1840s.
You can now search on the TNA website for a specific place and then find catalogue references for records relating to the vicinity. The search area can be set at a radius of between 1 and 50 kilometres. Tithe maps are just one of the record types that you can browse in this way. The link is: http://labs.nationalarchives.gov.uk/geo/Collections.html
Further information about tithe maps and their historical background is set out at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/tithe-records.htm
FFHS Archives Liaison
25 November 2012