FFHS - supporting family historians for over 40 years

Manorial Documents

Manor house

Have you ever thought about using manorial archives in your family-history research?

Manorial records include court rolls, surveys, maps, terriers, documents and books of every description relating to the boundaries, franchises, wastes, customs or courts of a manor.  As such they can be a valuable resource for genealogists who are looking to find out more about where their ancestors lived and worked.

The National Archives in Kew has a Manorial Documents Register (MDR), which in the past was a paper-based register. It is now being updated and made available online, to raise the profile of the Register and increase awareness of what this archive can offer family history researchers

Searches can now be done online using a dedicated MDR search tool within The National Archives Discovery portal [LINK: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/].

The MDR is regularly updated with new and updated manorial information. Over the last year, more than 2,800 manors were added to Discovery, along with over 52,000 accompanying record descriptions.

The Federation is funding part of the cost of four Manorial Documents Register County projects in conjunction with TNA. Wiltshire was the first county to be completed in March 2016, and the Wiltshire MDR now forms part of TNA's catalogue.

Northamptonshire and Northumberland are expected to be the next counties to finish (both in 2017) with Kent due to be completed in 2019.


Emma Waltham
FFHS Marketing Assistant

9 November 2015 - updated 26 September 2016

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