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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Family Search adds Landed Estate Court Rentals

FamilySearch has added the Landed Estate Court Rentals 1850-1885 to its database.

This record set makes up one of the best 'census substitute' collections available. It covers the entire island, but includes only bankrupted estates (around 8000 of them), so not everyone with tenant ancestors will find details pertinent to their research. About half a million people are recorded.

When the Landed Estate Court (LEC) took responsibility for the sale of an insolvent estate, it produced promotional information, not unlike today's pre-auction catalogues. This broke down the estate into lots and the 'catalogue' showed the names of tenants, the value of their rents and the terms of their tenancies. Maps were also produced in the 'catalogue', showing the boundaries of these lots. Where urban properties formed part of the estate, a village plan shows the location of the building.

Within these dry details are some genealogical gems. Find out more.

This collection on Family Search can be searched. Some 682,055 records are indexed and 107,598 images can be browsed. However, the images can only be accessed at LDS Family History Centers or other LDS affiliated institutions. Only limited information – name, place and date of LEC sale – is returned by the search facility.

If you find a likely candidate through the search facility, you can follow up your research through the pay-to-view site FindMyPast.