Archivists' Modus Operandum


They say “Our method of tracing a property without the occupant’s name and when there are no property deeds available” is
1. Look at the property on the ground and note any permanent public buildings nearby to help with tracing the property on a map, i.e. a pub, junction of a street, and which side of the road the property is situated. Make a note of the name if the property has one. (This will helpfully give you some idea of the age of the building and point you in the right direction of the most relevant map to look at.)
2. Consult the Tithe Map of 1838, identify the property and make a note of the Tithe No. Look at the Tithe Schedule which will give you the owner, occupier, a description of the property and its use, and the area it covers.
3. Look at later maps to find the property if not on the Tithe, so giving a rough date for when the property was built.
4. Consult the appropriate Census, bearing in mind that the numbers on the left hand side of the sheet are not street numbers, but enumerator’s numbers. (The 1901 Census is the first to use postal numbers in Emsworth). If you are lucky you may be able to identify your property, remembering that enumerators used walking order when taking the Census, so that a long street may be interrupted by side streets before resuming the main street. High Street is an example of this in Emsworth.
5. If you manage to pick up an occupant’s name for your property you may be lucky and be able to follow that name through in the next Census. Do not be surprised if the occupant has changed in the intervening 10 years. Empty properties are shown as such so a trail may be lost.
6. Trade Directories are very useful aids, especially if the property was used as a business, and many properties carried on the same trade with different owners over the years.
7. The 1914 Rate Book (on show in this exhibition) gives details of owners, occupiers and rateable value, all in street order.
8. Sale Particulars issued by Estate Agents are also another source of information, usually giving the number of rooms and details of utilities, rateable value and rent, owner and occupier.”

NOTE: A copy of this advice may be obtained from the Reception Desk at modest cost.