Average London Property in 1910 Valued at Just £14,000, Compared to £430,500 Today

Recently I have seen that Ancestry.co.uk has launched on-line the Land Tax Valuations from 1910 London. Now we all know that property goes up and down, with most home owners expecting that the long term trend is up. Well this data collection reveals that the historic values of some of the capital’s most famous streets and landmarks from just over a century ago and no surprises that they were lower then than they are today.

Originally the records were compiled in 1910, from across the UK as part of David Lloyd George’s 1910 Finance Act and later refereed to as the ‘Domesday Survey’. The reason behind the government gathering this information was as a means to redistribute wealth through the assessment of land value.

What do the records contain for family historians? There is a listing of the owners and occupiers of the properties and it includes the address, value and annual rental yield for the properties in London in the early 20th century.

The average 1910 property could be purchased for a price tag of just £14,000, it would seem – almost 3,000 per cent less than today.

Of particular interest are the values of famous landmarks included in the collection. The Bank of England; worth a mere £110,000 in 1910, the Old Bailey; worth just £6,600, and Mansion House; which contrastingly was valued at an impressive £992,000. St Paul’s Cathedral also features, but without a valuation as it is listed as ‘exempt’ from tax.

Perhaps more surprising is that the media-hub Fleet Street, was then home to numerous newspapers from outside of London including the Liverpool Courier, Yorkshire Evening News and the Newcastle Chronicle! A property on Fleet Street cost an average of £25,000 in 1910, compared to £1.2 million today.
The records provide us with a valuable snapshot of the ownership of land at the beginning of the 20th century. It may help those with ancestors who appear in the collection to find out more about their forebears respective financial situations and the lives they led a hundred years ago.

Ancestry.co.uk International Content Director Dan Jones, whom I interviewed recently at Who Do You Think You Are? Live about their website, comments: “These records are especially useful as a census substitute for people tracing their London ancestors who may not have been captured in the England and Wales 1911 Census.

“The collection offers a fascinating insight into our capital at the beginning of the 20th century – a time when Britain was on the verge of major social, political and economic change.”

The collection complements the extensive census records, ranging from 1841 to 1901, already online at Ancestry.co.uk.

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What to expect from ancestry.co.uk in 2011

At the 2011 family history show “Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE” I was fortunate to grab a chat with Dan Jones from ancestry.co.uk.

For Dan Jones of ancestry.co.uk interview click here

Family historians will find out by watching my interview with Dan, where this important family tree research site will be heading in the next few months and it seems that Ancestry’s focus will be on continuing the development of parish records on ancestry.co.uk that they had started with London and the registers from LMA and also bringing us more occupational records.

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The interview is just one of a number recorded at the UK’s largest family history show: Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE at London’s Olympia. The event is a fantastic mix of workshops, exhibitors and more for those of us passionate about family tree research.

To watch the other videos navigate to the Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE 2011 button on the bar above, or simply watch at my YouTube channel: www.YouTube.com/NoseyGenealogist

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England and Wales Wills on-line

Ancestry.co.uk on a computer screen

Ancestry.co.uk -         (Disclosure: Image is a Compensated affiliate link)

Ancestry.co.uk has launched online the England and Wales National Probate Calendar, 1861-1941 – an index to more than six million wills proven across the 19th and 20th centuries.

Ancestry has said that the combined value of the 6,079,000 estates in the index reveals a fortune that today would be worth more than £20 billion! On the flip side, however, the average value of our ancestors’ estates is a rather modest £3,400.

Now not all of us will be able to find our ancestors in this collection, but if you are lucky enough to do then they can be wonderful resource for family historians. The value of the index is that each entry may also include the name of the departed, the date and place of your forebear’s death, the name of the executer and also, in a few instances, bequest recipients.

So what is Probate? This is the term given to the court’s authority to administer a deceased person’s estate and including the granting representation to a person or persons to administer that estate.

It was in 1857 that the Court of Probate Act came in to force and with it the power to administer estates were transfer from the Church of England to the state. It is the probate calendar books, in which are summarised and collated annually the grants, that are now to be found on Ancestry.co.uk.

Ancestry.co.uk International Content Director Dan Jones comments: “The probate calendar books provide countless new leads for family historians to explore as they move beyond being about family members to long-gone fortunes, mysterious beneficiaries and valuable objects – all with connections back to our ancestors just waiting to be explored.

“Anyone able to find an ancestor in the probate calendar books will be able to find out a great deal about how their ancestor lived, what they bequeathed and to whom – meaning we will be able to find out so much more about what their lives would have been like.”

All wills and administrations were proved in England and Wales however the places of death vary enormously and include more than 107,000 people who died in Scotland, around 20,000 in France and 18,000 in the USA.

To take a look go to Ancestry.co.uk (Disclosure: This is a compensated affiliate link)

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Vive La Différence! Revealed: Brits Love to Hate the French

Research reveals Brits think the French are arrogant, unhelpful and rude – but wouldn’t change a thing about them!

Research published to celebrate an archive of 16.3 million Parisian births, marriages and deaths launched online by Ancestry.co.uk in April 2010 (Disclosure: Compensated Affiliate.)

Records detail 200 years of French history

Three million Brits have French ancestry

In a world first, one of the UK’s top family history websites, Ancestry.co.uk has launched online 16.3 million historic French birth, marriage and death records – a collection of huge significance to the estimated three million Britons with French ancestry.

After Irish blood, French ancestry is the most common in the UK with 1 in 20 Brits having French ancestors, including TV presenters Davina McCall and Louis Theroux, comedian Noel Fielding and Harry Potter star Emma Watson and myself!Ancestry.co.uk

I found that my Scottish line surnamed Hay were actually descended from a Norman called De la Haye. I also have a grandfather, on my mother’s side, whose surname is Renaux and so is assumed to be from French stock.

Yet despite these close links with France, we’re unlikely to be donning berets on this side of the channel just yet. According to an online survey of 9,357 adults, conducted in October 2009 by Zoomerang research, and covering tourists from the UK, Germany, Canada, the USA and France, nearly half of Brits think Parisians are arrogant, aloof and unhelpful (45 per cent), whilst 41 per cent suspect Parisians avoided helping tourists by pretending not to speak English on their last visit to the city.

Other unappealing experiences include extortionate food and drink prices, appalling driving and excessive dog excrement on the streets.

Yet, this negative view doesn’t stop us from loving ‘belle Paris’ and in particular the French culture, with 7 in 10 visitors saying would recommend the city to a friend and a third (33 per cent) saying the rude behaviour of residents is all part of the experience.

This research has been released to celebrate the online launch of over 200 years of Parisian history in the Paris, France & Vicinity Vitals, 1700-1907 on Ancestry.co.uk, which features 16.3 million records of births, marriages and deaths from the dawn of the 18th century.

The collection contains in-depth information about the individuals featured; including their name, details of their spouse and parents, birth place, occupation, residence, age, details of marriage and date and place of death.

These ‘vital records’, so called because of their immense genealogical value, will provide the building blocks for Brits to discover their French roots, enabling them to trace the birth, marriage or death of an ancestor living in Paris and the capital’s vicinity, from the 18th to 20th centuries.

Among these historic Parisians are some of the city’s greatest artists and famous historical figures listed, including:

Edgar Degas – the French artist, regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, appears in the birth records on the 19th July 1834

Baron Gaspard Gourgaud – the burial of the Napoleonic general Gourgaud, who once saved the life of the emperor from a gunpowder plot, is listed on the 25th July 1852

Gustave Moreau – the birth of the Symbolist painter, known for his works depicting biblical and mythological figures, is recorded on the 6th April 1826

Many of these records were compiled by the prominent genealogist Maurice Coutot in 1924. He used parish church records to fill the void that was left by the destruction of all of the pre-1860 civil registration records for Paris, which were burnt in a fire during the French Revolution.

Ancestry.co.uk International Content Director Dan Jones comments: “Paris is an enchanting city with a rich history that Brits have been drawn to for centuries, so for many it will be a thrill to discover that they may have close ancestral ties to France.

“Making these Parisian records available will help many British people out there with French heritage trace their continental roots.”

Disclosure: Compensated Affiliate.

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