The following information comes from TheGenealogist:
The launch of 900,000 new Essex Parish Records transcripts brings the total coverage for that county to over 2.5 million individuals. Spanning the period from 1512 to 2005, these records (with our BMDs and Census) allow family historians to research ancestors from this eastern part of England with ease.
Also released are over 158,000 Worcestershire Parish Records, bringing the county’s coverage to over 2 million individuals.
Colour Tithe Maps
TheGenealogist, in conjunction with the Surrey Heritage Centre, is launching the Surrey Colour Tithe Maps.
Westmorland Colour Tithe Maps are published in partnership with The National Archives. Westmorland is just one of the many counties to be conserved and digitised by TheGenealogist. Many more will be published in the forthcoming months.
These releases bring the addition of wonderfully detailed colour tithe maps to complement the online collection of tithe schedules and greyscale maps that have already been so well received by family historians researching where their ancestors lived.
This rich store of land occupation and usage records were created in a massive survey of England and Wales from between 1836 and the early 1850s. In these early years of the Victorian period, at a time when people were moving from the countryside to the towns, many of the urban areas that we see today as part of cities and towns can be found mapped out as tithable plots. This includes some parts of London and other big cities where cottages and gardens are plotted in the same way as fields and woods are in the countryside.
Brief History of Tithes
Tithes were originally an amount of produce given to the church, originally a tenth. Finally, tithes became a tax on the income from the land. This was paid to the Church of England and to some lay people who owned the rights that had previously been due to the dissolved monasteries. In 1866 the majority of England and Wales was still paying what the government recognised was a discredited tax. Before they could legislate, however, they first had to collect details of what people paid – and so all the owners and occupiers of land subject to tithes were recorded and thus this fantastic resource was created.