When basic reading is done, the student will wish to associate the outline with original sources. A National Archives site moves on to a series of themes and their documents.
This site introduces several themes with descriptions and facsimiles of their typical sources. These include: -
Land and People (enclosures parish acreage returns 1801, tithe awards and maps.)
Local government: (The manor, poor law unions, public health and schools.)
Popular protest (Luddites, Chartist, and the General Strike.)
The Law: (Assize courts, prisons, petitions, police.)
Working lives: (Jobs in the census, wages and payments.)
All these references provide excellent starting points.
Once we are ready for more advanced instruction a first class course of Research and Learning is also offered by the National Archives. This includes a beginner’s Latin guide and a more advanced course for use with documents dated from 1086-1733. An outstanding course on practical palaeography introduces examples of basic documents, ten examples in English and from Domesday Book to the Fifteenth Century. Excellent tutorials include self correcting exercises in transcription. well worth a few weeks’ work. This course is found on : http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/gettingstarted/default.htm
Our old-fashioned Library search would have continued from Library to County Record Office. Today there are at three different initial moves which will bring a chosen place online. Firstly, open one of the leading search engines, A2A, now found on: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a or another agency such as Genuki, (Genealogy UK and Ireland.) http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/ or finally the chosen County Record Office website. (See the 'Appendix' page.) Any of these may well provide a mode of search for a chosen village. Secondly, seek any document by name which will often open up an index of places. Once more seeking Chaddesley Corbett by name only we find, amongst the froth of cricket club, point to point, bed and breakfast, the Talbot Inn and parish council data, a useful introduction to the Saxon “Cedeslei”. Next, we turn to our own original sources.