1986, I went to an exhibition in London about the Domesday Book of 1086. My knowledge of the book at the time was minimal, though I vaguely remembered being told something about it a few years earlier, at school.
You can explore aspects of the Domesday Book for yourself, even if your ancestors are not associated with a town mentioned in it.
What do you already know about the Domesday Book?
What do you know about your family history in relation to land ownership?
What do you know about your family history in relation to a sense of belonging to a place, by choice or by force?
The area in which my mother's known maternal ancestors mainly lived is recorded in the Domesday Book. Dawley is a place with much history, very little of which can easily be seen.
My grandmother spent much of her childhood and adolescence in Dawley in the 1910s and 1920s. She would probably not recognise the place today.
Here is a video you may enjoy watching. I have not been associated with its production.
There are many sources of information for anyone seeking a brief overview of the history of Dawley, as well as more detailed historical information.
There are many people who value the history and heritage of Dawley. They do so in various ways.
There are also many people researching their family history connections to Dawley.
Have you found yours?
Are you a member of the Shropshire Family History Society?
Have you recorded anything of your Shropshire heritage?
Here is another video I found during my research:
There are records of the economic history of Dawley from the Domesday Book to more recent times.
In the 1870s, Dawley was a town of around 11,000 people. Each house had, on average, around five or six inhabitants. Most of those persons were likely to be renters.
The names of my ancestors are unlikely to be found in the two-volume Return of Owners of Land, 1873 or in similar subsequent works.
I know that my own Dawley family history connections go back to at least the 1790s. My matrilineal great-grandparents called the place Dawley Green. They were born in the area in the early 1870s.
According to the 1901 census, it appears that at least one of my great-grandparents pronounced Dawley as Darley. That is how it is transcribed.
Here is another video I found:
My matrilineal great-grandmother was born in Dawley as Harriet Lloyd. Her mother was born in Dawley as Maria Clarke. Maria's mother was born in Dawley as Harriet Buttery. Her mother was born in Dawley as Winifred Taylor. Winifred's mother was born as Ann Jones. I am not sure where Ann was born.
Ann Jones married Isaac Taylor in Madeley Parish, in which Dawley is situated, on 4 April 1803.
"Winnifred" was christened on 4 August 1805 in Dawley Magna. The record states that her father was born circa 1779 and her mother was born circa 1783.
Winifred had two younger brothers, Benjamin, born 1808, and Henry, born 1810. Their father Isaac was a collier.
Richard Buttery, the husband of Winifred, fits into a family tree I have found in a couple of online records. Richard and "Winney" apparently married on 30 May 1825.
Have you been discovering Shropshire history in relation to your family heritage?
have you been reading about Shropshire history more generally?
Have you found the experiences to be emotionally pleasant or somewhat unpleasant?
Do you have a Buttery in the family?
Do you know much about Medieval demography and Medieval households?
Can you imagine how your ancestors lived in the 11th century?