Dates are given as they appear in the documents. This means that before 1752 (when Britain adopted the modern, Gregorian calendar) they appear in the Julian calendar format, in which the year starts on March 25th. In this system, December 1690 is followed by January 1690, not January 1691. It is thus entirely possible to have a cause which starts in, say, October 1530 and finishes in February 1530.
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This section provides information about the participants in the cause. Only fields for which the database holds information are shown.
The first piece of information shown is the participant's given name. These were always recorded in a standard form, if necessary translating from Latin. Accordingly in some instances the record does not reflect the spelling in the documents. For example variants of forenames were converted to one standard, e.g. Maria was always rendered as Mary. Short versions of names (such as Allie for Alice) were also converted to a standard form. Your search may therefore not work if you use a given name which has more than one form. The Given Name field was also used to record corporate names such as 'Churchwardens of X'.
The project team recorded surnames in the way they appeared in the documents. These surnames were then standardized to correct for variations in language and spelling. The second piece of information in the participant field shows the standardized form attached to the participant's surname, highlighted in bold - in this example Elland. If you asked the database to search for names including variants, you may return some unexpected results: for instance searching 'Green' will also return hits for 'Grene'. Turn off the 'include variants' box in the search screen to look for a specific version of a surname.
The final piece of information in this field shows you how the name is spelt in the original documents. This is seen in brackets after the standard form, and may be the same as this. If there is more than one spelling listed in the brackets, it indicates that this variation was observed in the original documents. In our example, [Eland; Elande] shows that the participant's name was recorded as both Alice Eland and Alice Elande.
All locations mentioned in each cause were recorded by the project team. Places associated with participants appear under their data. Locations which featured in the documents but which were not attached to a particular individual appear in the 'Associated Places' section. Searches for place-names can lead to either or both sections of the record. To understand how locations are presented, it is necessary to bear in mind that place-names have been standardized to account for historic variations in language and spelling.
For each place, the project team recorded a modern version of the place-name. Listed after this in brackets is the original spelling of that name (and any noted variations in spelling), as given in the documents for that cause. If obvious, the project team also noted what type of place it was, such as a field, town or parish; otherwise this was left as 'undefined'. Note that if a place is listed as a 'field name', this may indicate either a specific field or group of fields.
The team then assigned each place to a standardized, large, modern location: normally a parish, town, city or county. These standard locations appear in bold type in the database. Each place listed after a standard location indicates that it is either within that location or identical to it.
An example might be:
Robin Hood's Bay (Robin Hood Bay): township
In this example, the project team identified two places in the cause associated with the modern, standardized place of Whitby. These were the parish of Whitby (spelt Whitbie and Whiteby in the original documents) and Robin Hood's Bay (spelt Robin Hood Bay in the original documents), a township within Whitby.