The Diocese of Hereford covers parishes in Herefordshire, South Shropshire, and parts of Worcestershire, Monmouthshire and Powys. These documents date from the thirteenth century onwards and cover a wide range of the Diocese's functions through to the present day. Latin was the preferred language of many of these documents until 1732.
Main groups of Diocesan documents:
- Bishop's registers, 1275-1992
- Bishop's transcripts, c. 1650-1850
- Court books (instance) 1491-1636, 1662-1829. Instance cases were those brought by one lay person against another
- Court books (office), 1407-1639, 1662-1882. Office cases were brought by the church authorities against an individual (lay or clergy)
- Glebe terriers, c.1589-1636
- Marriage bonds and allegations for Hereford Diocese (commonly known as marriage licences), 1661-1982
- Tithe maps and apportionments, 1836-1850s
- Wills, pre-1858
Bishop's transcripts, court books, marriage bonds and allegations, tithe maps and apportionments, and wills are available on microfilm.
We hold the parish registers and records of Church of England parishes within the county of Herefordshire, as well as those of several parishes outside the county: Old Radnor (Powys), Presteigne (Powys), Discoed (Powys), Dixton (Monmouthshire), and Wyesham (Monmouthshire).
Many churches have deposited their pre-1900 registers of baptisms, marriages, burials and banns, which are mainly made available to the public in microfilm format. Parochial records can also include churchwardens' accounts, overseers' accounts, vestry minutes, records of settlement and bastardy, as well as a wide variety of other sorts of records.
We keep the historic records of Herefordshire Council, and its predecessors, also Hereford City and Leominster Borough, as well as district and parish councils. Records of pre-1889 county government are within Herefordshire Quarter Sessions (part of the public records collection). School and Board of Guardians (workhouse) records, where they have survived, are also deposited as part of the local government collections.
Private deposits form a large portion of our holdings. These records relate to all aspects of the history and development of the geographical county of Herefordshire, and its inhabitants. Collections include the archives of non-conformist ecclesiastical bodies, businesses, estates and manors, private individuals, and a wide range of societies.
The National Archives has designated Herefordshire Archive Service as a place of deposit for public records. Generally, public records are created by a central government department or their predecessor.
Many of these records are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and access to them is restricted under the Data Protection Act. However, permission to view records can be sought from the relevant authorising body.
Main groups of public records:
- Church Commissioners records
- Coroners' records
- Constabulary records
- Drainage Board records
- Fishery Board records
- Hereford City Quarter sessions
- Hereford City Petty sessions
- Hereford County Quarter sessions
- Hereford County Petty sessions: Hereford General Hospital; Hereford County and City Asylum; Herefordshire General Hospital; Kington Victoria Cottage Hospital; Leominster Cottage Hospital; Ross Cottage Hospital; Victoria Eye Cottage Hospital
- Hospitals and health authorities
- Inland Revenue: Finance Act 1911
- Inland Revenue: Land Tax
- Inland Revenue: District Valuation
- Lieutenancy papers
- Magistrates Court records
The Herefordshire Archives and Record Centre Library contains a stock of just over 1,600 volumes shelved into thirteen bays and several lower shelves for outsize books and journals. The shelves are clearly marked with headings as:
|Wye Valley||Agriculture||Welsh Borders||Architecture|
The HARC library forms an important research tool for those researching local and family history with a collection of books which include a run of Herefordshire Directories, English & Latin Dictionaries, Census Returns, Duncumb’s History of Herefordshire, Robinson’s two volumes on Castles and Manors, three volumes of RCHM, individual parish histories, social history of pubs, many volumes on genealogy and publications from adjoining counties.
Since January 1992 the archives library has been supervised by the Hon. Librarian, Heather Hurley and volunteers. She has encouraged the FHA to purchase suitable books, local authors to donate and introduced a re-binding and repair programme paid by the Friends and now carried out by Liz Bowerman and volunteers.
The most exciting and pleasing event that has happened to the HARC Library is that the library catalogue is now online after many years of pressure from the FHA and the librarian. On the HAS website just click on Search HARC’s Library Catalogue and look under author, title, keyword (subject) etc., and note the class number. New books are added to the data base and regularly updated on the online catalogue.
Librarian: Heather Hurley