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Domesday Book online


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I know, not North Carolina related directly – of course I’d bet some of the ancestors of North Carolinians are recorded in it!! I just saw the news that the Domesday Book has been digitized and now is available for free browsing online. It is at the UK’s National Archives their news announcement is here and the link to the Domesday Book is here. For those that are wondering….

The Domesday Bុុook was commisioned in 1085/1086 by William the Conqueror as a census of sorts. It was along the vein of …. “I’ve conquered this new area – I wonder what all we’ve got in it? How could I tax them?”…. So, this essentially covered landowners.

It is a remarkable record though of what England in the late 11th century looked like and it’s generally used by many genealogical texts to place family name origins in England. The original was in Latin with some bits of vernacular inserted for words that didn’t exist in Latin if I understand correctly. They have images and a translation as well (Thanks – I still haven’t invested in a Latin dictionary!)