Find your ancestors in Devon, Plymouth Borough Records 1519-1905

Explore Plymouth borough’s administrative records. Was your ancestor a supplier for the Plymouth alms-house, did they serve on a jury, were they charged for keeping hogs or was your ancestor an orphan in need of aid? The borough was responsible for the welfare of the poor, operations of local charities, overseeing local government and law, and the collection of taxes and revenues.

In each result, you will find a transcript and an image of the original record. The transcript will give you a brief account of the vital information found in the record, but the image will provide greater detail about your ancestor at the time of the event. The transcript will provide

  • Name
  • Event year
  • Event type
  • Place and county
  • Archive and reference

By viewing the image, you will get a better understanding of why your ancestor appeared in the document. The borough records contain official papers from a variety of events. Below is a list of the event types you can find.

Event types

  • Borough account books of town dues and customs
  • Borough accounts
  • Borough alms-house accounts
  • Borough audit book
  • Borough bail books
  • Borough constitution books
  • Borough court examination and information books
  • Borough estreat books
  • Borough order books
  • Borough orphans' aid cash books
  • Borough receivers' accounts
  • Borough recognizance books
  • Borough vouchers and receipts
  • Freedom papers
  • Freemen's papers
  • List of grand jury
  • List of members of the corporation
  • List of people convicted for keeping hogs
  • List of trustees of Jory's Charity
  • Lists of jurors
  • Oaths of allegiance
  • Police court book
  • Receivers' ledger, poor law
  • Register of summary convictions
  • Returns of corporation officers
  • Returns of magistrates
  • Returns of offenders against excise laws
  • Returns of short weights and measures
  • Sessions book
  • The Plymouth black book, includes freemen
  • Use the arrows on either side of the image to browse through the document. Reading the document more in-depth will give you context and a better understanding of why your ancestor would be found in the records.

    Discover more about the Devon, Plymouth borough records

    The Plymouth borough records are a collection of administrative records from the Plymouth borough. The records vary widely, such as orphan’s aid cash books, court examinations and freemen’s papers, to name a few. With all the records together you can explore the daily operations of Plymouth from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. In the records, we find people from all walks of life, from pauper children to Plymouth’s mayors to merchants and farmers.

    Each type of record will reveal unique information about your ancestor. For example, in the summary convictions, we discover the names of those who were fined for obscene language or for not sending their child to school, which could carry a fine of 2 to 10 shillings. Another record shows 16 people were convicted in 1807 by a grand jury for keeping hogs. The collection also includes a list of 38 people who took the oath of allegiance in 1660. The oath, or a formal declaration of loyalty to the crown and the Church of England, was required of the clergy, local government officials, gentry and freemen after the Reformation.