Origin of the Archive

Records and archives have existed since humanity acquired the ability to record information in writing and have the important function of preserving historical memory.

The oldest record keeping dates back to ancient civilizations, when birth records, property, laws, monetary taxes, treasury documentation such as censuses and cadastres, military documentation, and official and private transactions began to be kept to facilitate the conduct of government business, education, religion, and the purposes of each family.

The medium in which this information was recorded differed from one society to another, as well as from one era to another, from the clay tablets of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires of the third millennium to the wooden tablets that reached Greece, the scrolls of papyrus from Egypt and parchment and vellum from medieval Europe. However, the growth and development of registries has not been uniform across the world, with some societies acquiring certain capabilities earlier than others.

Therefore, the ability to keep records and archives was first acquired by those societies that learned to write and record.


Understand the Past & Build the Future

When starting a genealogical research, it's necessary to collect as much information through documentary or oral sources, and for a better understanding of the facts, it's necessary to know what type of documentation has been produced in recent centuries, for what reasons and what structure it currently presents.

The written document is one of the most natural and basic material elements of daily life, often requested by the competent authorities in different aspects of life.

These archives are vital and more than necessary for people, organizations and society in general because without them we would not be able to discover, study and analyze circumstances and events from a historical perspective. We would live without any knowledge of past situations and we all want to be informed. Archives are necessary in society because they promote knowledge and preserve our memory over time.

In the family context, they are of great importance since it allows us to know the history and discover the traces of our ancestors.


Immigration Records

Passenger arrival lists are some of the best sources for documenting ancestor immigration, and vary by time period and port of arrival. Some governments maintained complete arrival lists called manuscript shipping manifests. However, these records vary from country to country.

The introduction of steam engines on ships meant the breaking once and for all of the insurmountable oceanic barriers, constituting a true revolution in communications of the time, and giving rise to the largest known human migratory currents.


Parish Registers & Other Documents

Birth, baptism, marriage and death records are the building blocks for a better understanding of events and often the most accurate documentary evidence.

The first parish records in England were made on paper, but from 1558 onwards parchment was used and the oldest records were supposed to have been copied, although many have been lost. Starting in 1597, a second copy had to be made and sent to the bishop; these transcripts are usually in better condition and written more legibly.


20th century

During the 20th century, many ancestors filled out numerous forms, wrote letters, and preserved a staggering number of documents confirming their existence. To learn more about them, it's necessary to consider the essential facts of his life over the years and understand that many of these documents mention the name of his parents, and even his hometown.


19th century


18th century


17th century

After England's separation from the Roman Catholic Church during the reign of Henry VIII (1491-1547) and his establishment of the Church of England, Protestants of other faiths, Catholics, Quakers, and Jews were considered non-conformists.

During the 17th century there may be gaps in the records due to the English Civil War (1642-1651), and later the Commonwealth of England (1649-1660), as the records were poorly kept or concealed and some were lost. The following years were further complicated by the Great Plague (1665-1666) and many entrances of burials were recorded in the parishes. In turn, the Great Fire of London of 1666 destroyed many of these records.

The availability of non-conformist records of births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths was inconsistent, particularly in the early years. Not all nonconformist congregations kept records, and when they did, not all records survived.

At times, nonconformists faced persecution and therefore did not want proof of their involvement in dissident religions. This was also true for Catholics, who faced particularly severe consequences before the passage of the Catholic Relief Laws of the late 18th century.

In 1680, Charles II of England (1630-1685) passed a law requiring that all corpses be buried in wool, to strengthen the wool industry, and an affidavit was required to swear that upon being buried, the deceased would be buried in wool or se I would impose a fine of £ 5.


16th century

Since the 16th century, parishes must keep a record of baptisms, marriages and burials like a book in England.

Thanks to the efforts of King Henry VIII's Chief Minister, a mandate to keep parish records was issued. These entries were made on paper, sometimes on loose sheets, and the bishop on his visits had to ensure that the names were entered correctly.

These records were introduced in 1538, shortly after the formal separation from Rome in 1534, when Thomas Cromwell (1485-1540), 1st Earl of Essex and chief minister to Henry VIII (1491-1547), demanded that they be kept in all parishes of the church.

Later, in 1558, Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) passed another law that was a duplicate of her father's and many more records began on this date, but they are difficult to read because they are written in Latin and are often very scarce.

In 1597, Elizabeth I (1533-1603) reaffirmed the court order of 1538 and added that the records should be made of parchment rather than paper, and it's worth noting that many of these records survived to this day, although some may have disappeared through wars, negligence and losses due to other causes.


Middle Ages / 5th-15th century

In medieval times there were no parish records in England and for some years before the Reformation, in the smaller monastic houses, the parish priest had developed the custom of noting in an album or in the margins of service books, births and deaths of the main local families.

Most of England's medieval parishes were established sometimes in 1200, but not always, sharing boundaries with a mansion and built by the local lords who administered them.


15th century

Tracing the life of our ancestors in the Middle Ages is not an easy task. Many people lived and died without leaving a trace of themselves in official documents, and there is not always consistency in medieval records.

It's worth noting that the political and religious changes of the time meant the destruction of many records. However, at this point we must be patient to go further and discover new connections in this fascinating time.


14th century

In the Middle Ages, official Church and State records were kept in Latin, which can make them difficult to read. However, all areas of medieval England had a different dialect, which included wide variations in it's spelling.

During this time, land transfers, wills, and cases passed through the secular or ecclesiastical courts of the Middle Ages were recorded.


13th century

There are a large number of undiscovered records from the 13th to 15th centuries, and many of our ancestors even participated in the court system as plaintiffs, defendants, witnesses, or jurors, so trials are a rich source for finding names and family scandals.

In the same way, many of them took it upon themselves to keep records to protect their rights and possessions.


12th century

The main line is that Foster is a contracted spelling of 'Forester', a term that describes an official in charge of a forest.

In the Middle Ages, forests were almost always owned or controlled by the lord of the mansion. But people had no reservations about sneaking in and grabbing firewood, or whatever else was available. To keep poaching to a minimum, the lord hired a man to observe the forest, often called the Forester.

Sir John Forester (1176-1120), who was recorded in The Pipe rolls or Great Rolls of the Pipe in 1183 from Surrey County, was the first recorded bearer of this time and was honored with the knighthood.


11th century

It's estimated that only about 100 million people lived on Earth in the 11th century. If we study the ascending genealogy of a person born in the middle of the 20th century, and we take into account an average of 30 years per generation, we must place the 29th generation in the 11th century.

In this period, the Domesday Book (1086) was the primary record for much of England and Wales and was similar to the national censuses that are conducted today. One of the main purposes of the manuscript was to know who owned real estate that could pay taxes, so the judgment of the appraisers was decisive, since what was registered in the book (the properties and their value) was the law, and no appeal was possible.

The book was written in Latin and was completed in 1086 by order of King William I of England (c.1028-1087), who needed information about the country he had just conquered to better manage it and contains the first census carried out in England more than 900 years ago.


10th century

There is a family lineage of Foster that has been carefully traced up to 1066 times and has an ancestry dating back, according to family research, to an early period in Flanders (862-1795), a historical territory in the Netherlands.

The family's recorded history begins with Anacher, the Great Forester of Flanders, who married Marie Madinhevn in 810 AD in France, had at least one child, and died in 837 AD.

The last name was originally Forrester and, according to the findings, the first man with that name in England was Richard Forester (c.1034-c.1084), whose sister, Mathilde (c.1031-1083), was married to William the Conqueror (c.1028-1087).


Origin & Evolution of the Newspaper

With the birth of the alphabet, the human being begins to document the first stories in history, and the Greeks create the great writings and extol the book copied in the 5th century BC with the so-called papyri.

In the 3rd century BC, the Romans imitated Greek works and public readings were held, increasing the traffic of books and writings.

The newspaper was born in Ancient Rome as a means to make known to the people the important facts and achievements of the government, and the first to use it was Julius Caesar (100 BC-44 BC), who published only facts that favored their political interests.

A similar publication occurred in ancient China, but it did not become widespread until the 15th century, with the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg (c.1400-1468) in Germany. By then, newspapers were half-sensational single-sheet brochures, known as flyers, that were published for an event.

During the seventeenth century they began to circulate and the first to be printed was in England, in 1665, the United States in 1690 and Canada in 1752.

At the end of the 19th century they became more common and inexpensive.

Historical Archive of Journalistic Clippings

Having a file is essential for those who want to reconstruct history. Through each document we find traces that will reveal the actions and knowledge of past generations in their own social and cultural context. In this section you will find news from the main graphic communication media of the time with relevant information and historical articles.



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