South West Heritage Trust Transcribers – Land Tax Records

Published by Vickie Sellick on

Volunteers will help to transcribe Land Tax returns for Quantock parishes as part of the South West Heritage Trust’s Somerset Land Tax Project. The South West Heritage Trust Land Tax Project is a long-term effort to digitise and transcribe their collection of land tax returns.  These are annual returns for each parish, beginning c.1766 and ending c.1832.   

The Land Tax returns survive very well for Somerset. They are key sources for house history, and are also heavily used for social and village history. It is also hoped that they will be used more widely for family history research once they have been indexed.  The Land Tax returns complement the tithe awards, as the Land Tax records often finish only a few years before the tithe awards were drawn up.   

Under the guidance of South West Heritage Trust archivist Kate Parr, volunteers work from home and learn palaeography skills to decipher the handwriting from digital images of the original Land Tax documents.Each transcriber will be provided with a set of images, an Excel spreadsheet, palaeography guidelines and guidelines on the SWHT house-style of transcription for this project. Once a set of images has been transcribed it will be circulated to another transcriber for checking and quality control.  

Requirements are: Some experience of reading old handwriting would be an advantage; Own PC with Excel and Word software and a reliable internet connection; Experience at using Microsoft Excel, including formatting; Forensic attention to detail; Willingness to work on a single task long term.