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The research process

When asked where I get all my information on the Village, the Church and the surrounding ares I find that the answer is rather complex.

I use a number of sources and ALL of these are freely available on the Internet. As a simple answer I quote Thomas Wright and the Duchess of Cleveland. This avoids just saying "the Internet", while geneology websites and Wikipedia are also good sources. Many historic texts have been scanned (digitized) and have been uploaded. Some of these can be found on Google Play and The Internet Archive.

As I have expanded my range of research in the surrounding area and the visiting of the churches of Essex and Suffolk I have also been pulling information on local families from the archived copy of the Manors of Suffolk.

I could also say "from Inquistions Post Mortem" of Medievil Kings or The Foundation for Medievil Geneology, but that would be a little too pretenious.

I have stated that my primary source of information was Thomas Wright's account of the history of Essex, 1831/36 for at least the Pre-Tudor History of Belchamp Walter, however, this is only one part of the research process.

Wright's account does extend into the Tudor period in any depth and to is more of a recitation of family names and only a little background. The family living in the manor is detailed in more depth as that was his main source of information at the time of its writing (1831/26)


This page is part of an on-going research project on the history of Belchamp Walter and the manor of Belchamp Walter. If you have found it making a web search looking for geneological or other information on the village then please bookmark this page and return often as I am likely to make regular updates. If you delve deeper into this website you will find many other pages similar to this one.

Formatting of pages

I have been working on this for a while. Quoted text is formatted:

This needs to be coverted to the new format and the page on links to sources reformatted.

The quoted text is contained in a box (like this one). The font is (normally for a quote in) italic with a green background. I have also developed formatted links to designate different types of links.
These links are:
Time Links to other pages with information on people and places
and Special - More on how I do this.

In addition clicking on this box will take you to a page explaining how I sometimes link to the research directly.

I can also link the whole block of quoted text back to its source or another page. If this is the case then I will change the cursor to an approporiate format. In the case above I demomstrate a link to another page, this is to prevent slow Internet connections disrupting the flow. In the case above I link to an example to a couple of sources, the cursor is an "alias" cursor and is this behaviour is NOT supported on a mobile device.

I do not do this on all quotes as it adds complexity to the page. The other aspect of this is that the URL of the source seems to be hidden unless it is wanted to be displayed.

Clickable Descriptions/Links

On pages where I have added links to a photograph from another site I may have added an event handler. When this is the case I have changed the cursor to indicate this.

The cursor is an "alias" cursor, hover over the italic green text to see this - I would like to use a custom SVG cursor but there is a law of diminising returns here as the technique will not work on a mobile touch screen.

An SVG cursor:

A recap of the process

When I started out on this I found the reference to Thomas Wright. I created a page called "Hinkford Hundreds" as this was the region in which Belchamp Walter is located. Like so many other names there are alternative spellings for this and you will also see Hengford on some of the old maps and documents.

The other main stimulus for starting this project was that I am/was living in a medieval dwelling which is thought to be the oldest in Belchamp Walter. Looking at the information on the Historic England's website for listed buildings in the area the listing for Munt Cottage and Belchamp Hall. It is well known that the information on the listings of buildings is less than accurate and as in the case of Belchamp Hall, specically the grounds, the information tends to feature information about the more recent residents.


The main problem that I have with the Thomas Wright account is that he tends to "ramble-on". By this I mean that he seems to construct a description by taking a list of names and stringing them into a single sentance. My suspicion is that he is just taking a genealogical family tree and transliterating the names in the tree it into text.

An example of this is seen here - (the Hinkford page needs a lot of formatting).

The reference here was to, among many, was to William Beauchamp, of Bedford and the "dictum of Kenelworth". While was possibly relevant to the history of Belchamp Walter the "dictum of Kenelworth" was introduced "out-of-the-blue" and I guess it is left to the reader to do more research!

Thomas also seems to confuse two William de Beauchamps. de Beauchamp (BelCampo) is probably similar to Smith in Medieval Norman, so the confusion maybe understandable. The de Beauchamp of Bedford is documented as 1185-1260 and the Worchester de Beauchamp as 1105-1170. Thomas states in his History and Topography of Essex that the wife of William de Beauchamp of Bedford as Avica, whereas my research indcates that Avica was the wife of William de Beauchamp of Elmley.

Website design project

Also, it should be recognised that the "History Project" is part of my own website design project.

I must say that the design project is coming on quite well. I do have a lot of work to do editing the pages to the new format, but the new menu design seems to work quite well. Finding a website on English Churches while I was editing a page on the Saxon Chapel of St. Mary's gives me some encouragement. Lionel Wall, the author of the site, has done a LOT of work on his site - albeit curtailed by Covid shut-downs, and I feel that I have some shared expeiences.


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Unlike most genealogical research websites does not attempt to get you to "sign-up" when you click on one of their links.

This Wikipedia link is disabled.

The link on Wikipedia was to:

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External Links - references

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