Find ancestors who were Recusant Catholics: 1607-1840

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17 December 2019
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The Catholic Family History Society (CFHS) has announced that a database of 250,000 Catholics and friends 1607-1840 is now freely available on its website.

The Margaret Higgins Database of Catholics in England and their Friends (1607-1840) is a huge database, containing the details of more than half English Catholics as of 1767.

The resource contains over 250,000 records, giving:

  • Name
  • Occupation
  • Age
  • Location and how long lived there
  • Parish

The Catholic Family History Society has made the database freely available, and invites researchers around the world to explore and look for details of their English Roman Catholic ancestors.

Analysis of the Margaret Higgins database

The resource also includes an analysis of the resource and its value to anyone searching for Catholic ancestors in England, a background to the Returns of 1767 that produced the information, and a look at the law and attitudes relating to Catholics in the period. 

Explore the database here. You can download the information in PDF or Excel format.

Come along and see the Catholic Family History Society at Family Tree Live - 17 & 18 April

Acknowledgement is given by the CFHS to financial support given to the project by the Trustees of the Andrew Duncan Trust led by Doctor Leo Gooch and Professor Alexandra Walsham and the Catholic Family History Society.