BWW Previews: Fascinating Series A Goldmine Of Genealogy For Ancestors Of “Domesday Families”

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Meticulously researched over three decades by Charles Graves, 'Families of the Domesday Book' is the only known series in existence to comprehensively showcase the history and connections of the five-hundred families profiled in the Domesday Book. Spread across five compelling volumes, Graves calls on thousands of pieces of evidence to provide the most complete picture to date of the people behind this most timeless and profound of documents.

United Kingdom - Even though it dates back to 1086, it's likely that up to 1,200 families around the world descend from those originally profiled in the 'Domesday Book'; that infamous 'great survey' ordered by none other than William the Conqueror.

For the first time, a comprehensive history of those families now exists, thanks to Charles Graves' five-volume 'Families of the Domesday Book' series.


The Domesday Book was a survey of English counties in AD 1086 in order to provide information to the ruling monarchs (William I and his descendants including the early Plantagenets) about the history and value of family land ownership in England and Wales. The title alluded to what was considered as a serious challenge to landowners profiting from their property wealth after the Conquest.

The volumes 1 & 2 concern histories of the major families related to the Conquest in 1066 where considerable documents and book materials have been available (601 pp. & 606 pp.); volumes 3 & 4 is for families where less material has been available (594 pp. & 448 pp.); volume 5 (396 pp) concerns families mentioned in the Domesday Book where it cannot yet be proven if these names correspond to more recent family names. About 500 families are certain Domesday Book families, over 1200 are possibilities. The index contains cross references and locations of the origins of each family in Norman France, France, Brittany, West Flanders (Boulogne area) or Britain itself. The materials include documents about each family concerning its inter-family connections (i.e. marriages), inheritances, lands, occupations, activities, relations to the monarch, etc. Hundreds of genealogical charts are included. includes lists of all the family names researched and included in the volumes so prospective buyers will know if they have a chance that their family is discussed. The materials will, hopefully, put them on the track of new discoveries about their ancestors.

The author researched the available materials at the Bodleian Library, Oxford and the British Library, St. Pancras, London. The books result from about 30 years work.

ADDENDA et ERRATA have been included (so far 50 pp. of them including new information about The Boldon Book (c. 1150-80) in the web site and this will be continued.

"These books of course have a wide significance to scholars and those concerned with history, but they also stand to change the genealogical understanding of those who believe they are descended from the Domesday families," explains the author. "They also open a new understanding to the Conquest in 1066, its sequel in England and how it played out to those involved. Everything is derived from original documentation, and it's truly fascinating."

Continuing, "Readers will also discover how the Norman invasion in 1066 introduced a slew of Latin-French terms to the English language, and how these still exist today. In fact, it's thought that about half of all words in our language are of Latin-French origin. This heritage gives my books a vital context, taking their importance far beyond the Domesday Book itself."

Volume one of the 'Families of the Domesday Book' series is available now:

About the Author:

Charles Graves was born in 1932 at Syracuse, New York. He studied at Princeton and holds an M. Litt. From Oxford. He pursued a career in international relations at Geneva, Switzerland and earned a doctorate from Basel University. He has published books on the history of religions and the development of languages. Families of the Domesday Book occupied him for 25 years. Many hours were spent at the British Library preparing the volumes.

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