Four of the members who attended the introductory training sessions on reading and transcribing old documents back in the Autumn of 2016 have continued to work with documents relating specifically to Appleby and our Dig Appleby project.
Having jumped over and got to grips with the initial hurdles of poor handwriting, total lack of punctuation, strange abbreviations and no standardised spelling, they are now making good progress through some early Chamberlain’s accounts from the 1500s. One member is researching papers relating to the early days of Appleby Grammar School.
We are finding out lots of interesting information about the construction of a bake house and the associated works and names of local labourers. Many of those surnames are still to be found in the area.
One transcriber has found a touching reference to a poor widow, her death and subsequent funeral.
It’s all proving to be very rewarding and is bringing ancient Appleby to life.