The Calendar of the Freemen of Norwich 1317 to 1603 was compiled from the original roll created by the late John L’Estrange of Norwich, possibly the most industrious local antiquary of the time.
Although these records cover the period 1317 to 1603 it is not a complete list of records, there are pages missing from the originals.
Each record is available in a PDF format. Use the previous and next buttons at the top of the page to browse through the publication. The PDF search experience can be different from searching transcribed records. Use our search tips below to get the most out of this collection.
The detail in each record will vary. In the records you may find a combination of the following information:
To the left of the PDF, you will find the Transcription Box, which includes:
Title – the title of the publication
Image number – this will tell you where you are in the publication and help you to explore the publication further.
Searching through a PDF (Portable document format) is different from searching through fully transcribed record sets. Here are some tips to keep in mind while you search for your ancestors:
The search feature uses direct search. It will search for the exact word or phrase you type in the search field. There are no name variants available through this format.
All search results will bring you to the page on which your search word has been found and not to an individual transcript. You can then read through the page to find your result.
A name search will return results which have the search terms on the same page within the document. This means that searching for John Smith will return pages where the names 'John' and 'Smith' occur. For this reason your search may return the name William Smith or John Brown. By inserting quotations around the full name the search function will locate the terms together; for example, “John Smith.”
To search for your ancestor by their name, write it as it would appear on the document. For example, if your relative was known as ‘Will’ it is likely that the name used for official records was ‘William.’
If you are unable to find your relative on your first search you can try different name variations. A number of register books only use abbreviations for first names.
For example, if your search is unsuccessful for William Smith, try W Smith or Wm Smith.
Perusing the PDF
If you wish to read through the whole document you are searching, then order the results by page number. You can start from the beginning of the document and read through to the end using the next button above the image.
Page numbers often correlate with the individual images of the documents rather than the page numbers used within the publication. Therefore page 1 starts with the cover page.