Using Tithe Maps to help find out about your East Sussex Ancestors

The term tithe map is usually applied to a map of an English or Welsh parish or township, prepared following the Tithe Commutation Act 1836. This act allowed tithes to be paid in cash rather than goods. The map and its accompanying schedule gave the names of all owners and occupiers of land in the parish. Individual tithe owners sometimes prepared maps for their own use to show who owned what land. These maps are sometimes also called tithe maps, although such maps are not common before 1836


You can search to see if your ancestors paid tithes in East Sussex at

If I look for the Webbs, there are a number of entries but the ones I am interested in would be the Catsfield Entries for Mrs Webb who would be Sarah Webb my 4x Great Grandmother.

We can see that there are 5 plots that she is connected to. Clicking on more details tells us that she owns and occupies plot 419 which is just over 1/2 an acre.

Plot 418 is where the cottage and garden is found, the others are described as Platt which is just a parcel of land as such. The date is useful in giving an indication of where an ancestor is at that time and whether they are still alive.

You can then see where these are on a map. You will need to look for the plot numbers on the map, it may take a bit of finding. For Sarah Webb her plots are found in Henleys Down which is just outside Catsfield. The cottage is still there today albeit with an extension.

You can also look up the plots around your ancestors house and build up a picture of what the community was like at the time and who lived where. A useful tool.

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