Revenue officers December 9, 2013 at 10:01 am
I read the article by Brian Walker (‘Records of customs officers and excise officers’, FTM April) with interest, as I had gone down the paths he describes a couple of years ago looking for my grandfather.
I can confirm that the merger of Excise and Taxes in 1849 causes problems in tracking family. In addition to the CUST references in The National Archives he mentions I spent fruitless time on IR references before I discovered Ham’s [Customs Year Book and Inland Revenue Year Book], which turned out to be extremely good in my case. Readers should be aware that The National Archives’ Library does not hold a full set of Ham’s.
In addition, my grandfather was designated as a ‘Ride Officer’ in 1884 (Ham’s), whereas Brian Walker says, in his Glossary on page 6, that the title `Riding Officer’ was ‘Abolished in 1823′. The explanation for this can be found in Graham Smith’s Something to Declare: 1000 Years of Customs & Excise: ‘By 1831 they were called the Mounted Guard and by 1849 costs had to be reduced so only a few places such as the Isle of Wight, Deal, Folkestone, were allowed to keep them. In addition, new entries had to be aged between 2030 and have experience in a cavalry regiment, so that, effectively the mounted guard became an army unit’. My grandfather was on the Isle of Wight in 1884. However he was 34 and had not been in the cavalry, so how he qualified remains a mystery. He had been in the civil service since 1874 and Excise from at least 1881, so that may have counted.
Throughout his whole early working life my grandfather seemed to call himself, or be called, ‘Inland Revenue Officer, Excise Branch’ which neatly joins the two online installment loans offices!
10 Arden Mhor, Pinner Middlesex HA5 2HR
Quite by chance I opened the May edition of Family Tree Magazine at page 15 and saw the picture of a Victorian mother and family making Christmas pudding in ‘Genealogical Miscellany’ . My mother was born towards the end of the Victorian period but I remember that my brother and sister and I used to ‘help’ in just the same way as in the picture, climbing all over the table and tasting whatever we could lay our hands on.
My memories refer to the years leading up to food rationing as the 1939/45 war got under way, and again when it was all over.
DAVID E POWELL-SMITH 13 Avenue de la Bedoyere 92380 Garches, France