The Burgum family history society is a member of the Guild of one name studies and researches the names

Dates in History

The table below sets out dates in the past, which I hope you will find interesting. It is not enough to see when and where our ancestors lived, but to see what else was going on around them at the time. Our ancestors survived many deadly diseases including the Black Death, Cholera and the Influenza pandemic of 1918-19 when 100 million people died worldwide! How do I know they survived? Well, because without them and/or their children we would not be here today.

Some of our relatives lived (somewhere, we know not where) when William the Conqueror invaded England. Some were alive during Shakespeare’s (1564-1616) lifetime, when he wrote and performed his plays in London. Some may have been Royalists, while others supported the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War (1642-1647); probably they mostly just got on with surviving and putting food on the table. Our relatives saw great change during the Industrial Revolution and witnessed amazing progress during Victorian times. Some travelled great distances to the USA and Canada, Brazil, Paraguay, Australia and New Zealand in the nineteenth century seeking a better life.

We know all these things happened. As you look for your ancestors on this website, note the dates and then look at the table below. It will tell you some of the things that were going on when our ancestors lived and worked, married and had children. Without them, we would not be here…

2500 BC Stonehenge was built in what is now Wiltshire, England
43 ADRoman invasion of Britain by Aulus Plautius.
61 ADBoudicca, Queen of the Iceni, leads an uprising against the Romans; she sacks Colchester, London and St Albans slaughtering possibly up to 80,000 people. Legend states she committed suicide by poison following her Army's defeat at the hands of the Romans.
121 ADHadstrian orders the Roman Army to build a wall to defend against the Picts.
250 ADUlster and Scotland are invaded by the Scots, possibly from the Iberian peninsula. Meanwhile Britain is invaded from the North Sea by the German Angles, Jutes and Saxons. Thee Romans will battle the invaders for the next 200 years!
450 AD Saxons invade Britain from northern Germany.
570 AD The Prophet of the Islamic religion, is born in Mecca.
597 AD Augustine lands in England, under the direction of Pope Gregory I, to re-convert the people to Christianity
784 AD The king of Mercia, King Offa, begins work on his defensive dyke to defend England from the Welsh. This borders the west side of the Forest of Dean to this day.
785 AD The Vikings begin their raids on the coastlines of Britain
871 AD Alfred “the Great”, born in 849, becomes king of Wessex. He fought the invading Vikings and, fifteen years later, captured London becoming King of England. The Vikings under Guthrum were tolerated under Alfred. He reformed the law and promoted education and schooling.
890 AD Work begins on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, as monks record the known history of England.
911 AD The Viking leader, Rollo, settles in Normandy, in France. Just over a 150 years later, this will lead to the invasion of England by the Norman (Viking) invaders.
943 AD Malcom I becomes King of the Scots.
949 AD The Viking leader, Rollo, settles in Normandy, in France. Just over a 150 years later, this will lead to the invasion of England by the Norman (Viking) invaders.
986 AD Eric the Red creates a Viking colony in Greenland. His son, Leif Ericson, went on to explore North America five centuries before Christopher Columbus. A Viking settlement has been found in Newfoundland, confirming the exploration.
1016 King Canute, a Viking, is King of England, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. His reign lasts 19 years.
1066 William, Duke of Normandy defeats King Harold at the Battle of Hastings. England has never been successfully invaded since.
1086 Population of England estimated to be between 1.5 million and 2.25 million people. A survey of England is recorded in the Doomsday Book.
1097 Tower of London completed for William the Conqueror.
1209 London Bridge built across the Thames
1215 Population of England estimated to be about 5.7 million people. King John seals the Magna Carta.
1249 University College, Oxford, founded
1300 Population of England between 4 and 5 million people
1306 Population of London 40,000
1314 Robert the Bruce defeated the English at Bannockburn, assuring Scotland’s independence for 300 years. My Scottish wife remains in charge to this day!
1315-22 Great Famine.
1337 Hundred Years’ War between France and England begins
1340 Approximate year of birth of Geoffrey Chaucer, the 14th century poet
1348-50 First outbreak of Black Death kills about half the 7 million population of England
1368-69 Black Death
1375 Black Death
1381 The Peasants Revolt, following the Black Death, resulted in greater hardship and less wages. Ultimately King Richard I reneged on his promises.
1387 Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is published
1415 Battle of Agincourt, Henry V victorious. 5 years later he marries Katherine, daughter of Charles VI of France, to make him heir to the French throne.
1431 English burn Joan of Arc at the stake, who had defeated them at battles at Orleans and Pataye.
1485 Henry VII defeats Richard III at Bosworth, as the house of Tudor overthrows the last Plantagenet king.
1492 Christopher Columbus sails across the Atlantic, reaching the Caribbean Islands.
1498 Vasco de Gama sails to India via the Cape of Good Hope, in South Africa.
1500 Lead pencils were used in England for the first time.
1519 Leonardo da Vinci, the great Italian Rewnaissance artist and scientist died.
1534 King Henry VIII breaks from the Catholic Church of Rome.
1538 All parish churches in England are required to register every birth, marriage and death. Not all parishes complied immediately; some took decades!
1553 Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, burned at the stake in Oxford.
1558 Elizabeth I comes to the Thone of England.
1564 Population of England estimated to be about 3.5 million people; London 100,000.
1564 William Shakespeare born.
1572 St Bartholomews’ Day Massacre in Paris, when 8,000 Protestant Huguenots were killed.
1582 Gregorian Calendar created.
1587 Mary, Queen of Scots, executed
1588 English Navy attack the Spanish Armada, largely destroying it.
1600 Elizabeth I awards charter to British East India Company
1603 Plague again hits London
1605 Guy Fawkes is discovered, thus foiling the Gunpowder Plot.
1607 The first permanent English settlement in North America is established at Jamestown, Virginia.
1611 King James Bible published
1616 William Shakespeare dies
1620 The Mayflower sails for America carrying the Pilgrim Fathers.
1636 Plague hits Newcastle
1642 Theatres in London closed by Puritans, described as the “Coup of Joylessness”
1642-47 Civil War between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians in England, Ireland and Scotland.
1664 The English capture New Amsterdam fron the Dutch and re-name it New York.
1665-66 The Great Plague hits London and elsewhere killing tens of thousands.
1666 The Great Fire of London
1679 England inroduces the Habeas Corpus Act confirming the right to a trial before imprisonment.
1690 Yellow Fever affects New York City
1700-1810 Between these dates more than 7 million Africans were sold into slavery and shipped to America. Over a million of them died on the journey.
1703 Sir Isaac Newton, mathematician and astromoner, is made president of the British Royal Society.
1707 England and Scotland are joined in the Act of Union./td>
1713-15 Measles affects Boston, Massachusetts, spreading to New England and the Great Lakes in the Thirteen Colonies.
1727-50 Scarlatina outbreaks in such places as York, Plymouth, Cornwall, Devon, London, Sheffield, Kidderminster and St Albans.
1747 Parish registers are all recorded in one book prior to this date in England. It takes until 1813 before all parishes in England use three different books for each event, ; births, marriages and burials.
1751 Gregorian Calendar introduced in England
1757 Smallpox in Manchester kills 20,000
1760 Canada comes under the sole contril of Britain.
1763 Rio de Janeiro becomes the capital of Brazil/
1765 In the mid-1760's James Hargreaves invented the 'Spinning Jenny".
1773 Typhus epidemic in Chester; smallpox in Manchester kills 27,000
1776 US Declaration of Indepenence from the Britsh
1781-84 ‘Plague ague’ (type of malaria) hits River Severn Valley
1788 First British convicts shipped to Australia (Botany Bay).
1789 George Washington becomes the first president of the United States of America.
1789 The storming of the Bastille Prison, in Paris, France, sparks off the French Revolution.
1792 A republic is established in France following the abolition of the monarchy.
1800 John Adams becomes the first President to occupy the White House.
1800 Vilta invents the first battery
1800 Library of Congress founded by Congress
1801 Thomas Jefferson defeats John Adams to become President of the USA.
1801 England, Scotland and Ireland are united by the Act of the Union
1803 The USA doubles in size following the Louisiana Purchase.
1804 Lewis and Clark begin their journey westward towards the Missouri River in search of the Northwest Passage
1804 Napoleon Bonaparte coroneted as Emperor of France
1804-06 Lewis and Clark explore the west beyond the Mississippi River.
1805 Battle of Trafalgar. The Royal Navy defeat the French and Spanish Navies with the loss of Admiral Nelson and approximately 1600 men.
1806 The Holy Roman Empire is brought to an end by Napoleon.
1807 The slave trade is abolished by the British Government.
1812 Tin cans made in Briain for the preserving of food.
1812 The Luddites destroy factory machines in Nottingham, which they believe were taking away their jobs.
1813 All parish churches in England finally use separate registers for births, marriages and burials by this date.
1815 Following his defeat at Moscow in 1812, Napoleon is finally defeated at the Battle of Waterloo.
1816 ‘Year with no Summer’ Famine following poor harvest, food riots. Welsh move into England to beg for food; smallpox spreads, 100,000 Irish die.
1816-26 First cholera pandemic across Europe kills thousands.
1829 George Stevenson builds the “Rocket’ steam locomotive.
1829-51 Second cholera pandemic across Europe, Asia and North America.
1831 Cholera spreads through Britain and 30,000 die.
1831 Charles Darwin begins his five year journey of scientific research to the Pacific Ocean aboard the 'Beagle'.
1837 Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in England and Wales in 1837.
1840 The first stamp, the Penny Black, is introduced in Britain.
1846 Very hot summer and drought. Between 500,000 and 1,000,000 die over the next two years. Lancashire, Cheshire, Birmingham, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Leeds, York and Sunderland badly affected. Floating hospital ships more on rivers such as the Mersey
1849 California Goldrush!
1854 The Broad Street cholera outbreak kills 616 people in one small area.
1866 The age of death is included in the index of death records from this date.
1868 The transporation of convicts to Australia ceased. It is estimated 137,000 men and about 25,000 women had been shipped to Australia, some for minor offences.
1883 Krakatoa erupts.
1894 The Genealogical Society of Utah is founded by the Church of LDS.
1911 Roald Amundson of Norway reaches the South Pole.
1911 2nd April 1911 was Census Day in the UK.
1911 1st July Mother’s maiden name included in the birth indexes for England and Wales.
1912 Influenza pandemic 50 million die world wide (23,000 in London).
1914 The Panama Canal is opened.
1915 German Airships bomb England. A German U-Boat sinks the Lusitania, killing 1,200 people.
1917 The Russian Revolution.
1918 The Great War (WWI) ends in November of this year, but at a terrible price. In a period of about 4 years and 4 months, 10 million people died and 20 million were injured..
1920-33 Prohibition bans sale of alcohol in the USA.
1922 Six northern counties of Ireland join Britain, creating the United Kingdom with England, Scotland and Wales. The rest of Ireland is given dominion status as The Irish Free State and finally beomes the Republic of Ireland in 1949.
1922 Portable and car radios are produced in the USA.
1928 Britain gives the vote to women over 21.
1929 The Wall Street Crash occurs in New York.
1933 The Nazi Party comes to power in Germany.
1936-39 Civil War in Spain.
1939 Germany invades Poland, leading to World War II. They have already invaded Rhineland, forced a union with Austria and partioned Czechoslovakia.
1940 British scientists invent Radar.
1945 American scientists develop the atom bomb.
1947 India gains independence.
1950-53 Korean War.
1961 Belin Wall is built to prevent the flow of East Germans to the West.
1961 Yuri Gagarin, a Russian, becomes the first man in space..
1965-73 Vietnam War.
1966 1st January 1966 – the first 2 forenames added to Birth indexes in England and Wales.
1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon.
1969 The full date of birth added to the death indexes together with the first two forenames.
1989 The Belin Wall is demolished, leading to the unification of Germany.