Isle of Man Family History Records

Isle of Man Genealogical Records

Isle of Man Birth & Baptism Records

British Army Birth Index (1761-2005)

An index to births registered to British Army personal at home and abroad.

Isle of Man Baptism Transcripts (1601-1981)

Transcripts or records documenting the baptism of children into the church. Records may contain the forename and surname of both parents, residence and occupations.

Birth Notices from The Times (1983-2003)

An index to over 100,000 birth and christening notices from The London Times.

British National Born at Sea (1854-1887)

An index to children born to British parents at sea. The index contains the name of both parents, child's name, date of birth and other details. Provides a reference to order a birth certificate.

British Maritime Births (1854-1960)

An index to children born to British parents at sea. The index contains the name of both parents, child's name, date of birth and other details. Provides a reference to order a birth certificate.

Isle of Man Marriage & Divorce Records

British Army Marriage Index (1796-2005)

An index to marriages registered for British Army personal at home and abroad.

Isle of Man Marriage Transcripts (1589-1900)

Transcripts of records documenting marriages on the Isle of Man. Records may contains date of marriage, marital status, father's name and occasionally mother's name.

Marriage Notices from The Times (1982-2004)

An index to over 80,000 marriage and engagement notices from The London Times.

Isle of Man Marriage Index (1849-1911)

An index to 42,671 marriages recorded on the Isle of Man. Includes fathers' names.

Foreign and Overseas Registers of British Subjects (1627-1965)

Registers of births/baptisms, marriages and deaths/burials containing over 160,000 entries from over 30 countries. These largely relate to British subjects.

Isle of Man Death & Burial Records

British Army Death Index (1796-2005)

An index to deaths of British Army personal at home and abroad.

Isle of Man Burial Transcripts (1598-2003)

Transcriptions of records documenting burials on the Isle of Man. These records contain residence, age and date of burial.

Death Notices from The Times (1982-1988)

An index to over 54,000 death notices and obituaries from The London Times.

Maritime Deaths (1781-1968)

A name index linked to images of original documents detailing around 950,000 deaths of those who worked on the seas and related industries.

Musgrave's Obituaries (1421-1800)

This transcribed and searchable work by Sir William Musgrave contains 10,000s of brief obituaries. The work is a reference point for other works containing information on an individual.

Isle of Man Church Records

Crockford's Clerical Directories (1868-1914)

Brief biographies of Anglican clergy in the UK.

Church of England Clergy Database (1500-1835)

A database of CoE clergy, giving details of their education of service. Contains references to source documents. Also contains profiles of various church institutions.

Methodist Church Institutions & Boundaries (2012-Present)

An interactive map plotting the location of church institutions and delineating the church's boundaries.

The Baptist Handbook (1896)

An overview of Baptist institutions in the British Isles and abroad, with details of chapels and their particulars.

Church Plans Online (1800-1970)

Architectural plans, with some details of their construction. The database covers England, Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands & Fife.

Isle of Man Census & Population Lists

England, Wales, IoM & Channel Islands 1911 Census (1911)

The 1911 census provides details on an individual's age, residence, place of birth, relations and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows searches on for multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

1901 British Census (1901)

The 1901 census provides details on an individual's age, residence, place of birth, relations and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows searches on for multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

1891 British Census (1891)

The 1891 census provides details on an individual's age, residence, place of birth, relations and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows searches on for multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

1881 British Census (1881)

The 1881 census provides details on an individual's age, residence and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows for searches on multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

1871 British Census (1871)

The 1871 census provides details on an individual's age, residence, place of birth, relations and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows for searches on multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

Isle of Man Wills & Probate Records

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills (PPV) (1384-1858)

A index to testators whose will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. They principally cover those who lived in the lower two thirds of Britain, but contain wills for residents of Scotland, Ireland, British India and other countries. A copy of each will may be purchased for digital download.

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills (Subscription) (1384-1858)

An index and digital images of PCC wills, available on a subscription basis.

Index to Death Duty Registers (1796-1903)

An index to wills and administrations that incurred a death duty tax. The index can be used to order documents that give a brief abstract of the will and details on the duty. It can be used as a make-shift probate index.

Isle of Man Wills (1560-1635)

A name index connected to original images of Isle of Man wills.

Bank of England Wills Extracts Index (1717-1845)

An index to over 60,000 wills of people who died with money in public funds. Useful when researching counties where wills have been destroyed. Also contains wills for citizens of British colonies.

Newspapers Covering Isle of Man

Isle of Man Daily Times (1958-1961)

A newspaper covering local, business and sporting news from the island.

Holiday News (1957-1966)

Published by the Isle of Man Examiner, this newspaper was published once a week and geared to tourists to the island.

TT Special (1930-1961)

A newspaper covering motorcycle sports on the island.

Manx Star (1928-1930)

Contains local news, advertisements and billiards announcements.

The Daily Herald (1926)

A London newspaper that later became The Sun.

Isle of Man Obituaries

United Kingdom and Ireland Obituary Collection (1882-Present)

A growing collection currently containing over 425,000 abstracts of obituaries with reference to the location of the full obituary.

Quakers Annual Monitor (1847-1848)

A collection of 364 obituaries of Quakers from the British Isles. The volume was published in 1849 and includes obituaries of those who died in late 1847 through 1848.

Musgrave's Obituaries (1421-1800)

This transcribed and searchable work by Sir William Musgrave contains 10,000s of brief obituaries. The work is a reference point for other works containing information on an individual.

Isle of Man Cemeteries

Billion Graves (1200-Present)

Photographs and transcriptions of millions of gravestones from cemeteries around the world.

Isle of Man Directories & Gazetteers

Thom's British Directory (1873)

A directory of the court, parliament, aristocracy, mayors, civil service, military, militia and banks in the British Empire.

National Directory, Scotland and Isle Of Man (1860)

Historical and contemporary descriptions of settlements, detailing their governance, churches, schools etc.; to which is appended lists of residents, with their occupations.

Lewis' Topographical Dictionaries (1846-1848)

The first comprehensive topographical dictionaries to cover the British Isles.

A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831)

A dictionary containing description, statistics and lists of important inhabitants of over 30,000 places in England, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Holden's Annual London and Country Directory (1811)

An alphabetical directory to London & county town's businesses & private residents, with occupation and residence. Also includes brief descriptions of hundreds of towns supplemented by lists of leading private and commercial residents.

Prison Hulk Registers (1802-1849)

From the late 18th century many prisoners in Britain were kept on decommissioned ships known as hulks. This collection contains nearly 50 years of registers for various ships. Details given include: prisoner's name, date received, age, year of birth and conviction details.

Perry's Bankrupt Gazette (1828-1867)

A publication giving brief details of bankruptcies, including the names of parties and companies involed.

Chancery Proceedings, Bridges Division (1613-1714)

Abstracts of 17th and 18th century chancery bills and answers. Details listed are: plaintiffs, defendants, details on the dispute and where the proceedings were held.

Chancery Proceedings (1558-1660)

Abstracts of late Tudor & early Stuart legal proceedings, listing plaintiffs, defendants, details on the dispute and where the proceedings were held.

Early Chancery Proceedings (1377-1558)

Abstracts of early legal records listing parties involved, details of the dispute and where the proceedings were held.

Isle of Man Taxation Records

Index to Death Duty Registers (1796-1903)

An index to wills and administrations that incurred a death duty tax. The index can be used to order documents that give a brief abstract of the will and details on the duty. It can be used as a make-shift probate index.

Isle of Man Land & Property Records

UK Poll Books and Electoral Rolls (1538-1893)

Poll books record the names of voters and the direction of their vote. Until 1872 only landholders could vote, so not everyone will be listed. Useful for discerning an ancestor's political leanings and landholdings. The collection is supplemented with other records relating to the vote.

Isle of Man Registered Deeds (1880-1910)

Abstracts of deeds to property on the Isle of Man.

Letters and Papers of Henry VIII (1509-1547)

A calendar of papers relating to Henry VIII's rule at home and abroad. Contains records relating to people from all walks of life.

Isle of Man Occupation & Business Records

UK Medical Registers (1859-1959)

Books listing doctors who were licensed to operate in Britain and abroad. Contains doctor's residencies, qualification and date of registration.

Railway Employment Records (1833-1963)

A rich collection of records documenting those who worked for railway companies that were later absorbed by the government. Records include: staff registers, station transfers, pensions, accident records, apprentice records, caution books, and memos. Records may include date of birth, date of death and name of father.

Royal Navy Medical Journals (1817-1857)

Indexed medical journals from British ships containing personal and medical details of patients. The journals list names, ages, rank/status, diseases, illness duration and notes on symptoms and treatment. Contains details on military men as well as people immigrating or being deported to colonies.

British Postal Service Appointment Books (1737-1969)

This collection gives brief details on the appointment of over 1.4 million people who worked for the Post Office. Includes references to corresponding data in the Postmaster General’s minute books and is a starting point for research in the rich archive of the British Postal Museum.

UK Company Directors (2002-2013)

An index to directors of companies registered in the United Kingdom. Lists individual's name, approximate age, address and details of their directorship. The index can be used to order more detailed documents.

Isle of Man School & Education Records

Oxford University Alumni (1500-1886)

A name index linked to original images of short biographies for over 120,000 Oxford University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Cambridge University Alumni (1261-1900)

A transcript of a vast scholarly work briefly chronicling the heritage, education and careers of over 150,000 Cambridge University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Cambridge Alumni Database (1198-1910)

A searchable database containing over 90,000 note-form biographies for students of Cambridge University.

Official List of Registered Teachers (1917)

A directory of registered teachers – their current school and date of registration. Also contains details on officers and operations of the Teachers Registration Council.

Pedigrees & Family Trees Covering Isle of Man

British & Irish Royal & Noble Genealogies (491-1603)

Extensive and impeccably sourced genealogies for British, Irish & Manx royalty and nobility. Scroll down to 'British Isles' for relevant sections.

FamilySearch Community Trees (6000 BC-Present)

A searchable database of linked genealogies compiled from thousands of reputable and not-so-reputable sources. Contains many details on European gentry & nobility, but covers many countries outside Europe and people from all walks of life.

Ancestry Member Family Trees (6000 BC-Present)

A compilation of lineage-linked family trees submitted by Ancestry users. The database contains over 2 billion individuals and is searchable by numerous metrics.

Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage (1921)

A dictionary of families elevated to the peerage of Great Britain & Ireland. It includes genealogies and biographical details.

Burke's Extinct Peerages of the British Empire (1883)

Lineages and biographies for extinct peerage titles in England, Scotland & Ireland.

Isle of Man Royalty, Nobility & Heraldry Records

British & Irish Royal & Noble Genealogies (491-1603)

Extensive and impeccably sourced genealogies for British, Irish & Manx royalty and nobility. Scroll down to 'British Isles' for relevant sections.

FamilySearch Community Trees (6000 BC-Present)

A searchable database of linked genealogies compiled from thousands of reputable and not-so-reputable sources. Contains many details on European gentry & nobility, but covers many countries outside Europe and people from all walks of life.

Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage (1921)

A dictionary of families elevated to the peerage of Great Britain & Ireland. It includes genealogies and biographical details.

Burke's Extinct Peerages of the British Empire (1883)

Lineages and biographies for extinct peerage titles in England, Scotland & Ireland.

Burke's Landed Gentry of Britain & Ireland (1855)

Lineages of Britain and Ireland's untitled landed families; supplemented with biographical sketches.

Isle of Man Military Records

Prisoners of War of British Army (1939-1945)

A searchable list of over 100,000 British Army POWs. Records contains details on the captured, their military career and where they were held prisoner.

British Prisoners of World War II (1939-1945)

Details on around 165,000 men serving in the British Army, Navy and Air Force who were held as prisoners during WWII.

British Army WWI Medal Rolls (1914-1920)

Index and original images of over 5 million medal index cards for British soldiers It can be searched by individual's name, Coprs, Unit and Regiment. Due to the loss of many WWI service records, this is the most complete source for British WWI soldiers

British Army WWI Service Records (1914-1920)

This rich collection contains contains records for 1.9 million non-commissioned officers and other ranks who fought in WWI. Due to bomb damage in WWI, around 60% of service records were lost. Documents cover: enlistment, medical status, injuries, conduct, awards and discharge. A great deal of genealogical and biographical documentation can be found in these documents, including details on entire families, physical descriptions and place of birth.

Silver War Badges (1914-1920)

An index to nearly 900,000 military personnel who were awarded the Silver War Badge for sustaining injures. Records include rank, regimental number, unit, dates of enlistment and discharge, and reason for discharge.

Isle of Man Immigration & Travel Records

Passenger Lists Leaving UK (1890-1960)

A name index connected to original images of passenger lists recording people travelling from Britain to destinations outside Europe. Records may detail a passenger's age or date of birth, residence, occupation, destination and more.

UK Incoming Passenger Lists (1878-1960)

A full index of passenger lists for vessels arriving in the UK linked to original images. Does not include lists from vessels sailing from European ports. Early entries can be brief, but later entries may include dates of births, occupations, home addresses and more. Useful for documenting immigration.

17th Century British Emigrants to the U.S. (1600-1700)

Details on thousands of 17th century British immigrants to the U.S., detailing their origins and nature of their immigration.

Migration from North America to Britain & Ireland (1858-1870)

A list of over 40,000 passengers traveling from North America to the British Isles. Details of passengers may include: occupation, nationality, gender, age, martial status, class, destination, and details of the vessel they sailed on.

Aliens Entry Books (1794-1921)

An un-indexed collection of over 100,000 documents of correspondence and other documents of the Home Office and the Aliens Office. Contains a great deal of information on aliens and those who applied for naturalisation.

Isle of Man Histories & Books

Geograph: Photos of the UK and Ireland (2005-Present)

A growing database including millions of photographs of the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Ireland catalogued by latitude & longitude and OS grid reference.

UK & Ireland Historical Postcards (1885-1950)

Over 19,000 postcards depicting places in the UK & Ireland.

A Vision of Britain (1190-Present)

A sprawling website setting out and describing the historical divisions of Britain. Also contains countless maps of various sorts. Covers the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man & has fleeting details of other localities.

Mary Evans Picture Library (2000 BC-Present)

A database of over 300,000 photos, etchings, engravings and other mediums depicting places and events in the British Isles and the rest of the world.

History of the Isle of Man (3000 BC-1900)

A lengthy work charting the history of the Isle of Man over millennia.

Biographical Directories Covering Isle of Man

Oxford University Alumni (1500-1886)

A name index linked to original images of short biographies for over 120,000 Oxford University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Cambridge University Alumni (1261-1900)

A transcript of a vast scholarly work briefly chronicling the heritage, education and careers of over 150,000 Cambridge University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Crockford's Clerical Directories (1868-1914)

Brief biographies of Anglican clergy in the UK.

The Concise Dictionary of National Biography (1654-1930)

A directory containing lengthy biographies of noted British figures. The work took over two decades to compile. Biographies can be searched by name and are linked to images of the original publication.

Church of England Clergy Database (1500-1835)

A database of CoE clergy, giving details of their education of service. Contains references to source documents. Also contains profiles of various church institutions.

Isle of Man Maps

A Vision of Britain (1190-Present)

A sprawling website setting out and describing the historical divisions of Britain. Also contains countless maps of various sorts. Covers the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man & has fleeting details of other localities.

Speed's Maps of Britain (1612)

County and national maps covering the British Isles, extracted from John Speed's landmark work, Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain.

Maps of The Isle of Man (1595-1897)

Digital images of maps covering the isle.

Old Maps Online (1497-2010)

An interactive index to thousands of maps covering the world, continents, countries and regions. The majority of maps cover Britain and Ireland.

Methodist Church Institutions & Boundaries (2012-Present)

An interactive map plotting the location of church institutions and delineating the church's boundaries.

Isle of Man Reference Works

Isle of Man Research Guide (1538-Present)

A beginner’s guide to researching ancestry in Isle of Man.

Measuring Worth - GBP (1245-Present)

A calculator measuring the changing value of the British Pound using two price indices.

Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities (1550-1820)

A dictionary of nearly 4,000 terms found used in documents relating to trade and retail in early modern Britain.

Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry (1200-1700)

A dictionary of words used in heraldry, supplemented with over 1,000 illustrations.

Old Law Hands (1066-1733)

A chart showing numerous renderings of Latin letters in court hand, a script common in the medieval and early-modern periods.

Isle of Man Information

Historical Description

The Isle of Man is situated in the Irish Sea, lying about seven leagues north from Anglesea, about the same distance west from Lancashire, nearly the like distance southeast from Galloway, and nine leagues east from Ireland. Its form is long and narrow, stretching from the northeast of Ayre-point to the Calf of Man, which lies southwest, at least thirty English miles. Its breadth in some places is more than nine miles, and in some not above five, and it contains about 160 square miles.

The first author that mentions this island is Caesar; for there can be as little doubt that by the Mona of which he speaks in his Commentaries, placing it in the midst between Britain and Ireland, we are to understand Man, as that the Mona of Tacitus, which he acquaints us had a fordable strait between it and the continent, can be applied only to Anglesea. Pliny has set down both islands; Mono, by which he intends Anglesea, and Monabia, which is Man. In Ptolemy we find Monaceda, or Monaida, that is, the farther or more remote Mon. Orosius styles it Menavia; and tells us that it was not extremely fertile, and that this, as well as Ireland, was then possessed by the Scots. Bede, who distinguishes clearly two Menavian Islands, names this the Northern Menavia, bestowing the epithet of southern upon Anglesea. In some copies of Neunius, this isle is denominated Eubonia, in others Menavia; but both are explained to mean Man. Alured of Beverley also speaks of it as one of the Menavian islands. The Britons, in their own language, called it Manew, or more properly Mainau, i.e. "a little island," which seems to be latinized in the word Menavia. All which clearly proves, that this small isle was early inhabited, and as well known to the rest of the world as either Britain or Ireland.

In the close of the first century, the Druids, who were the priests, prophets, and philosophers, of the old Britons, were finally expelled by Julius Agricola, from the southern Mona; and we are then told, that they then took shelter in the northern. This island they found well planted with firs, so that they had, in some measure, what they delighted in most, the shelter of trees; but, however, not the shelter of those trees in which they most delighted in, viz. oaks; and therefore these they introduced. No historian informs us, but we learn it from more certain authority, great woods of fir having been discovered interred in the bowels of the earth, and here and there small groves of oaks; but, as these trees are never met with intermixed, so it is plain they never grew together; and the former are by far the most numerous, we may presume them the produce of the country, and that the latter were planted and preserved by the Druids. They gave the people, with whom they lived, and over whom they ruled, a gentle government, wise laws, but withal a very superstitious religion. It is also very likely that they hindered them as much as possible from having any correspondence with their neighbours; which is the reason that, though the island is mentioned by so many writers, not one of them, before Orosius, says a word about the inhabitants. A little before his time, that is, in the beginning of the fifth century, the Scots had transported themselves thither, it is said, from Ireland. The tradition of the natives of Man (for they have a traditionary history) begins at this period. They style this first discoverer Munnan Mac Lear; and they say that he was a magician, who kept this country covered with mists, so that the inhabitants of other places could never find it. But the ancient chronicles of Ireland inform us, that the true name of this adventurer was Orbsenius, the son of Alladius, a prince of their island, and that he was surnamed Mannanan, from his having first entered the Isle of Man, and Mac Lir, i.e. 'The Offspring of the Sea,' from his great skill in navigation, He promoted commerce, and is said to have given a good reception to St. Patrick, by whom the natives were converted to Christianity.

The princes who ruled after him seem to have been of the same line with the kings of Scotland, with which country they had a great intercourse, assisting the monarchs in their wars, and having the education of their princes confided to them in time of peace.

In the beginning of the seventh century, Edwin, King of Northumberland, invaded the Menavian islands, ravaged Man, and kept it for some time, when Beda assures us there were in it about 300 families; which was less than a third part of the people of Anglesea, though Man wants but a third of the size of that island.

The second line of their princes they derive from Orri, who, they say, was the son of the King of Norway; and that there were twelve of the princes of this house who governed Man. The old constitution settled by the Druids, while they swayed the sceptre, was perfectly restored; the country was well cultivated, and well peopled; their subjects were equally versed in the exercise of arms, and in the knowledge of the arts of peace : in a word, they had a considerable naval force, an extensive commerce, and were a great nation, though inhabiting only a little isle. Guttred, the son of Orri, built the castle of Rushin, A. I). 960. Macao was the ninth of these kings, and maintained an unsuccessful struggle against Edgar, who reduced all the little sovereigns of the different parts of Britain to own him for their lord : and who, upon the submission of Macao, made him his high-admiral, by which title (archipirata, in the Latin of those times) he subscribes that monarch's charter to the abbey of Glastonbury.

After the death of Edward the Confessor, when Harold, who possessed the Crown of England, had defeated the Norwegians at the battle of Stamford, there wag among the fugitives one Guddard Crownan, the son of Harold, the Black, of Iceland, who took shelter in the Isle of Man. This island was then governed by another Goddard, who was a descendant from Macao, and he gave him a very kind and friendly reception. Goddard Crownan, during the short stay-lie made in the island, perceived that his namesake was universally hated by his subjects, which inspired him with hopes that he might expel the king, and became master of the island. This he at last accomplished, after having defeated and killed Fingal, the son of Goddard, who had succeeded his father. Upon this he assigned the north part of the island to the natives, and gave the south to his own people; becoming, in virtue of his conquest, the founder of this third race of princes. However he might acquire his kingdom, he governed it with spirit and prudence; made war with success in Ireland; gained several victories over the Scots in the isles; and making a tour through his new-obtained dominions, died in the island of Bay, leaving behind him three sons. A civil war, however, breaking out between the two eldest, and both of them dying in a few years, and Magnus, King of Norway, arriving with a powerful feet, he possessed himself of Man and the Isles, and held them as long as he lived; but being slain in Ireland, the people invited home Olave, the youngest son of Goddard Crownan, who had fled to the Court of England, and been very honourably treated by Henry II. There were in the whole nine princes of this race, who were all of them feudatories to the Kings of England; and often resorted to their Court, were very kindly received, and had pensions bestowed upon them. Henry III. in particular, charged Olave, king of Man, with the defence of the coasts of England and Ireland, and granted him annually, for that service, forty marks, one hundred measures of wheat, and five pieces of wine. Upon the demise of Magnus, the last king of this isle, without heirs male, Alexander III, King of Scots, who had conquered the other isles, seized likewise upon this, which, as parcel of that kingdom, came into the hands of Edward I who (directed William Huntercumbe, guardian or warden of that isle for him, to restore it to Baliol, who had done homage to him for the kingdom of Scotland.

But it appears there was still remaining a lady named Austrica, who claimed this sovereignty, as cousin and nearest of kin to the deceased Magnus. This claimant, being able to obtain nothing from John Baliol, applied herself next to King Edward, as the superior lord. He, upon this application, by his writ, which is yet extant, commanded both parties, in order to determine their right, to appear in the King's-Bench. The progress of this suit does not appear; but we learn, that this lady, by a deed of gift, conveyed her claim to Sir Simon de Montacute; and after many disputes, invasions by the Scots, and other accidents, the title was examined in Parliament, in the seventh of Edward III. and solemnly adjudged to William de Montacute, to whom, by letters-patent, dated the seventh year, that monarch released all claim whatsoever.

In the succeeding reign, William Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, sold it to Sir William Scroop, afterwards Earl of Wiltshire; and upon his losing his head, it was granted by Henry IV. to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who, being attained, had, by the grace of that king, all his lands restored, except the Isle of Man, which the same monarch granted to Sir John Stanley, to be held by him of the king, his heirs, and successors, by homage and a cast of falcons, to be resented at every coronation. Thus it was possessed by this noble family, who were created Earls of Derby, till the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when, upon the demise of Earl Ferdinand, who left three daughters, it was, as Lord Coke tells us, adjudged to those ladies, and from them purchased by William, Earl of Derby, the brother of Ferdinand, from whom it was claimed by descent, and adjudged to his Grace the Duke of Athol.

This island, from its situation, directly in the mouth of the channel, is very beneficial to Britain, by lessening the force of the tides, which would otherwise break with far greater violence than they do at present. It is frequently exposed to very high winds, and at ather times to mists, which, however, are not unwholesome.

The soil towards the north is dry and sandy, of consequence infertile, but not unimprovable; the mountains, which may include near two-thirds of the island, are bleak and barren, yet afford excellent peat, and contain several kinds of metals. They maintain also a kind of small swine, called purrs, which are esteemed excellent pork. In the valleys there is as good pasture, hay, and corn, as in any of the northern counties; and the southern part of the island is as fine soil as can be wished. They have marl and limestone sufficient to render even their poorest lands fertile; excellent slate, rag-stone, black marble, and some other kinds for building. They have vegetables of all sorts, and in the utmost perfection : potatoes in immense quantities; and, where proper pains have been taken, they have tolerable fruit. They have also hemp, flax, large crops of oats and barley, and some wheat. Hogs, sheep, goats, black cattle, and horses, they have in plenty; and in their high mountains they have one aerie of eagles, and two of excellent hawks. Their rivulets furnish them with salmon, trout, eels, and other kind of freshwater fish; and on their coast are caught cod, turbot, ling, halibut, all sorts of shell fish, (oysters only are scarce, but large and good,) and herrings, of which they made anciently a great profit, though this fishery is of late much declined.

The inhabitants of Man, though far from being unmixed, were, perhaps, till within the course of the last century, more so than any other under the dominion of the crown of Great Britain, to which they are very proud of being subjects, though like the inhabitants of Guernsey and Jersey, they have a constitution of their own, and a peculiarity of manners naturally resulting from a long enjoyment of it. In ancient times they were distinguished by their stature, courage, and great skill in maritime affairs; and they are at tins time a brisk, lively, hardy, and industrious people. Their frugality defends them from want; and though there are few that abound, there are as few in distress; and those that are, meet with a cheerful unconstrained relief. The Manks tongue is the only one spoken by the common people. It is the old British, mingled with Norse, or the Norwegian language, and the modern language. The clergy preach, and read the common prayers in it.

The revenue of the island, in the Earl of Derby's time, amounted to about 2,500l. a year; from which, deducting his civil list, which was about 700l. the clear income amounted to 1,80l. At the same time the number of his subjects was computed at 20,000. The sovereign of Man, though he has long ago waved the title of king, was still invested with regal rights and prerogatives; but the distinct jurisdiction of this little subordinate royalty, being found inconvenient for the purposes of public justice, and for the revenue, (it affording a commodious asylum to debtors, outlaws, and smugglers) authority was given to the treasury by 12 Geo. I. c. 28, to purchase the interest of the then proprietors for the use of the crown; which purchase was at length completed, in the year 1765, and confirmed by 5 Geo. III. c. 26 and 39, whereby the whole island and all its dependencies (except the landed property of the Athol family), their manorial rights and emoluments, and the patronage of the bishopric and other ecclesiastical benefices, are unalienably vested in the crown, and subjected to the regulation of the British excise and customs.

The most general division of this island is into north and south; and it contains seventeen parishes, of which five are market-towns, the rest villages. Its division, with regard to its civil government, is into six sheetings, every one having its proper coroner, who in the nature of a sheriff, is intrusted with the peace of his district, secures criminals, and brings them to justice, &c. Lord chief justice Coke says, "their laws were such as scarce to be found any where else. '' In July, 1786, a copper coinage for the use of the island was issued from the Tower of London.

There is a ridge of mountains' runs almost the length of the isle, from whence they have abundance of good water from the rivulets and springs, and Snafield, the highest, rises about 580 yards. The air is sharp and cold in winter, the frosts short, and the snow, especially near the sea, does not lie long on the ground.

Here are quarries of good stone, rocks of limestone, red freestone, and good slate, with some mines of lead, copper, and iron. The trade of this island was very great before the year 1726; but the late Lord Derby farming out his customs to foreigners, the insolence of those farmers drew on them the resentment of the government of England, who, by an act of parliament, deprived the inhabitants of an open trade with this kingdom. This naturally introduced a clandestine commerce, which they carried on with England and Ireland with prodigious success, and an immense quantity of foreign goods was run into both kingdoms, till the government, in the year 1765, thought proper to put an entire stop to it, by purchasing the island of the Duke of Athol, as already mentioned, and permitting a free trade with England.

The inhabitants of this isle are of the Church of England; and the bishop is styled Sodor and Man.— This bishopric was first erected by Pope Gregory IV. and for its diocese had this isle, and all the Hebrides, or Western Islands of Scotland; but which were called Sodoroc by the Danes, who went to them by the north from the Swedish Sodor, Sail, or Our Islands, from which the tide of the Bishop of Sodor is supposed to originate. The bishop's seat was at Rushin, or Castleton, in the Isle of Man, and in Latin is entitled Sodorensis. But, when this island became dependent upon the kingdom of England, the Western Islands withdrew themselves from the obedience of their bishop, and had a bishop of their own, whom they entitled also Sodorenisis, but commonly Bishop of the Isles. The patronage of the bishopric was given, together with the island, to the Stanleys by King Edward IV. and came (as before named) by an heir female to the family of Athol; and, on a vacancy thereof, they nominated their designed bishop to the king, who dismissed him to the Archbishop of York for consecration.—By an act of parliament, the 35rd of Henry VIII. this bishopric is declared in the province of York.

The chief towns of this island are Rushin, Douglas, and Peele. The regular ports are Douglas, Derby-haven, Peele, and Ramsey, each having several dependent creeks. From Liverpool the passage is generally performed in two tides, but the packet from Whitehaven generally performs its voyage in twelve hours : it sails on Mondays.

Before the south promontory of Man, is a little island, called the Calf of Man; it is about three-miles in circuit, and separated from Man, by a channel about two furlongs broad. At one time of the year it abounds with puffins, and also with a species of ducks and drakes, by the English called barnacles, and by the Scots clakes and Soland Geese.—The puffins, it is said, breed in the holes of the rabbits, which for that time leave them to these strangers. The old ones leave their young all day, and fly to the sea, and, returning late at night with their prey, disgorge it into the stomachs of the young ones, by which means they become almost an entire lump of fat; in August they are hunted as it is called, and no less than five thousand of these young ones are generally taken every year; these are mostly eaten on the island, but many of them are pickled, and sent abroad as presents. About the rocks of this island also breed an incredible number of all sorts of sea-fowl.

Topography of Great Britain, written: 1802-29 by George Alexander Cooke

Man; this Isle is situate just over against the Southern part of Cumberland, from which it is distant 25 miles: it is in length 30, and in breadth 15 miles.

The People hate theft and begging: they use a Language mixt of the Norwegian and Irish Tongues.

The Soyl is abundant in Flax, Hemp, Oats, Barley and Wheat, with which they use to supply the defects of Scotland.

The chief Towns are Balacuri and Russin, or Castle-Town, the Seat of a Bishop.

A Geographical Description of the World (1671) by George Meriton

Surnames Found in Isle of Man

RankSurnameNo. of People% of Population
1Smith6660.774418605
2Quayle4940.574418605
3Kelly4940.574418605
4Corlett4600.534883721
5Jones4050.470930233
6Christian3840.446511628
7Cain3430.398837209
8Clague2880.334883721
9Quirk2810.326744186
10Wilson2740.318604651
11Moore2680.311627907
12Watterson2610.303488372
13Crellin2610.303488372
14Brown2540.295348837
15Taylor2400.279069767
16Williams2400.279069767
17Callow2400.279069767
18Collister2400.279069767
19Harrison2400.279069767
20Callister2330.270930233
21Watson2330.270930233
22Shimmin2330.270930233
23Hall2330.270930233
24Cubbon2060.239534884
25Davies2060.239534884
26Faragher1990.231395349
27Wood1990.231395349
28Thomas1920.223255814
29Cannell1920.223255814
30Cowin1920.223255814
31Kermode1850.215116279
32Clarke1780.206976744
33Kneale1780.206976744
34Murphy1720.200000000
35Kinrade1720.200000000
36Turner1720.200000000
37Cowley1650.191860465
38Johnson1650.191860465
39Walker1580.183720930
40Scott1580.183720930
41Mitchell1510.175581395
42Maddrell1510.175581395
43Radcliffe1510.175581395
44Kennaugh1510.175581395
45Lewis1440.167441860
46Corkill1440.167441860
47Phillips1440.167441860
48Lee1440.167441860
49Dawson1440.167441860
50Thompson1370.159302326
51Berry1370.159302326
52Craine1370.159302326
53Corrin1370.159302326
54Martin1370.159302326
55Evans1300.151162791
56Brew1300.151162791
57Kneen1300.151162791
58Bradley1300.151162791
59Quilliam1300.151162791
60Teare1300.151162791
61Collins1240.144186047
62Wright1240.144186047
63Griffiths1240.144186047
64Reynolds1240.144186047
65Cowell1240.144186047
66Quine1240.144186047
67Caley1240.144186047
68Stewart1170.136046512
69Morris1170.136046512
70Halsall1170.136046512
71Owen1170.136046512
72Shaw1170.136046512
73Roberts1100.127906977
74White1100.127906977
75Ward1100.127906977
76Young1100.127906977
77Bell1100.127906977
78Gelling1100.127906977
79Bennett1100.127906977
80Clucas1100.127906977
81Byrne1100.127906977
82Leece1030.119767442
83Hill1030.119767442
84Allen1030.119767442
85Dixon1030.119767442
86Booth1030.119767442
87Howard1030.119767442
88Carter1030.119767442
89Craig1030.119767442
90Harris1030.119767442
91Taggart1030.119767442
92Gray1030.119767442
93Bridson1030.119767442
94Skillicorn960.111627907
95Harding960.111627907
96Costain960.111627907
97Simpson960.111627907
98Kewley960.111627907
99Oates960.111627907
100Black960.111627907