Yeoman and Husbandman

Many members of the Elvy family we have found were called "Yeoman" or "Husbandman" in official records. In rural areas the social classes below the gentry were indicated in those days as: yeoman, husbandman, cottagers and labourers. The yeoman were village elders who, in general, owned sufficient freehold land to be fully independent. Like the gentry, yeoman were involved in local government, performing most day-to-day tasks as constables, juries etc. A husbandman also owned his own house but possessed less land.