Big City, small-town girl

This week I offered to check something out for a friend who’s also interested in her family’s roots.  I was keen to do this particular search as this would be the first time I’d researched someone based in London.

What I didn’t expect was that a lot of the villages concerned were listed as being in counties – Middlesex and Essex – which I hadn’t come across previously as anything but London. Tower Hamlets, Middlesex sounds so much more picturesque than Tower Hamlets, Greater London!

But the files available – what luxury!  School rolls giving me ‘new’ addresses – taxation rolls post-1911 – the wealth of information was so much greater.

Recently it had become frustrating researching a branch of my family whose facts were becoming unprovable remotely – it’s just so refreshing to have a session where you can get a lot of information quite quickly.

But as I went back a few generations, I found migration from the country kicking in again.  The cow herder’s daughter from Suffolk who married a man in Pancreas, London; before she headed for London her family had farmed near Bury St Edmunds for decades.  My friend has a fascinating international ancestry – but my research turned up the Suffolk Ag Lab branch!  But hey, it makes a change from the Devon Ag Labs.

Hmmm, I wonder if her fondness for cider is in her country-girl genes?!

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