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?!