I think it’s time for another re-launch of the whole thing because it is all getting slightly confusing. Roughly speaking, it is going to cover a period from about 1800 – about 1930; and is [part of] the story of great grandparents, and great, great grandparents, and some of their contemporaries.
I started the whole thing off when we found some photos in the back of a cupboard at the end of 2014, including this one, which we must have put in there about 20 years ago. The big questions it provoked were, who are these people, what did they do, and where did they come from, and what were the rest of them up to at the same time?
This blog is an attempts to answer some of that. I decided quite early on what I wanted to do was go horizontally rather than vertically through the families. i.e. what various brothers and sisters did, what sort of families they married into, and also what was going on around them, and the places they lived in.
Digging in, there is a nice mixture of people, places, classes, and quite a surprising number of the religious.
It is also slightly weird, quite how many times the same places come up, and not just in one family, but lots of them. I still find it very weird that my great grandmother, and grandfather were living in the Uxbridge Road one hundred and twenty five years ago about half a mile away from where I live now, and more to the point, she had brought the family over from Australia in the late 1880’s. It’s also very strange that my in-laws started their married life in the same road in Notting Hill that my father-in-law’s great grandmother had been living in seventy five years earlier
As a Londoner, I would be ashamed if London wasn’t, inevitably, a major theme running through the whole story, but it is astonishing how far back the links go on both sides of the family. It’s at least two hundred years on either side, and probably before1776. It’s also strange how small an area people lived in; there are quite strong groupings in the East End, Bermondsey, and then later in Notting Hill – though when I was young we called it North Kensington, and Hampstead
Ireland is another big link for almost all the families; it is extraordinary to see how quickly people turn themselves from middle class Irishmen to upper-middle class Victorian Londoners. It’s becoming increasingly fascinating about who these people thought they were – did they think they were Irish, British, part of the empire?? Certainly most seem to have moved from Ireland by 1920, and they weren’t driven from Ireland by poverty. They weren’t Ascendency either, but they were prosperous, in some cases rather more than that, part of the Irish merchant class. But rather closer to the merchant princes of Ireland than a village shop-keeper.
Even then, they still all come from mostly the edges of Cork City, on the south-eastern side of Cork harbour, but also Co. Roscommon, and there’s a Dublin link as well.
Liverpool is becoming increasingly important are also major draws for members of the family on all sides; mostly after about 1850, but we clock up a mayor of Liverpool in 1838, and there is quite a supply of Catholic priests and nuns there in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Bristol, and the west country will also play their part…………..
But it also appears to have wicked uncles, mistreated orphans, bigamy, a few murders (but quite a long time ago), a gaggle of court cases, a good collection of nuns and priests on all sides, plus a bishop or two, a few reverend mothers, and a papal chaplain and a strong strain of wine merchants going back generations.
Oh, and my convict great, great, great great grandfather – hurrah!! Well two of them actually, but only one was transported.