It’s surprising how often you can’t seem to locate an ancestor in a UK census, when you really would expect the person to be there. There are all sorts of reasons for this, and understanding them can help you deal with the problem when searching census records on TheGenealogist. Sometimes the problem is that your ancestor is in the census but you just can’t find them; sometimes they are genuinely missing.
Since the beginning of recorded time, the foibles of fashion have been derided and condemned. In England, early Christian churchmen preaching humility denounced overt sartorial display as sinful and ungodly. St Aldhelm, writing in the early eighth century to the Abbess Hildalid of Barking bemoaned the finery adopted by some of the abbey’s nuns (essentially noblewomen living a secular existence): ‘satin underclothing… scarlet tunics and hoods, sleeves with silk stripes, shoes edged with red fur, hair carefully arranged on the forehead with the curling iron – this is the modern habit.’ He also objected to the fashion-conscious nuns’ floor-length coloured headdresses sewn with long ribbons, fingernails sharpened like talons and love of jewellery and cosmetics.
It was an otherwise normal evening in Bloomsbury, in 1908, with plenty of pedestrians making their way home from work or back from early evening drinks or dinner. Some of these individuals may have noticed a taxi-cab driving down Montague Street, off Bedford Square, but they would have thought nothing of it – until, at least, there was a noise that they would have assumed was that of a tyre bursting, and the cab suddenly came to a stop in the road. Then, the cab driver suddenly leapt from his seat, and rushed to the door – stopping abruptly as he saw what had happened within it.
The hiring fair was a very old institution in English history, dating back over the centuries to the reign of Edward III; later, in the Tudor period when affairs concerning masters and servants were regulated more forcefully, days were named on which labour could be hired, and the High Constable of the shire would define terms of pay and working conditions.
It was on 16 February 1923 that Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber designated KV62 in the Valley of the Kings to reveal to the world the wonders that it contained. KV62, of course, was the tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun, who was the last of his royal family to rule during the end of the 18th dynasty, c.1334–1325 BC.
TheGenealogist has released a collection of searchable early trade and residential Directories that cover the years 1816–1839 to help researchers find ancestors in the period before the usable census records began. Prior to 1841 all of the UK censuses were generally statistical: that is, mainly headcounts, with virtually no personal information such as names recorded and so family history researchers need to turn to a substitute to find out the address where their ancestors had lived. Trade and residential directories list names of tradespeople, prominent citizens and in some cases other residents of a town as well.
The mining of iron, lead, tin and coal have all been important to British industry. Reliable images of miners begin with late-Georgian northern surface colliers wearing regular workwear: jacket or waistcoat, breeches, shoes, stockings and hat or cap. Welsh miners developed a special suit for working underground during the 1810s, comprising a thigh-length ‘smock frock’, trousers and pillbox-style hat, the garments thickly padded, offering protection from knocks and for easier kneeling. Similar styles had spread to other areas, including Wigan, by the 1850s, when padded clothing appears in early photographs.
Located in the East Riding of Yorkshire, the city of Kingston upon Hull lies on the River Hull – hence the name it is usually known by. It is not on the coast, but some 25 miles inland from the North Sea; however, it has the air of a seaside city, given that it is located where the river meets the Humber estuary. It was founded in the 12th century, when monks at Meaux Abbey, near Beverley, built a quay and port from which they could export the wool the sheep on their estates produced. In 1293, Edward
A lifesaving gas mask. A ration book, essential for the supply of food. A shelter stove that kept a family warm whilst they huddled in their Anderson shelter. A leaflet dropped by the Luftwaffe that was designed to intimidate Britain’s populace during the threat of invasion. A civilian identity card over-stamped with the swastika eagle from the occupied Channel Islands. A rare, previously unpublished, snapshot of legendary American bandleader Glenn Miller playing at a UK air base. A twisted remnant of German V2 rocket that went to space and back before exploding over London, the result of equally twisted military science. Colourful flag bunting that saw the VE celebrations in 1945: All disparate objects that together tell the moving and important story of Britain’s Home Front during the Second World War.
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