The predicted bad weather will be a rare opportunity to explore new records about my London-based ancestors. So many new records are now available for London on Ancestry.co.uk that a quick foray shows me I can add lots of data to what was previously exhausted research.
To start things off nicely I have found a report scanned and attached to another member’s public tree. I must say how much I appreciate that other researchers are willing to share.
It’s an 1820 Old Bailey record about Isaac and Ann Madell who were living in Morning Lane, Hackney at the time. It seems Isaac and Ann were victims of a burglary in March 1820. Ann Madell, testifying at the Old Bailey, said that when she returned home from work a watch that had been safe in a drawer at home was missing. She later saw that same watch in a pawnbrokers in Barbican (oops). Robert Huxson, the pawnbroker, had given 14 shillings for the watch to a John Stapleton.
Stapleton was found guilty of stealing the watch worth 20 shillings and a handkerchief worth 4 shillings and was transported for 7 years! To verify the details I looked to the Criminal Registers and all seems correct. I am left feeling that the punishment was harsh in proportion to the crime!
Much of our research is down to collecting facts and dates, but it’s so interesting when you find the stories. That’s what is great about some of the more niche collections on Ancestry.co.uk – your ancestors suddenly become real characters.
It also transpires that Ann and Isaac didn’t actually tie the knot until October that year, when he was a widower aged 66 (a good old age in those times). But at the Old Bailey she testified as the wife of Isaac.
There were some Banns recorded in 1816 but I can’t imagine what delayed the marriage by 4 years. How nice though to think of him finding companionship late in life – I don’t know how old Ann was or how long they had together – hopefully I can find out more.
I should admit that I intended to look for new records related to my Thames Lighterman ancestors going back from Hallett and Maynard families. I’m not really sure how I got diverted to Madells but I will try to focus my attention because it looks like the bad weather is here to stay!
Lesley is a Human Resources Manager which seems apt for genealogy and has been researching her family history for 10 years. Most of her ancestors were from inner and outer London. Aside from the satisfaction of collecting/organising data, the challenge of investigation and the excitement of discovery she likes to know about how her ancestors lived.
Emma Pulman is a Social Media and digital Marketing Executive for Ancestry.co.uk. Based in Ancestry's London office in Hammersmith, Emma regularly tweets and posts on Ancestry's Facebook page.