Posted by on 12 April 2013 in Ancestry Advocates, General

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 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 –  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.


About Emma

Emma Pulman is a Social Media and digital Marketing Executive for Based in Ancestry's London office in Hammersmith, Emma regularly tweets and posts on Ancestry's Facebook page.


Mark Mulvenna 

Great Blog and there have been a lot of rainy days this year!! My name is Mark and I am one of your fellow advocates. Working for Hackney Council, I was interested in our new archives section that opened recently. I visited there last week and they have hackney census records from 1811, 1821 and 1831. (They were found at the back of an old church) These are on microfiche and are indexed. Looking at your morning lane relative I thought you may be interested in this. They complement the records very well.
I found out from that a relative lived in “Cold Bath Lane” in 1841 and was able to check the “Cold Bath Lane” records before that. Alas they must have moved from somewhere else.
Good luck with your investigations

12 April 2013 at 2:26 pm

“So many new records are now available for London on that a quick foray shows me I can add lots of data to what was previously exhausted research.”

I am pleased for you that you have so many new records to search through, but for some of us, not searching London records, we have had precious little or nothing new for years!
It seems to me that are failing to access any new records from other areas of the the country. Yes, they have added lots of books but these are often freely available from other sources, so I am beginning to reconsider my subscription! Come on Ancestry, get your purse out and buy some more records!

14 April 2013 at 7:53 am

I have a similar story but the outcome was even worse (for the thief). My 3X GGF ran a jeweller’s shop, with his wife, in upscale Soho Square, London, in the 1820s. A thief who stole a gold watch and later tried to pawn it was sentenced to hang! Seems like even the death penalty was an insufficient deterrent to petty crime.

14 April 2013 at 2:27 pm
Cuthbert Bumtitty 

Ancestry, there are other places in the UK and Northern Ireland apart from London.

24 April 2013 at 6:23 pm