Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Paddington Open Day at Westminster Archives - Sunday 9th October

Do you have ancestors who lived in Paddington or surrounding areas of London? 

On Saturday 9th October, the City of Westminster Archives are  hosting a Paddington Open Day at the Archives. There will be a talk by local historian Hans Norton on the development of Paddington and an opportunty to go behind the scenes at the Westminster Archives to look at some historic prints, photographs, rare maps and many other items from the collection.  There are two sesssions, morning and afternoon.  Entrance is free but advance booking is essential.

This area has for many years provided affordable housing for middle class migrants to London, especially those arriving from the West Country on trains arriving into Paddington station.  Several of my own ancestors, originally from Plymouth, Devon, settled in the Paddington area in the second half of the 19th century, many working in local shops.

My own g grandmother, Lavinia Ann Baker, born in Plymouth, died in Praed Street, in the heart of Paddington, in 1889, above a shop which is now a Bagel Factory just around the corner from Paddington satation!   Many of  her nine children lived and worked in the Paddington area before branching out into other parts of London. 

This Open Day looks like a great way to explore some of the history surrounding this area.

Rosemary Morgan
London Roots Research

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Friday, 24 September 2010

70th anniversary of The Blitz in London

September 2010 sees various events celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Blitz and the Battle of Britain in London. 

If you're like me, you may have skipped over most of the 20th century in your Family History Research.  But as we now move further into the 21st century, and with more and more 20th century records coming online, it is time to pay more attention to this important period in our own families lives.  My own paternal grandfather was killed by a bomb near Croydon, South London in 1944 and my mother was a volunteer Air Raid Precaution (ARP) warden in Central London during the Blitz. So I have a personal interest here.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and Blitz, the Museum of Croydon is running two 'Over Our Skies' exhibitions exploring Croydons role in the events of 1940, both free of charge and both running from 18 September - 31 December 2010.

Croydon's Battle of Britain  - Local Studies Library & Archives, Level 3, Croydon Clocktower
Discover Croydon's vital strategic role in this historic battle. Using archive material and oral history, the exhibition looks at what daily life would have been like for Croydon residents, as well as the enduring legacy of the Battle for the borough. 

Croydon's Blitz  - Museum of Croydon, level 1, Croydon Clocktower
A collaboration between the Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation, local people who lived through the Blitz and the Museum of Croydon, this exhibition explores experiences of childhood for Croydon residents during the Blitz. 

For more information, see

London Transport Museum 
Although the Blitz experience tours of Aldwych Underground station this weekend have now sold out (maybe they will consider doing this again in the future), London Transport Museum is hosting an exhibition called "Under Attack: London, Coventry, Dresden" together with a series of related talks.  For more information, see  

West End at War
Finally, for pitcures of some of the devastation that took place in London during the Blitz, take a look at the West End at War website:

Thursday, 23 September 2010

New London Family History Blog

This is my first blog post so I thought I should introduce myself.  My name is Rosemary Morgan and I am passionate about Genealogy.  I have started this London Family History blog because I have found researching my London ancestors to be both challenging and fascinating.  Compared to researching in the "counties", which I have found much more straightforward, my London ancestors tended to move around between parishes, often crossing the Thames in the process and be far more difficult to track down.

So this blog is for both amateur and professional genealogists who would like to know more about researching in London.  I hope to be able keep you up-to-date with London news and events relating to genealogy.

I would be happy to receive any feedback or suggestions for this site.