Tracing Your London Ancestors
A Guide for Family Historians
Date of publication: March 2011
Publisher: Pen and Sword
London is a key site for family historians. Many researchers, seeking to trace their ancestry back through the generations, will find their trail leads to London or through it. Yet, despite the burgeoning interest in genealogy and the importance of London in so many life stories, few previous books have explored the city’s history or provided guidance on the research resources family historians can use to discover the life of a London ancestor. This is the purpose of Jonathan Oates’s invaluable handbook.
In a series of short, information-packed chapters he describes the principal record offices, archives, libraries and other sources researchers can go to, and shows how Londoners can be tracked through censuses, registers and directories over the last 500 years. Then he explores key aspects of London’s history from a family historian’s point of view. Crime, religion and education - and the body of evidence associated with them - are covered, as is the historical trail left by taxation, health, welfare, work and business. He looks also at the military and wartime records available in the city, and at the records of immigrant communities who have had such a notable impact on the development of the capital.
Each section introduces the reader to the relevant sources, indicates where they can be found, and offers essential advice on how this information can be used to piece together the lives of distant and not-so-distant relatives