Geoffs Genealogy Update 07 March 2008

Friday March 7th, 2008 | Geoff

When I signed off last time I said that in this entry I’ll tell you about how Helen and I spent our afternoon in London on 12 February, so here goes ….

I have been visiting London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) at Islington for more than 15 years. and the venue has certainly seen some changes in that time. For a start, the name – when I first went there it was called the Greater London Records Office.

If you are researching family or local history in the Greater London area you are sure to need to visit LMA at some time. It holds a vast range of sources, including items as diverse as parish registers, directories, local authority records, photographs and the Middlesex Deeds Registers. At present it also holds the records usually held at the Corporation of London Records Office in the City of London, and these include the records of Freedoms of the City of London. It holds these records while the Guildhall in the City of London is undergoing some alterations, but they will be returning to their usual home in due course.

The LMA is, itself, in a period of considerable renovation at present, and in fact was closed for a period until a few weeks ago. More details about LMA can be obtained from the LMA website

When I go on a research trip I always take a long list of research jobs to do. I never manage to do anything like everything that is on the list, but I find that if I get fed up working on one area of research it is good to have a choice of other things to do. I find it good for morale to always come home with some sort of positive result – even if it is something that does not seem all that important to my research. I therefore make sure that my list includes a few “soft targets”.

On this occasion I decided to look at the parish registers for Christ Church, Spitalfields, concentrating on the baptisms 1843-1875. I knew from the IGI that this record should include several entries relating to the Hazeltine and Winmill families. Adam Hazeltine was the first spouse of Mary Ann Smedley (b 1819), and George Winmill was her second husband.

Sure enough, I found the entries I expected. We should always aim to check entries found on the IGI against the original register, partly because it is always possible that the index entry contains an error, but also because the original entry may well contain information that is not shown on the IGI. In the entries I looked at I found out the father’s stated occupation and the address of the household for each entry.

We also found the baptism, at St Thomas, Stepney in 1857, of William Thomas Archer, son of Samuel and (we assume) Emma Mayhew. Oddly, the mother was not named in this entry. We think that this was merely an oversight on the part of the vicar, as in the next entry the mother’s name was also omitted. Very odd.

Helen and I looked for a number of other entries at LMA, without success. That was a bit disappointing, but our disappointment was tempered by the several good finds that I had made when looking at the Wills Calendars in the morning. We adjourned to Euston Station for a well earned burger meal and a punctual ride home, courtesy of Virgin Rail.

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