We all know that we can find our ancestors’ address in the census taken between 1841 and 1911 in the U.K.
But we should remember that, just as we may have moved several times in between the last time that we were enumerated, so did our ancestors.
I was researching a particular forebear of mine and had got hold of his army service records. I was drawn to his address at the time of his attestation and then at the end of the war. The address had changed as a result of he and his wife going through a divorce.
I was recently in The National Archives in Kew and just adjacent to the area where The London Family History Centre has its area, located in the Reading Room of TNA, was a shelf of Trades, Residential and Court directories. While I had some time to wait for some research documents to be delivered, I began browsing these books. What I noticed was that if I looked through the different years, for my ancestor’s county, I could see that my subject moved around his home town a bit more frequently than I had previously supposed.
You don’t need to go to and archive, library or record office to find your ancestors in these directories as they can be easily accessed on many of the data websites as well.
Other records that can be used to map out the movements of an ancestor include the addresses given on civil registration certificates of birth, marriage and death and all sorts of other records that were created when our forebears came up against authority in its many guises.
My visit to The National Archives was to take a look at a court document that referred to my ancestor and there again it revealed yet another address for him.
It was at this stage that I realised that it would be a good idea if I started some notes on my mobile family member and so I began recording the dates and his various abodes in a list.
There are modules in my online course that look at the many different records that we are lucky in this country to get access to in more depth. If you are researching your ancestors from England and Wales and have hit a brick wall then my online Family History Researcher Academy course is available here:
The course can be started and completed in your own time with 52 weekly tutorials being made available to you over a one year period. Currently I have some tempting offers so take a look before the price increases!