If you ever find yourself struggling to find the location of a street mentioned on an old document it is possible it could have changed its name.  There are a number of online sources that can help with this.  Just do a quick search and you may well find the old street name and what it is known by today.

An example of this is this website, which lists the names of London streets that have been changed:

Lucretia Street in Lambeth is now Grindal Street.
Montague Terrace in Hackney is now Trowbridge Place.
Sklittles Lane in Plumstead is now Riverdale Road.
The tough working conditions and practices in the cotton mills of Lancashire and Yorkshire comprised the daily tortuous and all-pervading drone of noisy machinery generated by the looms, carding machines and spinning mules.  The hot air environment was also heavily polluted with dust and fumes that were the cause of respiratory disease.  It was in this atmosphere that women and girls were employed as the dominant workforce in the cotton industry in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

An Act of Parliament passed in 1833 made it illegal for children under the age of 9 to be employed in the mills; those who were aged 9-13 were limited to 48 hours per week (higher than most adults in the UK today), and those aged 13-18 were allowed to work up to 60 hours, but were prohibited from the night shifts until they came of age.

The best paid jobs in the mills for the women were as weavers, followed by winding and ‘drawing in’.  The poorly paid jobs were for in spinning and dyeing; heavy and dirty tasks.

Clogs were worn to and from the mill, but due to the heat and slippery floors, most women and girls worked barefoot.

The first census for the whole of the UK, except Ireland, was taken in 1801.  The purpose of the census at this time was to obtain an accurate picture of the demographics of the country at a time of war with neighbouring France.  Personal details were not included on this and the censuses for 1811, 1821 and 1831; and the bulk of this early material was destroyed once statistics had been published.

From 1841, the census was collected by the Registrar General, and responsible local people appointed as enumerators.  The form or ‘schedule’ was given to each householder and completed on the appointed Sunday night.  The 1841 census took place on Sunday 6 June, but it was later found out that due to the farming season, many itinerant labourers were missing from the schedules (as they were sleeping rough), and so it was decided that subsequent censuses should be held on a Sunday at the beginning of Spring.  The dates of the 1851-1911 censuses are as follows:

1851 – Sunday 30 March

1861 – Sunday 7 April

1871 – Sunday 2 April

1881 – Sunday 3 April

1891 – Sunday 5 April

1901 – Sunday 31 March

1911 – Sunday 2 April

The 1841 census provides limited information in comparison to future years.  Most notably, the age of adults was rounded down to the nearest 5 years, so that the whole population could be classified into age bands.  Therefore, someone aged 41, 42, 43 or 44 would be recorded as aged 40 (on the basis they were truthful or knew their actual age).
Ever wanted to see what it would have been like to wander through the landscapes of your ancestors?

A great free online source for historic old maps is available at www.oldmapsonline.org

rootspast will be attending the "Who Do You Think You Are Live" event at London Olympia in February.

The event takes place on 22-24 February.

Details of the sessions and tickets can be found on the website link below:


The civil registration of marriages after 1837 provides the genealogist and family history researcher with a most useful resource in getting further back in their family tree.

A census return may provide the names of the parents of a child, but the mother's maiden name can be conclusively proven from obtaining a copy of the relevant certificate or other record of marriage (e.g. parish register).

The example below is from a marriage dating to 1891.  The certificate provides lots of information:

The War Memorials Trust, with the support of the Imperial War Museum and English Heritage, is asking for volunteers to record the status of the UK's war memorials.

rootspast is getting involved and you can too by clicking on the link below:

Our new blog photo was captured today during a walk through Coverdale in the Yorkshire Dales.  This old field barn is located between Horsehouse and West Scrafton, near the hamlet of Swineside.
Today marks the 125th anniversary of the start of construction of the Manchester Ship Canal.  Work started on 11 November 1887 and when it opened seven years later it was the largest river navigation canal in the world.

Construction of the canal was split into eight sections and first linked Eastham with Ellesmere.  The Eastham Locks were constructed at the mouth of the Mersey (and access to the open sea).  Through looking at the historic maps of this particular location you can see how the landscape radically changed in the space of a few years.

Below is a map extract from the Ordnance Survey map of 1872-74, prior to the Locks' construction:

In memory of all those who fell in battle.  Relatives in our thoughts this Remembrance Sunday who lost their lives in the First World War, include:

John Wilson, Private 14398 - 8th Battalion Devonshire Regiment
Killed Loos, France, 25.9.1915, aged 20

Arthur Wheelhouse, Sergeant 731 - 7th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment
Killed Ypres, Flanders, Belgium, 26.8.1916, aged 33

Leonard Jackson, Private 31272 - 18th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers
Killed Somme, France, 1.6.1918, aged 27

James Haslam Holt, L/Cpl 35737 - 22nd Battalion Manchester Regiment
Killed Vicenza, Italy, 13.7.1918, aged 33