Our Library Has Added “Tracing Your East End Ancestors” To Our Circulating Collection; Applicable For English Family Research

Hi Everyone!

Our library has just recently added to our circulating collection a book titled “Tracing Your East End Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians“.  The author of the book is Jane Cox.

The book was published in 2011.  It has been added to our collection in November 2011.  The call number of the book in our collection is 929.1 COX, J.  It is available on the 2nd floor of our library on the circulating shelves. 

Here is a Book Description provided by Amazon.com:

‘East Enders are a very special breed and tracing your East End ancestry is going to be tremendous fun. Everyone has got some East End ancestors – and if they haven’t they invent them, rollicking chaps, larky and resourceful, talking a funny language to keep “them” guessing, eating at eel and pie shops, shouting out their wares in clattering, colourful markets. Their wives and masters (” ‘er in doors”) are brazen lassies, smart as paint, tough as their men folk, presiding over an undoubted matriarchal society where Mum rules OK? The good tales are of bright little kids, unshod and street-wise, rising above their origins and making a mint. The bad ones are of indescribable horror – children dying in diseased heaps, infant sex for sale and gangs of armed bandits terrorising the neighbourhood.’

As author Jane Cox writes in the preface, the East End of our great grandparents’ days was another world, and her fascinating and accessible guide to East End ancestry will help you find out about it. She takes readers through the maze of courts and alleys that was the home of their ancestors, bringing to life that vibrant, polyglot society, and describing the many sources researchers can consult – archives, records, books, the internet – in order to discover the lives of individuals who lived in the area or passed through it.

An extensive review of this book can be found at the blog of John D. Reid titled “Anglo-Celtic Connections”.

You can find this extensive review at:

“Tracing Your East End Ancestors” Extensive Book Review

The review includes a short description of the topic of each of the chapters in the book.

For those of you having English ancestral connections, especially to this famous East End area, this is a book to consider to check out from our library.  The Table of Contents consists of the following 9 high-level Chapter titles.  Each chapter is divided into many more smaller descriptive segments of the contents of each chapter far too numerous to detail here:

Chapter 01     –     Our Ancestors in Context: A Summary History of Tower          Hamlets
Chapter 02     –     Research
Chapter 03     –     The Prime Sources
Chapter 04     –     Other Major Sources
Chapter 05     –     Records of Groups
Chapter 06     –     Occupational Groups
Chapter 07     –     The Second World War – the Blitz
Chapter 08     –     The Street/House They Lived In
Chapter 09     –     Maps
Appendix 1     –     The Borough and Administrative Units
Appendix 2     –     Parish Registers
Appendix 3     –     Nonconformist Chapel Registers
Appendix 4     –     Marriage Venues for East Enders
Appendix 5     –     Summary List of Records at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Appendix 6     –     Medieval Ancestors
Appendix 7     –     Select Bibliography
Appendix 8     –     Organizations

You can get the drift of the book’s resources by looking at the high-level chapter titles.  Each chapter is subdivided into about 10 to 15 more categories of the kinds of records you might expect to find to use in your East End genealogical research.

I find that looking through a book like this can be very helpful to identify categories of records to consider that are not as obvious as Census records, Military records, Estate records etc.  How about thinking of such records as Voter records, Hearth Tax records, Apprenticeship System records, Charities and records, Hospital records, Death Duty records, Orphanage records and many more that are not often considered for research.

The author provides great details on the many and varied records that the researcher should consider when researching their East End ancestor.

The call number of this wonderful, current resource to help you research your London ancestor is 929.1 COX, J.  Take a look at it on the shelves of the 2nd floor of our library in the circulating collection.  Consider checking it out after I complete looking through it.  It should be back on the shelves by about December 5, 2011.

Enjoy the new material.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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