Showing posts from September, 2022

The Whites - moving from the village to the city

In 1856, my great grandmother, Harriet White, was born in the small Huntingdonshire village of Woodhurst. Her family had lived in that area for generations. The ancestry records that can be traced, going right back to her great-great-grandparents, all show birthplaces as being either Woodhurst, neighbouring Bluntisham, or one of the other nearby villages. The furthest away any of her ancestors can be traced is to Elton, only about 20 miles away from Woodhurst. Yet, by the age of 22, Harriet was married in London and living amongst the hustle and bustle of the capital city. She spent the rest of her life bringing up a family in Lewisham, Islington, Peckham and Fulham. Over the same decades, many of her other relatives also left Huntingdonshire to try and make new lives for themselves in the growing towns and cities of Victorian England. Many went south, to London, but others also moved north and west - to Nottingham, the Potteries or even as far as Barrow-in-Furness. This post tries to

Gifford White - Life after 'transportation for life'

Transported from Bluntisham A previous post  on this blog explains how a young agricultural labourer, Gifford White, was sentenced to be transported for life from England. This post explains what befell of him once he boarded the convict ship Hyd(e)rabad in Woolwich in October 1844.  The ship's "indent" , compiled to provide information on each convict on a ship's arrival, describes Gifford as a labourer and ploughman, 5' 5 1/2 " tall, aged 25, a Baptist who can both read and write, guilty of "writing a threatening letter to Mr Thos. Mayer [Mahew] and Issac Eyelet - to burn their premises (?) if they did not employ certain men" The final column lists his family as Father: Henry; Sisters: Phebe and Ann; Brothers: Daniel, Thomas, Henry and William (my grandmother's grandfather). And just to emphasise the local grievances that may have been behind his trial, the 1841 census lists both the Whites - a family of agricultural labourers - and Thomas Mah