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A good way of Tracing Servants/Move of Address

benny1982

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#1
Hi

Some of you may know the names of the employer that your ancestor worked for. Even though it may be hard to find any personal family papers of their employees, it may be a good idea to check newspaper advertisements for around the time you think your ancestor went into service. There may be an ad in the paper from the employers of your ancestors advertising a servant/maid kitchen cook etc. If so, this is probably when your relative applied for a job.

Some may have got the servants job through a friend/relative and not advertised but my tip is worth a go. The same applies for when your ancestor ran a business. See if there are any ads at the time in papers for the premises being advertised. This could be when your ancestors applied to take over the running.

If you also have a rough idea of when an ancestor moved address, providing it was not a 1 room tenement or something, also have a look to see if the premises is being advertised. I have found a reference to this before. If it was a 3 room apartment or a terraced house or bigger property then there is a good chance that they were advertised in papers when it became vacant. Even a 1 room tenement may have been advertised.

Many newspoapers are not yet online but I would advise this if you would like to build up a bigger picture of your ancestor lives, employment or move between addresses.

Ben
 

crankypants

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#2
Hi Ben

Great advise, I have searched many newspaper articles for any reference to my servant ancestor’s employment, I also search by the address where they are working at.
“Haven’t found any of my ancestors who stole the silver cutlery or took off with the butler”.

I scan the newspapers regularly and they are a great source to help build your family tree. It's amazing when you do find articles about an ancestor, whether the story is good or bad.
Obtaining BDM Certificates and Census Records is a large part of finding our ancestors, but having additional information just creates a bigger picture of what our ancestors got up to.

cheers
crankypants>:D
 

p.risboy

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#3
Good advice Ben.
Also, in the more rural areas, often there is a 'Lord of the manor', Cotton Mill owner, and the like. They often had large 'city' dwellings as well as their country estates.
They could also take employees from city to country and vice-versa. To have trusted employees 'home and away' was quite common.
I have found rellies, almost a complete family, in both areas working on country estates and city dwellings.
The fashionable Victorian coastal towns are also of great significance.
They also had Coastal properties to escape to, especially Spa towns. Bath, Leamington, Harrogate etc.
Brighton, Southport, Kings Lynn, Southend and all the great victorian seaside resorts, would also figure in the 'holiday season'.
So if there was a notable figure who had property scattered about the country, there is a possibility that one of your 'missing' rellies could be there.

Find out who was the biggest 'nob' in the area of you rellie, and you never know.

Steve.:)
 

benny1982

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#4
Hi

My great, great, great grandparents lived 12 miles apart. The male in Brighton, a town and the lady in a village 12 miles north. Thomas was a Servant and Footman and Mary Ann was a singlewoman who lived in a village that was surrounded by a few posh houses. The likeliest explanation is that Thomas visited the village and met Mary there due to his job. There was a plush house 3 doors down from Mary, another one opposite Mary and another one just outside the main street near the junction to the village pub. I am 99.9% sure that is how they met. That is why he was in that village due to being a servant. He may have had positions at different houses.

Ben
 

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