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A mind picture of our ancestors lives.


Loyal Member
Staff member

Quite often I like to build up a vivid picture of my ancestors in my head, especially in their final years and especially for ones who lived a long time.

My 5xgreat grandmother finished her life on 1st January 1858, East Street, Shoreditch, London. In the 1851 census she was living just round the corner at John Street. So inbetween the 1851 census and her 1858 death, she was either at John or East Street, meaning I have quite a clear picture of her final years.

She would have had her 70th birthday in July 1854. I can imagine her in her two or three room tenement as an elderly cotton winder living with her younger sister Susannah, working at her loom in the bedroom or living room surrounded by a fireplace, concrete floor, table, chairs and two arnchairs. Picking a date at randon, August 1856, 72 year old Elizabeth was probably at East Street by then, dying 1 year and 5 months later aged 73.

That is an example of how I use my imagination based on facts to build a picture in my head of how an ancestor spent their final years.


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