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Identifying an ancestor with where they grew up.


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I have several ancestors who were born, married and died in roughly the same area that they were born in but I also have many ancestors who moved far far away from their home parishes.

Take Helen Edgington for example. An Oxford girl, in around 1908 aged 13, she moved 100 miles away to Bexhill, Sussex to work as a servant. 100 miles is as the crow flies so I estimate around 130 miles by rail or road. But even though she lived in Sussex and later Essex, she was still an Oxford girl as she spent the first 11-14 years of her life there and most of her ancestors were Oxfordians. She just moved far away from her home parish to Sussex aged about 12-13 ish.

However, my great, great gran was born in Sussex but her parents moved away within months of her birth to London. She lived there all her life, dying there aged 79. She was baptised in London, bought up there, educated there, married there and died there. Just not actually born there.

But as Londoners rarely have a long line of Londoner ancestors, due to the city being a honeypot for migrants from all over the UK, she was still a Londoner. I mean, she lived there from babyhood and up until aged 34 lived in Stoke Newington, Bow, Lambeth, Walworth, Holborn, Fitzrovia, Camden, Islington before settling in Camden in 1898 where she lived until her 1943 death. She was a Londoner still as that is where she was bought up. And she would no doubt be considered a Londoner as most Londoners dont have London roots, so it didnt matter if your parents werent from there as that was to be expected.

If you were born in Norfolk but to Essex parents then that may be different as if you have a Norfolk ancestor then you should expect to find centuries of their ancestors also from Norfolk but with cities such as London it is different due to mass migration there and to be born in London to non London parents it is to be expected, even if not born there but bought up there, lived there and died there, then you are still a Londoner regardless or not if you were actually born there, as long as you lived there from say age 5 to 10.


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