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Friday, 3 May 2013

Tracing Your Ancestors’ Childhood

My forthcoming book Tracing Your Ancestors’ Childhood, which will be published by Pen & Sword this September, is now available for pre-order from Amazon UK!

The first part of Tracing Your Ancestors’ Childhood and Education explores children’s experiences at home, school, work and in institutions.  In Victorian times, children and young people formed a far higher proportion of the population than the present.  In 2009, twenty per cent of the UK’s population was under sixteen years old.  In 1841, thirty-six per cent of the population of England was under fifteen.  If you could travel back in time and walk down a Victorian street or explore a factory, you would be struck by how many children and teenagers were present.  Many thousands of children lived in institutions, too: in 1840, 22,300 children aged nine to sixteen were workhouse inmates.

In my book, I discuss childhood records in detail such as poor law records, apprenticeship indentures, school registers, criminal records, wartime records, child migrant records (including evacuees), and so on. 

The second part of the book is a directory of archives and specialist repositories, and children’s societies. It includes databases of online records, useful genealogy websites, and places to visit.

Images from the author’s collection:

1920s postcard of children.

Two boys working Delarue’s envelope machine. Illustrated London News, 21 June 1851.

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