Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

April 1, 2012

27 Conduit St, London

This is where Thomas Henry Leitch did his apprenticeship to become a Master Tailor from 1833 to 1840. It is in the Oxford Circus/Hanover Square area, which today is a very posh and busy area, filled with high-end designer shops. Incidently, Banksy‘s “Falling Shopper” is on this street as well, which speaks volumes.

Unfortunately, today there isn’t much to see of 27 Conduit St, but I took what photos I could. The top part of the building looks quite old.

20120401-021743 PM.jpg

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October 31, 2010

finding ancestral birthplaces

so I am here living in London now, and it’s always been a dream of mine to see the birthplaces (and gravesites if possible) of my ancestors.

The Leitch family hails from (no pun intended) Middlesex and Kent. I’ve made a family page for them with all the photos I have, so be sure to check it out. Kent still exists, but Middlesex does not.  It was absorbed by the expansion of London in both the 18th and 19th centuries, and now is only known as an area of the city.

To see the birthplace of Mary Ann Harriet Peacock, 1829-1898 (married to Thomas Henry Leitch) I would need to go to St. Pancras, Middlesex. When trying to Google this location, I didn’t get any results. Basically, St. Pancras is now known as Camden – where I’ve already been. My friends and I like to go to Camden for the open air markets and fantastic people-watching. I can’t believe I walked around an ancestor’s birthplace and didn’t even know it. Of course, this happened to me when I went to Nice, France – my great-grandfather Roy was stationed there in WW1, and the only photo of him I have was taken on the same beach I vacationed at – and had no idea.

Christiana Mills (Thomas’ grandmother – sorry, no picture!) was born in Southwark, Middlesex in 1755- where I’ve also been – it’s a stop on the London Underground when I was on my way to Borough Market for an applefest last weekend.

William Leitch, 1791-1874 (father to Thomas, son of Christiana) was born in Kent but died in Lewisham, another borough of London. I mostly definitely want to take a train there to see if I can find his gravestone. I also plan to go back to Camden and Southwark to see what I can find.  There is a site for the Lewisham Local History Society, which I’m happy I found so I have a place to start looking.

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May 2, 2010

site updates

I’ve updated the site a lot, so please be sure to check out all the family pages above (Knapp, Hail, etc.). I’ve got some great new things to share so don’t miss it!

April 25, 2010

fun fact

One of the kings my family is directly descended from is King John ‘Lackland’ I, made famous from the Robin Hood stories. Well, he was a real person, and is being portrayed in the upcoming Robin Hood movie with gladiator Russell Crowe in the title role.

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April 9, 2010

I decided to do some more work on the Hail side today, and I found a lot. But I am confused. Let me show you.

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Does anyone notice anything here?? There is a married couple with practically the same last name. I was told it was probably a coincidence. ok…. I thought they might have been cousins but their families don’t match up.

Also, the last name “Hail” is spelled so many different ways…. Haile, Heal, Heale, Hale, Heales, Hales… sometimes within the same family. Sometimes the name drops off entirely for a few generations and then resurfaces again when it feels like it.

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PS that chart is from 1504- 1550 England.

The more research I did, I think the Hail name, however it was spelled, might have been a big name, or at least a common one, in 15th-17th century England. I found a lot of “Sirs,” “Captains,” “Esquires” and “Dames.” And! I do think Martha and Frank Hail were distant cousins because I went as far back as I could on both Hail/Haile lines and this is what I found for both of them:

It was exactly the same – identical – for both of them. They were distant cousins. This chart is from the year 1400 – 1463 in Kent, England.

April 8, 2010


I’ve started this blog because I  just have this need to write about what I know of my family history and to find out who my ancestors were as people. I have found some pretty exciting stuff and I want to share it with everyone.

Let me start with a little bit about myself.  I’m 24 years old. I graduated college a year ago and have a desk job that has nothing to do with my major, but I just applied to grad school.

I haven’t looked at genealogy/ family history in over 12 years, but I have a bit of time on my hands right now…. I don’t know why I decided to do it one day, maybe because I was bored out of my mind, and my mom had been bugging me about it, but I did. I had loved it when I was 12, but that was so long ago. And, let’s be honest, I hadn’t done any real work back then, I just filled out a basic pedigree chart with my grandparents and great-grandparents’ information, read some old letters and looked at the old black and white family photos in my grandma’s house and thought it was all great fun. A genealogist, I was not.

I didn’t really know where to start, so I looked up the first name that had no more ancestors on the chart – Adaline Young, my great-great grandmother on my mother’s father’s side (oh, this is going to get confusing). A few seconds later, I was staring at the 1880 US Census with not only Adaline’s name (she was 8 years old then), but her father’s! I had never seen this name before…. Nobody knew these names. A few clicks more, I discovered his wife and children’s names, their birthplaces and their birth dates. Prussia… France… Germany… I had discovered something that my family had not known before, and this felt so amazing. I had to know more.

I feel like a little detective, I have to say. Some days I don’t find much. Yesterday I hardly found anything at all and it was very frustrating. Today I found an avalanche of information and it was very exciting. I don’t go every day, especially since next week I will be working more hours. But I want to write this blog because I realize that the more details I can piece together about an ancestor’s life, I can start making a little story (that is hopefully right). I want to share these stories. I don’t want these people to be forgotten. I’ve already come across hundreds upon hundreds of names and I just want to know who they were. Of course, I can only find out a few among those hundreds, but that’s ok. Today, I even found pictures.