More Relatives Found

I visited the Walthamstow area where I knew my Grandad had grown up and took photos of the houses he had lived in (where I could find them – some had been demolished for roads). I found the church where my Mum had been christened and I also visited the cemetery where I was so pleased to be able to find the graves of my Great Grandparents, plus one of my Great Uncles.

I now had more relatives on my Mum’s side than I had ever had before and more kept emerging. With the joys of the newly released censuses online I decided to track down all those with the same surname who were hairdressers in London, and I focussed on those who said they were from Hanover.

I found that my Great Grandad’s uncle was the first to emigrate to London from Hanover. He came over in the mid 1800’s, applied for UK citizenship and was even involved in the setting up of the Hairdressers Trade Union in London. Then a succession of four of his nephews also decided to come over to London from the 1870’s onwards.

Germany did not become a Country until 1871, before this date it was a group of states and principalities. After Prussia’s victory in the Franco-Prussian war it was very powerful and exerted this power over the other States and Principalities by uniting them under the Prussian Crown. Prussia was a very militaristic state and young men were conscripted into the army. The four cousins for numerous reasons didn’t want to be conscripted and so left Hanover via Hamburg for England. We have discovered since that one cousin’s father was a drunkard so he would have been bullied in the Army and my Great Grandad was illegitimate so he also would have been badly treated under the Prussian regime and in the army.

My newly found relative in Canada was the descendant of one of these cousins and we spent many happy hours discussing what we knew of our families and linking our trees together.

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