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Are you a London Girl or Boy?.....

Discussion in 'London' started by Britjan, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    On the Warwickshire page Bob has proudly described himself as a "West Midland's lad" and if someone asks me where I come from I always say that I was born and grew up in London. I even have an appropriate song I could share if the occasion arises! Admittedly it was suburban London but it's the history of the city itself which draws me back to visit as much as my childhood memories
    I was not aware of the lack of publicity and acknowledgement of wartime devastation in other cities, although I have reflected that I grew up in London accepting bomb sites as part of my environment. The blitz is so well documented and sleeping in the underground for example is something I almost feel I did although I know I could not have done.
    Equally there were reminders of history around every corner it seemed, from the section of the London (Roman) Wall my father passed on his way to work to my own first job walking past the Monument through Billingsgate Fish Market down to a building not far from the Tower of London.
    My parents and three of my four grandparents were London born and I wonder how other forum members describe themselves???
     
  2. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    Lucky to be breathing :)
     
  3. Bee

    Bee LostCousins Superstar

    Having been born in south west London I thought I was until I started on this genealogy lark and now I'm not so sure. My parents families had only been in London for two generations. Before that they were from Berkshire, Suffolk, Somerset and Yorkshire. So what am I other than a hybrid - like all of us I suppose? However, I can say I am English as I have yet to uncover a foreign direct ancestor, not even a Welsh, Irish or Scottish one (though I married one of those).
     
  4. Margery

    Margery LostCousins Member

    I am also unable to uncover a foreign direct ancestor, both parents having been born in England with a long line of English forefathers. However, I was born in Australia, so am I Australian or English?
     
  5. Liberty

    Liberty LostCousins Megastar

    I tend to say 'I grew up just south of Manchester', which most accurately describes where I feel I come from. The thing is, I wasn't born there, but moved at the age of two, so to say I come from where I was born (oh, I admit it - Slough) doesn't reflect anything. My mother's ancestors come mainly from Norfolk and the very northern bit of Suffolk, my father's from Northumberland with a smaller proportion of Scotland. I suppose that makes me another hybrid like Bee.
     
  6. emjay

    emjay LostCousins Member

    Yes it can be difficult to decide 'where you are from'. I was born in Manchester and lived there until the age of nine, then the family moved to Macclesfield where I lived until the age of 23 ; so I consider myself to have grown up in Macclesfield. My children were born and brought up in Stockport, but all three have moved away from the area, as have
    my wife and I; we have lived in North Wales since 2001. So far only Irish ancestry other than English in my family history, although I have three sisters that have emigrated to
    Australia.
     
  7. Bee

    Bee LostCousins Superstar

    My brother emigrated to Australia and always considered himself British. However, his children consider themselves Australian even though two of them have and use British passports.
     
  8. Miranda

    Miranda LostCousins Member

    I consider myself a "London Girl". I was born there and lived there until I emigrated to Canada in the 1960's. On my father's side my ggf was from Buckinghamshire and ggm from Wiltshire. On my maternal grandmother's side they were all from London area going back to the 1750's - 3rd ggf. I believe my 3rd ggm was of German descent although cannot find any birth records for her parents or when they immigrated. Maybe one day will find out.......
     
  9. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    Well Miranda we definitely ought to be cousins as I came to Canada in the 60's as well! It's interesting that this thread has developed into a chat about nationality as well as the city/county we are from. Not sure how others view the subject but I become more conflicted about exactly what nationality means as the years go by but it would have been a hard decision to give up one nationality to attain another. My dual nationality gives me a foot in two camps so to speak, and a right to criticise two ruling parliamentary parties and pay taxes in two countries!!
    One of the reasons I found myself thinking about a city or county I would most associate myself with is the discovery as I look for cousins to add to my LC tree that I have a very strong ancestral connection to Cambridgeshire without any sense of that county at all. We went to visit Cambridge on a day trip when I was in school and I had a boy friend for a very short while who rowed for Cambridge in the Oxford and Cambridge boat race and that's about the extent of my knowledge of the county!! I'm hoping a Cambridgeshire girl or boy will eventually share with us what they consider special about coming from that landlocked county.
     
  10. Margery

    Margery LostCousins Member

    My father's family have very strong Suffolk links. On my first visit to UK in 1991 - prior to any family history involvement - I was overcome by a strange feeling of belonging when we reached the county. I had no one there to visit and only a vague notion of my father's birthplace, but I felt completely at home. My husband felt the same when we visited Ireland where all his father's family originated. Strange.
     
  11. Liberty

    Liberty LostCousins Megastar

    Bee, I have an idea that Australians are (or were) 'British'. What they are NOT is 'citizens of the United Kingdom'. I'm guessing 'Britishness' has something to do with being a subject of the queen, though I daresay UK legislation has tightened up the legal definition.
    (This based in part on my being able to get a temporary job in the public service when I lived in Melbourne in the 1980s- being from the UK was fine, the only question was whether I had come to live permanently in the Australia. )
     
  12. Norman

    Norman LostCousins Member

    I always thought that to be British you were English, Scottish or Welsh, the countries that make up Great Britain. Being British also makes you a citizen of the UK (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. Liberty

    Liberty LostCousins Megastar

    I wouldn't like to put money on it, but I also know that when I lived in Trinidad, my older Trini friends thought of themselves as British. At one time it was a term that could be applied to citizens of quite a few Empire/Commonwealth countries - I think those that had the King/Queen as head of state
     
  14. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    I'm an Aberdonian first, Scottish second and if its a very official form and won't accept Scottish as nationality then I put British. Any normal forms I fill out I put Scottish as nationality. I'm also happy to be called European.
     
  15. Jacqueline

    Jacqueline Moderator Staff Member

    My family treee is positively crawling with London ancestors and I was born in wartime Isleworth (though I still hold it against my mother that she went back to London for my birth from Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, where I was "made" in 1941; I'd much prefer to write it as my place of birth, rather than unromantic Isleworth). Although I was taken off to the West Midlands aged 16 and went to university in Liverpool and have lived in the NW of England since, I still think I am a Londoner, though with my "provincial" head on, I tend to resent Londoners' feelings of superiority (though fully agreeing with them with my London head on.) So I am a Londoner first, then English whence I'll go on to be European, unless forced to be British; I can't have any emotional attachment to being British. I don't know what it means, though of course I know technically.
    But I am a mongrel, like most English. I go back to France in c17th for my religious refugee Orange family who went to Spitalfields, Wales to discover where the economic migrant family of Donnes came from in c17th to Holborn, and Scotland to Northumberland in the early c18th for my artisan Laidlaws, who were one side of my Hepple grandmother's family; she came to Central London as a waitress in or just before WW1 to marry my Sweeting grandfather, a descendant of an c18th East Anglian migrant to Clerkenwell. Other migrant ancestors arrived mostly throughout c18th but virtually all from Eastern England. I think it is for that reason, that they were mostly on the Protestant and Non-Conformist eastern side of the country that as far as I can see, there is not a drop if Irish, or RC blood in my veins. My maternal side settled in the East End and the other in Marylebone. And they were called Cox and Wilson to make up for the genealogical gift of my mother's ancestral names. (The Cox family came from Nottingham to Hoxton in the early c19th). And I live in NW England and have to trail off to London 2 or 3 times a year to get the juicy details, or more blanks! We know that anyone who has ancestors from any British city is going to have ancestors who were migrants from the nearby countryside, parts of the Empire, the Celtic fringes, and ultimately NW Europe in the c5th!
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  16. ColinB

    ColinB LostCousins Member

    From about 1845 my family have been in London and I think of myself as being a Londoner. However my late wife's mother was sent away to St Neots late in 1940 as she was pregnant with my wife to be. This happened to many mothers-to-be during the war. They returned to London following the birth. So is she from St Neots, then in Huntingdonshire or is she too a Londoner ? Perhaps this should be a hint for those looking for a birth of a child of a London mother (or other Large Cities ?) during the war - they could have been sent to any one of many quickly set up maternity hospitals.
     
  17. Jacqueline

    Jacqueline Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to this previously snoozing conversation, Colin. Your wife's having been born in the, as you might say, wrong place, because of the war, makes me think of a further wartime complication of places of origin.
    I investigated the maternal family (from the distinctive name of her birth mother) for an adopted friend. She knew she was born in Lichfield, even having the address, but grew up in Birmingham with her adopting family. I discovered that her mother was Ipswich born and bred, but was conscripted into the ?I think, ATS, where presumably she became pregnant, but being an unmarried mother, was sent to a religious institution - a maternity hospital for naughty girls, a long way from home, in Lichfield. My own cousin lives there and I asked her to go to the address and photograph it, if there was anything prewar still standing. It turned out to have been an c18 stately home now a very upmarket country house hotel! it is certainly the poshest birthplace of anyone I know and my friend who has not lived in Brumhead since 1961, still speaks with a Black Country accent.
     
  18. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    I was born just before the war in Egypt (army). But I'm "not a jippy" (to be howled, loudly), which is what my elder brothers always assured me I was! After my family returned to England we moved just about every year so I don't feel I'm from anywhere in particular. I got so used to the endless moving that I can still distinctly remember expressing my boredom at having Christmas in the same house two years running when I was about 10. As for ancestors, they take me to France (Huguenots), Ireland, Scotland and even England. I think of myself as British (though nowadays I have dual nationality - British and Finnish).
     
  19. ColinB

    ColinB LostCousins Member

    Hi Jacqueline,
    Thanks for the welcome. Yes I believe that many of the places during the war were posh (or at least big) houses. In my Wife's case Paxton Park Mansion was one of these in it's own park - Paxton Park, St Neots, Hunts. Its not there any more but I did manage to obtain a history of the place at the time of it being a maternity home and I have a couple of pictures of the inside. I arranged a kind of AV show at her funeral and used one of the pictures to illustrate when/where she was born. I don't know when the picture was taken but the Mansion was only open a short time so she could be in one of the cots unseen due to the high sides. It shows the ward where the born infants were placed after birth in two rows of 5 with the nurses in the background. The room is described as "The drawing room of the Stately House having a beautiful marble fireplace and a beautifully decorated ceiling for the babies first views of life".
     
  20. ColinB

    ColinB LostCousins Member

    Sorry went away to find out how to insert a photo but "upload button below message box" does not appear to be there. Can a moderator reply please.
     

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