Examine your ancestors' lives

From looking at your genealogical documents and doing some background reading, you can build a good idea of what life was like wherever in Britain your immigrant ancestors lived.

What kind of community did they live in? What was their accommodation like? What did they do for a living? Had they brought skills with them, or did they have trouble finding suitable work? Do they set up family businesses that appear in trade directories? How did their children react to their environment?

Local newspapers may give an indication of how immigrant communities were viewed, and what they got up to. You may also establish from the documents whether whole families came together, whether they arrived in dribs and drabs, or whether a courageous ancestor made the journey alone.

Jewish ancestors (1800s)
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French ancestors – notaries' records
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