Dear Friends and Family,
The very first Saturday we were in England, we took a walk down the King’s Road in Chelsea, where we live. Below is painting of King’s Road by Faith Sheppard done in 1940. Except for the vehicle it doesn’t look much different today.
On our walk we started at a district in Chelsea called the World’s End. The World's End is the part of Chelsea lying at the western end of the King’s Road. It was named after a tavern. The original World's End Tavern was built before 1790. A later pub was built in the mid-19th century and replaced in 1897 by the building we pass today as we walk up the road.
The King’s Road was named in honor of King Charles II and was his private road from Westminster to Fulham Palace. From there he could take a boat on to Hampton Court Palace.
The road itself dates back to 704. King Charles also used the road to visit his mistress Nell Gwyn.
The road remained private until 1830 and today runs for about 2 miles from Fulham to Sloan Square.
Chelsea is shaped like a horse's head with the World's End as its snout. Fulham Road runs east west along the top, the King’s Road runs parallel in the middle and the lower road next to the River Thames is the Chelsea Embankment. We live on one of the streets in the “snout” running northwest from the King’s Road. Sloan’s Square is shown on the eastern end of the “head”.
During the past year as we have been working as Family History missionaries, we have learned a lot about tracing a family tree. One of the things that helps in doing research is to search in the census. This is true of UK as well as US research. The census can provide valuable information about our ancestors:
- Where they were living
- Who they were living with
- What their occupations were
- If they had servants
- Who their neighbors were
- If they had brothers and sisters
- What their ages were at the time of the census
- If they had any disabilities
The US census began in 1790 and is taken every 10 years. The last was taken in 2010. The 1940 census will be released online on April 2, 2012. There is a 72 year privacy restriction on US censuses.
In the UK, a census also takes place every 10 years. The most recent census took place on 27 March 2011 and we had to fill out a census form. The most recent census to be released is the 1911 census. In the UK there is a 100-year rule to protect privacy.
When research takes you to the time before the fist modern census (1841) and before the beginning of civil registration (1837) you have to go to the parish records.
In some parishes, records started being recorded in 1538. A law had been passed ordering the clergy to record births, marriages and deaths. This provides invaluable information to a person searching out their family. Most of the parish records have been microfilmed by our church and an index of them is available on FamilySearch. If you watched the Royal Wedding of William and Kate last April you might recall that after the ceremony in Westminster Abbey, Kate and William went into a private chapel to sign the wedding register.
When our patrons come to us in our area on the first floor at The National Archives and want to see images from the parish records, we help them locate the microfilm they need to view. We have over 63,000 microfilms with us that include parish records.
The Church has microfilmed church records from all over the world. The other day I was doing a scan for a young man from Brazil. His grandfather had immigrated from Italy to Brazil many years before. He told me that the images he had found on the microfilms were his great-grandparents birth records and he had been looking for them for 5 years. He and his grandfather had even traveled to Italy to find where their family was from. They had spent several days going from village to village in an area not too far from Naples. Many of the churches they visited said their records were lost during the war. On the last day of their visit they found his great-grandfather's name on a census. From that census they were able to identify a village and then order the microfilm of the church record from the Family History Library in Salt Lake. The film arrived at our Centre and he came to view it. He was so excited to finally find what he and his grandfather had been searching for. I emailed the image to his grandfather in Brazil.
John Robertson, one of the Family History missionaries, related the following, “I happened to be sitting next to a woman while working on the WW I diaries. In the course of our conversation, she asked what we were doing here in England. When she found out that we were from the London Family History Centre that she knew so well, she said how wonderful the elders were that had helped her so much. She said, "I'm so glad to meet an elder today."
Ken and I had a similar experience while we were working on the war diaries. One of the English volunteers expressed to us how much the Church has done for family history research by having the IGI and now FamilySearch available to the public.
It’s very nice to feel appreciated by people who love the work as much as we do.
End of the Holidays
A few days after Christmas we were able to get tickets to see the Nutcracker with the Robertsons and Inskeeps. It was at the London Coliseum and was a beautiful production.
On New Year’s Eve we had dinner with the other senior missionaries at Sharon’s flat and celebrated the coming of 2012 at Vienna time- 10:00 UK time.
Riley’s First Birthday
On that very first Saturday as we were on the King’s Road my phone rang. It was Kelly and Curtis announcing the birth of their new baby. It’s hard to believe that baby Riley will be celebrating his first birthday on January 15th. I can’t wait to get home and get some of those bear hugs!
Emily and Elizabeth Baptism
Our granddaughters, Emily and Elizabeth, were baptized yesterday. We are so proud of you darling girls!
Our best to all!
Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)