Thursday, 14 February 2019

Ancestry adds London infirmary records, 1842-1918

Ancestry UK is bang on schedule with its most recent database addition: London, England, Hospital Admission and Discharges, 1842-1918.

The collection, sourced from the London Metropolitan Archives, holds nearly 300,000 records of the elderly and chronically ill – many of them Irish – receiving medical relief in infirmaries attached to workhouses. Although some of the records date right back to the mid-1800s, the majority date from the last 20 or 30 years of the time frame in the collection's title.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HPhtV-NxguAhpiI37FuEDu4aRw827LoL/view?usp=sharing
Next of kin details in workhouse infirmary registers
The registers note name, age, gender, dates of admission, discharge and/or death. Some entries also include the patient's occupation, but where these registers really excel, is where they give names and addresses of next-of-kin. These details are not available in all cases, or in the earlier records.

In exploring the new database, I found an 80-year-old Ellen Santry admitted from the Greenwich workhouse to the infirmary in March 1916 (see image below). She was discharged back to the workhouse three weeks later.

The 1911 census gave me a clue to her family, but I couldn't be certain there was a link.

And then I spotted next-of-kin on the next image of the double-page spread register (see screenshot, above). Her son was Jeremiah, living nearby at 21 Eastney Street. This confirmed the 'clue'. Ellen was the widowed 78-year-old 'grandmother' living in 1911 with her son and family at the same docklands address.

Further research established that she was born in Ellen Regan in County Cork in 1835 and had married John Santry in Gravesend in 1864. He was the eldest son of Jeremiah Santry and Mary Murphy who married in the West Cork parish of Schull East in 1839. Their first four children, including John (in 1845), were also born there, but the family upped sticks at the height of the Famine and moved to England, where five more children were born. This was a very satisfying hour of research!


Also sticking to Ancestry's February update timetable was the upload of some 5,500 additional entries to the London Poor Law, Selected Removal and Settlement Records, 1698-1930 collection, which holds details of settlement and removals in the Bethnal Green, Hackney, Poplar, Shoreditch, and Stepney areas of London's East End.