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Londonwhay
15-10-2004, 4:20 PM
One branch of my husbands ancestors were farm labourers. The family lived in Essex for generations, yet in 1874 one of them got married in Wiltshire - to a Wiltshire lass. I had thought that most people did mot move very far afield in the 19th century. Was it common for farm labourers to go far from home in search of work?

Glenda

Linda Bailey
15-10-2004, 4:38 PM
I have an example in my hubby's tree where the Bostocks from Cheshire moved down to Warickshire. It seems that the linking factor is that whilst they were ordinary farmers/labourers they worked for the Davenports who had land in both places.
Perhaps there is a similar connection in your case?

Guy Etchells
15-10-2004, 5:04 PM
There are a lot of such myths perpetrating family history, whilst it is true that perhaps the majority of people did not venture far there were still many who travelled great distances.
There were various reasons for this perhaps they were miners and the pits in their area ran dry so they moved to where new pits were opening
They may be employed by the landed gentry and moved from one estate to another.
They may even have been employed in an occupation where they went on the tramp to obtain employment.
Going on the tramp meant that the tradesman was sponsored message=There are a lot of such myths perpetrating family history, whilst it is true that perhaps the majority of people did not venture far there were still many who travelled great distances.
There were various reasons for this perhaps they were miners and the pits in their area ran dry so they moved to where new pits were opening
They may be employed by the landed gentry and moved from one estate to another.
They may even have been employed in an occupation where they went on the tramp to obtain employment.
Going on the tramp meant that the tradesman was sponsored by his trade to go from area to area in search of work. In each area he would meet with the others of his trade be fed and be hopefully pointed in the right direction for work. Have a look at this: http://www.parishchest.com/english_farming_past_and_present__P87542

Browse through parish registers, especially parishes close to through routes and you will find many strays.
Farm labourers were no different come the hiring fair they may have to walk twenty or even thirty miles to the fair and if the new employer lived in the opposite direction that could take them forty or even sixty miles from home.

Cheers
Guy

Lindad
15-10-2004, 10:40 PM
When I started my research I thought I would find all of my great greats living and dying within a small area. All of my grandparents had died by the time I was born; my mother was born in Hammersmith and my dad in St Mary Cray - so I assumed my ancestors would be from London and Kent...

It's therefore been fascinating to discover farm labourers, blacksmiths and brickmakers from Wiltshire, a carpenter from Devon, grocers and blanket weavers from Oxfordshire, shoemakers from Northamptonshire, paper makers from Kent, cigar makers, tailors and printers from Suffolk and policemen from all over the place - all of whom seem to have travelled to and from London, most of whom married spouses from counties other than their own!

;) My only regret is that I've yet to discover any ancestors from Cornwall... but maybe if I keep digging...

David Wilkins
16-10-2004, 8:00 AM
I agree with the comments already posted, my gg grandfather married a girl from Somerset at Hendon, Middlesex in 1849. Not that uncommon for people to move around.

David NZ

Londonwhay
16-10-2004, 12:33 PM
Thanks to everyone for their replies. I can see I shall have to do some more research on the COLE's abode in Essex in order to see if they were in the employ of the local gentry. Guy's advice about parish registers has also been taken on board.

Glenda

Paul Bradshaw
28-11-2004, 4:39 PM
Hi my wife had a relitive who died of anthrax in penkridge Staffordshire this in its self is strange we believe the only one in England yet we cannot get hold of any medical evidence or records except word of mouth of families, the establishment seems to have closed the book on this one .There is no grave the body was taken and disposed of by fire we think ,they were farm labourers who roamed far and wide to look for work when the local land owner turned them away , just thought I would share this one .Paul

John
28-11-2004, 5:00 PM
There are a lot of such myths perpetrating family history, whilst it is true that perhaps the majority of people did not venture far there were still many who travelled great distances.
There were various reasons for this perhaps they were miners and the pits in their area ran dry so they moved to where new pits were opening

Guy
Although probably not relevent to ag-labs, I'm reminded of a firm of locomotive engineers in the centre of Manchester in the 19th cent.. They outgrew their city centre premises and relocated, lock stock, barrel and work force to Glasgow. This migration of key engineering workers would have pulled in it's wake many not employed in engineering and left some 21st cent researchers wondering why their dressmaking ancestor upped sticks and moved to Glasgow.
This whole subject of migration and mobility is well worth study and really is too great to cover in one message.

John

Mandie
18-12-2004, 7:56 AM
Was it common for farm labourers to go far from home in search of work?

I think it was common in the period of the Industrial Revolution, as you had the decline of traditional agricultural practices and the rise of machinery, factories and heavier labours. If the land counld no longer support them then I imagine many families went where there was 'guaranteed' work.

My ancestors were all agricultural labourers in Norfolk, yet they moved up to Durham and became miners in the 1850's. It must have been an alien world for them and many other families.