This weeks Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #19 is to answer the following questions: Describe your favorite records repository. Why is it your favorite? What types of records does it contain? Do you have any advice for first-time visitors? Special thanks to Geneabloggers and WeTree for promoting and creating the blogging prompts.
My favorite records repository is the London Metropolitan archives, located in north central London. Besides their amazing array of records in one organization, they have helpful staff; nice facilities (plenty of lockers and a place to sit and eat your lunch); good opening hours; plenty of computers connected to the Internet, their own databases and subscription genealogy databases; WiFi; an excellent selection of London history books; an amazing map collection; and parish register microfilms for nearly everywhere in London*.
From their website:
London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is the archive repository for many London-wide organisations. The archives of the City of London Corporation (COL) and the former Greater London Council (GLC), London County Council (LCC), Middlesex County Council (MCC) and their predecessors are held here. LMA also holds records for many religious, public, business, local authority and other organisations based in London. The dates of items that can be found here range from medieval to the present day, and our collections are constantly expanding. At the moment, there are documents to fill around 72 km worth of shelving! You can find out more detailed information concerning our holdings by looking at our collections page.
Some of my notable finds in the LMA are:
- Finding a detailed 1783 birth record of my husband’s gr-gr-gr-gr grandaunt in an original Account of Married Women book of the British Lying in Hospital (genealogical jackpot!)
- My Yorkshire ancestor’s brother in city directories going back to 1740
- The 1822 removal order for my husband’s ancestors from Lambeth parish back to St. Martin’s in the Fields (they were admitted and discharged from the workhouse on the same day, so a good friend or family member must’ve bailed them out!)
For first-time visitors, the London Metropolitan Archives’ website contains a lot of useful information for anyone wishing to visit or ‘virtually’ explore this fantastic repository. I have also written a blog post on How to do genealogy research at a city or county record office in England. The LMA can be reached by public transportation. Personally, I recommend figuring out the buses ahead of time, instead of using the Underground (aka Tube). You can have wonderful tour of London on the upper deck of a London city bus, plus it really helps being above ground to understand how London is laid out. The Transport for London website has an excellent online journey planner.
* Be sure to check their catalogue to check the parishes they cover. Click Log in to start.
P.S. The Hampshire Record Office wins 2nd place!