|It almost seems like I'm in a revolving door -- between Blockley and London. I decided to go back to London to the Archives. By going on Friday and returning on Monday, I can use Patricia and Terry's flat in the city, while they are staying up at Blockley. Patricia was heading back to the city this morning for work, so I caught a ride with her at 5:30am (that's a pretty early morning for a vacation, don't you think?). She dropped me at the Tube station near Heathrow and I made my way to their flat in Kensington. My visit today was to the Society of Genealogists, which doesn't open until 10am, so I had a coffee and muffin before heading off to the east side of London.
Muffins -- I think there is an economic opportunity in London. I'm not sure what it is with the Brits and their obsession for cake-like muffins. "What kind of muffins do you have today?" "Well, ma'am
On to the Society of Genealogists. Sometimes these visits can be very frustrating -- not a lot of information to be had so you end up scanning every book in a section -- which is what I did in the Canada section of the Genealogy Library. I ended up finding the Anguishes listed in a book of Loyalists lists, and Jacob is listed as being deceased at 1797. So that's a bit earlier than the death date I had for him previously. (which I only had as I knew that the will was "processed" in 1800). I am still looking for emigration lists of any kind, but it appears that there are none to be had.
The Society of Genealogists also has a number of old sets of records from previous genealogists -- those who had worked on their family trees up to the mid-1900s -- now THAT must have been a difficult task. It's only now that we have the Internet and email that the search is something that anybody can do, and from anywhere.
As I was scanning the family history titles, I found a Cronk (my mother's maiden name)!
From An Uncommon Name: A Genealogical Account of the Cronk Family of West Kent by Anthony Cronk, 1953
The name Cronk is a most distinctive monosyllable, but its etymology is not immediately apparent. Numerous theories about its origin have been advanced, not all of which bear careful scrutiny, as we shall show.
It has often been suggested that it is of Continental origin on account of a slight similarity to such names as the Dutch Kranker, the Flemish Craninck, the German Krancke and Kron, and the French Cron and Croneau. The Dutch dictionary has a work kronkel, an adjective meaning "winding". Nevertheless the leading genealogical society of Holland reports that the name Cronk (however spelt) does not appear anywhere in their very comprehensive records.
If the name Cronk originated in the British Islaes, it is possible that it was derived from a place-name, as it does not at first sight appear to refer either to a baptismal name or to any occupation or office. In the Isle of Man Cronk occurs as an element in many of the Celtic place-names, e.g.
Cronk-ny-Irrey Llaa (hill of the dawn)
Cronk Sumark (promrose hill)
Cronk-y-dooiney (hill of the man)
Cronk-y-crogher (hill of the gallows)
The Director of the Manx Museum points out that it is the same as the Scottish and Irish Knock, meaning "hill", but he quotes good authority that there is no indication that it ever gave rise to a personal name, and further, that there seems to be no case of a Manx personal name derived from a place-name. ...
Now in the parish of Limpsfield just across the Surrey border we discover a locality called Cronklands. Clearly a possessor's name, it occurs as Cronksland in a Deed of 1714. Here we find Thomas Cronge as long ago as 1430, and this surname had become Cronke by 1543. So perhaps after all Cronge is not such a far cry from Crangeld and our now-rare migrant crane. On the other hand, the Oxford English Discitonary gives "cronge" as an old and rare word meaning a hilt or handle. This could conceivably have given rise to a personal name of the occupative category denoting a maker of sword-hilts. Anyway we believe this to be a very important link in the chain, as it is the earliest relevant record we have been able to find, and the only one in the medieval period when surnames were being adopted to distinguish one family from another. Limpsfield is only nine miles from Sevenoaks, and there seems to be little doubt that we have here found the source of all the Cronks of West Kent.
So an interesting find. I will have to leave this as a possibility for the Cronks in my family, although I believe that the early Census showed them as Dutch -- have to double-check that.
After 4 hours in the library, it was time to get outside to the sunshine again. I took the Tube back to Kensington High Street and took a walk along Abingdon Road. It appears that at some point years ago there must have been a street "competition" for growing wisterias. You can smell the flowers all along the street, and there are half a dozen houses that have the huge vines.
Just around the corner is the junction of Radley Mews and Lexham Mews. Mews is another thing that I had learned about in my London Walk in Kensington a couple of years ago.
"Mews" is a British term (used primarily in London but also in parts of Canada) referring to a certain type of stabling with living quarters. The term entered the English language because of the King's Mews at Charing Cross, where the royal hawks were kept starting in 1377. The name remained when it became the royal stables starting in 1537. The word was applied to service streets and the stables in them in cities, primarily London. In the 18th and 19th centuries London housing for wealthy people generally consisted of streets of large terraced houses with stables at the back, which opened onto a small service street. The mews had horse stalls and a carriage house on the ground floor, and stable servants' living accommodation above. Generally this was mirrored by another row of stables on the opposite side of the service street, backing onto another row of terraced houses facing outward into the next street. The advantage of the British system was that it hid the sounds and smells of the stables away from the family when they were not using the horses.
Mews lost their original function in the early 20th century when motor cars were introduced. At the same time, after World War I and especially after World War II, the number of people who could afford to live in the type of houses which had a mews behind fell sharply. Some were demolished or put to commercial use, but the majority were converted into flats and the mews into homes. These "mews houses", nearly always located in the wealthiest districts, are themselves now fashionable residences.
After my walk, I went to a little pizzeria on Earl's Court Road before going back to the flat -- early to rise, early to bed, even though it's a Friday night in London!