Essential Reading

'I have been a family historian for more than 40 years, and a professional historian for over 30, but as I read it, I was constantly encountering new ways of looking at my family history....Essential reading I would say!' Alan Crosby, WDYTYA Magazine

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Your Ancestors' Letters: Tips for Research 7: What can you learn from the addresses ?

Do the addresses on your ancestors' letters still exist as homes or businesses today? Do they reflect differences or similarities between the social class of the sender and of the recipient?

You can check whether old addresses still exist by visiting But be careful, houses in a street may have been renumbered and streets might have been renamed.

You might also look at local maps online or at historical maps of the locality in local libraries.
See  Local maps in the National Archives UK

Trade directories for local areas can tell you for what purposes buildings might have used in the past and, in some cases, who might have lived and worked in them.
Historic Trade Directories held by Leicester University

Postcodes did not exist at the time the first national British Postal Service started  (ie 1840). They were developed gradually over the 1850s and 1860s, starting in London. But, they were not as long and complex as they are today. In fact, the type of postcodes with which we are familiar did not come about until 1974.

More Information on Postal Heritage UK

The Welcome Letter by George Hardy, 1879. From Wikimedia Commons

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